Designing a logo for your business can often be a challenging undertaking—involving time, resources and internal debate. A logo sets the stage for your company’s visual brand for years to come. It will dictate color, fonts and graphics that will be applied to everything from your website to advertising to promotional materials.
An effective logo has very specific attributes. Check out these 5 logo must-haves to keep your logo design process in check.
Versatile – A logo must be versatile because it has so many potential applications. It should work in color or in black and white. It should work when it’s imprinted on something as small as a pen and as large as billboard. It should work on TV or on a car wrap. It’s critical to consider all the possible applications when designing a logo.
Timeless – A well-designed logo can last more than 30 years. The longevity of a logo contributes to brand awareness, so it’s important that the design does not reference design trends or a specific time period. It’s best to avoid over stylized fonts or design gimmicks like gradients and drop shadows that will go in and out of style.
Simple – A logo should be legible and iconic. Some of the most effective logos are the most simple—comprised of basic shapes, such as circles and squares. Take a look at Target, Apple or WWF for example. The design isn’t earth shattering nor does it try to convey every aspect of their business. The logos essentially act as a stamp and offer a visual clue to the company name or purpose.
Consistent – the application of your logo must be extremely consistent. That’s why companies (big and small) have a brand guides that dictates how a logo should and should not be used. The consistent use of the logo will define its overall success. Most logos are simple and from a design perspective not incredibly interesting. It’s the consistent application over and over again that helps the consumer/client to begin to link the brand mark with the company.
Unique – The purpose of a logo is to create a visual representation of your business. One of the key aspects of marketing is defining your company’s unique value proposition. What sets you apart from the competition? So naturally it’s critical to have a logo that is unique. This can be difficult to achieve, since it’s also important the logo is simple and appropriate for your industry. But this uniqueness can come from a myriad of qualities including the name, color, fonts, shape and composition. Keep in mind, logos aren’t meant to be literal, they should be a visual peephole into the values and story of a business.
So the next time you embark on a rebranding, let these five attributes be the litmus test for successful logo design: versatile, timeless, simple, consistent and unique.