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6 golden rules for a great logo

And make sure potential customers and customers remember your brand

· logo,Identity

Whatever the reason why our customers come to us, we have to work with their visual identity or to develop one (sometimes a new one). Every time, I am surprised how emotional and non-rational these decisions and discussions are. There is no accounting for taste but facts. And I thought the subject requires some explanations. Below you'll find facts about logo's and visual identity but also tips and advices to have a rocking visual identity!

Life of a logo

A logo is a graphic mark to help and promote instant recognition (Wikipedia). It will be used in various sizes (from tiny to extra-large) and format (square, full,..), printed in colours or in black and white, published in print and digital formats.

A logo has to be adaptable, several sizes

6 golden rules for a great logo

To make sure (potential) customers recognize your logo/identity in every formats and occasions (and therefore remember and buy from you), you'd better consider the following recommendations.

A good logo is:

  • Memorable (catches the eye even among many logo's);
  • Adaptable (crisp and clear even on a corner of a smartphone);
  • Simple (a single, clear concept instead of many things which will create confusion);
  • Timeless (avoid trendy fonts and effects);
  • In line with your audience (kids, B2B, medical,..);
  • Use colours to reinforce impact.
Worst and best logo's

Additional recommendations for a new logo

Let me share with you some additional recommendations:

  1. Go to a professional graphic designer. The average budget is between 450€ and 2.500€ depending on your demand (number of proposals, charter etc.). We are not talking about advertising agency (other job, other results, other budgets).
    • Your identity will be the center of your communication for years, it is worth spending some money (and avoid asking to your nephew..);
    • The graphic designer should be print & web oriented;
    • If you do not want to spend that budget or are in a test phase (startup, MVP,..), logos are already available at 99€ on 99designs or Squarespace.
  2. Prepare a briefing on your business and vision. A good graphic designer will discuss with you about your business, ambitions, vision but you have to prepare the meeting for a better result.
  3. Discuss the output of project with the designer. He/she should provide you with your logo in several formats including .eps, a visual charter with colour codes and fonts. Some graphic designer charge lower rates but are counting on recurring income each time you need a format or a collateral. I am not discussing their business model but it is absolutely not handy. If you have to provide, usually in a certain degree of urgency, you logo for an event your are attending, be sure your graphic designer will be on holiday on unreachable at that moment.
  4. Make sure the logo respects the 6 rules, particularly the Adaptable one! Lots of logo's provided are not adaptable for web formats and then unreadable, cropped,.. which means it miss the first objective: be Memorable.
  5. Prefer square formats (social media) or make sure you have a square version.

One last thought on logo's

We recommend not to follow trends while designing a logo as it has to be Timeless. But there 1 deep and unmissable trend: digitalisation. Your logo will appear much more often in digital formats (web, social networks, smartphones and tablets) than in print formats. People will share and comment your pages (with your logo) on the Internet. As good logo's have to be Adaptable, we see logo's from large and small organisations becoming minimal. So, my final recommendation would be: forget about complex logo's (dimensional image, fancy textures, shadows,..), go minimal:

Your brand + Memorable Font + Colours (+ eventually work on negative space or gradients)

Below are some examples from global brands:

Global brands minimalist logos
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