What makes an effective logo

“A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like. The subject matter of a logo can be almost anything.” – Paul Rand, designer

The logo is the hallmark of your business or organisation. It’s distinctive and it’s memorable. On the Monchü blog we’ve previously given you some tips on how to design a logo, but in this post we’re going to delve a little deeper into what makes an effective logo.

It has meaning

For us, the number one thing that makes a logo effective is that it holds meaning. Your logo is an identifying symbol for your brand, and therefore should represent what you do and what your purpose is as a company or organisation. This will help to make your logo easily understood by your customers, and make it recognisable. 

Your logo will develop meaning through the fonts (typography) you use, the colours, the style, and any imagery or icons you use. These will differ depending on your target market. If your brand 

To do this well, you’ll need to have a clear idea of who your target market is, and tailor your logo to fit this. If you have a company selling children’s toys, you may choose vibrant colours and a bubble-style font. Take Disney, for instance, with a playful swirling font, bright blue background, and an accompanying icon of a fairytale palace – representing the wild imagination of a child which Disney encapsulates. 

It’s effective without colour

Although colour can be an important element in a logo, it’s often good to start with black and white, and ensure you’re happy with your logo without colour. 

This is because there are certain instances where your logo will need to be displayed in black and white – usually with printed materials. For instance, if you were printing a marketing brochure with a colour background, you would need your logo to be in black or white in order to be easily visible to the reader. Equally, if you were to print a document in black and white only, you’d want your logo to still be clear and look good aesthetically.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is a great example of this. When they were designing their logo they deliberately focused on black and white animals, so that it would work in black and white printing. The panda came about because they were inspired by Chi-Chi, a giant panda who arrived to London Zoo in 1961, the same year the WWF was founded.

“We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.” – Sir Peter Scott, WWF founder

As well as colour, you also want to make sure your logo is scalable and that it looks nice and is readable (if you’re including text) in a variety of different sizes.

It’s timeless

Graphic design has trends (check out our top 5 graphic design trends of 2019), just like any other industry, and it can be tempting to employ them when you’re designing a logo. 3D lettering, pop art inspired styling, and marbled colours are all trends which may look great now, but could quickly become outdated. And that would mean starting over. So we think it’s best to keep your logo simple, classic, and timeless – but still be open to your logo evolving and changing over time, as your business or organisation does too.

A great example of this is Coca-Cola, whose logo has barely changed since 1885.

It’s different

Over the years at Monchü we’ve worked with lots of clients on the logo design for their business or organisation. In our first meeting with them, it’s pretty common to hear that a client would like their logo to be ‘just like [insert brand name]…’. 

This is something we advise strongly against. As we said previously, your logo is an encapsulation of your brand identity – what you do, who you are, and what you stand for. It should be recognisable as your brand. If you design yourself a logo which looks exactly like an existing brand’s logo, it will certainly be recognisable, but as another brand – not yours. When you’re trying to build brand loyalty to your own brand, you don’t want customers to see your logo and instantly think of a completely separate brand. 

So, instead of focusing on a logo you love from another brand, try to focus on the first point we talked about – the meaning you want to convey about your company or organisation, and the message you want to communicate to your target market.

Examples of logos designed by Monchü

Looking for a new logo? Contact us and one of the Monchü team will be in touch very soon.