Creating A Great Business Logo
One of the best logos ever designed was created by legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser and is known and recognized worldwide. It’s the “I Love New York” logo, with the “heart” shape in place of the word love and, when it was first introduced, back in 1973, it was unique, clean, simplistic and instantly recognizable.
Amazingly, it’s still recognized today, still being used and has been copied innumerable times. It was an instant classic and the reason for its success is that it followed a number of rules that distinguish great logos from millions of “wannabe” logos that come and go every year.
Can you describe your logo in a few simple words?
Below are a number of those different rules that must be followed if you want to create a great logo. (By the way, you’ll find that Glaser’s design follows nearly all of them.) The first characteristic is the most important; a logo must be unique. Copying other logos or designing one that is similar to an already popular logo simply won’t work. People will think that it’s cheap rip off or unoriginal and you might also get in trouble with copyright lawyers. Designing a unique logo, although it might be difficult, is much more fun and interesting.
Can you describe your logo in a few simple words? If you think about McDonalds’ “golden arches, the Nike “swoosh” or the Apple Corporation’s “Apple” logo, you’ll instantly know what we mean. If you can describe your logo quickly and easily, chances are you created a good one. It also certainly helps people to talk about your company much more easily.
A great logo must also be instantly understandable and relatable to your target audience. If, for example, you have a mixed martial arts gym, you certainly wouldn’t want to use a flower in your logo or feminine colors, much the same as you wouldn’t want to use a clenched fist as the logo for your beauty salon. If the average person can look at your logo and instantly have an idea about what your company produces or cells, you’re on the right track.
When you see Col. Sander’s face you instantly think “fried chicken” and, with the Target target you instantly think “excellent superstore”.
An excellent logo needs to be versatile and work across several different types of media. Designing a logo that can be used online, on television, in magazines, in full color or in black and white, is really important. It also should work if it’s shrunk down to a very small size and, if it loses a lot of detail when that’s done, it might need some redesign work. If it’s going to be used on products it definitely needs to be as versatile as possible.
A well-designed logo should also reflect as close to everything as possible that your company does. If, for example, you own an automobile maintenance garage but your logo is built around tires, many people might get the impression that all you do is sell and/or replace tires, something that might reduce your logo’s ability to sell your products and services. If possible it should also be able to evolve in the future and fit any products or services that you plan to add.
Finally, a well-made logo should suit your purpose. Col. Sanders is the “figurehead” of KFC and recognized worldwide, and the ‘target’ logo from Target is absolute genius. When you see Col. Sander’s face you instantly think “fried chicken” and, with the Target target you instantly think “excellent superstore”. If you can create a logo that will instantly create an image in your customers mind you’ve got a winner.
The fact is, some companies spend thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars on logo design because it’s so vitally important to their image and future success. The point is, don’t take the design of your logo for granted because, if you do, you might find that your logo, as well as your business, don’t stick around as long as you’d like them to.