Yesterday, someone asked me how do I know that a logo is remarkable and perfect for the client’s business? I told him that I just know it when I know it. That was a bad answer. This made me think a bit deeper and come with a better answer to that question; hence, this post.
The Curse of Creativity
We, as a creative, never feel like our work is ever 100% complete. “I’m still working on it.” “It needs a few touch-ups.” “I don’t feel it’s complete yet.” These are some of the phrases you’ll hear often from a creative; and logo designers are no exception. We want our logos to be perfect. We spend hours after hours working of the small stuffs. But, do you know what is more important than a perfect logo? A remarkable logo that is delivered on time.
I believe that this perfectionist behavior comes from a place of uncertainty and fear of criticism. We are afraid to say that our logo is complete because when we do that, we are opening the gates for harsh criticism and negative feedback. Plus, now we don’t have the excuse of “It’s not complete, yet.”
The Checklist for Logo Designers & Clients
This post will help you remove that uncertainty. A logo must be simple, memorable, relevant to the business, distinct, adaptable, and must not have too many elements on it. I’ve written down the top 6 questions every logo designer and clients should ask before labeling their work as complete. If your logo scores point in all of these questions, you know that your logo is a remarkable one.
Here is the 6-questions checklist to make sure your logo design is remarkable and perfect for the business:
Is the logo simple?
A logo is not an illustration or a painting. It is a mark, a symbol that represents the brand and business it is associated with. Designing a complex logo will only make it harder for the people to recognize and remember it. Hence, making the brand unmemorable.
Tip: While designing a logo, always K.I.S.S — Keep it Simple, Stupid. A simple logo is extremely versatile, easy to remember, and most importantly, is on customers mind while they held out for shopping. Examples: Nike
Is the logo relevant to the business?
Imagine Nike’s logo on Coca cola bottles — Just Drink It! or Apple’s logo on Samsung; it doesn’t feel right, right? Designing a logo is not enough. You can find hundreds of thousands of logos for $5 or less, all over the internet. What’s important is making a logo that is unique and relevant to the company, it’s products, it’s values, it’s goals, and it’s customers. That is what differentiates a great logo designer from the mediocre ones.
Tip: While designing a logo, try to learn about the company as much as possible. Learn about their history, their products, their vision, their goals, their culture, learn everything. You need to know the company as much as, if not more than, they know themselves. That is how a remarkable logo is created. E.g: The guild of food writers, Yoga australia, royal garden.
Is the logo easy to remember?
One of the core functions of logo is to be on the customers mind 24/7. A memorable logo helps the customer choose your product among the thousands of other choices. People’s attention span is extremely less and our window of opportunity to stick our logo in our customer’s mind is of only few seconds.
Tip: Imagine your logo is on a billboard and your customer, traveling on a bus looking outside the window, rides past it. Will they remember your logo on a quick glance? If not, you need to work on it some more.
Does the logo work on small sizes?
Every designer wants to see their logo on big billboards and screens. But don’t forget that the same logo may also be used in much smaller, but important, applications, such as clothing labels and zipper pulls. Clients want a logo that is very adaptable and versatile as it save tons of money in future implementation, redesign, etc.
Tip: The only way to create a versatile and adaptable logo is to focus on simplicity. Your logo should remain strong and identifiable even in the smallest of sizes without losing it’s details. Keep your logos simple and the rest will take care of itself.
Is the logo distinct & unique from the competitors?
A logo must be unique and distinctive so that it can be easily separated from the competition. It must have a distinctive character that tell the story of the client’s business. Now how do we do that? The best strategy to create a truly unique and distinctive logo is to understand the USP of your client’s business . Read the design brief inside out multiple times, ask questions, look at their history. This is how you find out how to make their business stand out from the crowd.
Tip: Early on, concentrate on making the logo recognizable. Focus on the shape and details of the logo. Working on black and white will help you in this. Colors are secondary.
Is the logo portraying the core message instantly or is it multitasking?
Most of the great logos only have one element, one style, one thing that makes it great. Not two or three or four, just one. A logo trying to convey too many things using too many styles and elements will not accomplish any of its purpose. Humans are bad at multi-tasking, and so are logos. Pick one core message of the client’s business and then choose one style or element to portray it skillfully in the logo. Since, people won’t spend much time looking at your logo, you want them to take only the core message from the logo. And the only way to do that is by focusing on only one thing.
Tip: Look at your logo. What message does it portray at the first glance? Is that the message you want to portray? If not, its time for some redesigning.
- Is the logo simple?
- Is the logo relevant to the business?
- Is the logo easy to remember?
- Does the logo work on small sizes?
- Is the logo distinct and unique from the competitors?
- Is the logo portraying the core message instantly or is it multitasking?
And that’s it. Those are the 6 questions you need to ask to design a remarkable logo. While designing a logo, always keep this checklist with you. Focus on simplicity, distinction, adaptability, recognizably, relevance, and only one core element in your logo. The rest will take care of itself.