The logo is the visual manifestation of everything your business represents – the style, the industry, the mode of conduct are all reflected in a good logo. Over the years, there are some like Nike’s famous slash and Apple’s multicolored apple that have made a lasting impression on generations. So what makes a logo memorable? Here’s a look at some of the elements of logo design and how top brands have used them to make them sink into the market subconscious through hidden messages and subtle imagery.
An over complicated logo will not be easy to remember – the prime reason for designing it in the first place. Too much detail makes it hard to recognize the logo when viewed from a distance or from a moving vehicle. Imagine racing past a billboard on the highway – how much attention does one give to a logo which is just one small element of the design? The best logos are simple and bold without being complicated and use at the most a combination of 3-4 colors.
The best example of this would be Lego – simple bold lettering on a red background. The monocolor Sony Vaio logo seems to simply spell out the brand acronym (Versatile Audio Intelligent Organizer) but is a clever combination of the analog wave symbol and the numbers 1 and 0 for digital.
In today’s world, the medium on which the logo is going to be displayed is multi-varied and multi-platform. The logo needs to look good in print (paper or clothing) and digital media. It needs to be visible on a Facebook profile picture and a roadside billboard. Moreover, the logo may need to work in single-color on some platforms. This need for versatility sometimes adds a dimension of mystery to the logo leaving the interpretation up to the viewer. The London Symphony Orchestra seems like a simple play on the letters “S” and “O” till you look more closely. The lines actually make up an orchestra conductor complete with baton! Another example is the Baskin Robbins logo. The two colors used for the letters “B” and “R” are for the number 31 – a flavor for every day of the month.
A logo represents the type of business the company is and/or the personality of the business. A law firm’s logo is likely to be monotone with a bold traditional-looking font to represent solidarity. Car logos range from the Porsche horse emblem to the Mercedes rings and each represents a unique feature of the business – Porsche goes for the sporty/racy look while Mercedes represents a classier look. These features also distinguish the target market to which the companies are primarily catering.
On the other hand you have Mansion Casino. Check this online gambling company uses an All CAPS logo. However, the first letter in both the words are slightly larger giving it a bold and distinct look when compared to other similar all CAPS logos. Also, if you look closer at the icon, it looks as if 2 people are facing each other.
Given the restrictions posed by the elements mentioned above, how can one logo stand out more than other? The key is to have an odd feature; something that stands out and makes it possible for people to pick a logo out of hundreds of others. This can be achieved by a high contrast of colors like Dominos, a visual oddity like the smile on the Amazon logo, or the bite taken out of Apple’s apple. Apart from adding a punch to an otherwise standard design this serves as a frame of reference or a memory aid, making a logo instantly recognizable.