A few lines here and there, some colour to set the mood and, if your creative designer is feeling really artsy, a negative space trick to spice it all up. When so explained, logo design sure seems easy. How is it, then, that we cannot draw one by ourselves?
Just like a symbol, a perfect logo design should capture and compress everything that an organization is. The value it provides, the uniqueness that allows it to breach the cracks of an overcrowded marketplace, the experience that excites and delights customers – all that should be clearly readable, and that’s only the beginning. Noticeability and memorability are two requests that make logo design even more complicated, thus demanding innovativeness and creativity that only masters of craft are endowed with.
These are some of their best-kept secrets.
1. Simplicity Denotes Meaning
Remember all of those rock band logos you used to doodle all over the place as a kid? Well, that is the whole point of an effective logo design, after all! However suggestive, a brand emblem should be simple enough to be remembered and spread further.
Graphic intricacy is hence the most common mistake that designers make. Instead of convoluted lines and complicated color schemes, experienced artists create clean, polished and utterly minimalistic symbols. Consider Apple, Nike or Channel, play with basic geometry forms and their curves, but always opt for subtlety.
2. Fundamentals Are a Good Way to Start
In the name of simplicity, good logo designers always start with the basics. If there’s a message to be conveyed, reduce it to a single notion and see what it looks like! Analyze your brand statement and motto until the symbolism becomes apparent and translatable into visuals.
Effective logo design is all about communicating who you are, for which simple motifs are indispensable. Start with black and white sketches of basic shapes or letters and build from that. If you focus on structure first, the creation will grow naturally and the finished draft will be versatile enough for fine veneering in the future.
3. Embrace Memorable Anomalies
Let’s return to the Apple’s design for a moment. Simple and familiar, the shape clearly revokes the eponymous fruit, but it introduces an extra flavor that makes it memorable. If there wasn’t a subtle bite to make the image unique, the logo would resemble a drawing in a children’s book.
Interestingly enough, the anomaly is what makes it unforgettable. By betraying our expectations, it draws the attention and sticks in our memory. Of course, you can make a logo that’s unlike anything is seen before, but then you’re risking recognizability. Adopting something archetypal on the other hand, allows you to play with its different variations until you finally find an original one without jeopardizing perceptibility in the process.
4. Suggest, Don’t Tell
Apart from being easily recognizable, universal symbols have a great associative power. The psychology of marketing has been leveraging these optical hints for decades, thus addressing customers on a subconscious level.
A simple circle, for instance, triggers associations like community, harmony and stability, while triangles evoke power, upsurge and resistance. The same applies to colors – yellow for warmth, black for sophistication, red for passion, and so on.
A beautiful example comes from Twitter. The bird is not yellow as expected, but a typically blue instead, which guarantees memorability but also provokes the feelings of ease and tranquility. Though only slightly different, the new logo is simplified, the angles less sharp and the beak turned upwards, suggesting growth and improvement.
5. Think About the Future
Speaking of Twitter’s latest tweaks, the last logo design secret you should know is consistency. Once again, turn to leviathan brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, or Penguin Books for inspiration. Though old as time, these logos have changed only slightly throughout the years, which makes them an exemplary case of brand recognition created and executed superbly.
In terms of consistency, a good logo should be twofold. The structure comes first, and has to be simple enough to sustain all future refinements, just like Twitter’s bird. The second feat is to make it, even more, engaging with every new version. Both require a timeless piece that can be modernized when needed, but reflective of the same core values in the way that ensures brand identity and guarantees authority. In whichever creative direction you intend to go, always venture with the future in mind.
And, that’s about it! Stay open-minded, for that’s the only way of achieving meaningful simplicity. Embrace anomalies, be memorable and think about what’s yet to come. Finally, be mindful enough to study the classics, but creative enough to make your own rules. This article shared by Sam Makad. He is associated with Artwork Abode.