A logo is not communication!

You, your service and company can be identified by something a simple as a colour or a shape. Think Virgin Actives 'cherry red' or the unmistakable arching "M" of the McDonalds icon. As Sagig Haviv 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.

What makes for a good logo and for a bad logo?

The answer will surprise you. It surprised me. According to Sagi Haviv, the man  known by the New York Times as the logo prodigy, a logo is not communication. A logo is identification.

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.

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.

So what are the must know rules when you design a logo?

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

Rule 1: 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: 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: 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.

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.