I design simple, appropriate, memorable and timeless logos. Whether you’re starting out or in need of a rebrand, I will be able to design a logo which represents you exactly as you want to be seen by your customers. Check out my guide for what makes a good logo below, or contact me with your project idea.
What makes a good logo?
According to legendary logo designer Sagi Haviv from Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv a logo should be simple, appropriate and memorable. I like to add my own quality to that list too which is timeless. A simple logo can be reproduced in any format (digital and print, large and small) and recognisable from a distance. An appropriate logo captures the essence of the organisation it represents. A memorable logo is either easy to remember or, better still, hard to forget and a timeless logo is one which ignores trends and stands the test of time in order to build brand equity long into the future.
This refers to the ability of the logo to be easily reproduced in a variety of formats. It needs to translate well as the tiny favicon in the browser tab and on the side of a building or truck. It needs to be able to be used as an app icon, printed on a business card, etched into glass and embossed onto a notebook. Someone once said that if you can’t cut it into a potato and use it as a stamp it’s not simple enough. Sure, there are some nuances to that and the logo might not need to be applied in all of these formats, but the principle is a good one. Keep it simple, stupid!
The Nike logo is often regarded as the gold standard of simple logo design
An appropriate logo design is one which fits the company and the brand. Typography, colour, shape and style all play a part in ensuring a logo is appropriate. For example a serif typeface tends to convey tradition and heritage so would be more suited to an architect specialising in the restoration of grade two listed buildings than a sans serif typeface, which might be more suited to a new mobile app.
Red and black would be ideal colours for a funeral directors, where lime green and hot pink might feel somewhat inappropriate.
Appropriateness also refers to the unintended shapes which can sometimes be seen by other people when your logo makes it out into the real world! Check out these classic branding faux pas!
The Baskin Robbins logo is perfectly fitting for a brand selling ice cream. It also secretly highlights their famous 31 flavours!
A memorable logo design is one which is, well, memorable. Digging a little deeper, I think there are actually two parts to this. There are logos which are easy to remember. This means that if you were to look at it for a few seconds, then draw it from memory, you could do a pretty good job. Then there are the unicorn logos which are impossible to forget. These are not only memorable when you try to remember them, but they lodge in your mind and you can’t forget them even if you tried. This has as much to do with great marketing and visibility as it does to do with great logo design, but the design will certainly play a part. Just think, you likely wouldn’t even need a prompt to draw out the Nike tick or the Golden Arches of MacDonalds.
The MacDonalds logo is so memorable due to its consistency of application and simplicity. Also because when you see it brings back memories of a good burger!
For me a well designed logo is timeless. This is actually more important than it might seem on first glance. It’s not just about not having to pay for a new logo any time soon; it could cost you much more than that! Your logo is the singularity of your brand. It is the focal point which represents everything you work so hard for. Every feeling a customer has about your company; good or bad, is contained within your logo. It represents every interaction a customer has every had with you. All the things you work so hard to improve from customer service to reliability of your product to timely delivery and so on is all soaked up and held within your logo. So if you have a ‘trendy’ logo by today’s standards and you need to change it in 5 years because it’s starting to feel a little tired, then all of that ‘brand equity’ contained within the sponge that is the logo is disrupted when you ‘re-brand’. Therefore, the logo should never need to change. It should be timeless enough to store all that brand equity and never need an upgrade, facelift or freshen up.
The London Underground logo (The Roundel) was first used in 1908. It has had some iterations over the years but it remains relatively unchanged from the original in over 100 years!
Do you need you have a logo?
A logo is the tip of the brand iceberg. It’s the icing on the brand cake. Logo designers the world over have heard the phrase ‘your logo is not your brand’ time and time again. And it’s true. Your logo is not your brand. Your logo is just a mark which identifies you. Your brand runs much deeper. But the logo is the face of the company. It holds all of your brand equity and allows customers to know that it’s you and not your competitor.
It’s true that not everyone needs a logo, though. More and more through the likes of Instagram people are becoming a brand in their own right (the so-called personal brands). These peoples faces act as their logo. In much the same way as a celebrity doesn’t need a logo, a personal brand personal brand might do better without a logo. Similarly, companies which have very little outward facing activity might not need a logo. If no-one will see it, why bother investing the time and money?
If you have a company, charity or organisation which is public-facing and relies, in some part, on customers being able to identify you, then you need a logo. Take a look at some of our previous logo design projects:
Fancy a cuppa?
Whether it’s for a small side-hustle or the next Uber, give me a call to discuss what you have in mind. I’d be delighted to help.