If you’re reading this, you already know how important logos and identities are to businesses. Logos often become a valuable asset that hold significant intrinsic value to its brand community and to potential buyers of the business.
To get a fundamental idea of what a successful logo must consist of to be successful, here’s a great quote from Smashing Magazine: “A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphical and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message.” That’s pretty simple. I would add that a good logo works in one color as well as many, and it should be readable at one inch as well as billboard size. Let’s delve into this.
Successful Logos Must Work in One Color
Designers who have worked in logo development company long enough eventually learn why logos need to be successful in one color. Even if your logo utilizes more than one color, it still must function in one color. Inevitably, the logo will find itself printed on something in one color, and if it fails to retain its intended effect in one color, then it fails as a professional logo. Here are some examples of what I mean:
These are some successful logos you probably will immediately identify and recognize distinctively even as they appear in one color. They don’t need red, blue, or green to make an impact on the viewer. Their silhouette is all they need to convey what the company wants the viewer to see without the need of alternative colors.
The One Inch Rule
One of our absolute requirements in successful logo design is a logo must be successful at about one inch in size.
If a logo loses its readability at one inch in size, if something important starts to drop out visually, or the logo starts to lose its feeling/impact, then the logo is not successful. Professional logo designers understand all the reasons the one inch rule is vital to producing a successful logo.
Is Your Logo Memorable?
The other question that we have to always ask ourself is your logo memorable and unique? Do you know what a millennial swoosh is? Why it’s used by so many large companies continues to baffle the masses. It’s not memorable or unique, and often screams, “we slapped this together just to have something to put on the sign.”
If your logo isn’t memorable in some way, then it’s not a win, and you should keep working on it. Even great companies like Universal Studios have redesigned their logo to stay relevant to audiences across generations.
Does it Mean Something to the Company?
A logo should act the visual representation of an organization’s brand. The organization’s brand consists of many aspects and is not, as many laymen assume, just the logo of a business. The brand is the mission, culture, people, value proposition, why and how of the organization. The logo should impart and communicate these characteristics visually for the brand. For reference, here is one of our client logos for River Road Coffees. The graphical elements, the colors, and the words composing the logo are very meaningful to them.
For example, they are about expectation-exceeding service to clients and fresh handcrafted high-quality products. Their logo elements combine to communicate reliable and speedy service represented by winged wheels on a road, the swirling of beans into the basin of a coffee roaster and a fresh tub of roasted coffee beans cooling off, the swirling blue of clean water used to brew the perfect cup, and more. The essential elements of a great cup of coffee are simply the quality of the roasted beans (brown tones) and the purity of the brewing water (blue tones). But, also important to the company is a recognition of its hometown roots… a city located on the muddy Mississippi River.
So, for this company and for the viewer, the logo has an iconic feel to it. It feels comfortable, classic and a tad old fashioned, but it carries the meaning of what the company passionately delivers to their customers.
Has Your Logo Been Simplified to the Maximum?
Great artists have said, “continue to remove elements until nothing unnecessary is left to disrupt the perfection hidden within.” We created the Lucy’s Retired Surfers’ Bar and Restaurant logo several years ago. When asked to re-design it, we had to find a way to simplify the logo down to its most basic elements so it retained the essence of the original but without all the noise.
Professional logo designers must remove noisy elements from the design to find its most simplistic form, while still adhering to the other concepts addressed in this blog. Eventually, the result is a successful logo, when nothing else can be removed from it without lessening its meaning or function. Here’s the final result of the redesign:
Once you’ve achieved a logo that can’t be simplified further, works well at one inch in size, functions in one color, is unique and memorable, and holds meaning for the brand it represents, then, you are close to your final product.
Logos and Identity Systems are serious business
Clients entrust us with one of their most valuable business assets, their logo design. Here, we discussed just some of the considerations the Design the Planet logo design team thinks about for clients, their logos and identity systems.
Although there are more complicated elements to it, these are the basic concepts and ideas that make successful logos. Use this is a brief guide for what makes a good or successful logo for business, or get in touch for help.
If you are interested in the work we do, here is a link to our portfolio of past work: Click Here