10 Tips to Make Your Logo Successful

logo design
4 Minute Read

First impressions matter—especially for companies competing in a crowded marketplace for the attention of a target market that is constantly bombarded with messages. The value of graphic design is realized with a great logo.

Great logos are immediately recognizable and stand the test of time. As the face of your business, your company’s logo needs to stand out. Here are 10 tips to make your logo successful.

1. Know the types of logos

Although there are several styles of logos, not every style is suitable for every business. A design team will consider the following types of logos when looking to update or create a new logo for your business:

Wordmarks: These are font-based logos that use the company name as the logo.

  • Examples: Visa, Coca-Cola
  • Best for: Companies with short or distinct business names. It’s also helpful for organizations that want to improve their brand name recognition.

Lettermark: A lettermark logo uses a single letter or multiple letters as the logo.

  • Examples: Uber, IBM, CNN, NASA
  • Best for: Businesses with a long name who can abbreviate it down to letters.

Pictorial (logo symbols): These logos use illustrations of recognizable things.

  • Examples: Twitter, Starbucks, Apple, Target bullseye
  • Best for: Established companies

Abstract: A graphic that is a geometric form.

  • Examples: Nike (swoosh), Pepsi, BP
  • Best for: Companies that want to create something truly unique

Mascot: Uses a character to depict the company brand.

  • Examples: KFC’s Colonel, Planter’s Mr. Peanut
  • Best for: Organizations that want to convey a fun, engaging brand

Combination: Word and graphics are combined for the logo.

  • Examples: Burger King, Doritos
  • Best for: Companies that want text and graphics to work together to reinforce the brand

2. Avoid the trends

A quality logo must stand the test of time. Although a logo must stand out, it can’t be too gimmicky. Despite any attention your trendy logo might attract today it may struggle with ridicule from competitors and your target market tomorrow.

3. Black and white

There are many applications such as in newspaper print and stationery where a logo will be represented in just black and white. Before choosing a logo treatment ensure that it looks just as good in black and white as it does in full color. It is so critical that initial logo options are normally presented in black and white as the first step during logo development before any full color options are developed

logo design

4. Color is critical

Color conveys meaning and influences emotion. As you go through logo development with a design team, be sure the color selections for the logo treatment match your company brand and intended tone. For example, the color red tends to connote sexy or energetic while green symbolizes growth or organic. Color should be selected for its deeper meaning rather than because it’s someone’s favorite or it is currently Pantone’s Color of the Year.

5. Scalable

Think about all the ways—and sizes—your logo will be called upon to convey your brand. From pencils to business cards to embroidery on a shirt to large-scale applications such as a bus wrap or convention signage, your logo needs to scale appropriate and elegantly no matter where it needs to be represented.

6. Flexible and adjustable

Today, a logo needs to work harder than ever. Not only is it competing for attention in a very crowded marketplace, it is being used across multiple platforms, on different devices and needs to communicate just as effectively. There will be applications when it needs to be represented horizontally, other times vertically. It might need to be in reversed type (inverted colors). Being mindful of this during logo development will save you many headaches throughout the lifespan of your company’s brand.

logo design

7. Simple

A strong and effective logo is one where every element—each color, shape, line, font, and symbol–conveys a message. Everything else should be stripped out.

8. Based on your brand

Before a design team can effectively create a logo for your organization, it needs to understand your brand and your target audience. Mood boards and competitive research can help drive communication and understanding of your brand’s personality so before any design work begins, the designer is equipped with a foundation of information to inform their design decisions. Their goal is to identify the branding comfort zone amongst competitors to then create an aligned logo that goes the extra mile.

9. Unique

The goal should always be to create a logo that’s different than everything else out there, but it still must effectively represent your brand. A great start to concocting a memorable logo idea is brainstorming concepts with your design team keeping in mind what resonates with your target audience.

logo design

10. Style guide

In order to ensure your logo is used the way the design team intended and is as effective as it can be for your company, a style guide-—the ‘rules’—should be generated to show exactly how the brand should be used by everyone on your team. This guide will translate the usage of your logo for any design team you employ throughout your company brand’s lifespan. Without it, elements of your brand will wilt away and the core of your brand dilutes over time.

As your company’s first impression, the importance of an effective logo cannot be overstated. It’s equally as important to design a mark that can be interpreted throughout all your communications—something our team at Costello Creative Group is adept at.

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