Logo Design Considerations

March 2017


How hard can it be to design a one- or two-word logo (stylized letters) with or without an accompanying symbol and slapping on a tagline?

In reality, designing the core element of a brand—a combination mark (an emblem that uses both words and symbols)—requires a knotty mixture of knowledge in marketplace research, marketing, design, shape psychology, structure, symbolism, application of subliminal elements, color theory and typography. (Logo is a catch-all term for the combination of stylized letters, the symbol, and the merging of both elements.)

A company’s stakeholders likely have an idea of how they want to convey their brand, but it’s a designer and marketer that are best equipped to translate the desired personality of an enterprise into a logo and tagline.

But first, the starting point for a successful design begins with a company’s stakeholders defining and conveying the following to a creative team:

• Why does our company exist?
• What do we do?
• How do we do it?
• What makes us unique?
• Who do we serve?
• What do we value the most?
• What is our personality?

The answers to these questions, coupled with marketplace research on a company’s competitive field, should result in a well-considered design solution and the ever-important stakeholder buy-in.

It’s important to create a logo and tagline that are adaptable to a vast range of sizes and orientations—from a tiny space on a document to large-scale signage.

We tend to remember unique logos, but it’s best to avoid a complex design solution. It’s difficult to capture a company’s story in a font and a symbol containing too much detail without it looking “kludgy.” A unique and simple logo design leads to a more elegant and memorable result.

Trendy solutions may be fine this year, but they’ll lack visual staying power. Building brand recognition by utilizing a timeless logo should be an overarching goal.

Gaining feedback from peers or a focus group is hugely beneficial. It’s prudent to hear any positive and negative responses prior to a rollout.

Once the logo has been finalized, the broader branding scheme can trickle down, presenting a cohesive tone and voice for a company. It’s a best practice to document logo usage guidelines in a stylebook to maintain proper application and consistency.

Are you ready to make your mark?

—Maureen