A logo is a mark
that identifies a business
in the marketplace
in contrast to its competitors.
Logos are the most important part of a brand’s visual identity because they are the most widely used and thus, viewed image of a business. Due to this, they can also have a strong influence on a brand’s perception. Yet a logo isn’t a brand. Confusing, right?
Effective logos embody
the spirit of a business.
To do that, they need to be built on objective and meaningful facts. This is done by deeply understanding the business, its customers, and competitors, so the result is original and unique.
A logo based only on aesthetic preferences, cultural trends, or competitiors, lacks integrity, substance, and sustainability.
How do you judge the effectiveness of a logo if there is no hard data (like website traffic analytics) to base it on? Well, just like ancient Greek architecture, following tried-and-true construction principles consistently makes a strong foundation, whether for a building or brand identity. Ironically, the term logo, is Greek for “word”. So it’s clear this culture knows what they’re talking about.
And while expectations should always be that logos are aesthetically pleasing, beauty is subjective. So it’s important to first meet objective standards to resolve any weaknesses or contradictions, in order to determine real value and success. Principles like:
Effective logos are
flexible and adaptable.
Logos should always work in one color, first, and scale to any size without distortion. Good logos also do not follow design or cultural trends, so they are never out of date, as long as they align with the spirit and mission of the business.
Logos love family.
It would be a sad existance if we had to go through life alone. Our family, friends, history, and location all play a part in shaping who we are and determining our level of satisfaction. Without that knowledge and support, we’d feel quite lonely and inferior. Same goes for logos. A logo can and should stand on its own, but it should do so with the support of its family.
The “family” is formally known as a visual identity system or brand identity. It consists of colors, fonts, shapes, and messages that are all related but take direction from the logo. The relatives help reinforce each other when used in a larger context, such as retail interiors or annual reports.
But unlike a human family, a brand identity has the best opportunity for growth when developed as a system (instead of piece by piece), in order to anticipate and account for future needs and fluid mechanics among all the parts.