4 Basic Logo Principals
Category : BLOGGING + BUSINESS
Your logo is arguably one of the most important building blocks for your business brand. It is what consumers regonize and it’s what they remember.
A bad logo is forgettable, but a powerful one can speak volumes. If executed correctly, your logo will speak to more than just what you do. It will highlight who you are, your services and your company culture. That is a lot of pressure!
Since web trends are pointing back to basics for 2015, now is a great time to reevaluate your current logo to make sure it is following these four simple rules.
I cannot reiterate this statement enough: keep it simple. I am all about an abstract concept, but if you go too abstract, will anyone be able to tell what it is that you actually do? Your logo should be able to be explained in words. Don’t distract potential customers with too many elements, or you’ll lose them in the process.
When designing a logo for the first time, don’t be afraid to go literal. I’m not suggesting you remove all sense of concept, but don’t go so far out of the box that your logo can’t tell potential customers what it is that you do.
This is the part you can seriously get hung up on. Your logo has to be memorable, but that doesn’t mean it has to be so unique that it completly ignores the first principal. Start with a single element and build (with caution) from there. The less complicated the logo design is, the easier it is to rememeber.
Keep in mind that your brand (we define a brand as the whole shebang: your company values, logo, website, culture, etc.) is an ever evolving element of your business. It is highly unlikely that you will be sporting the exact same logo 20 years from now. Times change and so do customer perspectives. For example, take the Startbuck’s logo into consideration. Their most recent logo doesn’t even include a name, but just a highly stylized symbol of a siren. They didn’t start out forgoing their own name, instead they built brand recognition through quality products and services that allowed them to reach a place where the reiteration of the name became unnecessary.
3. Black And White
In the last few years I have seen fewer and fewer logos follow this simple rule. If your logo isn’t effective in black and white, you need to go back to the drawing board. No exceptions. You never know where you will need to use your logo. At some point, you won’t be able to utilize color (newspapers, photocopies, local ads for the high school, etc.) and your logo needs to translate to viewers just as effectively without color as it does when color is a supporting element.
Going back to the last principal, your logo should be memorable. Ensuring that your logo is effective in black and white solidifies the fact that your concept is strong and recognizable without color. You don’t want to impact your branding when all color is removed from your logo.
Here at Quintain, this is a vital piece of our process. Clients always receive logo comparables in black and white before color is even considered. If you are currently going through a logo redesign, make sure your designer is presenting concepts in black and white first. You don’t want to have to redesign the logo the first time color isn’t an option.
Make sure your designer provides you with a copy of your in vector format and keep that file in an easily accessible place. You will need to have this in the event that your logo needs to be printed on pens, T-shirts, banners, or print material. Why? Vector artwork is scalable. It will not lose resolution if it is shrunk to the size of a postage stamp, or blown up as big as a billboard. Having a low quality logo on the aforementioned items is a quick way to lose credibility.
Hiring a professional designer will ensure scalable files. Unless a logo is created in Adobe Illustrator (or a similar program) it will most likely be what is called “raster” artwork. As a quick note, Adobe Photoshop does not create vector artwork.
What Should You Do?
All imagery and concepts aside, your logo must tick these four technical boxes. Try digging up the original logo files from your designer and put them to the test. Reevaluate the artwork based on these principals. Missing just one of these crucial elements will catch up with you and eventually you will have to go through the painful process of fixing it. We end up “fixing” logo files that aren’t scalable or do not work well without color quite often.