Logo trends and design tips
We’ve taken a close look at what made our top ten so super successful and distilled that into a helpful checklist of things to think about when producing your logo.
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A simple logo design that’s easily reproduced
The top 10 all have simple, bold designs. Overly fussy design can confuse customers and make the logos hard to commit to memory. Think about how your logo might be reproduced. Will it need to go through a fax machine? Will it work enlarged on a billboard/poster as well as scaled down on a business card? Remember, simple is often best.
No straplines or lengthy text
The top 10 companies have the luxury that their brands are well known, so they don’t need to include a strapline or slogan. Start-ups and small businesses may well need one, especially if their business purpose isn’t immediately obvious from the company name. That said, they should be short, punchy and memorable; ideally, three to four words maximum.
Use colour to communicate a message
Just like Apple uses silver to suggest technology and Google uses colour to represent that they don’t always follow the rules, think about what colour can help you to communicate one of your key business messages.
The top 10 logos are all frequently seen on TV, in print, on the internet, on billboards and in shop windows, to name but a few. Think about where your logo will be used and make sure you tell the designer so they can factor this into the design.
A logo that tells a story
Being clever with your logo is hard to get right and hard to communicate well. However, when it does work it can be pure genius, as in the case of the Amazon logo that cleverly links the ‘A ‘to the ‘Z’ with a smile and in doing so communicates the company’s philosophy very neatly.
A logo that works on a product
Think Nike. Does your logo need to work on packaging or indeed on the product itself? Let your designer know this at the outset. And request a mock-up so you can ensure the logo really does work in situ.
Many online retailers and companies whose primary business is online choose to incorporate the .com or .co.uk into their company logo. Think about whether your business will remain online and what you want your customers to remember. If it’s all about driving traffic to your website consider including the .com
Symbols that represent what your business does
Start-ups and small businesses should consider the various uses for icons and symbols. Often they can instantly convey what the business does; for example, a plumber might choose a tap, or a baker might choose a cake. Other symbols may be more abstract and simply representative of a quality; for example, a planet shape may suggest sustainability and being socially responsible. In the instance of the London Underground, the ‘O’ shape works because it’s suggestive of the tunnel shape.
The use of shape
This is another important one. Square shapes suggest strength; symmetrical shapes suggest rationality and responsibility. Irregular shapes can be more fun and quirky. Whatever shape you choose, again think about how and where it will be used and make sure it works where it will appear most often.
When starting out you may have big plans for your company and maybe product development is in your growth plan. So will your logo transfer to a new product well? Will the brand name work? Will the logo work as it is, or will it need to be adapted and is that easy to do? Sky is a great example of how a very simple starting point has been used to allow the easy addition of new product offerings: SkyNews, SkyHD, and so on.
Logo re-draw / re-invention
Maybe you’re at the point when you’d like a new company logo. Perhaps your logo is looking too tired and out of date; perhaps it doesn’t reflect what your company does anymore. Whatever the reason for wanting the change, be very clear about what you want to do and what you want the new logo to say. And remember that every time you change your logo you are asking your existing customers to identify with a new brand. So consider that perhaps a subtle change once in a while is better than a re-brand.
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