The ancient Greek word “logos” is defined as the logic behind an argument. It’s not hard to make the connection between that ancient concept and the way we use the word “logo” today. It’s the face of your brand, the visual argument to the question, “Why should I buy this?”
1. It needs to work in one color.
Think shape first. Graphically speaking, a mark that represents your company shouldn’t rely on color to stand out. Colors come second. Shape comes first.
When you print your logo on t-shirts or promotional products, each color costs. Having a logo that’s easy to simplify will save money.
Your logo needs to be versatile. Throughout the life of your company, your logo will go everywhere: stationary, promotional items, signage. When you think about the logos of the most recognizable brands in the world, chances are, you’re not thinking of the color first.
2. “Simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
As architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, “Less is more.” This principle holds especially true for logos.
A good rule of thumb is to size your mark down to half an inch and if it still looks good, it passes the test.
Sometimes people have big dreams for their logo. Maybe they want a beautiful mountain scene with doves flying through the valley to symbolize hope, and a hiker hiking up the mountain to show determination, and a stream with fish jumping out, and rows of planted grapes with a blossoming wisteria.
The fact is, all of these details will make your logo weaker. It’s too much for a viewer to absorb. Your audience should be able to look at your logo and get it immediately.
3. Get a vector version.
Make sure to ask your designer for a vector version. You’ll need file type EPS, AI, or sometimes PDF. If all you have is a PNG or a JPG of your logo, you are setting yourself up for printing failure.
JPGs and PNGs are pixel-based files. If you want a large print of your logo, it is likely to be pixilated. There is hardly anything more unprofessional. Low-quality images are a surefire way to kill brand trust.
4. Avoid being trendy.
Ditch the tribal markings and pop culture references. There is nothing wrong with being trendy with your social media posts or in your advertising, but a logo needs to stand the test of time.
Something that could go out-of-date in the next 10 years is not a good route. Give your brand longevity with a logo that won’t go out of style.
5. Test your logo.
We all love a logo fail until it happens to us.
Once, NAC created a logo that was meant to look like a rope tied in a friendship knot. When we tested it, people said it reminded them of intestines. That wasn’t quite what we were going for, so we tried again.
Send a draft of your logo to a variety of people: your mom, your friends, your mentor, and ask them what they think when they see it.
Remember, knowing the concept behind the design can shift people’s perspectives. Make sure not to say what it’s meant to depict. Only ask what it evokes for your viewers.
Outside perspectives are key in developing a logo. Your logo is your introduction – your calling card. It’s important to see if it works for people who know little or nothing about your business because these are the people you’re trying to reach.
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