Not only is a logo understood by just about every business to be a very important component of their branding and marketing, logos are also – to their detriment – often viewed as part of the ‘fun stuff.’ Launching a new business takes a lot of drudgery and hard work, so things like designing a logo and other components of your visual branding can seem like a fun little project that relieves the stress. From Scottsdale Arizona to New York to Tokyo and Moscow, companies are being launched today who view designing their logo as a break from everything else.
The problem, of course, is that viewing your logo as a stress-relieving activity doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll create a great logo. Professional graphic designers know what it takes to create a great logo, even if the creative aspects are always a bit mysterious.
Lines before Color
Many companies think that color is the most important aspect of the logo they create, and color choice is often where they start. However, if you think of the famous and successful logos throughout history, you’ll note that many are actually black and white, and those that do incorporate color often do so as secondary aspect.
Color doesn’t matter much because your logo has to serve many purposes:
- It must appear in a wide variety of digital and paper formats, some of which won’t do color.
- It must reproduce at a variety of sizes, including very, very small when color registration is difficult.
- It must be memorable in shape, because people remember lines, not colors. Otherwise when Coca Cola releases its soda with green labels instead of red people would be confused – but they’re not.
Start with a shape and the lines of your logo, then add color later – if appropriate.
The modern market for even small businesses go far beyond a local area like Scottsdale Arizona – everything is worldwide and global now because of the Internet. While companies launched in the past have managed to make their names or other words worldwide brands, in the modern age it’s better to avoid anything that pins your brand to a specific culture, country, or language. Instead of a word or a name, a logo is better served as an iconic shape – think of Apple’s logo, or McDonald’s, or BMW. These logos translate instantly into any culture or language.
Sense Not Required
Finally, don’t get too caught up in making sense. Some companies think their logo has to have a direct logical connection to their business or their products or services, but the modern day has seen a break form that sort of literalness. Yes, IBM’s logo is an abbreviation of its company name – but more modern companies like Amazon and Google have names and logos that have absolutely nothing to do with their core business. What those logos are, however, are memorable.
Your logo is an incredibly important part of your marketing. Don’t treat it like a break from the real work – it is the real work.