Recently, I got to work on a branding project for a client. After several iterations, we still have not decided on the final logo design. The client’s reasoning is simple – they know exactly who they are and they want a logo that can represent everything they are about. If that’s not a challenge, then I dunno…
This got me thinking more about branding. It is clearly something we care about. We can all remember the Gap re-branding fiasco from a few years back and how the evolution of the Google blue still makes the headlines. When the brands we know make drastic changes to their logos – more often than not, it results in backlash and protests, with the brand publicly admitting a “bad call” and then reverting back to what they had before.
So what makes a good logo – and how do you go about designing an effective logo? Here’s what I’ve concluded so far:
- Design/Branding Go Hand in Hand: A brand should be the essence of the business and only good design can properly capture that essence and translate it into a logo
- Emotional Appeal: An effective logo has to appeal emotionally to the audience. You only get one shot to make a good impression – and the logo should be able to build trust right away and evoke certain feelings
- Clean Designs are Effective Designs: I think in this post-Apple-from-2000 era, minimalistic designs are quite effective and can go a long way. Clean designs are probably more scale-able anyway!
- Reinvention: Are tweaks allowed? I think of the big brands like Google with their continuous research on how colour can influence actions… Perhaps branding now is a continuous cycle of feedback and tweaks
- Abstract Symbols vs. Stylized Text or Both: Promoting an abstract symbol on its own might take more effort and money – which is difficult for smaller businesses with tight budgets. Text logos are easier to remember or you can use both together
- Branding & Logos Are Not the Same Thing: Branding is an the business’ identity and the logo should be a visual representation of that identity
Branding is definitely an area I am interested in learning more about. I see all these beautiful logos everywhere and I am constantly in awe at how effective they are in conveying the essence of the brand or the products they are trying to sell.