Creating a Good Logo
Do I have a good logo?
I have often been asked this question, and the answer is not a hard one. The problem is that people don’t often know how to measure the quality of an iconic logo or mark. Here is how I measure.
Memorable – If I remember the logo a few days later after seeing it for the first time, then the logo is definitely achieving its objective. It’s burnt an impression on my mind, and the next time I require the services of the industry related to that logo, I will probably try to get a hold of them.
Relevant – Now that the logo is memorable, I have to ask the question – Do I know what the logo means or symbolizes. The logo should indicate in some way what industry it comes from. This can be achieved using just text or just an icon or a combination of both. This is why choosing the right name for a business is so important.
Timeless – Now that the logo is memorable & relevant, the big question is – Does it stand the test of time? Five years down the line, is the logo owner going to think of a redesign. If so, then it is not timeless. Having said that, there should still be room for evolution within the logo. There should be room to grow or add something on if necessary.
Lets look at an example.
This is a project I am currently working on. The client is an insurance broker and financial advisor. The name of the business is Solid Brokers. He has outgrown his current brand identity and is looking for a new one.
People trust him with their possessions and financial records, they expect him to respect their privacy, and not disclose any of their precious information with anybody else. People generally come to him after an accident, car-jacking, house break-in or theft. These people are feeling vunerable.
What are the keywords that would make them feel better?
Security, safety, protection, reliability.
I needed to use a font that epitomizes these qualities. The name ‘Solid’ helps, and made my job a little easier as it relates to the keywords above. I used Eurostile a nice, solid (pun intended) font for this word, and Thonburi a no-nonsense professional font for ‘brokers and financial advisors’.
Their current logo has ‘SB’ as its icon, it’s just the two letters over a triangle, there was no meaning and the icon does nothing to assist the brand. I took the ‘SB’ and using the keywords as a guide created this icon.
Below is the combination of the icon and logo. This logo is not just a mark. It helps the client exude the right kind of impression without saying a word.
I always design my logos in black & white as a starting point. This ensures that if the clients needed to use the logo as a single colour for printing onto letterheads, promotional items, vehicles etc. it wont be a problem. This also assists in making the logo timeless. We can now take the logo and add some colour to give it some life.
As Solid is well established and have been in business for a long time, I suggested to the client that he retain the current colour scheme. This would help existing clients to adjust to the new brand identity.
Once clients become comfortable with the new brand identity, there is always room to improve the logo at a later stage without damaging the brand identity.
This is an example of what can be done -