Logo design - it's all quite straightforward, isn't it? – Brandrefinery
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Logo design – it’s all quite straightforward, isn’t it?

From an outsider to marketing and graphics design, company & brand logos may appear to be something of a side-note, just another small task on your checklist within the business world. After all, a well-designed logo will most often go unnoticed while it is in-fact an imperative component. It’s constantly functioning just like the very medium it originates from, the broad and subjective world of Art.

The neglected innovation of Art

What if Humanity existed without certain innovations within the industry of Art & Design?

What if the Bauhaus movement[1] never touched an Architect, what if Dieter Rams[2] never laid his hands on any Braun electronics, implored and inspired product & furniture designers across the globe. (If you own any Apple Products, then you’ve already been witness to design that was inspired by Dieter Rams’ teachings).

Like a lot of Art & Design, a logo design will usually only be pointed out when something’s wrong, if they don’t understand what it is, your audience confused, it’s just ugly. “Any publicity is good publicity” is a myth when logo and brand is concerned because it doesn’t involve anything tangible.  The only good they will end up doing is providing Graphic Design students a good case study of what NOT to replicate in the future.

When we’re witness to good Logo design, (Or any design for that matter) most people wouldn’t kick up much fuss, it’s underwhelming since a designer may have been revelling in their own creation, the hours they put into fine-tuning that piece only to have your friend with no design background exclaim “Well I could have easily done that”.

[1] The Bauhaus movement was an Artistic trend popularised around 1919-1933 by a German Art School of the same name.
[2] Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer born in 1932, best known for his work on various Braun & Vitsoe products.

What is Logo Design capable of?

The most important part is that it’s working at a subconscious level. We’ve evolved to recognise patterns and draw connections within our surroundings (for better or for worse). I’m going to break down some of these sub-conscious actions that are working away to your advantage as a Designer.  You can also check out ‘What Makes a Strong Brand’ for similar points.   

Association

If you can design products or design a website from which you can draw an association, through the means of colour schemes, colour balancing, placement and style.  So you can draw connections back to your company, its other products and service. It’ll help let everyone know that this product belongs to a whole family of other products and service. If your company upholds a good reputation, then this will help craft a calibre of quality linked to each of your products or services.

Readability

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your logo has to contain words.  But with attention towards contrast, complimentary colours, versatility (i.e. is the logo contained within a square space). How does the logo look printed at different sizes, how does it look from a distance. Concerning the readability, it’s highly advised that you aim for simplicity, less is more!

Importance

From the consumer’s point of view, this singular logo represents your entire operation. Does it give off the right vibes that it’s related to your business, your demographic, business approach, your target audience? If it resonates with your target audience and they can at least get a base idea of what they may provide as a business, then you can bypass a lot of confusion in the short term, but the fact that the mistake could be made is a huge negative. For example, Nintendo released the Nintendo Wii U[3] video game console in 2012. The ‘Wii’ moniker led many consumers to believe that this console was actually an accessory for the hugely successful Nintendo Wii[4].  Among numerous other blunders the Wii U was met with the lowest sales figures in the company’s history.

[3] Nintendo Wii U, a video game console developed by Nintendo of Japan, released in 2012
[4] Nintendo Wii, a video game console developed by Nintendo of Japan in 2006

Using that knowledge

Understanding the theory is simple, it’s executing this in the field that’s difficult. You should always seek out a second opinion from your peers to avoid the potential bias of your own judgement.  A key to improvement is to accept criticism of your previous work.  It can be tough to have your work voluntarily talked down, but that’s just how we improve our craftsmanship.  As a Graphics Designer, that’s the greatest desire!  

Dan Green About the author
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