what makes a great logo?

If you are a consumer, or a marketer, or a CEO of a company looking for branding, you should be interested in logos. Logos are the centerpiece of a company’s brand image and can tell you a lot about the company. The quality of a logo can tell the consumer how much their image (and customer opinion) means to that company. The effectiveness of a logo can help sell whatever product or service that the company offers. Also, the beauty of a logo is something that the company can be proud of and identify with.

Branding is the most important aspect of a company’s marketing strategy and should be heavily considered. Companies that took their branding lightly during their inception may suffer in the long run. This happens even if their service or product is great, because their logo is unprofessional, confusing, or offensive.

There are four principles that make for a great logo design. A great logo must:
• follow solid basic design principles
• be functional
• represent the company
• be unique

The fundamentals include, but are not limited to space, color, form, consistency, and clarity. It is recommended that a design professional have some influence on your logo, whether it be redesign or touching up, to ensure basic design principles are followed.

A Great Logo Must Be Functional

Logos are the most important marketing pieces for a company because it must represent that company in many different contexts and still get the message across. A logo may be seen on the web, in a brochure, on a t-shirt, or on glassware. It could be used on dark backgrounds, on light backgrounds, on textured surfaces, or could be used in various sizes like on an awning or on a postcard. A major indication of a poorly designed logo is graphic effects that can be added in Photoshop like 3D embossing, shadows, glares, or photo imagery. It’s important to know that simplicity does not mean that the logo is missing anything. In fact, to aid in functionality, the logo must be simple.

A great logo must have the ability to be printed or used in all of the contexts mentioned above and still represent the company effectively. A few things that are important when talking about functionality are the simplicity, scalability, color, and depth. It’s important to the functionality of a logo that it’s not too intricate and that it doesn’t incorporate things like gradients or shadows as integral parts of the design. When the logo is reduced in size or placed on a loud background, it should retain its integrity. In addition, the logo should allow for two color presentation, such as black on white, as it would be on a t-shirt.

A Great Logo Must Represent the Company
A logo needs to represent the company it serves. This means that the style must be easily identified with the industry/product/service and must give a clear picture of what is being marketed. If a company is selling auto parts, a delicate script font would not capture the essence of the company.

A great logo must encompass the entire company too, not just one aspect of it.

A Great Logo Must Be Unique
Another important trait of good logos is the the ability to stand out against the crowd. Copycat logos are destined to fail or be confusing to the consumer. Usually they will result in a loss in sales. When Pepsi Cola had a similar logo to the already established Coca-Cola, it suffered in the competition between the two soft drink companies. Only when Pepsi switched their brand to something unique did they see a major increase in sales.

A unique logo will also tend to be one that stands the test of time. Cookie-cutter logos that bank on trends of the day will look dated and need to be replaced after the trend dies off. In the late 90s, the swoosh logo was popular. It was everywhere and it quickly became dated.

This is an article by JSB Morse ‘What makes a great logo’

Below are a selection of ‘great’ logo’s designed by Fresco Creative

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