It seems that making a logo relevant should be easy enough. But often times its not. How do you roll the ideas on a client’s inspiration board into a logo that is relevant to its audience? Well, sometimes you just don’t.
It takes both the client and the designer being cognizant of the intended audience and recognizing that some personal tastes and trends just won’t add to the design. For example, would you choose a bank or a insurance company if they had a watercolored background, script font, and floral elements included in their logo? Probably not. Those elements are all in good taste, but better suited for female entrepreneurs, some personal brands, and such.
My example is fairly obvious, but you get the idea. Designers are an outside force that can help you differentiate personal taste and what actually works for the industry and your audience. Bringing in some trusted sources as you move through the design process and select a final logo can help in making the decision easier as well.
Design Tip: I request colors, fonts, and looks that my client dislikes as part of the design questionnaire that they submit to me. It helps give me more definition to their personal taste and often helps the client recognize and differentiate between personal taste and trends.
Truly great logos are those that are memorable. Something that anyone could easily sketch or describe from memory. Don’t believe me? Try your hand at a logo test (or even scan the image below) and see just how well you do, or should I say, how simple and memorable the logos are?
You shouldn’t have to spend a fortune or be a major corporation to get a memorable logo. And keeping things simple in design, color, and font choice will help in creating one that sticks with those that see it. I bet you could easily draw the Apple logo or describe what the FedEx logo looks like right? Simple – that’s what makes it memorable.
Design Tip: Stick to no more than 2 fonts, and 2-4 colors based on the logo design (less is usually more on colors, but there are definitely exceptions)
It goes without saying that simply scanning the internet, finding a great logo, and “copying” it really doesn’t cut it. First, it’s copyright infringement. Second, what good does a “me too” logo do for a client that wants to attract customers and be stand out from the crowd?
Conducting some market research and paying attention to trends is important. But sacrificing a unique logo so you can hit a trend isn’t a fabulous idea. The research should help you navigate the marketplace and find a place that you can establish yourself as a unique offering, if your logo design doesn’t display some sense of uniqueness, then you’ll surely not be memorable and you’ll be missing out on possible sales.
Design Tip: I never go straight to design after I look through a client’s inspiration file, or scan Pinterest or my other go to inspiration sites. If I do, I often find that my work isn’t nearly as strong and has a “me too” feel. Instead, build in time between the research and design stages of a project – schedule smaller projects in-between, work on billing or social media for your own business, or even scan through a stack of magazines marking layouts, fonts, colors that inspire so that you clear your creative mind and can focus on creating something unique.
Not all great logos stick to these guidelines. Designers have fun seeing if they can bend the rules or even make their design the exception. But if you focus on the concepts of simplicity, relevancy, and uniqueness, you’ll be off to a good start in creating a logo that will be timeless, memorable, and versatile.