1. People think that their logo should be pretty
2. People think their logo should say a lot about their business
3. People think their logo should be love at first sight.
The truth of the matter is that these could not be further from the truth.
A good mark should be unusual enough to persist in the mind. When you see it once or twice, you can describe it to somebody and the best way to test a good logo is to see if you can doodle it on a piece of paper. This doesn’t mean that the mark has to look like an apple with a bite taken out of it! It just means that when someone sees your logo, they will immediately recognize who or what it represents.
Distinctive marks are the opposite of ordinary. They’re not generic; they’re unique and memorable because they stand out from everything else around them as something special rather than being just another thing vying for attention in an undifferentiated sea of sameness
Your mark should be unusual enough to persist in the mind. When you see it once or twice, you can describe it to somebody and the best way to test a logo is to see if you can doodle it on a piece of paper. This doesn’t mean that your logo has to look like an apple with a bite taken out of it! It just means that when someone sees your logo, they will immediately recognize who or what it represents.
A logo should just be a basic graphic—(again it should never be an illustration)—and its meaning is immediately clear to
anyone who sees it. As an example, the Coca-Cola bottle, has become so ubiquitous that most people think
of it as representing the brand rather than being the key identification of the brand itself.
The pursuit of a good logo is all about reduction. It’s about taking out the extra elements, details, and decorations until we’re left with a beautiful, distinct, representation of your brand. A logo should keep everything that is necessary for the mark to be strong, bold, and distinctive
Let’s take a look at how this brand’s mark meets the three criteria we’ve been discussing.
First of all, it’s appropriate, and it’s almost toeing the line of too appropriate. The idea behind the yellow frame is that it represents the cover of a magazine, and in this case, the cover of that magazine is National Geographic. For many years it has and still does border the magazine. This has created brand recognition for many people who don’t even buy the product.
By putting these two elements together they form meaning that becomes recognizable to people when they see it. It also lends itself to being used on various products and in various ways without losing its identity or meaning because of how simple the design is.
The idea behind it is perfect. A lot of thought went into designing. It was so well designed that anyone can understand what the mark represents, even though we all may have different interpretations/understandings of the contents of their magazine, what they stand for, etc.
A great logo doesn’t try to make a picture of what the business does, or what the business is offering, instead it should try to identify it, strongly and clearly.
It’s not that the mark is not trying to say very much; instead, it’s not trying to promote the business, company, or organization. There is a very important distinction between promotion and identification.
When you see the National Geographic logo, all you can think about are the images, magazine covers, and promotional material that you’ve seen in the past but it is important to notice that none of these things are in the logo.
The answer we don’t want to hear is that creating brand recognition and awareness takes time. The iconic brands we see every day were almost never an overnight success.
The way we see it, the best logos don’t promote anything. They don’t have to say much about a company or product; they just need to be there in the background, helping people recognize that brand when they see it.
At Viriditi, the best analogy we can think of about logos is that they are a flag. Flags don’t say anything about the country they represent, in fact, they don’t say anything. But they are strong, bold, and distinctive, and over the years they have become a vessel that holds all of the associations and feelings that we have with the countries being represented.
Have any questions? Feel free to contact us.
I’m David, CEO & Chief Strategist here at VIRIDITI and I hope you found this helpful.
When I don’t have my nose to the grindstone, I’m dedicated to educating business owners about the world of design to help them make informed design decisions for their businesses.