Graphic designers evaluate the quality of a logo, or in other words, the characteristics that make a logo stand out as a great logo based on different criteria.
Some of these criteria are the result of a large consensus among design professionals. So, I prepared the following list of these points to help you to identify the power of your logo.
Let’s start with one of the most basics.
Your logo is scalable.
Your logo works in any size, or there are adaptations designed for different sizes and formats.
When a logo is not designed to be scalable, one of these two things can happen:
A logo can work very well in large sizes, but when it comes to small applications such as business cards, labels, or pins, the logo stops causing the same impact; the image stops being clear and identifiable, or also, the text becomes difficult to read.
On the other extreme, a logo can look good in small formats, but when it’s enlarged, looks pixelated, blurry, or like if it was badly cut.
Both situations are unfortunate and should be avoided. Nothing like a logo that looks good and causes the same impact in both, large and small sizes.
Your logo has a message.
A great logo should tell an appropriate message about the company that represents. It should narrate a story, express a feeling, describe or symbolize something important about your business.
In fact, your logo always says something; and you must take care and analyze that message because sometimes, the message is not as good for your business as you could be thinking.
A logo must be successful in describing some positive attributes of your company and not having a second or third interpretation that might be inappropriate.
Your logo gives an identity.
A good logo makes you feel part of something, helps to feel the pride for a company or organization.
If your logo makes you and the people involved in your business feel identified, it is surely a great logo.
Your logo is simple.
A great logo should not be saturated with unnecessary elements to fulfill its purpose. Here the phrase “less is more” takes on special importance.
Simple is not the same as shallow or empty. Your logo should be easy and fast to see, interpret and identify.
The human brain makes this visual process better when the fewer are the elements that make up the image.
Usually, your audience will not stop whatever they are doing to see your logo and decipher what it is about. Rather, it’s the opposite, if it is something that needs extra work to process, the brain will not pay attention to it.
There are exceptions to this rule. There are complex logos that are great, but sometimes, what they have is that they are very attractive and arouse curiosity.
It is typical that inexperienced designers or business owners, try to add more elements to express more things, thinking this would be better. The fact is that a logo should only express only one or two ideas, and should do it satisfactorily.
Make a list in your mind of 3 or 5 logos, what are the ones you remember the most quickly. Think if they are complicated logos or simples. I believe the simple logos will be the winners.
Works best an image that synthesizes the best of your company in a few strokes or shapes than trying to say everything at once.
Important note. Do not think that designing a simple logo is the easy way. It almost always takes a lot of time for visual synthesis work trying to find the best way to find the best image.
One of the skills of a designer is to synthesize the essence of the company in an image, which seems easy but is hard to get it. Just watch logos around you, how many are simple and effective.
Your logo is flexible.
Logos are not static images. A great logo adapts to the different situations of the company.
There should be rules about how to use your logo in different situations to keep the same identity and at the same time maintain the flexibility of being able to use in each condition.
These rules are contained in what is known as the identity manual. A logo can lose part of its power without the guides that indicate the minimum sizes, the colors, combinations, and accepted variations; typographical fonts, spaces, and positions, etc. As well as a description of what to avoid with your logo, which is your business image.
Your logo is powerful.
As you know, images can have great power, the power to awaken emotions, a feeling. And if your logo does that in your audience, you have a great logo.
Sometimes, that feeling is learned in the time and with the interaction with your audience. The process of communicating for a logo is not automatic, but rather it is an interactive process built over time, especially in new designs and new companies.
Your logo is technically neat.
A logo should be technically well-executed, with available digital files in vector or curves format. The strokes are clean and minimum necessary to represent the image. Likewise, typography is converted to curves.
If what I just said does not make much sense to you, don’t worry, I’m only using some terms that designers usually use.
But in a simpler language. Your logo should be in the appropriate formats for easy and correct use in all the applications you may need, from an icon for social networks to make a giant impression for a billboard (just to mention a couple of examples).
The vector or curves format is when your logo is made with mathematical lines that can be modified to any size and will not lose definition. On the other side, happens that some logo files are pixel formats such as JPG, PNG, GIF, PSD, etc. These formats will not help you for every use of your logo.
You can read this other article where I explain why not to use your logo in JPG.
Inside this technical neatness, it needs to be easy to reproduce the colors in the same way in different systems. The standard colors have to be defined and expressed in the identity manual as per color matching systems like, for example, Pantone. The right reproduction of the colors is important.
Your logo represents a great company.
Lastly, this point does not correspond that much to the designer, but is, perhaps, the most important.
A logo can be beautifully designed, but in the end, a logo is the reflection of a company. If the company is loved, admired, and recognized, your logo will be too.
The purpose of your logo is to represent you through an image. So your role is to continue creating and developing a great company and the role of the designer is to take the essence of your business and translate it into the power of an image.
These are some characteristics that make a great logo. But, what do you think, Is there any other feature that I missed. Participate here below, I would like to know your comments.
Your logo and your website are the face of your business. Thinking about design is not thinking only on lines, shapes or colors; is to think about showing you are professional, reliable and likable.
When the time comes and you need a designer, send me a message. I will be glad to assist.