Are you sure that your company's logo is successfully representing your brand? Sometimes, key components to corporate identity are overlooked, thus creating a mark that will hinder rather than enhance your footprint in the market. These five principles, like a checklist, can be a great tool when it comes to creating a strong graphical representation of your company.
The idea of less is more comes into play heavily in logo design. When a logo appears to be cluttered, it creates visual tension, and more harmfully, it can give the impression that the company is subpar. The Nike Swoosh is a great example of a successfully simple mark. Capturing a moment of intensity, strength, and overcoming weakness, the swoosh has become an easily recognizable, and dare I say motivational, icon.
Using many of the same principles of simplicity is that of memorability. The purpose of a logo is to leave behind a visual footprint for the consumer to recognize, regardless of their location. In Europe, when looking for the popular Big Mac, a consumer can easily locate the McDonald's golden arches and satisfy their craving. The arches have become a synonymous beacon in the fast food industry, representing a quick and cost effective meal.
The true test of a good logo is the test of time. Following the trends in corporate identity can be a dangerous decision, as it allows for the possibility of a logo to become dated when the trends fade out. The Coca Cola logo, unveiled in 1885, has barely changed since its inception. This logo has conquered the ages and continues to have a strong hold in the changing market. A tribute to the past, a staple in the present, and a beacon to the future, this mark has and always will pass the test of time.
A logo will hinder a marketing campaign when the applications of use are restricted. Whether on a billboard, marketing sheet, or business card, the logo should continue to enhance, not compromise, the company's mission and values. Continental Airlines' logo has been seen around the world, seamlessly applied in applications as big as airplanes, and as small as keychains. Regardless of the size, the functionality of the logo is still intact, thus creating a mark that represents Continental Airlines universally.
At the end of the day, a logo must be an appropriate representation of the company. Decisions such as icon development, typography use, and even color management can make or break this category. The FedEx logo is my favorite example of this. At first glance, it seems like a rather basic typography centered mark. But, tucked away between the "E" and "X", almost like a surprise, you will find the classic symbol for movement, an arrow. Managing to capture the essence of FedEx, and swiftly follow the 5 principles of logo design, this mark is the unspoken hero in corporate identity.
Author: Erika Manik is a graphic designer from Cleveland, Ohio.