Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Importance of Good Logo Design

It's the first thing the public sees. It's the short mission statement of a business. It can be dynamic, prolific, and legendary. Why then do so many dismiss the importance of good logo design? Creating a logo should be no small task. Any good designer knows distilling something down to its typographical and pictorial bones isn't always easy. A great logo can make a business and move mountains. A bad logo can be a disaster.

A logo should be a simple, yet comprehensive, statement of a person, place, or thing. It tells the world who someone is, what they believe. It explains a product or business in a quick glance, something that's very important in our fast-paced society. It can be a single image, a combination of images and words, or a person's name. Some logos are easy to recognize no matter where you're from or what language you speak. Take Nike for instance. Their iconic 'swoosh' is known almost instantly all over the world. Words aren't needed.

Another logo that succeeds world-wide is the blue oval with the signature of Henry Ford. That signature with the swirled 'F' has been around since the brand's inception. Though a customer may not speak English or read our words, they could recognize the script in the blue oval because of careful marketing strategies and a century of brand stability.

Some logos use simple graphics to elicit different feelings. Amazon's logo is a combination of the company name with an arrow-like 'smile' underneath. That happy appearance, combined with the vibrant, energetic color, assure the customer and liven sales. The arrow denotes speed, a much-desired hallmark in any e-commerce company. Though it's more than an image, (like the 'swoosh') or word (like Ford), this logo succeeds because it remains within the realm of 5-second recognition. The consumer doesn't have to spend a long time 'figuring it out' or trying to make sense of a lot of elements.

A logo must, first and foremost, tell the customer what you do. It must also convey your personal confidence, which in turn will give confidence to your customers. If a logo is hectic, with lots of colors, graphics, and text, the customer may feel ill at ease. Consumers don't feel like they can trust a business or individual who can't nail down a streamlined statement. It shouldn't be muddled with elements that don't translate well across platforms like photos and three-dimensional items. Logo design and reception is highly psychological; as is marketing. If your product or service is stellar, you may not think customers would be disturbed by a bad logo or messy advertisements; but people are wired to react adversely to something that doesn't look quite right.

Branding is the best investment someone can make in their business. Though a logo may change over the years, evolve with the times, a great one becomes an icon. Whether you're selling hand-made goods online, marketing a new brand of ice cream, or running for public office, the logo and materials you choose for yourself are always more important than you may believe. It's better to be safe than sorry, especially when there is so much on the line.

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