Driving through the town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, can make for a beautiful getaway – but it may also stimulate some sensory confusion.
Where are the 30-foot-tall, illuminated signs, directing me to the nearest Shell station or Subway restaurant?
In Hilton Head Island, corporate logos are eliminated in favor of a more uniform, residential look. The result? Consumers are left bouncing around from sign to sign, searching for their favorite stores. With the loss of company logos goes the loss of customer familiarity and brand awareness.
The world's largest Amoco sign, above, can be found in St. Louis, Missouri.
What does this mean for new businesses? It proves that consumers place great emphasis on logos. This single image serves as the face of a company, providing the audience with a quick burst of the brand’s purpose and personality.
With this in mind, businesses should put much thought and effort into developing effective logos.
What makes a good logo?
There’s no thin line between a good logo and a bad logo. Logo designs are either entirely striking or overtly awful. This makes a good logo quick to identify – it’s almost like a hit song.
The following are common characteristics of effective logos:
- Simplicity prevails
It’s better to be reasonably simplistic than overly intricate. Logos shouldn’t involve a complicated font or too many colors. These designs must be simple to read and understand.
- Make it memorable
With an ever-increasing amount of sensory overload, it’s crucial that company logos be memorable. For that to be possible, they must be easily describable. (This supports the idea of simplicity.) If a person has trouble describing a logo to a friend, how could he/she be expected to remember that logo design in the future?
- Who are you?
Good logos convey the message of a brand without saying a word. They are fitting to the company’s purpose and relevant to the industry at hand.
- Be one-of-a-kind
For most businesses, there’s a good chance they’re not alone in the market; most all companies have some sort of competition. Additionally, everyone wants to be the brand of choice. Therefore, it’s imperative that brands stand out among the crowd, making their logo foremost in the public’s mind.
- Form a personal connection
The biggest step toward gaining the lead in a consumer’s mind is by building a relationship with that person. A credible and enticing logo fosters growth in the bond between consumer and brand.
- Versatility goes a long way
Creating an appropriate logo requires a fair amount of forethought and planning. It’s important to consider the various platforms a logo will occupy. Will the logo be featured on company letterhead, business cards, envelopes, posters, signs, etc.? If so, the design must be easily scaled to fit a range of sizes.
The placement on these platforms should also coordinate to create a cohesive unit. Finally, it may be helpful to ask, “Would this logo be effective without color?” Imagine seeing the design printed in a black-and-white newspaper. Would it still make sense? This goes back to the simplicity factor.
- Age is relative
Good logos are timeless, not dated. They remain contemporary with the passing of time. While companies like Pepsi and NBC have changed their logo numerous times over the past decades, such frequent variations are not advised (especially for lesser-known brands). It’s best to choose an effective logo design and stick with it.
For a more detailed example of proper graphic and logo design, grab a free copy of our design branding kit!