Before exploring the ins and outs of what makes a logo design effective, let us take a brief moment to reflect on what exactly a logo is, and what it is not. A logo, simply put, is an identifier; it is also a device used to build brand recognition, build trust and loyalty with your customers, or perhaps to convey superiority over your competitors.
In most cases, a logo should not be literal; it should not be your product or service, but a representation of the quality that your product or service offers to your consumer base. A logo should have meaning, and should show this meaning, rather than tell it. There are a few practices that we use here at Cool Nerds whenever we take on the task of designing a logo.
The first thing to keep in mind is that a logo should be simple, yet memorable. Ideally, it will leave a lasting imprint on the mind of the viewer—it should be unforgettable. If a logo becomes too busy, it may become more difficult to remember, decreasing its effectiveness. Again, a logo should be a representation of the quality that your product or service offers, not the product or service itself. Keep in mind the balance of the logo at this point as well.
Balance is crucial for creating a logo that is memorable, as we are psychologically inclined to gravitate towards visual balance and symmetry.
Secondly, a logo design should make your brand stand out from your competition. In order to be truly effective, we must consider the competition, and what can be done to place your company or product above this composition. This will help with the memorability of the logo, which echoes our first tenet of logo design. We have all seen nameless technological companies, be they online or otherwise, which share similar logo designs; they share the same clichés, usually some colored blob, sitting to the left of their company name, which is probably set in Helvetica. We want your logo to make you stand out from all the others, and to show that you are the best at what you do.
Furthermore, the design of a logo should be practical and appropriate for its target audience. Keeping in mind the colors and types of shapes we use can help to set the tone of the design. Neglecting to implement these methods can result in a logo that is ineffective, because it is inappropriate for its target audience.
Lastly, a logo should be versatile. We strive to make sure that the design works well in black and white, full color, or a single color; on a white background, a colored background, or over top of an image. Consider scenarios such as the size of the logo on different media: a billboard, a business card, a website, etc. If the designer neglects to consider how it will look at 1x scale or 100x scale, the company may not be able to utilize the logo to its fullest potential.