I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t seen a logo in some shape or form, they are literally everywhere. In fact one of my earliest memories featured a particular brand of orange squash and it was the logo and the shape of the bottle that I remember (I do have better memories than that but I’m just making a point). Logos are a company’s signature or stamp to let us know that they are here, but what makes some logos work better than others and what makes a successful logo?
The very best logos throughout history have been simple designs; easily recognisable and easily remembered. Take for example the Nike swoosh or the McDonalds famous golden arches, both easy to visualise and both easy to replicate by hand. I can remember the kids in my school drawing the Nike swoosh on their text books, one crazy individual even had it cut into the back of his hair.
With many of these simple and memorable logos they work just as well without their written name. Again the Nike and McDonalds logos are good examples but so are many others. Take for example the Apple logo, it appears more often than not as a stand alone icon of an apple, no description necessary. Facebook is often seen as a white ‘F’ on a blue square.
Logos will often be used in black and white prints and therefore need to look great in black and white and shades of grey if required. Logos should be designed in black and white first to focus on the shape without the distraction of colour. Once the shape is perfect the colour can be added if desired to further its cause.
All successful logos need to be able to scale down to the smallest of sizes and still look great. Likewise the opposite is also true, when scaled up to larger dimensions the logo must appear faultless in it’s compositional balance. One example where the logo or an element of the logo is required to be minute is with a favicon. A favicon is a 16×16 pixel graphic used next to the url bar on websites.
A beautiful logo is pointless if it holds no relation to the business it is fronting. Before ideas for a logo design begin it is crucial to research into the line of business the logo is representing. It is equally important to identify the business’ unique attributes that set it apart from it’s competitors.