A logo is the face of your product/service. It’s a visual representation of your core beliefs, values, and overall message. This is why the biggest companies invest so much in order to be publicly recognisable (the BBC logo cost $1.8 million). What constitutes an effective logo?
As the face of your brand your logo should come with a personality that suits it. Decide where you fit on the formal/informal spectrum and plan around that. Shapes and colour will play a huge roll in showing what kind of company people are investing in. Both Fitness First and Gym Group offer similar services, but they show individuality. Fitness First screams energy and strength, while Gym Group is quite friendly.
Your logo will be used on many mediums and surfaces. A good designer will ask themselves the following questions when putting it together:
- Does it work with minimal colour? (I prefer to design in black and white because if it works in one colour chances are that it will work in others).
- Is it visible far away/in small sizes? A logo that is too small can’t rely on small text in order to get the message.
- Does it work on corporate identity and different types of merchandise? This includes; business cards, letterheads, compliment slips, t-shirts etc.
- Does it translate well on the web, TV screens, and on print?
When a logo is iconic it breaks the status quo making it memorable. The thought process behind a logo is what makes it stand out visually, especially when compared to others in the same field. When the face of your company is iconic it communicates with the audience in a simple but memorable way, making use of tradition and relevance. The London Underground logo is one that is historical, but at the same time it doesn’t get left behind as time passes.
Works without text
If you can, try to cover up the bottom half of some lettering (whether it be a sentence or a single letter), you’ll realise that the text is still readable even when it’s incomplete. This is because the brain fills in the missing pieces for you. Just as incomplete text is recognisable, a logo without it’s name underneath should still communicate the core values and message to the target audience. As a brand develops, a logo can stand on it’s own even when partly obstructed (if you want to see some great examples of this, download the game Logo Quiz on Android and IOS).
Evolves over time
Is there such a thing as a perfect logo? I don’t believe there is, at least not permanently. A logo that worked for a company a decade ago might not necessarily work today. This is because people’s tastes and trends change over time, especially in today’s generation. The Apple logo started off very different to the minimal design that we’ve all grown attached to.
Pleasing to the eye
Since ancient times, architects and designers have made use of mathematical proportions and ratios to create art and buildings that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This is sometimes called the “Golden Ration” or the “Fibonacci Sequence”. The details of this will be left out in this blog, but simply put it’s a series of numbers consisting of; 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34… and so on. The next number is found by adding the previous two together (3 is made up of 1 +2).
The Golden Ratio can be found in nature, including; the human body, shells, animals, and even tornadoes. Visually the sequence of numbers when connected make up a spiral. By using these shapes as a guide in design, logos become very pleasing to the eye. This isn’t compulsory in design, there are many great logos that don’t follow this sequence, but many of those that do have made their mark in history. If you would like to know more about the golden ratio click here.