The Key to a Great Logo

Whether you’re starting from scratch or sprucing one up, here’s what you need to know to design a top-notch logo

It’s easy to spot a great logo when you see one. When a tiny graphic instantly tells you everything about a brand’s identity, you know it’s a winner. So: how do you do that? The truth is, there’s no exact formula to find your own Golden Arches or Starbucks siren, but there are a few basic guidelines that can help get you on the right track. Follow these tips for a logo that’s bound to turn heads and attract leads.

Your Logo Checklist

Keep it Simple

Above all, your logo should be simple, clean and easily recognizable. Too many bells and whistles can be confusing and distracting.. Some people assume that keeping it simple will make the design process simpler, but the opposite is true. Synthesizing who you are with what your target audiences will relate to using only basic shapes, colors and fonts is actually really difficult. The famous Apple logo took two weeks to develop, and it’s just an apple.  Start the process by pulling together all relevant materials: your mission, your boilerplate and your target audience worksheet. Use these as the framework to guide your concept.

Make it Memorable

According to a study from branding firm Siegel + Gale, memorable logos are 7% more likely to make people want to learn more about the brand, and 6% more likely to convince them your company is more unique than others in its category. This rule of thumb brings us right back to keeping it simple. Your logo should be instantly recognizable so it’s easier to remember.

Balance modern and timeless

Factoring in longevity is what separates the “goods” from the “greats.” Resist the urge to jump on a trend. Consider whether or not your logo design will work 10, 20, or even 50 years down the line. If you’re not sure where to start, look at industry leaders’ branding and how it’s changed over the years. Study today’s hottest brands alongside classics: a great logo will be an intersection of both. Take the iconic Nike “Swoosh.” The logo designed in 1971 was meant to symbolize motion and speed, and only minor adjustments have been made since.

Prioritize Versatility

Think about all the marketing materials you distribute on the web and in print. Your logo needs to remain recognizable on every one. It shouldn’t matter if it’s in black and white or scaled down to less than half its original size. This is where a detailed brand guidelines come in handy. By setting a standard that considers all possible situations and environments, you reduce the risk of your logo being altered in a way that negatively affects your organization’s branding.

Make it Audience-Appropriate

Design can evoke certain emotions and associations, so it’s important to design with your desired audience in mind. Rigid, serif fonts normally project an image of seriousness. You probably wouldn’t want to use it for a bakery or a toy shop. A good example is the Lego logo. The official version is displayed in a 1:1 square (a building block one, might say) and features the primary colors red and yellow, with white lettering. The rounded, block letter font makes it attractive to children, reminiscent of the way kids draw bubble letters. Even without any prior knowledge of the brand, it’s pretty easy to gather that it’s a logo for a children’s toy. That’s the sign of a great logo.

With the help of these tips, you can create a logo that speaks to your audience and says what you want. If you’re not particularly design-savvy, fear not: our art department is. Contact Yakkety Yak today, and together, we’ll whip up something great.

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