​The 6 Essentials for Spectacular Logo Design

Desireé Duffy  |

When developing your brand identity, nothing is more significant than your logo. While every marketer will tell you that a brand is more than a logo, no one can deny that it is one of the most crucial parts of your brand. Your logo is the sum of everything your company embodies, a reflection of who you are and aspire to be. It matters!

Through the years, as graphic designers and brand experts have perfected their craft, logo design has ranged from minimalistic to daring, from to creative to clever, from memorable to artistic. We instantly recognize iconic brands. For example, the Nike (NKE) swoosh, the FedEx (FDX) logo with the arrow in the negative space, the Amazon (

AMZN) with the smile, Coca-Cola’s (KO) bright red punch, and

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Apple’s (AAPL) elegant bite, all resonate with us.

Why do these brands’ logos stand out? What makes a logo memorable? How should you evaluate the graphic design of your logo?

1. Start with good, solid graphic design. An artist skilled in logo design will make sure yours is proportionate and esthetically-pleasing. This might be through mathematical ratios, good color choices, or by making sure typefaces work with graphic elements. While logos should always work well when either all black or white, the color pallet still matters. FedEx did significant research to make sure their logo contained just the right shade of purple because they wanted it to be as consumer-pleasing as possible.

2. All the places your logo will go! Your logo is going to live far beyond your company letterhead. Think of all the places people will see your logo and make sure it will look good. From huge billboards and the side of your corporate office (even if you’re small, you need to plan for the future, right!) to how it will look on the side of a pen or paperweight, you need to keep logo placement in mind. Your logo will be on print ads, might be rendered in 3D for commercials, could be seen on your actual products, or used in product placements. Where ever your logo may go, be sure it fits to be effective.

3. Make it stand out from a sea of other logos. What does your competition’s logo look like? Whatever it is, yours needs to be better. Your logo must be memorable, and that usually means not too busy or common. There are a ton of logo design templates out there, but use them at your own risk. The last thing you want your logo to do is blend in—this isn’t a time to try and be part of the crowd. A good logo is designed to grab attention and stand out from the rest.

4. Stand up to the test of time. While updating a logo is always an option—for example the many incarnations of the NBC logo are similar enough that we never forget the brand identity, a logo that is too modern may not have the staying power needed to truly be great. While the '80s brought us a lot of fantastic brands, having your logo stuck in a decade with neon colors or bubble fonts isn’t going to fare well as time marches on. Think classic and timeless, like Chanel or GE, when selecting your logo design.

5. Get a consensus. Don’t be arbitrary when deciding your logo design. While it might be tempting to sign off on the one that strikes your fancy as an owner or CEO, logos are something that should be tested. Inviting your employees, or spending some time putting together a focus group, could save you from making a bad logo-decision. Take a poll, use social media to find out what people like, or if you have the financial ability, use a marketing company to conduct surveys to determine the best design for your company.

6. Hire the right designer, or designers. Piggybacking on the idea of getting a consensus, it is also important to bring on a true graphic artist—or several—to get the right logo design. At my company, Black Château Enterprises, I always give logo design projects to more than one designer so we have different options for the client. Always professional, a skilled graphic artist is going to produce the best options. Shy away from having your nephew who is in his first year of art school design your logo. While he is probably quite talented, it doesn’t cost too much to get professional options. Remember, your brand is too important to skimp on.

My final thought, when it comes to logo design, don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. You may have an image in your mind that isn’t transferable to the real world, or isn’t practical. Be bold and experimental. Pull in your employees or friends to brainstorm. And if you can afford it, hire a professional agency to take on the project. It will free up your time and most likely deliver the best results. Remember, your logo is one of the single most important aspects of your brand. Do right by it, and it will do right by you.

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DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.

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