The 7 golden rules for effective logo design
A practical guide for business owners and identity designers.
Contrary to Popular belief, an Effective Logo design is based on way more than just looking cool.
Based on more than 15 years of experience designing and re-designing logos, here are 7 golden rules & ideas to follow when considering logo designs to use for your company. The order listed reflect largely a production sequence, the importance of them are roughly equal.
Do your research
Too many Logos out there have no direction, concept and ultimately end up just an empty and superficial graphic. All you need to do is to look at .com era logos and look-alike designs found in stock libraries to get my drift. This typically happens when designs are started without a solid understanding of what the Logo is supposed to represent. Knowing the company name is not enough. Getting a good understanding of the organizations brand values and personality is paramount.
Define a brief for the design
A brief ensures your decision-making has some solid criteria rather than acting on a whim. It enables a “successful” design to be recognised. If you don’t many great designs could appear without you even realising it. Your brief should include specific criteria on what the design should encompass and represent. Then when reviewing designs, you can more objectively select suitable concepts based on already defined criteria.
The Logo is not for you! (talking to you business owner)
Rather focus on who it’s aimed at. Logo designs are supremely personal and often the “golden child” of the business owner. However it’s extremely important that you don’t impose your own personal preferences randomly. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your logo connects with your target audience – not to pander to the director’s personal taste for typefaces and color.
Keep it real and relevant
Every element within the design should have a purpose and a relevant connection to the briefing. If there is no real explanation for an element – get rid of it. If your designer is experienced enough, they will have considered every aspect of the design and will explain their reasoning. If you love green and it makes no real sense for your product and market – it has no place in your design.
Keep It simple
Someone once said, “creating something simple and elegant is complicated.” Simplifying thoughts down to their bare essence takes some effort and ruthless editing. This is probably why so many designs out there are needlessly complex and confusing. If possible, keep your design simple, colours simple and typefaces legible while encompassing a core concept of the organisation.
Your logo is not a one-man band.
It’s important to remember that an organisation’s logo is only one small (though important) component of a branding system, so expecting a logo to communicate every idea, value and personality trait is madness. The success of a brand rests on a solid foundation, its delivery of products and services, behavior of staff, tone and great relevant presentation of communications…just to name a few. The logo simply is a symbol of your organization, so don’t overdo your expectations of what a logo will achieve in isolation.
Great Brand and identity awareness is created through consistency. While it may be tempting to change your key colour, typefaces, or chasing the look-and-feel of the month. This approach only leads to confusion and typically an amateur result in marketing materials. The only time you should be changing key branding elements is when they are no longer relevant to your customers or core values. Even so, a re-brand should be implemented with a planned rollout and defined goals, not flippant testing.
We hope this article was useful for you and will help you plan and execute your next logo design project.
If you have any questions, comments or we can help you with any branding related work – give Juuce a shout!