What makes a good logo?

Before we get into this, we must address the elephant in the room.  What makes a good logo is of course going to be inextricably linked to personal taste. 

Even the most experienced designers can’t tell you exactly what makes a good logo as it’s totally subjective.  But in this blog we will share some helpful rules of thumb that will keep you on the right lines if you are thinking about updating your logo and giving yourself a brand refresh.

What does a good logo do?

Good logos attract attention.  They create a positive impression.  They make you stand out.  They differentiate you from your competitors.

This means that even though personal taste and subjectivity will always play their part, there are factors (colour, design, font, impact, relevance) you can evaluate on the road to creating a good logo. 

However, at the end of the day, the only factor that really matters is whether your logo looks good.  This is something you must test internally and externally and as long as the majority of your customers and colleagues think it looks good, it probably does!

What are the elements of a good logo?

The key visual elements are typography, graphics, and colours. 

Good designers will be able to work out how best to match these things to your values and your proposition in the best possible way by using their knowledge of your sector and your audience.

Your typefaces need to do more than look nice.  Different font types say different things.  For example, a clean sans serif font says elegance and modernity.  It won’t work for a more traditional heritage brand.

Similarly certain colours stimulate certain feelings and emotional reactions.  Blue represents integrity, trust, loyalty, and intelligence whereas red conjures up power, strength, and passion and white represents cleanliness and purity. 

If your logo is going to work, you need to choose the palette that matches the emotional response you want your logo to create.

Graphics can add a lot to a logo.  In some cases, the graphics have become the logo.  Think about Apple’s apple or the Nike swoosh.  These graphics have turned these logos into mnemonic devices that immediately scream the brand without even having to write the name.

Once you have your typography, colours, and graphics, you need to bring them together.  The composition of these three elements will be key to your success and this is where your designer’s skills will be tested to the max.

What are the qualities of a good logo?

Although composition is key to creating an aesthetically pleasing there are other intangible qualities to consider.  These include:

Is your logo distinctive? 

Your logo has to stand out and can’t afford to be confused in any way with a competition.  It should be unique to you and your story.

Is your logo relevant? 

It has to connect with your audience.  Will it appeal to them?  Will it catch their eye?  Does it sit alongside the other brands they like?   And the hardest question – is it distinct enough to attract but relevant enough to fit?

Is it simple? 

All the best logos are simple.  It needs to be noticed in a busy social media feed, when you’re passing it at speed or when you’re browsing a crowded shelf.  Simplicity means memorability and recognisability and if your brand is going to achieve nothing else, it must be remembered and recognisable.

Is your logo durable? 

It’s not good enough for your logo to work today, it has to work for you long into the future.  Constant updates will confuse your audience and impact directly on your memorability and recognisability which in turn will impact on sales and revenue.  Think long terms and create simple, durable design that will be with you for the long term.

And lastly, is your logo adaptable?

With so many marketing channels to satisfy your logo has to be adaptable to all of them.  Different channels will do different things to different fonts, colour, and graphics so your designer must deliver something that works digitally and physically across every medium.

If you’d like to update your logo or need to create a new brand, please get in touch and we’ll explain how we will make sure your new logo is distinctive, relevant, simple, durable, and adaptable.

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