A logo is not communication!

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Logo designers, what makes for a good logo and for a bad logo?

For every designer, the ability to design a good logo is necessary. Every business should have the ability to know what makes a good logo as well. Unfortunately businesses (and designers) make a fundamental mistake in understanding of what a logo is. That is because a logo is not communication. A logo is identification.

As Sagig Haviv, the man known in New York as the logo prodigy says a logo is meant to "identify" you strongly and clearly. The logo is the period at the end of the sentence its not the sentence itself.

Identification - Communication. What's difference does it make?

Communication

Communication in terms of logo design is when you try and communicate everything about yourself/ your service and your company within the framework of a logo. This, more than often, leads to a very literal representation of the the business or service. And because it's literal it does not leave much up to the imagination. Communication is the job of your marketing not your logo. An example of this was given to me by my first lecturer I had in design college. He said that when a client who say, for example, wants a logo designed for an 'international radio station' he will sketch a drawing of the globe, with a radio tower at the top beaming out radio waves as his idea for the logo.

A logo is the most visible element of a brand—logos areliterally everywhere.

Identification

What is identification? In terms of people Identification is a psychological process whereby the individual assimilates an aspect, property, or attribute of the other and is transformed wholly or partially by the model that other provides. It is by means of a series of identifications that the personality is constituted and specified (Wikipedia) In terms of the visual identification of a logo, the logo's colour, shape and logo type are all attributes of the logo that enable the viewer to understand the personality of the service, company or brand. But another way by Chris Do and The Futur a logo is visual shorthand for a brand. Every company, regardless of size or age in the market, needs a logo that will help define their brand and identify who they are to customers.


Five 'must know rules' when you design a logo.

  1. Logo Colour
  2. Logo Shape
  3. Logo Type
  4. Be Seductive
  5. Logo Mind Games

Rule 1: Logo Colour

Colour is often one of the last things taken into consideration when it comes to logo design. It should be the first. Why? Because the first thing that we perceive and learn to differentiate as babies before shapes and forms is colour. The colour of your logo plays a crucial part in your brands identity.

Rule 2: Logo Shapes

As we continue in our development from infants to toddlers we start to recognise different shapes. Therefore it follows that the shape of your logo/ symbol is another important element to consider. Apples iconic apple, MacDonalds Arching Chips, Mercedes Three Pointed Star and the iconic Nike Tick are all examples of logos whose shape is a clear and easily recognisable identifier. Shape is your second must rule of Logo Design.

Rule 3: Logo Type

Logo Type is the third rule to consider. We develop our ability to read at a fairly advanced stage in our development. Letters are really advanced forms of symbols and the challenge when it comes to type is to design the logo using the type in a way that the type itself becomes a visual symbol with its own form and personal character.

Rule 4: Seduction

Be Seductive with the logo design. Aesthetics and good form can draw the viewer to pay attention. Logos are most successful when they are simple and dynamic.

Rule 5: Logo Mind Games

Allow your logo to play a mental mind game with the viewer. Invite a response from the viewer to provide an answer in his head.


Top three courses to help you with logo design

  1. Logo Design 01
  2. Color for creatives
  3. Typography 01

Logo Design 01

In logo design 01 you will learn to understand the basic principles of logo design. Your reputation aside, your ability to deliver a good logo is a reflection of your understanding of the fundamentals of logo design. It’s what separates you from the amateurs.

Color for creatives

Go beyond theory and transform your work. Finally know how to choose the right colors, build gorgeous palettes, and feel confident in every color you pick.

Typography 01

This popular course will teach you the rules of typography and help you understand and master type, design and layout.


Conclusion

The job of a logo is not too communicate. For all those companies that expect their logos to communicate "everything" about their brand it's time to rethink and even redesign! Think - Nike Swoosh, Apple Logo, WhatsApp Icon. All these logos do not attempt to communicate but rather to identify. In terms of the visual identification of a logo, the logo's colour, shape and logo type are all attributes of the logo that enable the viewer to understand the personality of the service, company or brand.

Russel Davis, Brand Consultant

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