A great logo has one thing going for it — simplicity. The ideal logo gives you the main idea about a company or organization with one glance. You can create a logo that works for your company by using a handful of simple concepts.
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Understand the Audience
Who is the target demographic for the logo you’re creating? Understanding the difference between marketing to people who buy luxury products and people who buy beer can mean the difference in a logo that works and a logo that seems out of place.
A good example of a logo that clearly understands the audience is the I Love New York campaign logo. The logo is a capital letter “I”, a red heart symbol and the capital letters “NY”.
New Yorkers are a proud lot. They love their city, and most people who visit New York also love it. The creator of this logo, graphic designer Milton Glaser, clearly understood that the logo tied perfectly into a song about loving New York and the overall concept of the campaign.
This logo is so simple and to the point that it is extremely memorable. When it debuted, it appeared on television, in tourism ads, on T-shirts and on billboards.
Incorporate the Product
Sometimes, a truly great logo incorporates the product itself into the design, so there can be no question about what the company is selling.
One good example of a logo that incorporates the product into the design is the one for Motor City Chop Shop. The logo has the words for the company in a font that looks to be in motion, and the words sit on the seat and body area of a motorcycle. The font is all in black, which works well with the overall motor bike concept as well.
When a potential customer first sees your logo, they should clearly understand what you offer in the way of products or services. A well-designed logo will convey this.
Understand Fonts and Their Impact
Sometimes, you can convey the entire concept of a logo simply by the fonts and size of fonts you utilize.
BarkThins designs convey the boldness of flavor combined with the lightless in calories for the product. The word “bark” is in a thick, bold text. The word “thins” is in a tall, narrow font. The combination of the two creates a strong impact.
Think through the fonts you use in your logo. Font can convey an overall tone and meaning like the BarkThinks logo, but it must also be easy to read.
The color of the logo can create an emotional response in the viewer as well. It’s important to understand the basic concepts behind color psychology.
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Oregon found that logos in green or blue seemed more ethical to those surveyed. Blue logos were also seen as the most environmentally friendly.
One famous green logo is the Starbucks siren logo. Starbucks itself talks about how the logo has shifted a bit and changed as the company has grown. The site says the siren has always been part of their logo to represent their seafaring founding city’s history, but she has morphed and changed and will likely continue to do so.
The fact that she is also green may impact people’s perception of the company as a whole. If your company offers organic or environmentally-friendly products, green seems like an obvious choice. However, you can also use green for other types of niches to convey that sense of integrity researchers found the color to inspire.
Creating a logo requires a balancing act of white space, overall creative design, font usage and colors. In the design process, the first logo you create won’t likely be the best one. Along the way, though, you will find a logo you love, the client loves and that speaks to the customer. That’s when you know you’ve created a logo that works.