Most of the brand experts will tell you that brand is not a logo, and they are right. The logo and the symbol (sometimes, they are also called ‘logo group’) are vital elements of the brand, but not the brand itself. The Visual Identity of the brand isn’t based on the logo; it rather reflects the deeper aspects such as philosophy, values, etc. Yet, the logo is often a starting point where many businesses begin their way to an exceptional brand.
So, let’s talk about challenges first.
The main mistake that many newbies make is being overexcited about the fonts. Secondly, they choose on the basis personal likeliness, not by logic. Let’s say you like pink colour and a very complicated calligraphic font — that doesn’t mean your logo has to look pink in colour and a non-readable disaster. However, in many cases, it looks exactly this way. If you want to have a good logo, no matter from the designer or DIY, put attention on these few things:
- The logo represents your brand’s values and promises (think of them before you run to a designer).
- The logo has to be readable and recognisable.
- When it’s printed on a pan (super small size) or when it becomes a sign on your shop/company/office (super big), it still has to look similar. You may have several logos for different occasions (a bit bigger, a bit smaller, vertical, horizontal versions). But better stick to one.
- You must have a single colour option of the logo! And a black/white version as well.If you choose two colours for the logo, it is good, don’t go above four. (some gigantic enterprises have seven colours in a logo and if you have a couple of billion dollars to spend on ads then go for it. If not, stick to two. The Lesser the better).
- The symbol has to be recognisable with the text and without text (if you decide to use the symbol). Otherwise, your text logo may transform into a symbol eventually (take HBO or Sony).
- All parts of the logo have to have a printable or squeezable size. So when you re-size the logo, nothing is lost and the logo still makes sense. (If you choose fancy font with thin part or tiny text, it may be difficult to resize). Once again, avoid super complicated calligraphic fonts with gaunt parts.
Here a few world-known brands which managed to get a very recognisable identity.
Let’s start from those which use a text logo without the symbol.
Here are some symbols which can speak without any text. By the way, most of the software identities are built and based on the icon recognition. The icon is not always a symbol from the logo group. It’s an individual element. However, sometimes the icon and symbol may look the same.
Here some logos which we know as a group. They evolved with time, but the colour scheme makes them memorable, so people could easily recognise them even after re-branding.
Did you notice fancy fonts from the free font sites? No? Me either. What you probably noticed that you reacted to many logos emotionally. All logos would evoke some sentimental connection if you ever bought something from these companies.
So when you create a logo with a designer or by yourself, remember this: “The logo indicates an emotional connection between the customer and your brand”. If it’s readable, easily recognisable from the first sight, and translating the brand values — your business wins a buyer’s heart. If not, well, many businesses like to think that the brand and a logo are the same things.