Logos are the keystone to branding. A great logo is an image that you immediately recognize and associate with a single company and everything that they represent. Logos somehow manage to encapsulate everything that a brand is now and has been in the past within the consumer’s mind. The question is: How? And the answer is: Simplicity.
A logo can only be effective when it’s easy to recognize and recall. This means the logo should be pretty basic in form and not overly detailed. Great logos can be understood and easily recreated in the observer’s mind after only a quick glance. Simplicity resonates well and is readily reusable in different sizes and formats which makes for a much easier branding process and allows for cohesive designs that all speak to the style of the company.
With simple strokes and shapes in mind, remember that the logo is a design intended to serve a very specific purpose. That purpose is to embody the company’s core feeling without getting bogged down in the details of the business. A great logo doesn’t need to bring to mind the industry that the company is a part of. Instead, it should recall the company’s identity and individual personality.
A high-end fashion retailer’s logo is likely to have a much different feeling to it than the logo of an auto repair company. Keep your design ideas focused on the feeling of the industry and the company’s role within it as opposed to the concrete realities of said industry. Also keep in mind the whole picture of the branding imagery and how the logo could be incorporated in different forms like a business card, a billboard or a plastic bag.
Try to avoid trends when possible so your designs will stand out from the competition. If your client’s industry competitors are using recognizable styles and colors, edge your design in a new direction to help the company set itself apart from the crowd. Your client may take some convincing or might flat-out refuse, but you should always provide ideas that go against the grain and provide ample reasoning for why it might be a better approach.
Also remember that not every logo has to be a symbol. Proprietary font wordmarks can oftentimes serve your purpose better than a symbol. This approach works well when the company’s name stands out from its competitors and is especially effective when the name is relatively short. You can even use a single letter along with the colors used in the wordmark to turn it into a more standard symbol logo. Once again, remember to keep it simple and don’t go overboard embellishing the font – legibility and simplicity is paramount. So, keep it simple!