What Makes a Good Logo Design?
It is just that it’s ‘pretty’? or is there something more to it?
A good logo design doesn’t happen by mistake. In my previous life as a logo and identity designer, I could spend up to 16 hours crafting the perfect logo for my clients. 16 hours of idea > sketch > show client > revise. It can be a time-consuming process.
We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the mark that will represent your brand for the next however many years.
Build Rome Once
If you want something that lasts, you’re going to need to build something that has all the characteristics of a killer logo.. and what do you know – I’m here to step you through each of them!
Cheap Is As Cheap Does
It cracks me up that business owners – particularly startups – want a logo for $99, as if designing something that ticks all the below boxes is super ‘easy’. Not to mention that sites that sell logos for $99 are notorious for supplying logo designs the have blatantly been copied, and nobody likes receiving a Cease & Desist Letter.
You can also down the free ‘Killer Logo Characteristics Checklist’ here.
So, what makes a good logo?
The 8 Characteristics of a Killer Logo
A good logo doesn’t have to be attractive to everyone, but it does need to be attractive to the RIGHT people – your target audience. Attractiveness isn’t about trying to please everyone – it’s choosing something that will catch the eye of your dream customer and pique their interest.
Think of: Chanel
Good logo design is SIMPLE. There’s no need to over-complicate it. Complex logos can distract from the message of your brand.
A good tip for how to decide on your logo: a logo design is seldom seen by itself, so when you’re choosing for your business make sure you’re not deciding on it when it’s ’solo’. Ask your designer if you can see the logo in signage etc so that you can visualise what it would be like to use the logo in real life.
Think of: Nike
How to choose a great logo designer? Choose a designer who has a portfolio that demonstrates they ignore trends and focus on creating amazingly timeless artwork! A good logo isn’t trendy. It’s attractive not because it features the latest style or this year’s Pantone colours. A good logo has the ability to stand on its own two feet and pack a punch for the brand it represents.
Think Of: Coca Cola
A good logo has a look that aligns with the feel of the brand. So often business owners get caught up with the look of the brand rather than the feel of the brand. The look flows out from the feel. So for example – The Golden Goose is all about creating that ‘must-have’ feeling, so naturally the brand identity and logo design align to keep that ‘must-have’ feeling going. Your logo design needs to align with ‘who’ your brand is.
Think Of: BP
A good logo design needs to be recognisable – instantly, if possible! Your dream customers need to see it and link it back to your business, not somebody else’s! When you post to social media, sometimes all your fans see is a tiny favicon-sized image. Do they instantly know it’s you and sit up to pay attention to what you have to say?
Think of: McDonalds
Every business owner wants an edge over their competitors. A smart business owner knows they need to be as different as possible in order to stand out and get chosen. Your customers need to be able to pick your mark and therefore business out of a line-up if they need to!
Think Of: Starbucks
Duplication & Versatility
Your logo actually needs to be usable! So many decide on a logo when it’s just the logo on a blank piece of paper – but you need to see it in real life scenarios before you decide! For this I mean think of what it would look like on signage, a letterhead and a business card, for example.
Your designer may even design a landscape and portrait version – this is super handy for ads that are a different length and means you can always be on-brand looking super schmick even when the space is a little wanky!
I also like to consider what the logo mark would look like printed in a tiny version – eg. what it would look like printed on a pencil.
Colours can be AWFULLY distracting too – we all love choosing colours and looking at palettes! It’s better that you see your logo in black and white, that way colour won’t sway your decision the wrong way just because you love that specific shade of electric blue!
Think Of: Apple
It’s not unusual for logo designers to be asked to copy other logos – don’t be one of these clients! You won’t want to look like anyone else, so while you may have a little brand envy over someone else’s logo, be sure to have something unique designed.
When you engage your designer make sure you are being provided with ownership over the artwork (copyright), and that along with the usual .png or .jpeg files you have access to the vector artwork files (.ai, .eps). These are editable and are great to have in your hot little hands ‘just in case’.