Characteristics of a Killer Logo

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

Logos are essential to business marketing. This graphical representation becomes the “face” of your company, letting clients and customers know everything about your company in less than a second.

An effective logo design makes your company memorable, so whenever your clients think of a service, they’ll think of you first. In a nutshell, your logo is a mini advertisement, a stamp of your company, that your clients will see (hopefully) everywhere.

Consequently, your logo needs to stand out if you want your business to be successful.

Evoke Emotion

Studies show that people are more likely to remember events that trigger an emotion than experiences that do not.

Similarly, if you want your clients to remember your logo, it needs to evoke an emotion. For example, Red Bull’s bright red logo evokes intensity, action, passion, and aggression. In contrast, McDonald’s bright yellow arches evoke energy, freshness, and joy.

When people look at your logo, what do you want them to feel?

Colors Create Emotion

While you might not consciously think about it, colors create emotion. An effective logo uses colors that describe the company.

  • Red – intense, action, passion, aggression
  • Orange – friendly , creative, youthful
  • Yellow – energy, sunny, optimism, joy
  • Green – harmony, trust, growth
  • Blue – tranquil, comfort, professional
  • Purple – wise, evocative, spiritual
  • Pink – flirty, fun, romance
  • Brown – historical, steady, rural

Even a lack of color creates emotion. Black logos indicate seriousness and luxury, while white logos symbolize purity.

Apple’s logo in 1976 featured a rainbow of colors. This made the logo feel busy and energetic, as the company was still growing and establishing its brand. It has since evolved to a simple black and white, or even grayscale, palette to give it a more pure, luxurious feelin establishing its brand. It has since evolved to a simple black and white, or even grayscale, palette to give it a more pure, luxurious feeling.

Withstand the Test of Time

Fashion trends come and go, but when it comes to establishing a brand, longevity is key. It’s better to create a logo that will look good in 10, 20, or even 50 years than to rebrand your logo to suit the time.

Logos that have lasted for long periods of time often keep with a simple, distinctive pattern. Ultra-thin fonts, blinding colors, and flat shadows trend for a while, but they won’t give the long-lasting appeal that your company deserves. Stick with classic, well-crafted fonts and keep typography subtle. The cleaner the logo, the more timeless it will be.

A simple way to determine if your logo will last for years to come is to look at it regularly over a period of several weeks. A good logo will grow on you: the more you look at it, the more you like it. In contrast, poorly designed logos will start to feel unsettling after a while. If your logo looks boring after a few weeks, then redesign it until you find something that works.  

Simple Yet Distinct

Because logos are mini advertisements for your company, they need to stand out no matter where it appears. You may need to resize your logo to fit business cards and buttons or enlarge it to fit posters, banners, and billboards.

An effective logo can easily adapt to a variety of mediums without losing quality. Highly detailed designs will lose quality when printed on small sizes. Additionally, the more detail a logo has, the more information a viewer has to process.  A potential client might not take the time to closely examine your logo, so you need to keep it simple yet distinct to make it easily recognizable.

For example, if you see a white F surrounded by a blue box in the corner of your screen, you’d likely recognize the Facebook logo in an instant, even if the logo is less than a few pixels wide.  The simple swooping check mark of the Nike logo is easy to spot on shoes and athletic clothing, even if the logo is the size of your thumbnail.

While these logos are instantly recognizable, it’s also important that your logo doesn’t copy or mimic other company fonts or images. You don’t want customers thinking about Cocoa-Cola when they should be thinking about your new online thrift store. Your logo font , colors, and images should be unique to your company.

Tell a Story

Every good logo has a story, and it offers additional meaning above and beyond “buy our products now.”  Having a logo with a story helps to tie your brand into your company’s core values and beliefs.

For example, the FedEx logo uses negative space to create an arrow pointing to the right. This arrow indicates moving forward and making deliveries. The Toblerone logo also uses negative space to subtly portray a prancing bear, the symbol of the candy’s home town of Bern, Switzerland. Amazon’s “smile” logo points from the A in Amazon to its Z, indicating that Amazon has a wide selection of items, from A to Z.

By telling a story, evoking emotion, and keeping your design simple yet timeless, your logo is sure to be a hit. 

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