Beyond Opinion, What Makes a Great Logo?

PUBLISHED: September 25, 2016

You have hired a marketing team to design your new brand identity. They have interviewed you, done their research and now its time to present you with three options of fresh new corporate identities. All of a sudden, you have three modern professional solutions in front of you — all of which have interesting features about them but none of them fit you perfectly. Your team can’t agree on which one they like more, so it goes to a vote…

Stop right there!

You’re going down a dark road; you are going to tell the designer how to design — the curse of any collaboration.

Let’s back up and start with the initial conversation. A corporate identity is a usually a combination of typography and iconography but can sometimes be either/or. Start the brand process with your end goal in mind and clearly identify how you envision your logo being used (printed, worn, clicked on etc.) as this will aid the design team tremendously. Use words such as “consider” and “perhaps” when you describe revisions to encourage conversation while you keep an open mind to what the creative team comes up with. Does the logo intrigue?

A few helpful hints when embracing a logo:

  1. Strategically Aligned: Does it match your core values? Does it resonate with your stake-holders, not just the boss? The logo should embody the vision of the company which is a lot to ask of a simple mark. That’s why you should be selective while choosing the right team to build your brand.
  2. Movable Components: Good logos are scalable in their entirety; great logos are recognizable in segments. Think about the future of your icon — could it stand on its own without the type (e.g. Nike) or does it fall apart when the type is removed?
  3. Distinguish Yourself: The legal term is called “trade dressing”. Make sure you do your due diligence to ensure your logo doesn’t resemble your competitors nor any other global brand that could be confusing to the consumer.
  4. Reproduction: Logos are used on billboards as well as lapel pins. Your logo should be simple enough to be seen from afar as well as in the palm of your hand. Ask for various formats of your logo including color variations and files to ensure Pantone® colors are assigned and a white version of the approved logo is at your disposal.

Simple logos are seldom simple — so get to work. Make something memorable.

Published online at Community Newspapers.

About Brand Poets

Founded by Tana M. Llinas, Brand Poets is a collective of strategists, storytellers, and digital artisans crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention.


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