“Don't judge a book by its cover.” We're all too familiar with this saying. But let's say you're wandering around Barnes & Noble, searching for that next paperback to sink your teeth into.
What gets your attention? What makes one book stand out on the shelf over all the others? Sure, you may page through and read a few excerpts before you decide to purchase, but what makes you pick that book up in the first place?
Don't Judge a Brand by Its... Oh Wait
Your logo is to your brand what a cover is to a book. It's the face of your business. It's often the first thing your customers will encounter—making that first impression, which decides if they're going to dig deeper or move along.
The Perfect Logo
In my experience, I've created lots of gorgeous logos and studied countless more. In that time I've discovered eight essential qualities that all the best logos have in common. Put these together, and you've got a formula for the perfect logo.
Your logo shouldn't be trying to communicate every single facet of your brand. It should distill your brand down to its core essence, and it should channel that. Less is absolutely more.
A great logo should work beautifully for your business, in every context that matters. Your logo should be a trusty companion for years to come, and should leave room accordingly for growth. This means not getting too specific with your tagline, having multiple orientations for different platforms, and keeping the primary color count down.
It doesn't matter how insanely gorgeous your logo is if no one can read it. There's a delicate balance here when considering script and more ornate logos, but readability should always come first. Above all else, your logo MUST be legible.
This one may be a bit of a shock, but your logo isn't just supposed to sit at the top of your website and look pretty. It should attract your target audience (AKA your dream customers). Therefore, your logo should focus on what's relevant to those customers. Your audience's needs and preferences should come first, even before your own. That's what will make your brand really resonate with them.
The process of crafting the perfect logo starts with asking the right questions.
Your branding is one of the key factors that sets you apart from other brands that do similar things. It's incredibly important that your logo is both distinct and memorable, channeling your amazing uniqueness. As I mentioned earlier, your logo is the face of your brand. Just like a face, it should help your customers to recognize and remember you.
Your logo can only make you recognizable if you're using it consistently. Use it consistently in everything you do, from your website and business cards to your social media and stationery. Your logo should also be consistent with the voice and message of your brand. If there's inconsistencies in your brand, this will only confuse potential customers and encourage them to look elsewhere.
A good logo isn't centered around the latest trend or fad. Most of what's popular at any given time is transient, so it's best to stick to design principles and a strong mark that will stand the test of time and have the legs to grow with your business.
Your logo can't do everything (although we all wish it could), so don't try to squeeze too much into it. It can't be all things to your brand. What it can do is inspire your customers to dive into your brand and set the stage for the rest of what's to come.
Your logo is just one aspect of your brand. You'll have plenty more opportunities for bringing personality and value to your business. Just think—your blog, newsletter, products or services. Endless opportunities await!
It Can Be Done
I know. That's a lot of things to ask of one logo. I'm not going to pretend like it's easy. If it were, everyone would have amazing logos. It's not easy, but it's absolutely possible.
The process of crafting the perfect logo starts with asking the right questions. A true design professional will know what to ask. It's absolutely an investment to hire a professional to craft a custom logo for you, but it's also absolutely worth it.