Thoughtful logo design results in graphics that wow. But a logo is much more than just a pictorial or typographic element. More importantly, it allows customers to identify a brand quickly and easily. It can also help companies differentiate themselves from competitors and, when executed properly, communicates organizational values and purpose. While everyone hopes to create an iconic logo that becomes a universally recognized symbol of their brand around the world, there are still only a handful of companies that have accomplished this feat.
So what makes a good logo, and how do you approach the design process? In this blog, we take a closer look at strategies for successful logo design.
It’s especially disheartening when you put extensive time, effort and costs into designing a logo, only for it to receive heavy criticism or be misunderstood. And yet, this worst-case-scenario does happen – even to the best of brands. Take a look at Pepsi’s “smile gone wrong” and the BMW redesign that fell flat.
There are several recommendations businesses should consider as part of the logo design process, including:
Logos that incorporate typography must be thoughtful about the featured font. There is a seemingly endless supply of fonts available, which can make your decision incredibly difficult. However, you should always aim for the font to be legible and consider the weight and style. Surprisingly, this eliminates quite a lot of fonts from your pool of candidates. Be sure to also pay attention to the kerning, or the space between the letters, as this can greatly impact the readability of your text.
Some of the most interesting logos take advantage of negative space, the space around the main subject. Negative space can help designers create semi-hidden or symbolic shapes within the logo, such as the arrow within the FedEx logo. While at first glance you may not notice this space, it can have a lasting impact, and allow you to fit more design elements into the same logo.
Think of negative space designs as the cherry on top of your logo sundae. Adding extra shapes and copy in this space is not required. People will still enjoy your logo without this creative twist. However, it can’t hurt to consider the possibilities that it provides during the design process. When done right, you give your logo an added bonus that will wow your customers.
While logo creation certainly lends itself to creativity, it’s crucial that there is still a clear connection between a logo and the brand. If it’s too abstract, simplistic or vague, people may have trouble understanding who your organization is and what you do. This is not to say that abstract and simple designs can’t be successful. In fact, designs that are too complex can also cause confusion in the eyes of customers. Think carefully about how the logo will be perceived by those outside your organization. Consider conducting focus group testing to generate feedback and ideas for further improvements before the final launch. Who knows, a focus group might even steer you in a completely new direction!
With all the work that goes into designing or redesigning a logo, you need to make sure that it will stand the test of time. You certainly don’t have to assign a lifespan to a logo, like the United Arab Emirates did with its latest design (a bold move considering many feel the end result is a bit overdone). However, you should think about the print and digital footprint of a logo, its readability and whether slight upgrades over time will be difficult. Take a look at IKEA’s recent logo update for an example of successful future–proofing – many people didn’t even notice the subtle change.
Some logos are truly iconic. They’re recognized by people around the world. Their colors and shapes can easily be recalled from memory. For example, the Nike swoosh, the Starbucks siren and the McDonald’s golden arches have become standalone icons for these brands. While they are powerful consumer brands, there’s nothing stopping B2B brands from replicating this success.
Whether you are creating a logo for a new startup or approaching logo redesign as part of a larger rebranding effort, there are certain best practices that you should consider to ensure success. While logo design is constantly evolving, by focusing on both the small details as well as the bigger picture, your B2B brand can set itself up for logo design success.
Are you wondering how to design a creative and thoughtful logo for your brand? Do you want to revamp an existing brand mark instead? Reach out to our team to get the logo design process started and see your brand come to life.
Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.