All of us want that “best” Logo designed for our startup. That Logo, which will differentiate our brand from the clutter, something that will uniquely represent our USPs & one that will aesthetically appeal to all sensibilities!
So, what is that Good Logo or what all should it have? I’m not a researched authority on Logo Designs, but practical experience coupled with some practical design sense has me listing the following:
- A good logo should look memorable and describe something. This is very important as Logo is an integral part of any business / brand. It is important to get the philosophy of what the company stands for represented in the logo unit.
- It should be memorable and be remembered even after the logo is out of one’s sight – what’s the point of not recognizing or recalling a brand after? (its a failed effort, if so)
- For a new brand, logos should favor – Simplicity & Directness Over Style & Subtlety You know the KISS rule, right?
- A logo should be effective without color (I mean black & white). The true test of a good logo is that it conveys what it does even without color.
- A logo that’s designed around a particular color is seldom a huge failure. Reminds me of the Nike “Swoosh” – I remember the thick strong swoosh – without Nike written anywhere around it and surprisingly without any color association.
- Though, you can definitely use color to your advantage, but only over and above the main logo element (the main parts of the logo) – say, the Mcdonald Golden arch. Good designers usually design in black or grey and then add the color element to it
- A logo should be scalable (ironically, the scalable term applys to logos too LOL). A logo should be such that it can be used in any shape, size, form, texture, context and it should convey the same meaning, should retain its effect and should have the capacity to replicate itself well.
- In short, the details in the logo should as clear while its 10feet as it will when it’s an inch in size. Think various use cases of the logo in its lifetime from website to button buddies
- A logo should be appropriate for the business it identifies. It should have a stand out effect over its competitors.
- Using an element for a logo just because it needs to be there is a bad design – the element should make sense and should be in context.
- Always use a simple, readable font for your logo – No fancy or remotely fancy font! A quick check on Logo’s of the most popular / big brands reveals that their font type is Solid & Simple
- Design of the logo should surround around “Readablity” of the brand / logo
- We want to load our first logo with all possible decorations – emboss effect / drop shadow / gradient / etc – Keep Away from all that temptation! KISS rule, remember?
- The most important aspect of any logo designing effort is that the end result should clearly break away from clutter and stand out screaming its identity.
- It is NOT always necessary for you logo to have a tagline. Read my post on taglines here.
It is important for you to take ownership of the logo design. Outsourcing it to a designer is the thing to do, but it is important that you know what you want and convey the same to the designer. You can try and draft a short design specification document which will list out mainly, but not inclusive:
- Brief description of the product / service / business for which the logo is being generated
- Purpose of the Logo
- Mission / Philosophy of the design / company
- Logo design concept – If you want to follow a particular style, if there is a story that the logo should convey, etc.
- Any other important detail you may want the designer to remember
The above will not only let you convey your thoughts to the designer, but will help the designer understand what is required and estimate efforts. Once the initial version of the logo design is out, its is important that you quickly go around and take customer / general user feedback by way some random sampling. This you can do by asking directed questions to your friends & family, your team / employees, & some select customers of yours. You can even get feedback from some perfect strangers by walking into a cafe and asking people for their feedback. You can always thank them for their time by buying them coffee! 🙂 Logo design is an iterative process and it changes with time. What is important to achieve is a clean design, easy to read and remember font & a simple representation of the same – such a design can be everlastingly relevant. Here’s a site that has listed logo design trends and some interesting tips: http://www.logolounge.com/articles/default.asp?Archive=True&ArticleID=680