When you see the word “Nike”, you’ll probably envision an image of its “swoosh” logo. When you think “Apple Computer”, you probably see the iconic Apple with a missing bite.
A stylized picture of a little bluebird makes your mind think “Twitter” and a white “F” on a blue background says Facebook.
These images appear in your head because each of those symbols is comprised of the key elements of a strong logo. Here they are:
Clean, free of clutter and easily recognizable. Each of those logos are fully capable of standing on their own and conveying their messages because they get directly to the point.
Streamlined and uncomplicated, one glance is all you need to know what they stand for. The mind does not have to spend a lot of time figuring them out.
Further, because they are so simple, the logos can be employed in many different ways, on many different items, and still communicate.
This actually goes hand in hand with number one above. Easily recalled at a glance, these symbols have come to be associated with their brands exclusively.
Remarkably, each of the logos cited above—save one—uses no text.
In the case of Facebook, a stylized version of the letter “F” is employed. The utter simplicity of the designs contributes to making them memorable.
While Twitter and Facebook have only recently entered the public’s consciousness, Nike and Apple have been around for years—as have their logos. Virtually unchanged since their inception, these logos have endured because they are trend independent.
Regardless of what may have happened (or will happen) in popular culture, these logos always look contemporary. Yes, they might undergo minor restyles to adapt to new paradigms, but their basic image will always remain the same.
The clock has no effect upon them. Keep this thought in mind when designing yours, even if you use a free logo maker.
The Nike logo works on the side of a shoe as well as on articles of clothing, billboards, stationery, postcards, brochures and flyers. Ditto each of the others, all of which communicate just as readily, whether they are rendered in stark black and white, any color imaginable, reverse print or grayscale.
With the rise of mobile computing, it is also important for a logo to work regardless of the size in which it is presented.
Today’s logos might be called upon to serve as buttons on a screen, profile images, favicons and icons for social profiles. Then, of course, there are the traditional T-shirts, baseball caps, pens and water bottles. It can also appear alongside the logos of other companies as well. So you want yours to look like it belongs in the company in which it is likely to keep.
Graphic designer Paul Rand, who came up with the logos for IBM, CBS, ABC, and UPS, is quoted as having once said; “A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.”
This is because the best logos are absolutely appropriate to the brand identity they symbolize and the marketplace within which they are required to function. In many ways, the “face” of the business it represents, a logo must be a natural fit for its product, service or company.
When you’re designing your logo, the key words to remember are simplicity, memorability, timelessness, versatility, and appropriateness. These are the five key elements of every strong logo you’ve ever seen. Combined deftly, these factors will give you an icon every bit as recognizable as the examples we have cited here.