Criteria for a brand’s logo design

First off, this particular entry is VERY basic. In future blogs I’ll suggest some additional criteria and some things to avoid.

I had better first define “logo” for those who have been using a much more precise definition than I’m using here. My definition is any special treatment of type for the name of the brand and/or any symbol used to identify the brand. So we have the name in a consistent type face, a symbol only or a a combination of name and symbol,. The definition of “logo” in the most strict sense is the name in a consistent type face. But for our purposes, the logo is any or all three.

Here are examples of all three types:

Three logo types

So without further adieu, here are my three basic criteria for a logo.

A logo must be unique, legible and relevant.

Unless it’s unique, a logo is not doing its function of identifying a business, product or service. If you’ve invented a logo you think will drive business toward your brand because it looks similar to your competitor’s logo, you’ve already lost. First, you’ll probably be sued. Second, people don’t like being fooled and won’t be a second time. Third, you’ll look sleazy in the eyes of your supply chain, your employees and your investors.

There are a lot of illegible logos around. They create confusion, or they are ignored. People won’t take the time to sort out the symbol, never mind what the symbol may mean to them. Be clear and make it simple.

Relevancy means there’s some harmony between the symbolism and the name, the symbol and the product, the type face and the brand. If your product is named “Butterfly” for instance, the symbol of a fish hook isn’t relevant no matter how persuasive the graphic designer’s rationale might be. The logo and other elements may display some tension that creates excitement, but really, harmony is more important because confused buyers won’t buy you product or service.

Though not necessarily criteria for a great logo, or even a good logo, these three criteria I believe are the elemental considerations for a logo design.

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