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What makes a logo design . . . uh, great?

June 30, 2014

Designing a Great Logo

When you think of a brand, which companies are the first to come to mind? Do companies like Nike, Google and Target stand out? It’s obvious which logo designs are memorable, have instant recognition and stand the test of time – some are even noticed internationally. The key is that those viewing them know right away the business represented. And, each of these logos is memorable for their own reasons. The Nike “swoosh,” for example, is such a simple logo, yet it represents a huge company with affiliations with sporting events and charities all over the world.

Logo design at its best.

The question is, as a business owner, would you know a great logo if you came across one? If you were an entrepreneur, starting your own business, what qualities would you think makes a great logo…uh, great? You know you want to accurately portray your organization’s basic principles, identity, heritage and core values while also having a logo that is functional, attractive and memorable. Cork Tree Creative’s graphic designers often confront the challenge of making great logos for our clients - and it always starts with research.

Great designers understand logo design and purpose

Since a logo is used to identify a company, it’s important that it’s not similar to its competitor’s logos. This can be difficult if you are running a dental office, for example. Take a moment and think of a dentist that doesn’t love the simplicity of using a “tooth” in their logo design. However, a great logo should distinguish your company from the competition, not remind them of it. The research continues when designers discover how the logo is going to be used.  After finding out the history of the company and its competitors, designers then can create a logo that meshes with the company and represents everything that it should.

Not only should logos be simplistic in design, the best logos also have meaningful colors and fonts. People associate various colors with different feelings and sensations.  Warm colors, like gold and brown, translate well when promoting furniture and goods associated with the home. The color green works well for outdoor themes and blues are often used in spa-like environments. Fonts also speak volumes evoking business personalities and how you want your customers to feel. This can be done by using bold, stark fonts that are more traditional and conservative show the playfulness of your company. Adding colors adds valuable visual effect. Think of the differences between logos for sporting goods stores and flower shops: completely different, yet distinctive and memorable.

When it comes to a logo design, simple is best.

Should you include a tag line or other elements? Our answer is no. Save them for use in letterhead, business cards, and other types of marketing materials but steer clear of adding them to the logo. Since logos are being used to identify your company, it’s best to make the logo immediately recognizable and that’s why keeping it simple is key.

Remember, a good logo identifies who you are, making you recognizable in the community and your consumers. Rarely is a logo a description of a business. Instead, it’s something that symbolizes it. Dig down and think outside-the-box and be flexible. This gives the designers and you the opportunity to create something that is one-of-a-kind and unequivocally amazing.

Visit our showcase to see some of the logo designs that we’ve created. Hopefully, it will get your wheels turning!