5 Characteristics of a Great Logo

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We’d argue that a brand’s logo is the most important design element a business will create. Think about it: what other unique, visual element will give your business a professional edge and help you stand out within your industry? It’s crazy to think that this single branding piece will have such a significant impact on your brand as a whole, and evaluating your logo’s characteristics will go a long way for your brand’s future.

Do yourself, and your brand, a favor and make sure your business’s logo has these five note-worthy characteristics to create a lasting impression.

Memorability

With all the brands the public are exposed to on a daily basis, your logo must be memorable. This means it cannot meet the bare minimum of logo standards; your logo must be unique and even pave the way to changing the brand standards within your space.

We’re not suggesting to make you logo so obscure that it’s taking away from your core values, but go against the “industry norm” if possible. For example, a lot of nonprofits have a heart or ribbon as a part of their logo. If you are a nonprofit organization, try avoiding hearts or ribbons when developing your logo so your nonprofit’s brand sticks out.

Timeless

A strong logo will stand the test of time and look great in any era. That’s why it’s important to stray away from today’s design trends and stick to something that can endure the ages. This is not to say you can’t use current design trends as inspiration, but don’t take them literally.

Take the famous Coca-Cola logo as a great example of timeless branding. Their little brother Pepsi has changed their logo a whopping 11 times since they started selling soda in 1898…11 times! Coca-Cola has proudly kept their original logo for over 100 years, and it’s because it looks so classic and serves as iconic branding.

Versatility

Your logo should be able to give the same impression, no matter what medium or application it’s placed in. Take a step back and ask yourself if it will be as effective printed in one color or in reverse. Is it still recognizable when it’s the size of a stamp or blown up on a billboard?

If you’re looking to refresh your logo, try designing it in black and white then add color after you like the concept/shape. Also, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the differences between CMYK, RGB and Pantone color systems so you can ensure it’s printed the same way it looks on screen.

Appropriateness

A great logo is tailored toward your audience/business and reflects your company culture. If you own a women’s fashion boutique, you wouldn’t want a masculine-looking logo, would you? Perform some market research and implement your audience’s taste into your logo design and/or color scheme.

Also, keep in mind your logo doesn’t need to showcase what you sell or offer. GAP’s logo doesn’t display clothes, car-brand logos don’t show their cars, and you’re not likely to find a lawyer’s silhouette in a law firm’s logo. Your logo serves as your brand’s identifier and is relevant for your audience.

Simplicity

A logo should not be busy; the simpler the logo, the most memorable it will be. This is probably the most important characteristic a logo needs to possess, as it has an affect on its versatility and memorability. Refining your logo’s elements will capture your customer’s attention no matter where they are, whether they’re driving down the road or reading a magazine.

In the book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, author Ken Segall (who was Chiat/Day’s Creative Director during Apple’s most memorable rebranding campaigns) talks about how every action Steve Jobs and his team took centered around simplicity. Why? Because their messages could be digested easier, there would be no confusion in messaging, and added elements wouldn’t weaken the message. This core value has helped them not only achieve a successful brand, but arguably one of the most iconic brands of all time.

If you want to build a memorable brand that will speak to a wide-range of audiences, make sure your logo embodies these five characteristics. Your brand will benefit greatly in the long run!

If you have any questions about branding or strong logo design, contact GreenMellen Media today!

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Brooke Desmond

Communications Manager
With a passion for all things digital marketing, Brooke aims to give a unique perspective on the latest trends and ideas in this ever-changing space.

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