Your logo is the face of your business. It’s what many people instantly recall when thinking of your company. A good logo is critical to your PR, marketing and marketplace visibility, especially when building a new business or brand. But how do you achieve an effective, memorable logo design and how can you avoid creating a weak one?
Clues you have a Bad Logo
A few things can quickly tip you off that your logo isn’t what it should be. Here are some design pitfalls to avoid:
- No one understands it: If the most common phrase you hear is “What is that?” (or some variation), it’s pretty clear your logo isn’t working. At best, people will think you’re unprofessional and immediately discount your brand. At worst, customers could actually interpret your logo in a negative or harmful way.
- Your logo contains clip art: Clip art is designed to be generic, so it has no place in something as personal as a logo. If you spot clip art, or something that resembles it, in a logo template, it’s time to find a new graphic designer. A good designer should be able to customize a logo that is unique, creative and memorable.
- No consistent look: Your logo should appear the same whether on a business card or pasted on the banner of your website. If your logo appears fuzzy, distorted or otherwise fails to resize, it looks second rate. Even an artfully done logo can fail this test.
- Your font and typography are poor: This isn’t just a matter of good taste; it’s about conveying the right message. If your designer uses a cartoonish font for something as serious as a funeral home logo, she has a poor grasp of your target market and brand identity. Likewise, fonts that aren’t properly kerned can run together and create unintentional misspellings that mangle your brand name.
A good Logo isn’t as far away as you think
Knowing what to avoid is only half the battle of creating a strong logo. Leave the rest in the hands of a graphic designer who has a demonstrated portfolio of successful logos. One that’s effective will embody a series of different qualities:
- Simplicity: In any list of good logo characteristics you’ll find, simplicity is a constant. Simple logos are easy to recognize and remember, which has a major impact on brand recognition.
- Timelessness: A timeless logo will weather history despite trends and fads. Perhaps the most classic example of this is the Coca-Cola logo, which has changed little since the product’s 1885 origin.
- Adaptability: A vector-based logo can scale appropriately. Whether you print it on banners, paint it on billboards or use it for promotional items such as pens and magnets, it will display accurately and faithfully each time.
- Suitability: Your logo should be appropriate to what you’re selling and who you sell to. Cartoony fonts and primary colors work well for children’s products but would be out of place for an automobile manufacturer.
When a logo includes these characteristics, it has the greatest chance of being memorable and appealing. Even if you’re on a startup budget, make the smart investment of hiring a graphic designer for your logo design. You’ll be using this simple image to build your brand, so starting with a quality logo is well worth your time and money.