What Makes A Great Logo? 4 Tips For Amazing Branding!

“What makes a great logo?” It’s an important question! 

You know you need an amazing logo to compete in the marketing world in 2021. Your customers and potential customers expect you to have a logo. If they are researching your brand and don’t see a well-made, professional logo, their trust in your reputation will take a hit and they’re likely not to invest their time or money in your brand.

And just having any old logo isn’t enough in and of itself. If you have a logo (but it looks like a kindergartener designed it) your users are likely to leave unimpressed. Your logo doesn’t need to be a historic work of art, but it does need to be clean, professional, memorable, and enticing to your customers and potential customers.

So how do you design a great logo? What makes a great small business logo? Our graphic design and branding experts at JSL Marketing & Web Design are here to run you through how you should think through your logo and branding design needs!

Read on to learn more! 

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Great Logo & Branding Design Tips

1. A Great Logo Is Simple

Think through the iconic logos of the last thirty years. Many of them are very well-designed but are not necessarily complicated or intricate. The Nike Swoosh is one of the paragons of this practice, but there are plenty of other minimalist logos. Coca-Cola, Target, Airbnb, NBC, and Shell are all great examples.

A good logo needs to be versatile, so less design “noise” is often better. Like with Target or Shell, a simple logo is recognizable from a highway in a split second, in a way that a complicated logo would not be.

Remember, the average American sees well over a thousand ads a day, so it’s easy for your great and ground-breaking logo to go forgotten. Make it easy to remember by making your logo and trade dress simple. These logos are easier to digest and thus easier to associate with your brand. 

2. A Great Logo Is Impactful.

The McDonald’s arches are not necessarily the most awe-inspiring logo in the world. However, this simple design is extremely memorable to users, whether they’re online, watching TV, or on an interstate. While the Golden Arches may not be the Mona Lisa, they’re very recognizable, which is one of the highest praises you can give a logo!

3. A Great Logo Is Strategic.

There’s no one right way to design a logo. Does a logo need to be associated with your industry?

Lufthansa, a German airline, shows a crane taking off in the same position as an airplane leaving a runway. This logo immediately associates the brand with travel in the mind of the user, but this isn’t necessarily a requirement. What’s important is that each brand made conscious decisions that aligned with their business goals.

For instance, an international flight across the Atlantic, the bread and butter of Lufthansa, is not a quick snap-second decision, so potential customers are likely to be researching flights when they come across the Lufthansa logo. Therefore, tying that logo to the feeling of travel and flight is a great decision!

That’s not true of a brand like Target or Shell, where quick brand recall helps drive revenue. (I.e “I need gas” or “We’re out of milk.”) There’s no right way to design a logo, but it is important to think through your brand’s needs and design a logo that supports those needs.

4. A Great Logo Uses Psychology.

A lot of marketing is subconscious. You can carefully plan an advertising spot, thoroughly research your target audience, and craft a beautiful value proposition, but at the end of the day, a lot of the factors that compel people to purchase are emotional, not logical.

Marketing isn’t just giving your audience information; it’s compelling them to feel a certain feeling about your brand. A great logo ties into these feelings. Think about McDonald’s red or yellow. While it’s a sharp color scheme, the McDonald’s colors also stimulate hunger. Did you know that red can be a stimulant?

Likewise, think of how many financial institutions use blue in their logos. Why is that? Well, it’s because blue is often a “soothing” color, a shade that conveys trust, calmness, and stability, all qualities you’d love to see in your insurance, investment firm, or bank. 

Common Logo Mistakes

Overthinking It

Again, remember that the best logos in the world are sleek, clean, and memorable. They are not overly complicated and hypercomplex pieces. If your logo looks “messy” then your users are likely to not remember it. 

Going With Trends

Great logos are timeless. They transcend the decades and don’t need to play off of a fleeting design fad. This doesn’t mean that logos might not need slight facelifts over the years. However, it does mean that designing a logo in line with a new design fad is probably a short-sighted approach. Design fads come and go in a matter of months. You’re designing a logo to last for years! Stick with more timeless and “safe” design elements. The classics are classic for a reason!

Using Generic Imagery

There’s a fine line between sleek and timeless and simple, boring imagery. That’s unfortunately a very subjective line. It can be a tricky balancing act to find the right recognizable imagery without overly complicating the design, while still keeping your users engaged. Some brands play it too safe and use overly simplistic design, motifs that are quickly forgotten. Symbolism is great, but if your logo looks like ClipArt, you’re not going to stay top of mind for your customers.  This is also a great reason why you should avoid online logo generators, logo templates, and free logo makers. Talk to our team if you have any questions on finding the line between doing too much and doing too little. That’s especially important because being too boring could inadvertently become…

Logo Plagiarism

Ripping off another brand entirely is difficult to do unintentionally. However, the more generic your logo is, the less unique it becomes and the greater the odds that your logo is too much like other brands. You don’t want to be accused of plagiarism, or worse, have your customers conflate your brand with a completely unrelated industry.

Do your homework upfront to ensure that you’re creating a unique logo. 

Our Graphic Design Process

Finding that winning mix and designing a memorable, simplistic, unique, impressive, and uncomplicated logo is often easier said than done. That’s where the logo designers of JSL Marketing & Web Design enter the picture! Whether you need a completely new logo, a facelift, or custom social media graphics, we’re here for your custom logo and graphic design needs!

To begin, we want to ask some questions about your brand.

  • Do you have a logo? 
  • Is there a brand style guide we should refer to?
  • What do you want your customers to think of when they think of your brand?
  • Who are your competitors? What do their brands look like?
  • Are there any industry-specific logo design trends we need to be aware of? 

From there, we can offer you several brand development services to help you with where you are in the logo design process! 

  • Concept Development!
  • Brand Development
  • Value Proposition & Messaging Research Logo Design 
  • And More! 

Know when you trust JSL Marketing & Web Design that you’re trusting the best. \We’re a digital marketing industry tycoon with years of experience working with real estate, healthcare, and tech clients and we have the recognition and laurels to prove it!

We’re in it to win it and are ready to help you build a long-lasting online brand for the years to come. Build your brand to last with JSL Marketing & Web Design by filling out the contact form. We look forward to discussing your marketing needs with you!

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