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Trim the Fat: What Your Logo Doesn't Need
How do you decide on how a logo should look? Is it based on what's popular or trending? On the profession or industry? Logos are one of the most integral parts of your brand and creating the right logo that will withstand the test of time can be challenging.
When designing a great logo there are many things to keep in mind, such as fonts, colors, and how it will look when printed. With everything to think about when designing a great logo, try looking at it from a different angle. Consider what the logo doesn't need.
A logo doesn't need to convey what the business is or does. While that certainly works in some circumstances, logos are capable of adding meaning to the brand and keeping the brand top-of-mind without an immediate connection to the brand's product. The relevance of a logo to the product or business can be unique and different, which will only help to add intrigue, interest, and engagement.
Think of a brand like Nike and their logo. With just a simple, curved line, that one little swoosh represents motion and speed, which are synonymous with athleticism. This is what Nike stands for. The brand is so popular with this logo that there really isn't even a need for the tag "Nike" to be seen anywhere - you see the swoosh, you know it's Nike. Nike doesn't need a shoe as their logo to connect with their potential buyers. Here, the swoosh is just as relevant.
Although Nike uses a symbol for its logo, your logo doesn't need a symbol. Having only a symbol for a logo design doesn't always serve its purpose, and sometimes, a wordmark logo is the much better fit. Some examples of popular wordmark logos include eBay, Coca-Cola, and Disney.
You may wish to consider your preference for a wordmark or symbol logo. One may potentially connect the audience with the brand better than the other. Again, think about how the logo will look when printed on shirts, cards, and other items to make sure the message and meaning are clearly understood.
Most importantly, a properly planned logo design is key. Determine what is the best way to connect the audience with the brand, and remember that just because it's relevant doesn't mean it's best. To communicate a brand through a logo, consider: does it require a wordmark? Is a symbol necessary? You may also want to integrate a tag, but a logo typically works best when it is able to stand on its own. Creating a logo that will not only stand out but will also adapt to its surroundings makes a huge difference in getting consumers to recognize the brand.
By taking the time to consider what your logo doesn't need, you can then tailor it to meet the needs of the audience and the brand. This will help you stand above your competitors while saving you time and money in the end.
by David Airey
Completely updated and expanded, the second edition of David Airey's Logo Design Love contains more of just about everything that made the first edition so great: more case studies, more sketches, more logos, more tips for working with clients, more insider stories, and more practical information for getting the job and getting it done right.
In Logo Design Love, David shows you how to develop an iconic brand identity from start to finish, using client case studies from renowned designers. In the process, he reveals how designers create effective briefs, generate ideas, charge for their work, and collaborate with clients. David not only shares his personal experiences working on identity projects - including sketches and final results of his own successful designs - he also uses the work of many well-known designers such as Paula Scher, who designed the logos for Citi and Microsoft Windows, and Lindon Leader, creator of the current FedEx identity, as well as work from leading design studios, including Moving Brands, Pentagram, MetaDesign, Sagmeister & Walsh, and many more.
In Logo Design Love, you'll learn:
- Best practices for extending a logo into a complete brand identity system
- Why one logo is more effective than another
- How to create your own iconic designs
- What sets some designers above the rest
- 31 practical design tips for creating logos that last