Your logo is the key touchpoint of your business, it's the definitive icon and making sure it does that job successfully is essential. A great deal goes into the creation of a quality logo, one that really communicates the key messages of a business or organisation, and while it’s one thing to have a killer concept behind your logo, it’s another to make sure that concept is easily read and understood by your audience.
If you’re wondering whether your current logo is ticking the boxes, this list should help you out.
1. Can you clearly read the business name at a glance?
It seems like a no-brainer, but ensuring that your business name is clear as a bell is crucial to your logos success. Using fonts that are script, cursive and generally mega-decorative are often hard to read, especially at a glance, and since not everyone seeing your logo for the first time is a guaranteed captive audience, this is a big no-no.
2. Is your logo as legible when shown at 10cm as it is at 1cm?
Flowing on from the above point, a good logo is still legible when scaled down. The overall shape should still remain clear and recognisable so that no opportunity for recognition is lost.
3. Does your logo take less than ten pen strokes to draw?
This is a rough guide, and you wouldn't include the business name’s letters as strokes, but if your logo requires more than 10 pen strokes to draw then it’s probably over complicated.
Your logo should be meaningful, but simple because on average complex logos are less memorable logos.
4. If you draw a rectangle/square around your logo - how much unused space is there?
A nice, concise logo should fit comfortably inside this frame so that everything is well proportioned, it doesn’t have to be busting at the edges, white space is fantastic so long as it’s practical. This is also important for space efficiency when the logo is displayed, you don’t want to have to make the graphic of your logo super huge just so that you can see the business name. It’s a waste of real estate in both print & digital formats.
5. Does your logo still make sense in one flat colour?
It’s true that colour plays a crucial role in your logo as it’s one of they key factors that drives your audience to connect with the design and pay attention to it.
It’s just as important though to ensure that your logo is equally effective in black and white as it is in colour. This is also important for times when your logo will be placed over a complex background image, and may need to appear in only white (or another appropriate single colour). If it’s not, the moment you or someone else apply it that way, the clarity can disappear and defeat the whole point of the logo. So put your logo to the test and see how it holds up.
it’s one thing to have a killer concept behind your logo, it’s another to make sure that concept is easily read and understood by YOUR AUDIENCE.
6. Does your logo use no more than three key colours?
I love all the colours of the rainbow as much as the next person but when it comes to logos, you have to draw a line*. Logos are not paintings, and as a result multiple colours and complex shading generally do more to confuse the clarity of the design than to enhance it. Stick to about three key colours to keep everything simple, powerful and effective.
*Unless your logo actually is a rainbow, then by all means, knock yourself out.
7. Was your logo designed for a trend, that may have since… well… passed?
It happens. A lot. Like hairstyles or shoes, people want often want a logo that is very ‘now’ so that they can feel trendy and up to date. Chances are though that unless you’re planning for your business to be as short lived as the trend itself, or you’re planning on updating your logo every 5 minutes, you’ll quickly find yourself feeling the exact opposite of trendy. The best logos are timeless, and just as strong now as they were 10, 20 or even 50 years ago. Unfortunately, if a logo is looking dated and stuck in the past, chances are that anyone who sees the logo is likely to carry that onto their first impression of your business as well.
8. After seeing your logo only once or twice, could someone accurately describe it back to you?
If you’ve ticked the box on most of the above items, ideally you should have this covered. The easiest way to test whether you have a memorable logo (and hence in many ways, a memorable business) is to ask someone - preferably in your target audience - to recall it and assess the results.
9. Was the logo designed for your business, or for your client?
Often people feel that a logo will automatically be successful if it appeals to their own tastes. While it’s crucial that you’re happy with your logo (goes without saying!) it’s really important that the logo is created around the idea of what your ideal client would like to see. On a very basic level, if you adore bubblegum pink love hearts, and your heart is set on using them in your logo, but your primary target audience are men who compete in hardcore wrestling competitions… it may not be your best choice!
10. Do you understand your logo? Does it mean something to you?
Last but not least, this is a vital question because if you see the meaning and message behind your logo design it will make it much easier to communicate this with others so they can share in your vision.
So there you go, 10 points to look for in your current logo design to make sure it's ticking all the basic boxes of a solid logo design. I hope that's helpful to you! Have you got some other thoughts on what makes a successful design? Have you had some fantastic success stories or designs you’d rather forget? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading, 'till next time!