There are good and bad logos. I decided to add a third description – ridiculous logos. By now I’m certain some eye brows would have been raised. I understand. It sounds like deliberately wanting to hurt your feelings. If you don’t feel this way, it could be that you consider the audacity of my introduction as a “marketing” stunt. This is what I’d say to allay any of such notions, won’t you want to know about one of the world’s most important things used to engender the greatest influence on human kind? Yes! From the Crescent Moon, the Cross, the Swastika, Apple, Lacoste, Mercedes Benz logo, people like you have been influenced into believing something, trusting it, assured of quality or authenticity, loyal and have a sense of pride owning the product or idea that carries the mark. Won’t you love to know why and how your logo can do the same?
So I’m just going to go straight to the point.
A bad logo is:
1. When beauty is just the only desired end, such that the logo has no meaning or made with no direct connection to the ideals, core values, philosophies or salient principles of a business or personal brand; either in shape, font, color or use of object. Please note: a logo that looks or tries to illustrate what the business does isn’t exactly representing a vital ideal.
2. Crowded with graphic elements making it incongruent and impossible for easy memorization, instant recognition and association to the business.
3. Looses depth of detail when reduced to a scale lower than 75 by 75 pixels. And hard to render with precision and sustained quality in print or electronic form.
4. A logo that cannot work on a white background in its intended original color. In other words when the logo only has best visual rendition on a dark background in its intended original color.
A ridiculous logo is:
1. Gosh! Don’t tell me you got a clip art from the internet and you like it. Its unique you say!?! They’re over 2 billion people online. Think again!
2. Using a picture. Or for some, adopting an icon that’s already owned by another business and attaching your own name to it. I have seen it a good number of times before, trust me.
Finally a good logo:
1. Has meaning. It can only be achieved through research intended to properly interpret the client brief.
2. Simplicity is vital. It is the only way a logo can achieve the instant recognition and memorization of people.
3. It must be built to last. In its foundation must be the immovable, and irremovable ideals of the business or industry in which it operates. Even when change is required, the original look will manage to stay. Achieved via font style, shape, color or object.
4. Only when a logo captures the true essence of a business either in philosophical or professional terms is the work done. Note: achieved with simplistic rendition and consistent to reproduce.
Now, I’m sure the question on your mind is, so why and how do logos influence us? Only a good logo can influence you, this is a fact. It starts with its ability to install in your memory. As long as you can close your eyes after a brief glimpse at the logo and still see a strong detailed idea of it in your minds eye, it’s influence on you has begun. All that the company that owns the logo needs to do is maintain, innovate, sustain and repeat through its corporate behavior all the justifications earlier mentioned as attributes of a good logo which were relevant to its making. Hence the logo becomes the cue to the satisfaction, guarantee, pride, trust, belief, etc you feel towards the company, upon sighting the logo.
A bad or ridiculous logo won’t generate or trigger any favorable cue towards your business, making it exist for nothing. Leaving you whether as Founder, CEO, Corporate Executive or just staff to continue to do the hard work of sustaining a favorable impression about the business all the time. This is not sustainable. You are human. You can’t always be there or everywhere. Why not have a good logo do it for you once and for all while you face the good work behind the scene like Founders of great brands do.
Written by Dayo Abiola – Chief Design Officer of Dayo Abiola – Nigeria’s foremost logo making company.