What Makes Great Logo Design?

Do you hear a faint fizzing sound when you see the Coca-Cola logo? Perhaps you crave coffee when you see the Starbucks mermaid. Maybe you get an urge to go for a run when you see that Nike swoosh. Or maybe not. How did these giants of logo design land on such a powerful image that has such sticking power?

You might wonder, is it the logo design that makes the brand, or is Coke so good that its logo couldn’t fail? These chicken-and-egg discussions are fun, but you don’t want to throw caution to the wind and assume that just because your brand is amazing, you don’t need to focus on logo design. We talk about these key things and more in our monthly newsletter; you should sign up today to hear what we have to say!

So if these brands really did get a boost from a timeless and graphically masterful logo, what makes a great logo take hold in consumers’ minds? Here are a couple of important things to look at:

Graphic simplicity: Whether you’re driving by those golden arches or logging onto an Apple product, you might notice that some of the logo design greats are almost forehead-smacking in their simplicity. Why didn’t you think of a piece of fruit with a bite out of it? It’s so simple!

When you’re designing your own logo, keep in mind that simplicity often serves a logo well, and even some logos that are text only have served their companies well. Lego and IBM are just two examples of instances where a text-only logo design delivered a powerful brand image.

Abstraction: This can be hard to nail, but when you get it right, it makes for a logo that holds relevance over time. Great logos often have an abstraction to the brand. For instance, what in the world does a mermaid have to do with coffee? And apples go with computers because…?

If you can find the right type of abstraction for infusion into your logo design, it may lend a timelessness to your brand identity.

Timelessness: This goes along with the other two elements, but it warrants a mention of its own. Watch out for a tendency to be trendy. Yes, teal is a happening color at the moment, but it won’t be in ten years. Rose gold is beautiful at any time, but it’s a favorite right now and it will date your logo if you incorporate it into your design. Instead of looking at trends, think about the colors your brand would wear if they were a person.

The same applies to elements like font and the use of white space, Your designer can offer some insight into how trends in those areas might contribute to certain impressions of your logo design.

Sounds a bit daunting, doesn’t it? Thankfully, SJC Marketing has an in-house design team that can help you create a logo that looks good as it scales and stays relevant over time. Contact us to get started planning your new look.