What makes a good logo? - Concept C | Branding Agency

What makes a good logo?

A good logo absolutely needs to be complex, detailed, and full of shapes and colors. It needs to showcase all the aspects of your business from the ground up. Go heavy on the pencil!…

You see me coming with my lovely sarcasm, but you’d be surprised how many people fall into the trap of wanting a logo that looks like a Viennese tapestry. If it’s too detailed, it just doesn’t work. If it’s too colorful, people lose focus. If it’s too mismatched, we just lose interest. If it takes more than a second to recognize your logo, there is something wrong with the selection or use of the elements.

Here’s a good tip to give you a hand:
A logo the size of a stamp should be readable from a distance of one meter.
Does your logo fit the bill?

ugliest logo
Just say it! It’s gorgeous!!!??

Simplicity above all

The best logos are simple. Besides, people even tend to get angry when they’re changed a little bit. Take Coca-Cola, for example, which has repeatedly tried to change its iconic signature only to finally, after declining sales, revert to its century-old script.

Simplicity makes a logo timeless, universal and comprehensive. Some brands have carved out such an important place in the collective memory that their logo alone can now communicate the entire “persona” of the company. This is the case with Apple, Pepsi, and most cars. A complex idea can be expressed by a simple curve or by a simple shape. Nike, for example, expresses speed, dynamism and performance with a simple black chevron (which additionally represents the wing of Nike, the Greek goddess from whom the name is taken). From collection to collection, it never goes out of style. It allows great freedom when posting advertising and it looks good everywhere: print, online, small, wholesale, on their clothes, etc. This logo works! It’s pretty much everywhere since it’s on all of their shoes! Hihi!

In addition to representing your business, your logo is like your passport in an airport crowded with advertisements and information that travels from one end of the web to the other. It identifies you through the tide of businesses and helps people find you when they are interested. It’s also a road sign that warns and informs your customers of your anchor points: your website header, your social media icon, your employees, your associates, your causes, and so on.

Once upon a logo time...

A long time ago, barely 10% of people could read. Therefore, logos served as identification, in the form of illustrative signs. The need to stand out was not customary at the time as the sales strategies were very different from those today. As the majority of businesses were local and essential at the time, word of mouth was sufficient and competition was scarce.

Then came along printing and inter-country travel during the Industrial Revolution which propelled the world of advertising and business identities like never before. Marketing strategies have diversified, become more complex and regulated in order to develop the consumer universe in which we live at the moment. Multinationals make life hard for local businesses and that is one of the reasons why standing out is important today.

In conclusion

Despite the importance of having a good logo, keep in mind that it is not the only aspect of your image.

There is also branding. Branding is the entire context (visual, material, human, advertising) in which the logo is placed so that it makes sense with the brand and the mission. It’s an emotional aestheticism where one can afford to insert illustrations, objects and photo montages. Some identities depend on branding to extend the personality of their logo. It’s a fascinating phenomenon! Some companies sport textures or visuals that are almost as present as the logo they are derived from.

Examples? Adidas and the very famous white lines, National Geographic with its yellow rectangle which outlines subjects like a camera shot, or OCAD University which gives users the freedom to personalize their logo.

A lot of times people look at these logos and say on the fly something like: “My 9 year old niece could have done that”! And it’s true that these icons seem to be limited to a square or a line. But you’d be MISTAKEN! This simplicity is the result of creative genius that requires years of experience and sketching. Saying everything with a simple form is not easy, and the process of removing anything that is superfluous is even less so. Don’t stop at the modest line. See the brand as a whole and seek to discover the reverse side of the logo. After all, it is this curiosity that you want to ignite in your customer towards your product. It all starts with a spark of interest that you create with a geometric shape or a simple.

Author avatar
Élisa