Creating Company Logos that Tell Your Story

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As a designer, I’ve had many opportunities to create company logos.

It’s one of the best parts of my job. Creating logos gives me the chance to work closely with our clients, be creative, generate ideas, and then share with the client the concepts I have created. It’s exciting to see the client’s reaction as they explore the different colors and shapes that could eventually represent their brand.

Over the years, I’ve seen logos that worked, and some that didn’t. You cannot easily define what makes an effective logo. Your logo invests people in your brand.

It’s all about representing the company, talking to its audience and providing the proper message that the company is aiming to herald.

It’s an elusive target.

However, we can look across the marketing landscape and identify some common elements of effective logos.

 

Effective Company Logos

Effective company logos are:

Unique

A good logo stands out from the crowd. Unique doesn’t mean complicated. In fact, the best logos are not complicated — they’re simple. The image doesn’t necessarily have to show what you do. But it should be simple enough to be read and comprehend immediately.

apple-logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorable

In addition to being simple and unique, a good logo is easy to remember. Its uniqueness makes it notable enough that it sticks in the viewer’s mind.

I-Love-NY-Logo-psd72430

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timeless

An effective logo endures time. Trends come and go, but a neutral logo ensures its timeless quality.

coca-cola-logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Versatile

A well-developed logo must be adaptable and scalable. It is versatile enough to be used across different media and printed for digital or TV. It also needs to be recognizable at any size. A logo that doesn’t read well in black and white, or in a small size, is not desirable.

nike-logo

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriate

A logo should be pertinent to its brand and industry, but not too literal. It must reflect the company’s value and essence, while also considering the target audience and their unique needs.

A logo for a bank must elicit feelings of stability and prudence. On the other hand, a logo for a toy store must elicit feelings of fun and childhood wonder. Those are two different businesses with two different logos.

moca-logo

 

 

 

 

 

Can Company Logos Tell a Story?  

A good logo successfully does all these things.

But does it tell your organization’s story? No, it doesn’t.

A good logo will entice people to your brand and express the essence of your company values. But it is just a snippet of who you are. It’s not enough to express the entire story.

Telling your company story requires a broader vehicle. There are many other vehicles, including your tagline, website, marketing materials, and strategic documents such as case studies, press releases and annual reports that can tell your company story.

Your company logo is just the starting point of the process to intrigue your audience.

 

Your Turn

In your opinion, which company logos are effective at being simple and memorable while expressing their company’s values?

Which logos have stood the test of time?

Post your comments in below and don’t forget to share this post if you found it useful.

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8 Comments

  • Jeevan Jacob John August 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm
       Reply

    Agree with you Roxana. The best logos are the simplest!

    People tend to overdo it. They make try to explain their brand through logos (sure, it should stand for your brand, but don’t make it complex).

    I especially like logos of Apple and Nike – simple and effective (For Nike, it doesn’t actually say what their company is about. But, people recognize it).

    Thanks for the post :)

  •    Reply

    Hey Roxana,

    All I can say is I’m glad I’m not a designer because at times I find some logos really cool looking while others I’m wondering what they were thinking. Some don’t even represent the brand so I’m not quite sure what was behind the design.

    I really don’t like anything that’s real busy, I prefer simple as well.

    Thanks for sharing this Roxana, great job.

    ~Adrienne

  •    Reply

    Hi Roxana,

    When I think of great logos I visualize just about anything Milton Glaser has created. Of course you’ve featured his “I Love NY logo” and for some reason that’s the first image that comes to mind when I think of great logo design.

    But Paul Rand takes the cake when it comes to corporate ID. Most of his famous logos have held up beautifully over time. Nobody has ever been so prolific.

    Love the logos you’ve featured too :)

  •    Reply

    Hi Roxana,

    Logos are such a simple thing, but tough to get right. I have just a simple home-made one on my blog at the moment and it is on my list of things that I really want to sort out. Make it more professional and relevant.

    Of course finding someone who can do that and for a reasonable price is another story

    But you presented some great examples of what we need to strive for!
    cheers, ashley

  •    Reply

    Wow! Amazing post! Loved it.

  •    Reply

    Hi Roxana, very informative article on creating company logos, and I to believe that they tell us the stories.

  •    Reply

    Hi Roxana, very nice and useful post and I’ve learnt so much about creating a logo.

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