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What Makes a Great Logo?

A good logo can make the difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful business. There are many schools of thought about what makes the perfect logo. Essentially, they can range from the school of minimalism, which is a perfect fit for tech companies. Or they can go all the way to the other end of the spectrum and go to the school of the highly ornate which would be perfect for a winery for instance.

There are, however, a few key underlying principles that all great logos have in common. The first one is, being memorable. Is your logo memorable? You want to make sure that your logo has something that stands out. Whether that be an interesting font or layout or even a unique graphic.

The next element that all great logos have in common is scalability. What that means is if your logo can change drastically in size and still work. A good example would be a logo that works equally as well on a business card and a 50 foot billboard. On top of the obvious marketing strategies like business cards and billboards, a logo that is scalable can also be placed on pens, buttons, magnets, and so on.

Another element that is not discussed often, is being effective without color. When designing logo, remember that it will be used for all facets of the company. Which includes corporate documents, invoices, faxes, stationary, legal documents, etc. A logo that relies on colors to work will be unrecognizable if printed in black-and-white. Some iconic logos that demonstrate this ability to work in both color and grayscale are, Apple’s logo, the Nike swoosh, and IBM’s typography logo. These logos are highly recognizable in both color and grayscale versions.

Finally, the logo has to fit in with the company that it represents. A good way to find out what is relevant is to research other companies that are in the industry involved. For example many tech companies have very minimalistic, clean, and modern logos. While wedding photographers usually have ornate logos that use vintage calligraphy.

Understanding these key elements and underlying principles, can help turn a mediocre logo into a truly great one. Always remember the very function of the logo itself. A logo’s job is to identify the company. Once a company’s logo is tied to that company itself, it can be one of the most powerful tools a company has to grow.