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How to design an effective logo

Published by Incomedia in Web design · 28 November 2019
A company's logo is like the first page of a book: it's a window, a manifesto, and a symbol. It's the first form of visual contact, the most iconic and representative part of a company, and immediately summarizes the company's own “way of being". That's why, especially in our current era of communication and images, logos play such a key role in business. Usually, a logo consists of something that is easily identifiable, like a symbol, a brand, a word, or a graphic image. A successful logo must be clear, recognizable, simple, and reproducible, and it must reflect the values of the company it represents. A "good logo” should spark the audience's imagination, reinforce the brand's image and become synonymous with the brand: it's a mnemonic tool and a signifier that transmits thoughts, values, ideas, and causes an emotional response in the viewer. Some logos are so famous and so cemented in our collective consciousness that they've become cultural and social icons in their own right, “stars” in our media universe.

How to create a great logo

There are a few steps you'll need to follow to design an effective logo. Let's start with the main ones:
  • it's still good practice to start with pencil and paper rather than the computer. The “old school” approach encourages more imagination. Once you think you've found a compelling solution, you can start thinking about transferring it to the computer;
  • as mentioned above, a logo must reflect the company's values, so it's important to define the company's philosophy and understand your target audience's ages, tastes, and tendencies;
  • it's helpful to take a look at the most successful logos and do some research on specific websites that may provide inspiration or spark creativity
  • graphic design means choosing an appropriate style, font, and colors. When it comes to colors, we recommend choosing no more than two, and making sure that they are complementary; as for fonts, it's best to use typefaces that aren't overly loud; it's also best to choose a more minimal style;
  • as we said earlier, looking at what others have done is helpful not just for drawing inspiration, but also for knowing how to stand out. It's the only way to create a truly original logo that's different from the competition, and that can draw attention with words or details that immediately resonate with your audience.

Remember that a good logo is the first step for creating a successful brand.

The pay off: a key tool for success

To make your logo even more recognizable, you often also need to add a payoff, which is a phrase under the logo that summarizes the very essence of a product or a company's mission statement as briefly as possible. Payoffs have often been the decisive factor in making a product to stand out from the competition: notable examples include “Just do it” by Nike, and “Taste the feeling” by Coca Cola, among others. These short, simple phrases are compelling and allow the company to linger in consumer's memories for longer.

However, over the past few years, payoffs have become a little less significant in the digital and social media age. Many brands, like Amazon and Google, don't use them. This decline is also due to the ever-increasing pace of communications, ad campaigns that last only a few months, and the way that clients’ demands and requirements can change in the blink of an eye.

Mistakes to avoid

To summarize, here are some useful tips for creating a logo that paves the way to success.
  • Choose a simple, brief, and direct design.
  • Avoid illustrations or complicated drawings.
  • Don't use too many colors, and don't focus on the first font available to you: often, it takes a bit of patience to find the style that best suits our needs.
  • Don't follow trends. Even if you intend to update your logo as time goes on, it's important to maintain a certain level of visual and graphic continuity with the previous logo.
  • Create a flexible logo that can be adapted to various contexts, from the web to newspapers, billboards, and smartphones.

Now that you know the most important aspects to designing an effective logo, grab your pencil and paper and try it yourself!

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