Have you ever stepped back and taken a longer look at your logo? Ever felt like something’s missing? If the answer is yes and you feel that your logo isn’t doing its work in getting your brand recognised, then some serious thinking needs to be done.
Yes, a logo is just one aspect of your entire brand. But it plays a crucial role in your brand’s identity as this is the synergy point of who you are. Your business purpose, company culture, vision and mission are all represented in your logo; your logo in an essence represents why your company exists.
So what makes a good logo?
To answer this, we need to approach it objectively and know that there are fundamentals that need to be remembered to gauge whether a logo works or not.
Before we dive deep into how to make your logo better, let’s first look at what things it needs to do.
Serve as your brand’s identification. Your logo, above anything else, must serve as your brand’s representation. A logo helps a brand to be recognised by customers or audiences among its competitors.
Attract your target audience/customer. A good logo can catch one’s attention and be able to reel them in. More often than not, a glance is all it takes for a logo to be identified, so it has to be appealing enough even at first look.
Provide recognition for your brand. Brands target a person’s subconscious to influence their behaviour (sounds creepy I know). A good logo instils a brand into a person’s memory. According to research conducted by Cheryl L. Grady et al that was published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), the human brain has a remarkable ability to remember images.
So, it would be beneficial for a brand to have a good logo, since it creates an impression on a customer that is proven to last.
Now that we’ve had a recap of a logo’s functions, our creatives share the fundamentals of a good logo. Here are the aesthetic characteristics of a good logo:
Monochromatic. A good logo should work in black and white. This means that a good logo is still recognisable even if it was stripped back to black. Additionally, a good logo should also work on a black-and-white background. Take a look at Coca-Cola’s timeless logo, it is so versatile as it can easily adapt to whatever background it is set against.
Scalable. Your logo must work on both large & small scales. Can you blow up your logo to be used on a billboard? Can it be reduced to the size of a favicon (that tiny picture you see next to the webpage name in the corner of the tab when you are on your web browser)? A good logo maintains its quality and doesn’t lose its details when reduced to smaller sizes. Want to see if a logo works on a smaller scale? Just take a look at the tabs that are open on your browser. Notice how good logos are still recognisable despite their size, that’s something you should consider for your brand.
Uses a maximum of 2 fonts. Should your logo contain fonts, it’s best to use a maximum of just 2. If you exceed this number, your logo will look inconsistent and cluttered – not to mention, hard to identify. Aim for simplicity and legibility. Make use of fonts that are easy to read and recognise. We see this approach in brands like Commonwealth Bank and Woolworths. Notice how they made use of varying, yet readable fonts? This is a great practice to apply if you want your logo to contain text (and let’s be honest, pretty much all of them do!)
Reflect on your brand’s personality. Your logo serves as your brand’s face. So, it’s only fitting to have it reflect what your brand is all about. Take cues from Qantas Airlines’ logo. As an Australian airline brand, its iconic kangaroo plus the red and white colour combination remains, despite the changes it went through over the years.
Adaptable. A logo that works can withstand being in different colours, formats and extensions. Nowadays, brands aim for relevance by showing support or solidarity to different movements and have it reflected through a temporary change of colour on their logo. A great example is when brands showed their support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month. Social media, website brands, and logos were covered in rainbows of support yet remained identifiable. Could your brand support a cause in this way?
Versatile. Lastly – it’s all about the lockups. It is near impossible to know exactly how your brand is going to be used in the future, but one thing we always recommend is to have multiple “lockups” – this is a term used to describe the structure of your logo, and it means you have multiple forms of your logo to be used on varying platforms or applications. Below you can see an example of different logos and their lockups – primary, vertical, text, icon and badge. So have you got all your lockups ready to go?
The Bottom line
Although it doesn’t entirely define a brand, your logo plays an important role in getting your brand to be recognised and supported. When you’re designing your brand’s logo, take a good look at your business and its personality. Make sure the brand you are creating resonates with you on a personal level and check off the below characteristics to ensure you are ready to take on the world:
- Does it work in black and white?
- Is it scalable? (Does it work on a billboard & a favicon?)
- Does it have 2 or less fonts?
- Does it reflect your brand’s personality?
- Is it adaptable?
- Do you have a series of lockups?
If you can tick these elements off, you are on your way to building a great brand!
Need help with your branding or rebranding project? Get in contact today and find out how you can build a brand you love!