Establishing your Brand Identity with a memorable iconic image.
Listen to this Design Journal entry:
It’s a great misconception to think that the first rule of Logo Design should represent a company. It is true that in some cases is necessary this course of action, however not always. If the marketing strategy is correct, it will define your business and the market will always associate no matter what your logo to your brand.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to overcome when doing a Logo Design, it is probable because its seems so counter-intuitive.
The Point of Great Logo Design is to create an iconic image that people will associate to your larger message.
Logo design theory
One of the 20th century’s most influential designers, Milton Glaser, said, “The logo is the entry point to the brand.” That statement perfectly defines the position your organization’s logo should have and the part it plays in your visual portfolio. Identity designer, Alison Hulett said, “The logo or trademark is without a doubt the ultimate ‘branding’ tool.”
To better understand the place of the logo in organizational branding, it’s helpful to look at a little history. The word “logo” means a name, symbol, or trademark designed for easy recognition. The use of logos goes back to the early days of the Renaissance, around the 13th Century. Goldsmiths, masons, paper makers, and potters, were among the first tradespeople to use marks—pressings into gold, chiseled symbols, watermarks on paper, and simple thumbprints on pottery. Trademarks are still used for the same reason they were established centuries ago: to provide an easy method for recognizing a particular product. These “marks” made it easier to differentiate a quality product from one that was not well made. The value of the craftsmanship represented in the gold, paper, stonework, pottery, etc., could be expressed through the special, distinctive mark on the product.
The 5 Rules of Logo Design:
- A Logo Design should be simple and readable. The viewer should “get it” immediately and be able to get a “sneak peek” into your brand through the mark itself. The challenge then, is to create a logo that is simple and immediate without being boring or institutional.
- A Logo Design should convey a sense of emotion and personality. Think of it as the layers of an onion. As you peel away each layer—the typography, the symbols, the shapes and textures, and color palette—you learn more and more about the brand (the company) behind the logo.
- A Logo Design should express the appropriate tone and voice articulated in your brand strategy. When you think about this critical alignment, consider the necktie. If a businessman walks into a boardroom with a loud and garish pink flamingo-print tie, that tie would speak clearly to everyone in the room even before the businessman uttered a single word. Conversely, a conservative silk tie will “speak” in an entirely different voice. Your company’s logo can act as the reputation that precedes you into the marketplace.
- A Logo Design should be flexible and work well in a multi-channel sales environment—not just on letterhead and business cards. It should work in all mediums from black and white, tiny, low-resolution, fax, web, and full-color printing. With today’s broadband delivery, animated logos—or avatars—can also be a desirable option.
- A Logo Design should look different than other logos—especially those who share your same marketspace or prospect base. Having a “me too” logo design will weaken your organization’s uniqueness and the differentiation you tried so hard to establish in developing your brand essence.
When done correctly, this synergy between brand strategy and logo design is referred to as “trade dress” or “visual identity.” When done well, a good logo will be easy to read and understand, express your unique positioning, work in multiple channels, and convey your company’s voice and tone.