What is a logo?
A Logo is a design symbolizing ones organization. It is a design used by an organization on its letterhead, advertising material, and signs as an emblem by which the organization can easily be recognized, also called logotype. A graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ready recognition. You may also think of a logo as a simple visual mark to identify your company or product or services.
There are different types of signs and emblems easily recognized and associated with purposes. For example, crests are used to identify a country or a family. There was a time when only big enough organizations could afford to make their own crest. They were in some cases a very detailed drawing with many objects to enrich the crest. Cost was not an issue and more was considered better. Then flags were used due to their larger format. They were visible from the craft fields from the long distances. Road signs were designed for informational purposes. They use such techniques as contrasted colors, simplified yet stylish format to identify and attract more attention and convey information.
Now a days, the most popular and successful companies continue to say the "simpler is better". Especially today when everything is moving so fast you have less and less time to impress your customers. So it has to be done in a very stylish yet remaining conservative that makes it easier for an eye to catch and for the brain to memorize your logo design.
These days you also have to consider the reproduction cost. More detailed and colorful logo designs are harder to reproduce and they of course cost more. You also have to consider the size that your logo is going to be used at. The perfect logo design will look great on a sign board as well as on a business card or on a pen for example.
We have talked about a general use of a logo. Now we are going to get in more details of a logo.
There are some general types of a logo:
Some kind of graphical element related to the business field or just an abstract image, for example: Nike, AOL, Micheline.
Logo based only on the company name. A unique font, or unique layout style can make a great logo, for example: Sony, Coca- Cola , IBM. Let's talk about each kind separately.
Iconic Logos can be very different. The classic variation is to make the symbol fit any of the geometrical shapes for example:
The best shapes to use are symmetrical geometrical shapes
They can be placed almost anywhere and still keep the balance; they are very easy to handle:
It is still good to make the logo fit any kind of geometrical shape, it looks more fit and balanced:
And at last there is no obligation in what kind of shape to use , you can use any free form shape you want, but you have to be very careful with the placement, so the logo doesn't look like it is falling apart or going to fall:
By selecting the shape, you should considered how conservative and stable your company wants to look like.
Selecting the concept
Now the most important part is to get the concept for a logo. It is almost the same process as selecting the name. First you have to determine what your logo should say about your company. There are different ways to represent a company.
1- You may come up with an image related to a business like a house for a real estate or a car for a car dealer
2- It could be just an abstract image representing companies philosophy. For example some kind of blocky image for a stable trustful company or just a pyramid. Or a very dynamic image with orbits and swooshes, sparks, particles for a very modern, young, high tech company to represent electrical activities or just cutting edge meteoritic technology.
Very important thing is that not all the businesses can be easily associated with any kind of particular image. For example a programming company doesn't have many images to be associated with (except a computer), so in this situation it would be recommended just to concentrate on an abstract image and just to represent the feel of the companies' business rather then just coming up with a particular image.
Some companies are dealing with more then one business, so they would prefer to have a more generic image, but still you can make it look more technological by implementing some straight lines in combination with curves, or make it more corporate with more proportional, symmetrical, geometrical shapes.
People can easy memorize a simple logo design with some kind of meaning. Some companies use different mascots like Michelin with 'TireMen' or Roots with a 'Beaver'. The challenge with the mascot is that in a matter for it to be a good logo, and easy reproducible it should be very stylized and simplified as much as possible.
Another major issue with people is that when they order a logo they want it to look like some other well branded companies like McDonalds or AOL. Those are of course great logos, but they are very recognizable only because they are well advertised. When you come up with an image for your company you should be already thinking of the best way to advertise your company towards the targeted audience. Your logo would be not just noticeable and memorable, but would be also well accepted by the market.
What kind of feeling does the logo transmit just by standing alone and in a crowed? Too many sharp edges can create a feeling of danger or caution. Also consider a color, so the logo design looks noticeable but not too intimidating.
A logo can be related to many different fields, depends on the purpose of the company and the marketplace. It can be related to a particular place, industry, or even a person. Plus, consider your personal preference of type of art. You can use any type of art style for a logo as long as it is unique, easily reproducible, and is suitable for your business its market.