What makes a fantastic logo?
Well, obviously, being instantly recognisable is a good start. There's that logo board game whereby they strip the logo right down to its essentials, and it's surprising how many we still recognise. But how do you get there? When you task a designer with creating your logo, what are the thoughts and processes they are employing?
Each designer's thought processes are different, but when it comes to logo design, there are some good rules of thumb to follow to make sure the logo is going to be doing its job.
Keep it simple, stupid!
Don't cram too many ideas into your logo. It overcomplicates things and leaves too much for the viewer to take away. You want your logo to be easy to recognise and easy to remember.
A simple logo also covers off other considerations. How will it work in black and white? This is a good test to see how versatile your logo design is. You need to consider how your logo works at smaller sizes. You may need to produce your logo in single colour, on clothing or on the side of a pen, for example.
If the logo is for a funeral director, your approach is going to be different than when designing, say, a clothing label for 18–25 year olds. The environment in which your logo is going to exist is important.
Remember, that the logo doesn't necessarily show what your industry or organisation does. The Apple logo isn't an image of a computer. MacDonald's isn't a burger!
Don't follow design trends. Because of sites like "dribbble" and "behance" where designers showcase their work, it has become common for designs to copy styles. It results in a kind of echo chamber where visual aesthetics become magnified and a false dominating style comes out on top.
Suddenly, you see in the visual environment a rook of work that looks the same and is less relevant to the individual company it is trying to serve. Be true to your organisation's values and history and you won't go far wrong.
Branding and logo design
If you stick to these rules, you'll have a much better chance of producing a logo that is going to work for you. As designers, though it's not just the graphic process we want to get correct, if we can create a logo that supports your brand, then we're hitting the sweet spot. That takes a bit more digging.
A branding template can be used to explore this side of things. Download Here. This explores five of your brand characteristics: culture, customers, voice, feel and impact. Under each title, you and your team brand storm 4-7 keywords to fit underneath each title.
This information is used to inform design decisions. Certain characteristics may suggest colour pallettes or choice of typeface. With this and a few other probing questions, a designer will have enough information to create that perfect logo.