From colours to elements to fonts, right down to the rainbow, the stars and the dancing unicorns (just kidding), some business owners instruct their graphic designers to strictly follow what they want when creating their logos. Rather than ask a graphic designer’s opinion, explore and discuss ideas, some business owners tell what they want their logos to look like. Some would say “Make my logo look a little bit of my competitor, but not too much” as if the little and the too much would help create the unique identity that would help the business standout in a crowded marketplace. Others would say “Just make it look good” — thinking anything that looks good can’t be bad for business, right? Well, Not quite right actually. In spite of good looks a business logo must posses key graphic elements to make it iconic and memorable:
A Good Looking Business Logo Possess Following Qualities :
It must Communicate the Truth.
The most basic function of the logo would be to communicate everything that has to do with the company. The second function would be to effectively communicate that same message in a manner the target market will appreciate. Design and communicate is all you want but if the target market cannot process the message, then the logo, no matter how great it looks, will fail to connect. It is not about having a good-looking logo. It is about having a logo that clearly communicates the important truths about the company. Truths like mission and vision, history and aspirations, value and character — all at least to a certain degree.
Think of a brand for infants. What would the font style look like? Uhmmmm… Soft and round, no sharp corners. It could even be italic. Colours? Tints — nothing loud. Layout? Lots of white or negative space, nothing crowded. Can you imagine a baby soap logo in a techno font and in shocking, neon colours? Of course not! One look at the logo and you’d know it’s something “gentle” and won’t contain harsh ingredients.
Now think of baby products. How would the combination of logo and packaging look like? Can you imagine any baby product in bold colours and retro or funky fonts? We doubt it. There is “unity.” There is but one unifying message being communicated by all the elements that are part of the design and that is gentleness – The people behind the products care.
It is Simple and Easy to Understand.
Think. What is the common thread that runs across most of the logos we all remember well?
Its simplicity — The uncluttered, iconic and timeless look all great logos seem to have. In their barest form, sans their given colours, these logos prove that you don’t have to put a lot of elements to make a logo work. Sometimes one simple element is enough to bring the message across.
What about these logos ? What do they have in common?
It Harnesses the Power of Colour.
When we see color a set of impressions comes to our mind. The application of the right colour evoke emotion, express personality and stimulates brand association. That doesn’t mean a logo has to be colourful not unless you are adamant about it (and cite Microsoft, Google, eBay and the likes — all with vividly colourful logos). Sometimes, just one colour on the right element is all it takes to pull everything together.
And these? What do these logos have in common?
It has the Right Typeface.
Typeface can spell branding success. Even just the name rendered right would evoke the character and the values the business would like to impart. For a unified and coherent image the typeface must posses unique personality, clarity and legibility. Each typeface has a denotative meaning and a connotative meaning so clear briefing about audience, tone, personality, attitude etc. at the beginning can help you choose a right typeface for a successful communication.
Evolving to “less”: Simplifying the message. Wishing to have a logo that has everything you want (including the kitchen sink for some) is not impossible. However, a quick look at the evolution of some of the world’s great logos might make you consider just the opposite. The following logos started with “so much to see” and evolved over time to their current, iconic “less-is-more” designs.
Were the changes good or bad? Who is to say they are or are not? However from the point of view of branding experts some logo changes were well thought of and some were not. For example, Unilever logo seems to be evolved from simple to complicated. But most designers comment that the change while radical does not veer away from the iconic letter U as the individual elements work as a cohesive part rather than separate parts of the design. The individual parts, in a way, seem more of an “invitation” to learn more and discover what the business is about.
There are so many factors a graphic designer must consider in order to create the perfect logo. These are but a few. Consulting and working with your chosen graphic designer to get to the core of what the business is about and what it stands for, is crucial to the creation of the logo that will visually represent your company. Don’t settle for “a good looking logo.” Want one that also speaks the truth about you.
So what’s wrong with good-looking logos? Nothing. Good looking logos are great! Who said they are not? But great isn’t because they “look” good. Great MUST mean that they visually and effectively communicate the truth about the company and able to connect with the consumers the company aims to serve because that is what they were made for.
In the current global marketplace, whether one believes it or not, truth sells. The logo should be a part of that “story-telling” truth. It should not stand for the “fantasy” version of it. It is amazing that such a huge task is expected from such a small illustration.