10 Rules for Designing a Successful Logo

In today’s post, I’m going to show you the strategy we use when we are designing a logo

In fact:

These are the same strategies that we used when designing the these logos

City of Phoenix

Let’s dive right in.

  1. Reflect the brand
  2. Crave a concept
  3. Strive for originality
  4. Be memorable
  5. Keep it simple
  6. Hit the target
  7. Don’t ignore equity
  8. Consider reproducibility
  9. Please esthetically
  10. Deploy with consistency

1. Reflect the Brand

Have you ever heard of a brand position statement?

It’s a guide that serves as a benchmark to evaluating all design concepts. It’s there to make sure any designs are in alignment with the brand of the company.

This comes in extremely handy for any logo design project.

A good brand position statement should always have these 3 components:

  1. A Target Market
    • Who does the brand serve? What industry, niche, profession, hobby, or base are you catering to? If your answer is ‘Everyone!’ I can promise you won’t help anyone.
  2. A Frame of Reference
    • How does your target market view your service or product? Shamrock Dairy’s brand perception among consumers was very different from managements. See how we helped them!
  3. A Point of Difference
    • What makes your service or product stand out from the competition? Do you have a unique selling proposition? Why would your target market bother choosing you over your competitors?

We get it! It’s exciting to create, to build, to start something new. But determining your brand position statement is critical to your brand’s success.

If you need help developing your brand position statement, or any other creative strategy, contact Catapult today.

2. Crave a Concept

Designing a Logo

What do you want someone from your target market to experience when they see your logo?

Should they feel comfort?

Curiosity?

Trust?

Whatever it is you want them to experience requires finding the right concept.

This isn’t easy to do. You need to understand your market.

If your target market is serious then the concept should convey seriousness.

If your target market is playful, then it should convey playfulness.

It takes a lot of thought to identify the right concept to convey.

But when you think strategically before acting creatively, you make something remarkable.

3. Strive for Originality

Originality means creating a logo that hasn’t been seen before.

Ask yourself:

Is your logo out of the ordinary?

Does it stand out?

Does it remind people of any other brand or logo?

An original logo will be easier to protect as your legal trademark and will differentiate itself from your competitors. It can bring more recognition and a more sustained interaction with your target market.

Originality is enduring.

4. Be Memorable

Following rule numbers 2 and 3 will help your logo have memorability.

But.

There’s a way to make your logo completely stand out.

How?

We can make it even more memorable with the proper use of a mnemonic device.

A mnemonic device is a way of organizing information to aid recall. You might use the letters of your company in the logo, something many companies do.

Logo

Another example might be to use a symbol that is also the brand name

Logo

These clever design elements give your logo a depth, there’s more to discover.

A simple discovery can bring a sense of accomplishment to your target market. This is a powerful effect.

Be careful though.

Mnemonic devices must be recognized instantly to avoid the the response, “I don’t get it.”

If you are seeking a brand strategist that knows how to help you think strategically before acting creatively, let’s talk: 602.381.0304 or dduke@catapultu.com.

5. Keep It Simple

So many companies put too much time and thought into their logos.

The truth is

We live in such a distracted world that most users will hardly even notices your logo.

Here are a few tips to keep it simple:

  • Use bold but simple shapes
  • Use simple but complimentary color schemes
  • Do not use complicated shading
  • Do not use fine line work

Don’t try and create a State Seal look, or a family crest

And forget about logos with fine details.

You shouldn’t try to display every aspect of your organization in one logo.

A logo should be simple and focused on displaying the one thing you want users to identify your brand with.

6. Hit the Target

Do you know your target audience?

What are their personalities like?

Why do they do the things they do?

Why do they buy the things they buy?

These questions are essential to the logo development process.

A logo targeted to engineers will be very different than a logo intended to appeal to teenagers.

You don’t need trial and error to figure this out. But it may take some research and some testing.

Some strategic thinking, if you will…

But your end goal should be a logo design that resonates with your target audience.

This is a target you don’t want to miss.

7. Don’t Ignore Equity

Professional Logo Design

If you need to update or redesign an existing brand don’t forget to consider its existing equity.

Even though the logo may seem outdated, it might also have a strong awareness with your target market. Updating a logo may only need subtle shifts.

Remember

People don’t like change.

A drastic change in design may signal that the company, product, or service has changed too.

It might become unfamiliar to your market.

And the last thing you should want is to become unfamiliar to your long-time, loyal followers.

Unless that’s your intent…

8. Consider Reproducibility

A logo will be used in mediums that didn’t exist 20 years ago. From interactive media to web-based applications.

Gone are the days when a logo only sat on a sign or business card. Now it will be on t-shirts, hats, bags, coffee cups, and so much more.

An effective design considers all possible media—from uniform embroidery to web site animation. Getting the right balance between size, shapes, and colors across all potential applications can make a great logo or break a weak one.

9. Please Esthetically

So, now your logo is unique

It follows the right concept for your target market

But does it look good?

How are the esthetics?

Can you imagine a product, with the logo you designed, on a retailers shelf?

Here at Catapult Strategic Design, we’ve seen our fair share of poor designs and concepts. So many logo designs miss the mark because they are too complex, or poorly thought out.

You should be proud of your design, not only because you are the one who came up with it, but also because it looks good!

10. Deploy with Consistency

It’s our final tip, we’re almost through!

Pay attention

We saved the most important for last

A great logo is only as good as its consistent and thoughtful applications. Remember in tip #1 where we talked about the brand position statement?

A brand is a brand because it is consistent. If your logo design is not consistent with your brand…

Then you don’t have a brand.

If you are seeking a brand strategist that knows how to help you think strategically before acting creatively, let’s talk: 602.381.0304 or dduke@catapultu.com.

What did you think of these Logo Design Tips?

I’d love to hear from you:

Which tip from today’s post are you going to try?

Is there something you never considered before? If not, leave a comment and let us know!