What Does a Logo Need to Be Effective?

A logo visually communicates more through colour and shape than most brands imagine. A company logo showcases the overall value of a brand to a target customer. Think of your favourite logo. Chances are they fit your personality well. At the very least, they tell about the atmosphere and vibe or represent the overall philosophy of the business and services a logo represents.

The world’s best and most effective logos fall into one of five categories.

  • A wordmark, i.e. a standalone word, such as the Coca-Cola logo.
  • A letter mark that contains a single letter or abbreviation, such as Chanel’s ‘two Cs’ logo.
  • A symbol only, such as the Nike swoosh or Apple logo.
  • An emblem is usually a wordmark, letter mark, or symbol within a shape, such as the NHL logo.
  • A combination logo with a symbol and wordmark or letter and wordmark.

Not every logo is like that, though. Unfortunately, there are some unattractive logos as well. To have a successful logo, the design needs to include several elements. Let’s learn what a logo needs to be effective.

Uniqueness in a Logo’s Look & Design

A logo should not borrow extensively from established works or another company’s logo. A logo should be unique because it is not associated with any other company. This applies to its typography, colour, and shape.

You want to avoid plagiarism, either, and verify that your finished logo is something you own in its entirety.

Research the Psychology of Colors

Every colour has a different psychological and cultural meaning. If you don’t already have a colour in mind for your logo, research what colours may be best for your logo and overall branding.

Be careful not to use colours too closely associated with others in your industry sector or with another logo. Use a logo maker to ensure your design has the best colours possible.

Audience Appropriateness

Make sure your logo is appropriate for your audience. For example, the Toys R Us logo is intended for kids. Hot Topic’s logo is intended for its audience. H&M’s logo is personalized for its audience as well.

The better you know your audience and what appeals to them, the more likely your logo will be effective and resonate with them.

Simplicity in Color, Shape, & Text

Most logos are very minimalist. Many logos are simple enough so that a single view is all a customer needs to remember the general feel of it.

Many logos typically do not use many colours, do not incorporate much text, if any, and are made to be as simple as possible in the hopes that they make an immediate impression.

Your Logo Should Be Scalable To Different Sizes

A logo is going to be applied in various sizes. It could be on a billboard-sized advertisement but applied on letterheads and online directories. A logo should be able to work at an extremely small size as well as a large size.

A logo too simple won’t work at larger sizes. Alternatively, a too-busy logo won’t work in smaller sizes.

Give Your Logo the Simplest Story Possible

Do not overcomplicate your logo. If you sell baseballs, your logo incorporating a part of a baseball works! If you sell fridges, make your logo the shape of a refrigerator.

Try to give your logo some storytelling but nothing over-the-top, or that requires extensive explanation. The narrative of any business logo should be readily apparent and not the least confusing.

Relevant to Your Industry

Your logo should be relevant to your industry. This sort of goes hand-in-hand with storytelling. This should be followed because you want the message of your logo to be quick enough for someone to absorb it with a passing glance.

If you offer a specific service or product and your company is built around that, incorporate it into your logo.

Letters, Words, & Typography

The decision to include letters, words, and typography is up to you. Many logos do not inherently explain a brand.

Including a letter, front, or the name of your brand is a smart move for new companies and unknown brands that are still establishing themselves. It advises someone who doesn’t know who you are and your company’s name.

Doesn’t Lean Too Heavily Into Trends

A logo needs to be able to last through years of trends. Plan for decades! Don’t lean too heavily into design trends, as you may end up with a dated logo at a future date. Try to look at classic logos for inspiration. You want to make your logo nice and stylish, but be wary regarding trends in graphic design or aesthetics that may not be around in perpetuity.

High-Quality Delivery

A logo should always be rendered in high-quality graphics. A fuzzy or pixelated logo looks unprofessional. Whether you’re showcasing it on social media, your website, in an online ad, or across a piece of paper, for a logo to be effective, it needs to be clear and detailed instead of lower quality. This is where a graphic designer may be able to assist in preparing vector images for you.

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