Creating the perfect logo design
The question is; what makes a good logo design anyhow? Is it all about colour, typography or is there some super secret design factor that only the world's top logo designers know about?
The good news is, there's no "big" secret. In fact, almost all great logo designs adhere to the same basic design principles and the truth is, anyone can learn them (including you).
But, I hear you ask, what are they? Well, keep reading.
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Keep It Simple
Quote: "Good design is as little design as possible" - Dieter Rams, 1978 (source: http://www.lukew.com/quotes/)
Most designers have a tendency to overcomplicate things. But when it comes to logo design, simplicity is paramount.
Think of any iconic logo that springs to mind for example, you can bet it's not an overly complicated design. The Nike "Swoosh", the Apple "apple", the McDonalds "M" - they all have simplistic design at heart.
Simplicity has played a big role in making these logo's so iconic.
What should you do? Try to keep things as simple as possible. Constantly ask yourself, does that element really need to be there? Does it play a vital role? If the answer is no, get rid of it. Simplicity is as simple as that.
Keep Colour Psychology In Mind
Red: Energy, Aggression, Danger, Passion, Warmth.
Orange: Innovation, Youth, Fun, Affordability.
Yellow: Warm, Friendly, Appetising.
Green: Ethical, Fresh, Natural, Ecological.
Blue: Professional, Calm, Trust, Authority, Success.
Purple: Luxury, Wisdom, Dignity, Wealth.
Black: Power, Sophistication.
White: Pure, Clean, Simplicity.
Brown: Masculine, Rural.
Pink: Feminine, Fun, Flirty.
Quote: Colour does not add a pleasant quality to a design, it reinforces it - Pierre Bonnard (source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_design.html)
Colour is more than a just an attractive element for a logo design, it actually represents the emotion(s) associated with the brand.
Each colour invokes a different emotion or response. Red, for example, is perceived as energetic and passionate whereas green presents an image of a fresh and ethical brand. White on the other hand represents cleanliness, simplicity and purity.
What should you do? When choosing a colour (or colours) for your logo design, keep colour psychology in mind. The colour choices you make should not only reflect the brand but also, ensure that it appeals to its target demographic.
Keep The Brand In Mind
Quote: "Your goal is not to make an image. It’s to make a statement!" - Tom Asacker (source: http://www.blackcoffee.com/brand-related/branding-quotes/)
A common mistake when designing a logo for a company is simply to create an image, rather than an icon that makes a statement about the brand.
The perfect logo should convey everything the brand stands for by utilising colour, shape, form and typography. A logo shouldn't define a brand; a brand should define a logo. It's important to remember that.
Take the Apple logo for instance. The brand isn't defined by the logo, the logo is defined by the brand. The quality and simplicity of Apple logo represents the quality and simplicity of Apple products.
What should you do? Research the brand you're working with as in-depth as possible. Learn their brand guidelines and what they stand for. Keep this in mind when designing.
Keep Timelessness In Mind
Quote: "Quality is timeless: It will clearly define itself." - Dwight Yoakam (source: http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Timeless/3/)
When brands invest in a logo redesign, they almost certainly don't want to be redesigning it again in another year or two. Therefore, you need to keep timelessness in mind.
Timelessness is a key quality that the world's most iconic logo's hold dear. Take the Coca Cola logo for instance; this logo has remained largely the same for the past hundred years or so.
But what makes a timeless logo? Simplicity, quality and branding.
What should you do? Don't utilise short-lived design trends (e.g. "flat design") but instead, keep things simple and make sure to design the logo around the qualities of the brand.
Keep Greatness In Mind
Quote: "Good is the enemy of great" - Jonathan Ive (source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jonathan_ive.html)
It's easy to settle for a good logo design, but only a truly great design will stand the test of time. Apple's Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive once said, "good is the enemy of great".
The reason being that good design can often appear great to the untrained eye. A good design will also likely be good enough for the client and, sometimes, perhaps even for yourself.
Any designer can create a good logo design. Who knows? It may even last a few years. A great design however requires a meticulous approach when considering all of the design attributes above.
What should you do? Don't settle for the status quo. Be meticulous in your approach to design and be prepared to abandon good designs in search of the great ones. Don't be afraid to ask your client for an increased budget if it can genuinely aid in the creation of a truly great logo design.