You never cease to hear about the importance of good logo design. Whether you’re a designer or a person interested in having a logo created, one fact is concrete: a good logo is necessary. We hear a lot about what a good logo does and does not entail in order for it to not only be good, but also successful. After years of research about logo design, designing logos myself and observance of many logos out there, I’ve realised that there are a few consistent things across the board. For a logo to be successful, at the least it must be simple, memorable, original, tailored to its audience and beautiful.
A successful logo must be simple. There’s a rather large difference between simple and simplistic. A good logo is the furthest thing from the word simplistic. A successful logo encompasses an entity’s very nature; hence the word ‘logo’ being derived from the Greek ‘logos’. A good logo needs to be simple so that people can automatically recognize it, especially in this fast paced world where our minds have adapted to blocking out images we deem as unnecessary. It needs to break through the mental barriers we have created against unwanted imagery.
Additionally, a successful logo must be memorable. If people saw your logo and no one remembered it, what would be the point? Yet another logo tossed to the back of our minds to be forgotten forever. While the entity which the logo represents is one of the vital aspects that help makes a logo memorable through its impact on society, the logo design itself needs to work as hard as it can to give the entity the head start that it needs. The more memorable the logo, the more of an advantage the entity already has. There are an infinite number of ways in which one can create a memorable logo and it all comes from the imagination and intuition of the designer. Don’t be afraid to experiment and don’t be predictable. You might surprise yourself.
Now this may go without saying, but a successful logo needs to be original. In a world where the pervasive view is, “there’s nothing new under the sun”, designers need to kick against that philosophy and show the world that the human imagination is limitless. It happens occasionally that a designer may conceive a completely original logo only to realize that there is already something out there very similar. However, it is the designer’s personal touch that makes the logo unique. It is then up to the designer to press on and aim for even more originality. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to mimic another designer’s work because of your respect for them. However, if you truly admire them, strive to make them admire your work, rather than copying theirs.
By the same thought, a successful logo must be tailored to its audience. It makes little sense to design something extremely amazing and awe inspiring only to have little effect on the audience the logo intends to reach. As a designer, you need to be willing to do in depth research prior to conceiving the logo in order to make well-informed decisions. When designing a logo for a client, listening to what the client has to say can go an extremely long way. They are the ones directly in the field. We need to temporarily let go of the god complex that most of us have and listen to sound advice. A successful logo is born after a designer and client can come to a mutual agreement.
Last but not least, and possibly the most obvious, a successful logo must be beautiful. This is where creativity can truly express itself. There is no one standard of beauty. Within various societies there are a multitude of things regarded as beautiful or unsightly. No matter what you create, always make it look good.
Pro tip: it is extremely beneficial to write a design brief before the creative process and a rationale after the creative process. But most importantly, relax, enjoy and have fun throughout the entire creative progression. Not every logo you create will be better than your last. There will always be praise and there will always be criticism. As a designer you’re a problem solver. Do your best and you’ll be alright.