Logos are the element of your branding that makes you instantly recognisable; think about companies like Nike, Sony, and Coca Cola. Though their logos and brands have gone through iterations through time, their names conjure the image of their logos in your brain.
That’s the power and importance of a logo, and while it’s important not to get caught up designing one before your business ever opens its doors, it should be the heart of a rebrand. That said, what actually makes a good logo? We know one when we see it, but sometimes the thing that feels ‘off’ can seem intangible, so let’s get into five qualities you should look for in your logo design.
#1 It Should Be Simple Enough to Be Recreated From Memory
Why? Because the best logos have a memorable simplicity. If I asked you to draw Nike, Chanel or Toyota’s logo, you’d probably have a pretty good shot at it. These days, because graphic design is so accessible, you see a lot of logos for online-only brands that have lost their simplicity.
#2 It Should Work in Monochrome
All of the brands I’ve mentioned thus far work in monochrome, even if they don’t choose to often. This is another element that helps a logo feel timeless, but also shows you if your logo is too busy. Think about it this way: if your brand was to have a store or office front, would your logo be a hassle to have made in 3D? Forever 21, H&M and other clothing stores are all simple and two-tone.
#3 Does it Look Balanced and Right for Your Industry?
Humans are attracted to visually balanced and symmetrical designs, and we don’t really like when things take us by surprise. If you were to create your logo in 3D, would it stand upright with little assistance? Does it have structure? Once you have a few mock-ups ask others around you what they would assume a business with your logo does.
People have certain expectations of branding in different industries. Some, like marketing and some B2B services, have almost no rules or expectations, but a lot of B2C businesses have certain preconceived expectations that people don’t like if you break.
#4 It Should Feel Like You
If you’re the founder of your company you know your history, your purpose, and your future. Once you’re getting good feedback from other people about your potential logos and there aren’t any red flags, then you should go with the one that speaks to you. The logo should encompass your whole story.
#5 It Should Be Flexible
When you give your designer your prompt, don’t overcomplicate it. Remember that your logo should be flexible and be able to be used in a few different iterations of your brand colours, and a few different versions.
Think of the McDonald’s logo – they have the big yellow ‘M’ on its own, on white, on red, with it above a red sign, on dark green, and more. But no matter what branding the McDonald’s logo has, you know exactly what it is. Look for that kind of flexibility, look for something that you could see evolving over time.