FOUR STEPS TO AN EFFECTIVE LOGO DESIGN
When it’s your turn to take that journey in creating a logo for your organisation there are four main criteria that you must pay close attention too. These criteria are:
Relatability is how you position the visual appeal of your logo for its intended audience. You must pay close attention to the design elements used in your logo and how they communicate what you’re trying to say through your design. Design elements are the basic units of graphic design. Some examples of these are:
The proper use of these elements will communicate your message loud and clear. An example of improper use of design elements would be the use of a playful typeface (font) for a law firm logo design. This does not represent the organisation’s tone nor does it speak to the target audience.
An excellent place to start looking for your graphic design elements are reputable competitors or businesses in your relevant field. Look at how these organisations’ logo designs hold up based on the list of design elements listed above and create a benchmark for your logo.
Figuring out the right design elements may become daunting but I’ve included a design element guide to help you along, feel free to download.
Download our Design Element Guide Here!
This is how your intended audience reads your logo i.e. how they deconstruct your design into a tangible communication. The single most important thing to keep in mind for this criteria is to focus on simplicity. Simplicity in logo design helps your communication to be more easily recognisable, versatile and memorable.
Imagine this, you meet someone for the first time and then they decide to tell you their life story and they go on ‘a mile a minute’. How much do you think you could retain after that interaction? Now picture being introduced to someone who clearly states her name and occupation. This interaction is much more retainable due to the concise manner of the communication. Graphic design is exactly the same, if you try to say too much you run the risk of being misunderstood or worse ignored.
Your goal in creating an effective logo design is making it clear and understandable for your audience and a focus on simplicity in design will help you to achieve this.
Some tips for creating an effective logo design are:
- Avoid having too much for the user’s eye to focus on. It’s harder for both potential and existing customers to recognise it.
- Avoid too many flashy elements in a design. This can be distracting and take away from the core objective of the logo itself, which is to serve as a representation of your brand.
- Another thing you should keep in mind is to avoid anything that is trendy because trends have a fleeting lifespan and when that lifespan is over your visual appeal will become as well.
- Keep design elements clean and readable. Less is more in this case.
Memorability closely follows simplicity but it’s a result of a focus on the principle of simplicity in design. An effective logo should be memorable, which is achieved by keeping it simple yet appropriate.
You can test for this with a blink test, allow someone to view your logo for five seconds then allow the user to close their eyes. Test for how much that person can retain from that viewing. If they can recall the main communication goals of your logo then it is memorable.
The reason we create a logo is for its functionality and if it becomes unable to function it becomes unusable. Usability in your logo design is where you take into account where your logo will appear and how it will be used, from business cards, to poster boards, to onsite elements, it’s important to think about how your logo will appear on these mediums.
An effective logo works across a variety of media and applications. For this reason, logos should:
- Always be designed in vector format, to ensure that they scale to any size.
- Account for scalability – if your logo needs to function on a call card as well as a billboard it should read well between both mediums.
- Colour use within your design – if your logo is going to be primarily used in black or white print then a colour logo will be little or no use to you.
- Logo layout – Often companies have multiple layouts for the logo. They may be stacked horizontally, vertically, or sometimes both, depending on its desired use.
There are a multitude of ways your logo can be utilised. The principle of usability in your logo design is for you to take in account where you’re going to use your design and what you require from it.
When all of these criteria are employed in your logo design you will have the making of an effective logo that is relatable, readable, memorable and usable. Your organisation will reap the benefits of having a strong graphic identity and your audience will be able to differentiate you from your competitors. An effective logo design won’t necessarily adhere strictly to all of these guidelines or fit perfectly into every situation but by taking these criteria into consideration it will help you design a logo that has a distinctive presence.