Ah, the logo, the literal face of your company or brand. When designed right, it simply speaks for itself. We all know that the golden arches stand for McDonald’s, the black swoosh clearly symbolizes Nike, among countless others. In order to reach that kind of status with your logo, it needs to be immediately recognizable. Your logo needs to inspire trust, admiration, timelessness, and loyalty; its shapes, colors, fonts, and images need to stand out from other brands. So, how do you go about making a good, effective logo? To fill us in on all the nitty gritty details, we turn to one of [ 2 one 5 ]’s Graphic Designers, Corey Riddle.
What is an effective logo, and how can you tell if it is, in fact, effective?
Nearly all successful logos have a few things in common – they’re simple, timeless, effective, and versatile. There’s no better way to gauge the quality of a logo than to ask the consumer. An effective logo should convey the intended message and persona to the audience without explanation or context.
What goes into logo design?
At [ 2 one 5 ] the first step in creating an effective logo is to discuss the project brief with the client to determine what creative content is needed and where it will be live (website, business card, large signs). Once we’re clear on what we need to produce, we dive into our library in search of reference material and any other research that will helps us better understand the subject matter. Once we’ve compiled enough references, we move into the sketching and conceptualizing phase. This is where ideas typically start to evolve and take shake. Once the client is happy with the sketches, we begin to produce the logo on the computer in a digital format. Once we’ve compiled a handful of logo options, the client is asked for further feedback. If all goes well, we move into the refinement phase where the logo is “pixel pushed” until everything is perfect across all sizes and orientations before delivering the client a polished and effective logo.
What about the brand do you take into consideration when designing a logo?
The biggest thing to take into consideration is the brand voice. You should know right away whether a vintage textured logo is going to work for someone or if they need something more abstract.
How important is color when designing a logo?
Color is a crucial part of any effective logo. It should convey the same message and voice as the rest of the logo. Just imagine if the McDonald’s arches were brown instead of gold…(shudders)
If your design is effective, but your client isn’t thrilled, how do you convince them otherwise? Or do you compromise?
I think we do a little bit of both if the client isn’t happy with our mark. It’s important to educate them about why you chose to do certain things and why they work. Sometimes it’s even necessary to bring some of the reference material from the research phase to show them how you ended up with the final product.
When the time comes, what are the best ways to update your logo without losing its integrity?
There are a number of solutions for updating an old logo without losing its integrity. Sometimes it’s as simple switching a font to something more updated. Other times the logo just needs to be recreated in a newer style. For instance, the Pepsi logo has evolved a great deal over the years. The brand recently took the complicated and style-heavy logo they were using in the early 2000s and simplified it to create the timeless logo they use today.
As world-famous designer Paul Rand once said, “a logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like. The subject matter of a logo can be almost anything.” Your logo is just one aspect of your brand, but it’s the piece of your brand that communicates faster than any representative at your disposal.