What Makes a Logo Timeless?
For a lasting, memorable logo its important to remember a few key elements.
People often think that the logo needs to spell out what they do, when often that isn’t desirable or even possible. If you need a logo for a restaurant, you don’t necessarily want food or plates or silverware in it. If you think about the really great, instantly recognizable logos in the marketplace, they usually do not indicate the product. Apple doesn’t use an image of computers, FedEx doesn’t include a package or delivery truck, and McDonald’s logo isn’t a hamburger.
Simple is always best. You want the logo to be memorable and recognizable, and it also needs to reproduce well across a variety of media, at different sizes and on a variety of background colors. If it doesn’t look good when shrunk down to less than an inch, how are you going to create a business card? So tiny details are usually a bad idea if they get muddled at a small size. Too many effects — such as beveling, drop shadows and gradients — are also not usually a good idea for the same reason.
Your logo needs to stand out from the competition, but also fit within the market and make sense to your customer demographic. The logo for your medical practice should not be funny or whimsical. Similarly, the brand mark for your ice cream shop probably shouldn’t be too serious or your audience will be confused by the dissonance between the mark’s tone and the service.
While your logo should fit within industry audience expectations for tone, you don’t want it to include imagery that is overused or ubiquitous. Globes, Arrows, light bulbs … these don’t say too much and they are so overused as to guarantee the viewer won’t be able to distinguish your brand from the other globe logo.
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