What are the world's best logos? And what makes them great?
A few years ago I set out to study the world’s most valuable logos, to discover what makes them so great. Some results were expected. Some were surprising.
Here are 5 tips to help any business develop an effective logo...
1. Use a single word name for your business
Single words make for great logos, especially if you need room for an icon too.
It can be tricky to register common words as a business name, but you can always invent a word like ‘Kodak’ or ‘Ikea’ if you need to.
2. Show your icon in profile (from the side)
Our eyes have been making sense of objects in ‘side view’ for as long as we’ve been scribbling on cave walls. It worked for the Egyptians and Greeks in their art. It will work in your logo too.
3. Use something from nature as your icon
The natural world is familiar. Natural things tend to feel ‘safe’ – like they’re supposed to be in the world we live in.
Natural objects have stood the test of time and make great logo icons. (Ask Apple, Ferrari, or Shell. They all use natural objects as icons.)
4. Strong geometry (lines, triangles, circles, squares, dots)
Geometric shapes help our eyes organise chaotic information. Free-flowing, fluid shapes can make great logos, but if you need to punch through visual clutter, simple geometry will get the job done every time.
If you use a word mark or letter mark for your logo (with no icon), remember letters contain geometry too!
5. Remember, your brand is MORE than your logo
Photos, video content, info-graphics, textures, patterns, a distinctive colour (like Coke red), and celebrity spokespeople can all play a huge part in your brand.
Can you imagine a car company that didn’t film its new models on a stretch of scenic road?... Or, a Louis Vuitton bag without those Japanese-inspired flowers?
Build your library of brand assets.
Logos don’t have to stand alone – they identify you, not tell your brand's whole story.
If you enjoyed these 5 tips for effective logo design, I encourage you to get in touch via the contact page, or check out my book Logo Process.
Logo Process is a manual for designers that contains detailed information about what makes for a great logo.
It also has a complete list of questions for designers to ask during a logo design brief.
Note: Logo Process ISN'T a book of pretty logos to inspire designers. It’s a manual to understand brand marks and make client service easier for designers, students and web developers who regularly have to develop logos quickly.
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