Logos are not only the most consistent visual market of your brand, but also the chief means of symbolizing your company to your audience. We’ve all seen bad logos that shook our faith in the company or turned us off entirely. That’s because logo design must follow a set of secret rules to be effective. The best logos are compelling for a reason.
By following a few simple best practices, you can ensure that your logo amazes rather than repels.
An amazing logo is simple
Think about the best-known logos.
Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s apple, and Dodge’s ram all represent those brands’ identities with a simple image. They each communicate the brand’s story. The swoosh indicates how swift you will be while wearing Nike shoes. The apple taps into symbols of the education and knowledge that you can achieve by using a Mac.
The ram suggests power and sturdiness that you’ll get by driving a Dodge truck. Avoid the temptation to pack a bunch of content into your logo. Logos that contain the company name, slogan, icon, year established, and other ﬂuff are cluttered and off-putting.
Plus, they often don’t look in designs, and they can be hard to replicate if you ever need it re-done.
An amazing logo is symbolic
As mentioned above, the best logos express what the customer can expect by using the brand. Don’t be too on-the-nose with your logo design. Nike doesn’t need to have a shoe as its logo, because it’s more important to sell the ideas of speed and athleticism. If you run a cleaning business, for example, including a mop and broom on your logo might be a little too descriptive.
Think about what you want your customers to feel when they think of your company. Do they envision a sparkling clean house? The ability to put their feet up and relax? Choose imagery that taps into those feelings, rather than the obvious choice. On that note, you can also play with fonts and text styles to achieve those feelings, even if you just use your company’s name or initials.
This technique works well for companies like Uber, whose distinctive “U” logo suggests luxury and innovation, while its competitor Lyft’s logo has a funky look that suggests that Lyft is more casual and ﬂexible.
An amazing logo has good colors
With more than 1 million colors detectable by the human eye, it’s tempting to make your logo a rainbow of colors. While rainbow variations of a logo are great for Pride Month, your basic logo should be relatively simple, color-wise. Use no more than three colors, ideally no more than two. Choose complementary colors that make the design eye-catching, rather than colors that are very similar to each other.
Keep color symbolism in mind: pink and purple usually suggest power or passion, while blue and green suggest calmness, cleanliness, or creativity. Be cautious about possible negative connotations of colors such as red or black.
Having an amazing logo that resonates with customers can be challenging, but by following these design best practices, you can make your logo into something memorable. Good logos are ultimately simple yet compelling, while logos that pack a ton of information into them seem unprofessional and unrelatable. The best way to develop a logo is to choose the story you want to express, then design a visual representation of it. With this approach, you can best connect with your target audience.