The Features of a Great Logo

On their 40th anniversary, a company underwent a total logo redesign. The company name was taken out along with any other redundant elements. Even so, this company experiences an 11% year-over-year increase in revenue. Through drastic logo changes, they remain recognizable and one of the world’s favorite coffee shops.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, we’re talking about Starbucks.

Have you heard the phrase “the first impression is the last impression”?  We know that looks aren’t everything, but we’d be damned if we didn’t admit they are pretty dang important. Your first impression counts, and the window is small.

Do logos matter?

If you’ve ever noticed the iconic golden arches flying high in the sky, you immediately recognize what business is lying beneath. Whether Mcdonald’s has imprinted a positive or negative experience, you still know what it is. Brand identity is a bonus for having a recognizable logo, but brand identity is not always enough.

A good logo promotes brand identity and awareness, but a memorable logo increases customer loyalty. The stronger the impression, the more people you’ll find nestling into comfort and familiarity with your brand–and humans run to what they recognize.

If you have a logo, congratulations, you’ve taken the first step. Now it’s time to put your left foot in front of your right and think about ways to take it from average to killer.

K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple, silly. 

Trying to fit everything into your logo is going to create too much noise for a customer. If they wanted to take hours trying to piece together what something means, they’d buy a puzzle. Most designers would tell you that to create a logo, you need: to be unique, scalable, uncomplicated, and monochrome capable. 

You can stick to the K.I.S.S. guidelines while considering a few other ways to upgrade your logo.

  • The replication rule: If we asked one of your customers to take 30 seconds to try and “recreate” or draw your logo, and they can’t, there’s too much noise. Consider how memorable your logo is–or you areif 500 elements are packed into one design.
  • Split personalities: Your logo should reflect the essence of your business. For example, if you are a small mom-and-pop restaurant where locals have been eating Friday night dinners for 20 years, your logo probably shouldn’t be the face of a person with a smirk on their face. You’d be better off showing a food illustration or the owner’s smiling faces.
  • Color is king: Target didn’t choose to bathe in red simply because somebody loves it. Red conveys passion and impulse, pushing customers to purchase in a snap. Color theory reaches in and touches our emotions, so choosing the right color scheme for your logo is critical. Just like every other piece of content you’re serving up, you can’t be everything to everybody–niche will win every time. Here are several big-picture ideas to consider when choosing your color scheme:
    • What emotion do we want to convey?
    • Is there negative space?
    • Do these colors compliment each other?
    • What three words describe our brand personality?

By now, you’re probably picking up what we’re laying down–you need to strike a balance between keeping it simple and engaging in strategy.  

Learning from the best

If we asked you to jot down the first five logos that come to mind, what would they be? Would Apple, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Nike, or Coca-Cola be on the list? These companies understand that people are exposed to 5,000 brand messages daily.

  • Coca-cola is killing the consistency game by essentially never changing its logo. Theirs has read “Coca-Cola” in Spencerian script since the 1800’s. In 2021, their net worth is around $200 billion.
  • Nike takes the cake when it comes to simplicity, whose swoosh logo communicates movement and innovation and is unmistakably them. Even though the name “Nike” was removed from their logo in 1995, but people haven’t forgotten what the iconic swoosh stands for.
  • Finally, this car’s six-star blue oval is undeniably Subaru and carried on through each generation. In Greek mythology, their six stars resemble a star cluster called the Pleiades, or the “Seven Sisters” in Greek mythology. When you see it, there’s no mistaking it for Volkswagen or Ford. They’re winning in recognizability.

Let’s create together

Give your customers something to remember and a home to return to every time. With a great logo and a memorable experience–there’s nothing you can’t do.

We know that your logo is only one piece of your story. Does your business need help finding its voice? Red Mallard is here to help. Contact us today for all of your content marketing needs.

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