Logo design sounds like an easy task. You just create a shape, type in your company name and choose a colour… job done.
Unfortunately, there are loads of logo designers out there who don’t go much beyond this basic process. If you type “Logo Design” into Google you’ll be presented with a huge list of people offering things like a “Custom Logo from £39” or “Logo design in 5 minutes”. When starting a business, keeping costs to a minimum is important, but with logo design you really do get what you pay for.
If someone is willing to spend the same amount of money on their logo as they would on a trip to the cinema, would it be reasonable to expect a well thought out and well executed design? Another danger is that you might even end up with a logo that uses exactly the same icon as someone else, but with your name next to it.
On the other hand, if you value how your company will be perceived, if you want to stand out from the crowd and you want your logo to be unique, you will want a designer to think carefully about how to best present your business and consider lots of options.
If you are in need of a new logo, here’s some tips. They are also things that you should expect a professional designer to consider:
In some cases, imitation is the best form of flattery… but never in logo design. A logo should help you stand out from the crowd. It should be unique, clever and memorable.
It makes sense then, to start by researching your competition’s logos to see what you’re up against. As you look at these logos you will probably notice some commonly used elements, that relate to your industry. You may want to use some of these elements yourself, but you will want to avoid getting lost in the white noise. This is where the skill and experience of a good designer comes into play.
Simple but powerful logos dominate the business world and are often the ones that stand the test of time. Nike and Apple are amazing examples.
The Nike logo looks super simple, but it says a lot about the brand. Without words it communicates movement, energy and change. Used as a standalone swoosh since 1995, the Nike logo is one of the strongest, most recognisable brands on the planet.
The bitten apple icon is another powerful piece of branding. Rob Janoff created the icon in 1977. He wanted to create the silhouette of an apple but, to stop it being confused for a smaller round fruit, he took a bite out of it. And so the Apple logo was born.
Apple’s logo started life with coloured stripes, but has more recently been simplified further and displayed in monotone.
In addition to being powerfully simple, both of these logos also show that while colour can be a vital communicator, a good designer should never put colour first.
A designer will always want to ask questions like… Is the design straightforward and clean? Or does it look cluttered and chaotic? Can you easily identify what the words and images are communicating?
Negative space is the power of nothing. It’s what happens when something interesting, or relevant, is formed by the space between objects.
This technique is not new, but it’s incredibly powerful and often very subtle and clever. The FedEx logo, with it’s hidden arrow, is a brilliant example. How many people do you think see this logo every day, but haven’t noticed the arrow?
A good designer will consider whether or not the use of negative space will work for your brand. If a relevant negative space can be formed by carefully arranging type and other graphic elements, they will put this to you as an option.
One way to do this is by using a visual double-entendré… a clever way of showing two concepts in a single image.
This kind of graphical double meaning can add interest to your logo and make it more memorable.
Look at the Amazon logo below. The yellow arrow is more than a decorative swoosh. It connects the letters A and Z and was designed to convey the idea that Amazon sells everything from A to Z. It also represents the smile that amazon customers would be left with after shopping with them… the arrow becoming a smile.
Another example is the Sony Vaio logo. Vaio stands for ‘Visual Audio Intelligent Organiser’. The ‘VA’ forms a sine wave, representing an analogue signal. The ‘IO’ represent a ‘1’ and ‘0’ which are the digital signals in binary code. The logo shows the history and evolution of audio technology from analogue to digital. Pretty clever.
These are good examples, but there is an argument to suggest that using visual double-entendré could make a logo look less high-end or corporate, so you’ll have to think carefully about your market and the execution of this technique.
Not giving enough thought to how a logo will be used can cause lots of problems later. Something that looks great on a business card might not look so good when reduced down as a social media icon or enlarged for signage on the side of a building.
The best time to think about the many ways that a logo will be presented is right at the beginning. It’s possible to create a logo that will work at all sizes, but it might also be an option to design a suite of logos and icons that all form part of a wider band pack. Again, your designer should consider the options according to your needs.
Logo design might seem like a simple process, but to get it right takes vision and skill.
If you value how your company will be perceived, if you want to stand out from the crowd and you want your logo to be unique, you should consider partnering with a designer that has broad experience in branding.
To find out more about our logo design services please get in touch with our team of experienced and driven designers.