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What makes a good company logo?

By Alex Grant |

The logo is the most visible part of a company’s brand identity, and yet it is often overlooked and not given much importance by a lot of corporate planners and strategists. How important is it? We know that the silhouette of an apple with a bite on its right side is the logo of the most profitable company in the world, Apple Inc.; that a “swoosh” that looks like a check mark represents Nike; and that a mermaid within a circle is for Starbucks Coffee.

Creating a logo, however, isn’t just putting together abstract symbols to make it unique for your company. As blogger and digital branding expert John Lasurdo says, a logo “should provide a clear message with a strong association towards your brand.”

“A good logo does not have to explain itself,” says Chito Arabaca, a creative director for a multinational bank’s publishing arm. A poorly designed logo can undermine brand identity, he explains, since logos are a summation of what a company is about, its values and vision. “A good logo should be able to stand on its own, even when not accompanied by the company name or a marketing tagline.”

What are the elements of a good, effective logo?

1. It is easily remembered. “An average person should be able to describe your logo,” says Arabaca. Therefore, a logo should be simple but not abstract. Remember: the primary goal of a logo is to enable customers to recall your brand easily, not to arouse curiosity.

“A good logo should be able to last 20 or 30 years,” he adds. While some logos can evolve over time, the good ones never fundamentally change, like the peacock plume of the US television network NBC or the mermaid of Starbucks, which recently did away with the words around its logo.

“When people have made a connection to your logo, it would be disastrous to change it radically,” Arabaca explains. “You can slightly tweak the color, do away with some elements, but the fundamental framework that made your logo and your brand memorable should basically remain the same.”



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