What Makes a Logo Good?
You can’t make a logo be good; it has to choose to be good.
Sorry, that was irresistible. A better question might be, why do some logos seem to be really big and powerful, while others aren’t particularly memorable or noticed at all?
Several factors go into a good design, and we’ll go into them below. But on the top of the list is money. A good logo doesn’t cost $5, and you won’t find a good one for cheap online, either.
The giant brands (Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Disney, Google, Apple, HP) pour millions into the use of their logos, and have been doing so for decades. The reason you can instantly bring to mind their logo just by hearing the company name is because you’ve seen it, heard it, watched it, loved or hated it for years. So even if the logo isn’t particularly appealing to you personally, it’s certainly been successfully promoted.
And these logos didn’t become big because of their particular shape or color, although myriad design factors do come into play. Some of the best logos will be notable because they are
- Simple — Consider Nike and Apple, for example.
- Timeless — Unlike Pepsi, which has changed their logo many times over the years, Coca-Cola’s logo remains relatively unchanged. The logo you and I look at is pretty much the same one your great-grandpa saw. It worked then, it works now.
- Versatile — Does the logo function well in black and white? Two colors? Grayscale? Large and miniscule sizes? Reversed out?
- Appropriate — They are styled for a very particular target market. Logos for children’s brands (Barbie, for example) will look different than logos targeted toward adult male MMA fight fans (UFC).
These factors are all important, but even more important is the emotional connection that the brand creates when its logo is employed.
A new logo image in isolation is just another shape. What gives a good logo heft is the power of the brand to generate an emotion in those who engage with the brand. This is where it’s much easier to see the difference between a logo and the brand that gives it power.
It’s hard to see the Pixar desk lamp hopping across the screen without also thinking fondly of good ol’ Woody in Toy Story, or Sully and Mike of Monsters, Inc. And there are plenty of people who will immediately get an adrenaline charge when they see their favorite sports team logos displayed — here in ‘Canes country that happens even more during hockey season. Those emotions are not created by a shape, they are created over a long period of time by a brand.
Your business logo is an incredibly important part of your marketing strategy. Before it’s even remotely successful, you’ll pour lots of your energy, finances, and brand power into it.
Looking for help developing your logo and business brand? Calvert Creative understands the importance and power of a really good logo and the great brands that drive them. Contact us today and see how we can help get your logo design moving forward.