Your Logo is Key to Defining Your Unique Brand
Every entrepreneur knows what his new business stands for. But how can you create a logo that conveys your vision and the uniqueness of your business?
From MacDonald’s to Nike, and from Microsoft to Virgin, every successful business has a logo that is instantly recognisable and conveys something of the company’s ethos. This runs deeper than a mere reflection of the product or service that is on offer.
A good logo is clearly a critical factor in defining your corporate image. So what factors go into creating a successful business logo design?
Milton Glaser is a legend in graphic design. The recipient of numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards, he is best known for his famous “I Love New York” logo. In a recent interview he said: “You want to move the viewer in a perception so that when they first look at the logo, they get the idea, because that act between seeing and understanding is critical.”
A simple logo is also one that is easy to describe, which is critical if you want people to be discussing your company.
It is impossible for your company to stand out from the crowd if its logo looks like any other. At best, it looks unoriginal, at worst, you could be sued for copyright infringement.
Avoid over-used icons, such as globes, and bear in mind that the logo does not have to literally describe what your company does. Mercedes and Audi have two of the most instantly recognisable logos in the world, and neither looks anything like a motor car.
There are a number of factors to consider in making sure your logo is appropriate. These include the industry in which you operate, your target audience and your company’s culture and values.
For example, how serious an image should your business convey? A law firm will be at one end of the scale, and a children’s play centre at the other.
Who is your target audience? Age, sex and demographic will all determine the appropriateness of your design.
Your logo needs to reflect your entire service offering, so make sure it does not constrain or pigeon-hole your business. Consider the Mercedes or Virgin logos – both instantly recognisable, but also transferable to any new product or service offering, while continuing to convey the underlying corporate ethos.
Your logo needs to work across a variety of online and physical media, from Facebook to business cards. It should also be reproducible in black and white without losing its effectiveness.
Keep the design simple to allow for greater flexibility in size. A good guideline is that the design should work at a minimum of about an inch without loss of detail. If a logo does not reproduce well at a small scale, it can damage the brand’s clarity and value.
The last thing your business needs is a logo that will look old fashioned a few years down the line. The best logos stand the test of time with minimal amendments.
Coca Cola, Ford or indeed the ubiquitous “I Love New York” logo are prime examples, the success of which can even take the designers by surprise. As Glaser said in a 2009 interview: “I did the bloody thing in 1975, and I thought it would last a couple of months as a promotion and disappear.”