The world we live in is very visual. Everywhere you go you see banners and billboards, signs and posters, flashing neon and giant bold letters. Our brains are programmed to make snap judgements on “LIKE” or “DON’T LIKE” within seconds – and it’s those snap judgements that brands are competing for.
These days with the explosion of social media, there is more to branding than a really cool business card, an elevator speech, and a dot com. Nowadays “image” is the new black for the branding world. You want those snap second decision to be made in your favor, and the best way to do that is with a catchy logo. So here are 5 really easy questions to ask when coming up with or rethinking your brand and logo:
++ 01 – Who are you talking to?
This one seems pretty basic, I know, but it’s essential. Think about the difference between the Disney logo and the Mercedes-Benz logo. Same concepts: 1 image with type, but drastically different audiences and functions. One screams fun while the other drips sophistication. Now imagine them switching fonts… doesn’t exactly work, now does it. Knowing your audience is a crucial first step!
++02 – Does it stand out? Is it original?
People forget sameness. It’s just a fact. Don’t fight this fact – embrace it and stand out from the crowd. Being different and unique will make you memorable. Memorable will make you money. (Or at least it will help.) Research your competition, find similarities that they are using and then do the opposite. If everybody is using stripes, think polka-dots. If they’re all using red, try out blue.
++03 – Is it too complicated?
You don’t have to use every color and every font. Think about some of the most well-known logos: Apple, Target, Kellogg’s. You can picture them in your head. Usually just one color, one font, one image. They kept it simple and by doing so it’s easy for us to remember. They didn’t over-complicate anything. Start your design and then take away anything that isn’t essential to the design. Remember: what doesn’t make it clear, makes it cluttered.
++04 – Is it scalable?
If your logo only looks good big, or only looks good small, then there’s a problem. If you become a billionaire one day, they are going to want to put your logo on billboards, skyscrapers, and pens. Your logo should look good in any color and at any size in order to accommodate your obvious growth and success.
++05 – Will it get stuck in time?
When I say “70’s” you think? ______. And when I say “80’s” you think? ______. You don’t want your logo to fall victim to decade-ing. It should be stylish and classic and able to stand the test of time. It should speak to the here and now, but it should also be able to continue with the times. You don’t want to have to change your brand every 5 years.
Great brands, the ones that have stood the test of time with little to no changes, have all answered these questions at some point. They’ve taken them very seriously and been able to work through them. That’s what’s made them great. That’s what’s made it easy for us to remember them. So take a chapter out of their books, be great!