Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Simple Guide to Creating a Killer Logo

We are surrounded by logos. Think about everything you come in contact with and it most likely contains, or at some point came in a packaging with, a logo. They are everywhere. The average
american sees about 16,000 advertisements, logos, and labels in day.
Why are logos so important? Because they are the first association that a consumer has with the brand's perceived value, when you close your eyes and think of McDonald's what do you see? Golden arches? All your branding efforts are going to boil down and be associated with your logo, a logoless company is a faceless man. The logo is usually the very first thing that entrepreneurs create when they give birth to a new concept or company, and it tends to endure throughout the enterprise's life-cycle. Anyone can design a logo, but not everyone can design the right logo. Therefore, it is very important to know the basic rules to creating a killer logo that will stand the test of time.

1. Keep it Simple
The simplest solution is often the most effective. Simple logos meet most of the requirements of iconic design. Simplicity helps a design be more versatile. Adopting a minimalist approach enables your logo to be used across a wide range of media, such as business cards, billboards, pin badges, or even a website favicon.  Simplicity makes your design easier to recognize, so it stands a greater chance of achieving a timeless, eduring quality. Simplicity also aids in memorability, our brains recognize a single detail with more ease.

2. Make it Relevant
Your design must be relevant to the industry, your client, and the audience to which you are catering to. For example, as much as you might want to use a witty design that makes everyone smile, that's hardly appropriate for a the local crematorium. On the same token, just because you might need a logo for a stereotypical dull financial markets doesn't mean it can't be dynamic and full of meaning. The best way to find the sweet spot is to do research and gain insights that will help you understand your target consumer and how to click with them.

3. Incorporate Tradition
When it comes to logos, it is best to leave trends to the fashion industry. Trends come and go like the wind, and the last thing you want to do is invest a significant amount of time and money in a design that will become dated quickly. Longevity is key, and a logo should last for the duration of the business it represents. It might get refined after some time to add a little freshness, but the underlying idea should remain intact (unless the brand undergoes a complete repositioning, which we will cover in another article).

4. Aim for Distinction 
A distinctive logo is one that can be easily separated from the competition. It has a unique quality or style that accurately portrays your client's business perspective. But how do you create a logo that's unique? The best strategy is to focus initially on a design that's recognizable - so recognizable, in fact, that just its shape or outline gives it away. Shape should be the primary focus, color although important,  is secondary.

5. Commit to Memory
Quite often, one quick glance is all the time you get to make an impression. You want your viewers's experience to be such that what you've designed is remembered the instant they see it next time.

6. Think Small
As much as you might want to see your work plastered across billboards, don't forget your design may also need to accommodate smaller, yet necessary applications, such as zipper pulls and clothing labels. In creating something versatile, simplicity is key. A solid logo should ideally work at a minimum size of around one inch, without loss of detail.

7. Focus on One Thing
Iconic designs that stand apart from the crowd have just one feature to help with differentiation. That's it. Just one. Not two, three, or four. You want to leave your consumer with just one thing to remember about your design.

By sticking to the rules of logo design, you stand a greater chance of delivering timeless and enduring logos that impress and excite. But you can always do more and rules are made to be broken.

Excerpts from: Logo Design Love - David Airey