What Makes a Great Logo?

In launching a new business, you face a million decisions, from the crucial to the mundane.

One of those decisions that might seem minor but will be crucial to your success, is your business logo design. Your business logo oftentimes will be the first encounter potential customers have with your company. Therefore, it’s crucial that the first encounter produces a positive effect on your customer.

But what makes a great logo? We all have our own reaction to certain brand labels. Anyone who has raised a child in the past 50 years knows you cannot go on any extended trip without them pleading to stop when they see the golden arches.

Check out our quick outline of what makes for a great business logo design using the SMART approach:

What makes a great logoS for Simple

It might have been a Navy engineer that termed the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid), but designers have appropriated the phrase since the 1970s to serve as a constant reminder about the beauty of simplicity. Advances in computers, design and printing technology have allowed designers to drift away from that concept at times over the decades, but it always snaps back into focus when businesses recognize the importance of simplicity in brand recognition. After all, who can forget that a simple swoosh is recognized around the globe for a certain sneaker brand.

logo designM for Memorable

From McDonald’s golden arches to Nike’s swoosh to Google’s ubiquitous colored letters, company logos speak to us from the second we lay eyes on them. Part of what makes a great logo is getting it to stick. Whether we are flying down the highway at 70 mph or scrolling through our smartphones, our brains process a familiar business logo without us even raising a conscious thought about it. Practically everyone from a 9-month-old to a 90-year-old will recognize the Coca-Cola logo, but show a Pepsi logo from the 1960s to a group of teenagers and watch the blank expressions. But, those same teenagers will respond readily if you flash up icons for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Reddit.

business logoA for Adaptable

Your business logo is going to have to do a lot of work for you over the years in many different formats, so it’s important it be adaptable. Your logo needs to represent your company on buildings, in print ads, through all kinds of digital media and the vast array of printed materials you’ll need to market your business. If you follow the first step for what makes a great logo and keep it simple, your logo design will be more adaptable. Many designers will craft the initial version of your logo in black and white to ensure it has that adaptability. Clean and simple lines also ensure a logo will work across a variety of print media, from the highest-grade laser printing to simple newspaper print.

Representative logo designR for Representative

Even as you keep your logo design simple, you want to ensure it represents your product, service and brand. No attorney’s office would dream of using a comic book font in its business logo. Nor would a teen-focused gaming company desire to use a staid font such as Helvetica to reach its target audience. On the other hand, it’s not necessary for your logo to slap your customer in the face. Not every Mexican restaurant needs a dancing jalapeño. Nor does every law office need a scale of justice. After all, what do golden arches have to do with hamburgers and French fries? Or a swoosh to do with running shoes? What makes a great logo is when it tells your customers something about your story, differentiating you from your competition.

Timeless business logoT for Timeless

If you’re in business for the long haul, the one thing you don’t want your logo to be is trendy (unless, of course, your business is trendy, and you are prepared to change your logo design and image every two or three years). As the Coca-Cola logo has remained virtually unchanged for more than a century, your business logo will serve you best if it is designed to stand the test of time.

As you prepare to work on a logo for your new business, or if you have an existing business and are looking to rebrand with a new logo and new marketing materials, our expert staff at Replica San Diego knows what makes a great logo and can assist you to better understand the SMART approach. We’re also happy to assist you with your other printing needs and can offer you an online digital printing quote for your specific projects.

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