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What Makes A Good Business Logo?

They say a logo can make or break a business, although I typically agree, I think that there are always exceptions to the rule. Logos are everywhere! Examples of good and bad ones are all over the place, but what is it that differentiates them? There are a few qualities of an effective logo, and they are easy enough to apply to any company logo.

A quality logo is generally pretty simple. Streamlined, if you will. In order for your brand to be easily recognizable, try to avoid clutter (too many elements) and don’t over complicate things. Be simple, and distinct. You will want to differentiate your business from others. This can be a challenge, as it seems that nothing is new in the design world. Paying close attention to your competitors can prevent you from having a logo that is easily confused with another company, so make sure that your brand is clearly differentiated amongst other companies that are in the same business as you.

Various applications need to be considered when designing a great logo. Meaning, will it look great tiny? Huge? Does it still have the same impact when it is on your website versus a billboard? A versatile logo will have the same effect regardless of the application, whether it be screen printed, on a brochure, in black and white, etc. Additionally, a good logo is always appropriate…it relates to the industry, but does not have to be OBVIOUS. Ask yourself: Does this logo convey the right tone and style? Does it in some way hint at what type of business it’s representing? My favorite example is the FedEx logo, where the negative space between the ‘E’ and the ‘X’ create an arrow. There is no package or delivery truck in the logo itself, yet the arrow conveys a sense of movement or direction, it says ‘heading places,’ totally appropriate!

Good logos keep their target clients in mind. This may seem pretty obvious, but it is worth a mention. As with any business, understanding your audience is key. Whatever industry you are in, your logo needs to be able to connect with the people you are marketing to. A lot of time, I use color in order to do this. For example, a logo for a funeral home in red, blue, and yellow primary colors is probably not targeting, or appropriate for, mourning family members. Bright, fun and happy colors such as those are probably best left for a toy store or day care!

So many factors are involved in logo design, there are so many ‘rules’ and ‘guidelines’ to follow. A good designer is able to put into practice these guidelines almost by nature. In any case, before designing a logo (good or bad), there is a process of design briefing with the client to gather information before pencil ever even hits paper. Alongside the research into the industry and its competitors, there is much planning and sketching to do in order to solve the problem.