A few days back I was speaking to one of my friends who is a freelance logo designer. When I asked about her process of evaluating the logos she designed, I found that she was not following any sort of framework. It was intuition. We designers take pride in our intuition, but it’s always good to follow a process while doing anything professional. So here goes.
Let’s start with the basics — A logo is a graphical symbol used to identify a brand, company, product, idea ... you get the gist. At the bare minimum, a logo needs to have the potential to be memorable. So if there’s one thing you take away from this article, you know what that is.
Now let’s talk about the 5 functional qualities of a good logo
Simplicity — Is the logo simple to reproduce?
More often than not, you don’t want a very complex logo that is too detailed in its design. Humans are not great at storing elaborate patterns or images. A good proxy is to check if a 5 yr old can quickly draw it on paper and the logo remains fairly recognizable.
Meaningfulness — Does the logo invoke a strong emotion?
For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that the logo represents a brand. For the brand to be recognizable and stick with people, it should be meaningful and truly represent what the brand is about. Fairly obvious stuff, but this is extremely important too. As an example — The Nike swoosh is a perfect representation of “Just do it”. Can you imagine Nike using anything apart from the Swoosh?
Scalability — Can logo the be zoomed in or out?
As a logo designer, you rarely know all the places in which the logo will be used. You have to take into account that what you’re delivering has to look good in 40px*px icon and all the way up to a 2ft wide version printed on a banner. Makes sense right?
Adaptability — Is the logo adaptable in all scenarios?
This is similar to being scalable but takes into account that the logo needs to stand out and be visible regardless of the background. A logo is often used by different partners of the brand with their own brand collateral that may not always match your guidelines. There should be enough variations of the logo to make sure that all are similar while also being adaptable to different backgrounds and settings.
Memorability — Is the logo memorable?
And finally, the most important thing. Even if you cover every point above but fail to make the logo memorable, you’re left with a useless logo. Making a logo memorable is more art than science, but that’s exactly why you’ve been hired, isn’t it? Memorability is where a designers creativity matters the most.
Do you think there are any qualities of a good logo that we have missed out? Comment below!
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