The role of a logo is often misunderstood with many expecting it to explain what a company does or stands for, when really the purpose of a logo is to identify your brand in a busy market environment.
A logo is not a brand — it's only a symbol for a brand. A brand is much more than a logo.
To best represent your brand the logo should look the part and any design decisions on shape, image, or typeface should circle back to your brand positioning. As for colour, it can be used to evoke powerful emotional associations. But don’t get distracted; a good logo should still hold its own in black and white.
Logos are the graphic extension of the internal realities of a company.
Ideally, your logo should be founded from a unique visual concept to prevent your business from becoming another face in the crowd and draw potential clients away from your competitors. So, avoid clichés and don’t shy away from abstract ideas to reach a design that isn’t a literal depiction of your company or its market offerings. Some of the most well-known businesses, including Apple and Nike, are represented by logos that, on the surface, have very little to do with the products or services offered.
The logo is only one asset within the wider brand identity, and it’s very rarely seen in isolation without supporting slogans or imagery. That being the case, there’s no need to overload it with meaning and risk complicating public perception. Instead, be concise with design elements so that the overall concept is simple, clear, and easy to remember. What’s more, our brains register shape and colour before we start processing any text, so take a step back and consider how the logo might come across at a glance.
A logo is the period at the end of a sentence, not the sentence itself.
The most efficient route to building connections between brand and audience is consistency. So, when designing, aim for quality and steer clear of trends to extend the longevity of your logo. Then, if it does need to be updated it’ll be an evolution rather than a revolution. The best products are made to last, and logos are no different.
Great design doesn’t date.
Once the concept is nailed down and the construction begins, make sure that the logo still maintains its integrity at a large or small scale. Bear in mind that small details and fine lines will merge when scaled down, especially with print. It’s also worth considering how the logo will work in context across different printed and digital assets and how it might interact with photography, text, or illustration. A great logo works just as effectively on a small scale as it does a large one.
In summary, what makes a good logo is deeper than the aesthetics of colours and typeface; it’s providing a snapshot of your brand identity. And doing so consistently and clearly will naturally inspire consumer trust and set you apart from the competition.
The next chapter
As Emma's placement draws to a close our junior designer reflects on her time at Clever Ghost.
#MeetTheGhost - Josh Denny
Recent design graduate Josh joins the Clever Ghost team, take a moment to learn what inspires our newest Clever Ghost.