Think about all of the most well-known brands across the world. If I were to ask you to think about Nike, you would immediately see the world-renowned swoosh. If I said McDonalds, you would see those golden arches. For most people, the logos of companies like these immediately connect our minds to the business in question, without the need to see its name.
To put it simply, a logo designed correctly with thought and an understanding can effectively communicate straight away what a business is about, with a poor logo often delivering only disastrous first impressions. And we all know what people say about first impressions!
A logo is much more than just an image and should definitely be more than an afterthought; it helps create a point of recognition for clients and lays the foundation for the branding of your company.
In this blog we have carried out a Q&A with Gecko designers Mark, Mike and Mhairi to talk a little bit about logo design; the importance of a good logo, some of the considerations that need to be taken when it comes to designing one for your business as well as some of the team's favourite logo designs.
Is a logo REALLY that important for your business?
Mike: Hell yeah! It's the one element that is unique to your business that allows people to recognise who you are. It's your first point of contact with potential clients / customers so a good or bad logo can have a huge impact on the type of first impression you make!
Mark: What Mike said! Your logo is a key part of your identity. It helps express who you are.
Mhairi: It's really important. It sets the tone of who you are; serious, playful, friendly, professional. People can take a lot from that one small piece of your brand.
What are some of the most important considerations when designing a logo?
Mhairi: It needs to be simple, memorable and it needs to work in a wide range of situations. If your logo is really intricate you may find that it loses some of its appeal when you have to display it at a small size.
Mark: Think about the different places and situations people will encounter your logo. It’s got to be flexible and it needs to have clarity. Also think about how it will stand up against competitor brands.
Mike: I used to be obsessed with doodling sports brand logos on my text books during class. Adidas, Lacoste, Nike, Ellesse, Sergio Tacchini, Kappa, Fila, Patrick (Yep it was the early 80s). Every single one had a simple silhouette, which is definitely an important consideration. Simple silhouettes/shapes make for a robust logo that can be instantly recognisable at any size (i.e. from a distance to a favicon in a web browser).
If you had to pick 1 favourite logo that has stood the test of time, what would it be?
Mhairi: I’ve always loved the Penguin logo and the WWF logo is wonderfully simple and iconic. Seems that I like black and white animals as logos!
Mike: Party Cannon, simply because they went so far against the grain. It’s funny, it stands out and the ethos is so death metal, even if the logo aesthetic isn't.
Mark: I am a very big fan of logos that employ clever hidden details and make great use of negative space - the Toblerone bear in the mountain for example. But if I had to pick just 1 logo to take onto my design desert island, it would be the WWF panda. (I didn't copy Mhairi, I swear!)
What is your ‘pet peeve’ when it comes to logo design?
Mhairi: When any business relating to childcare (or anything) uses 'Comic Sans' as their font!
Mike: When you do a really great job, a logo looks simple and obvious. Almost like it could take 5 mins, but the amount of time it takes to distil the perfect logo can take days or even weeks.
Mark: The proliferation of ‘off-the shelf’ logos that may give some visual cues as to the brand’s business but lack real depth, or overly on-trend logos that tend to look the same. It’s also disappointing when the type element in a logo hasn’t been given the same attention to detail as the graphical element.
What has been your favourite logo design for a client recently?
Mhairi: I love the new DM Property logo, and actually all the brand assets for them!
Mike: Of all our recent work, I think I would have to go with Cattanach - each element tells a story of the Cattanach Purpose and Values.
Mark: Good question! I'm going to say ClimateXChange.
A good logo is essential, not a 'nice to have'!
Many smaller businesses neglect the importance of a logo because they think that the value of a good logo is only seen when you reach that national / international level. However, that is simply not true!
As Mike mentioned above, It's the one element that is unique to your business that allows people to recognise who you are. Think back to the start of this blog when we mentioned global brands such as Nike and McDonalds. Your brain immediately recalls the logo.
And just because your business might not be at that scale, it doesn't make it any less important. Logos are used by your customers as a point of identification for your brand and it’s important that your brand is being remembered positively, not negatively.
As part of our branding & design projects, we have created new logos for many of our clients, helping express their mission and values through careful design. If you're thinking about updating your logo or your wider brand in general, why not get in touch and see how we can help.