What Makes a Good Logo Design

Great logo designs generate lasting impressions and lasting impressions generate an emotional connection to your brand within the mind of those who view it. A moment that really drove this point home for me happened when my now 15 year old, was a toddler. We were driving along as she pointed to those golden arches and yells with excitement, “Daddy, Daddy McDonalds!  Let’s eat McDonalds!” She was only 4 years old at that time. Unable to even read the words associated with the logo. However, she had identified their “mark”. When a brand experience this great is compounded upon such a powerful logo design. The business has succeeded in it’s approach.

As adults we visually recognize logo’s under this same visual pretense.

 

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LOGO DESIGN?

There are FOUR primary properties that illustrate a great logo design.

• Distinctive

• Adaptive

• Having Meaning

• Professional

 

DISTINCTIVE

A distinctive logo will be affective because it stirs visual memory. Distinct yet simplistic. Simplicity is always more; if a logo has too many focal points it will reduce its ability to be seen across the sea of intentions.

Custom typography is one of the largest factors of distinctive logo marks. Once a font has been selected that best transcribes the services of that company it can be slightly altered through vector manipulation. This allows for originality. Below is a visual example of how facebook took a pre-existing font and slightly altered it thus creating a distinctive logo design.

logo pic 1

 

ADAPTIVE

To be adaptive is to be conscious of applicability while allowing a certain degree of creative freedom and flexibility to the design process. As a graphic logo designer, I sometimes find it difficult not to follow the lure of creative expression out into the sea of intentions. We’ve all been there, you are deep into the creative process and inspiration suddenly hits you and all you can think about is the product itself and not its connection to the brand or business (whether it be a medical logo, bank logo, or a small service provider logo).

It is important to maintain the relationship of structure with function. Once the relationship has been established you can then give it creative shape and expression as variations on a theme.

For example, the logo may have to lend itself to specialty placements like embroidered T-shirts, channel lettering or possibly as placements upon an ink pen. Apple is a good example of a company that has utilized adaptability effectively. The overall shape and design of each of their products are unique but they all speak the same structure/function “language”. Almost anyone can look at an Apple product and know within fractions of a second that it is an Apple product. Apple maintained a structure/function relationship such that the relationship is now more or less a virtual extension of the logo itself.

If a logo is adaptable then its structure/function relationship will not be broken even if different colors are to be used. A logo should be able to work in black and white as effectively as if it were in color.

A great logo design is an intrinsic property. Thus, it should not lose value on any scale, much like a fractal. Even the sum of its smallest part is representative of the sum of its largest part. In other words, it should be functional at the scale of a postage stamp or at the scale of a billboard.

To aid in the process of scaling your design it is important that your logo be created in a vector format. Adobe Illustrator provides a great platform to transform your logo into a vector format. It will maintain the crispness of your logo on any scale. In a future blog post, I will dive deeper into this topic.

HAVE MEANING

Example: Downing Wellhead (Seen below) A great logo designer will usually incorporate some type of meaning within a logo creation. In this Downing Wellhead logo below you will notice that the letter “D” is cutting into the threads at it’s left. Within the wellhead manufacturing process a vast amount of production is spent towards pipe thread cutting and that is the symbology within this unique oil supply logo design.

Downing Logo_color

A few other logo examples that contain meaning:

If you take a closer look at the FedEx logo the white space between the “E” and “x” exposes a right-facing arrow. Forward and subliminal in it’s delivery. Simple and brilliant.

fedexLogo

The Mercedes logo emerged from a merger with Daimler Chrysler in 1928. The three pointed star represents the domination across the land, over the sea and in the air.

Mercedez logo

PROFESSIONAL

It is usually easy to see that a logo has been created by a professional. But really, how do you determine that a logo was produced by a professional? Professionals will allocate a fair amount of time to market research, this includes analyzing color schematics within an industry and a focus on industry trends. Most of all a professional logo design will not contain any faults that will become encountered down the road. Such as an inability to be color separated for spot color reproduction, nor an inability to be scaled at larger sizes. A logo design is the foundation to most any business large or small. If you are going to spend an ongoing budget branding a logo. It is very wise to have a fair amount of budget allocated to the creation of that logo. I hope this has been helpful and if I can assist with your company’s logo design please do visit my portfolio for some sample logos that I have created:chadrogezdesign.com/portfolio

Or to get started visit: hire-me

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