Aug 10, 2020 | Agency Blog, Branding

So you’ve got your business model and a heck of an offering.

You know every little detail about your target audience and when, where and how to reach them. Now it’s time to put a graphic face to your business name. Easy-peasy, right? Ehh, maybe not so much.

I think we can all agree that a business’ logo is super important. From first impressions to brand awareness and recognition, your logo does a LOT of work for your business or brand right out of the gate. Here are five things you should know before you get started on a logo design project.


Keep it simple.


Less is more. Yeah, yeah. We get it. But seriously, when it comes to logo design, less is so, so much more. Think about the Target logo. At a base-level, it’s just two red circles and a system font. But it’s absolutely iconic. It just wouldn’t have the same impact if their mark was an actual target. On a stand. With an arrow lodged in the center. It surely wouldn’t look good embroidered on staff uniforms which brings me to number 2.


Mind the lowest common denominator.


When developing a logo, it’s really easy to get lost in all of the magical treatments that are at your disposal. Gradients, drop shadows, reflections. Even line weights and ornate fonts. There are thousands of things that can look great on your website or on social media, but it’s important to remember your brand doesn’t live in the digital space alone.

Think about ALL of the places your logo might end up and how recognizable it will be in that format. Ask yourself (or preferably your designer) how the logo will translate when it’s tiny. Will the lines hold when it needs to be embroidered? Can it be easily reproduced and while still recognizable regardless of where it needs to live? If the answer is no, you might want to consider simplifying a little. For clarity, a lot of these effects and treatments look great, but it’s imperative that it still works when those treatments aren’t an option. And you probably guessed it, that’s my segue into number three.


One color design.


Color is sexy. It’s powerful. It can absolutely give life and energy to something that would otherwise be boring. And that’s exactly why you should have your logo designed in black. Just black. The theory that is involved here is this: Color is additive. If it’s awesome in just black, it will be awesome in color. 

Like I mentioned in number two, eventually your logo will end up being printed or displayed in one color. And when it does, it needs to be just as memorable and recognizable as it is in full color with all of the bells and whistles.  


The why.


The “why” somehow manages to simultaneously be the most over-thought and under-considered piece of the logo development process. One of the keys to strong logo design is to find that sweet middle ground. 

Your logo should be representative of your brand in its entirety. It isn’t just locked into the literal product or service you offer. It’s a symbol of who your business is. Auto manufacturers are a great example.

Mercedes-Benz doesn’t have a car, or a wheel, or anything of the sort in their logo.  What they have is a logo mark that screams elegance and class while using its shape and form to call back to those things in a much more subtle fashion. If you were to place the Mercedes “star” next to the Chevrolet “bow tie,” I think it would be pretty clear which company makes luxury cars and which one makes muscle cars and trucks. That’s exactly why they’re both fantastic logos.

A logo doesn’t have to be so literal. It also doesn’t have to be a “deep cut.” Just because it makes sense to you, doesn’t mean it’s going to make sense to your clients. It should translate. There’s no need to force an element into a design for added “meaning” without added value.

The flipside of that is if it works, it works. Just make sure you know why.


Logo design is not cowbell.

I know I started here, and it has been a though line for sure, but less is more. Plain and simple. Some of the most beautiful and recognizable songs ever written have used just three chords. But it’s the thoughtful arrangement and flawless execution that make them incredible. Logo design is a lot like that.  Simple, elegant, thoughtful logo design will win every single time.

If it’s time for your business to enter the logo development phase or if your existing logo is in need of an update, give us a shout.  We’d be more than happy to help.


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