We believe there are 6 secret ingredients that make an iconic logo design, and we’re spilling the beans! (Get it? Because beans are food… )
One of the most critical aspects of branding is creating an iconic logo that will increase brand recognition and recollection. But how do you create the perfect logo? Here are our 6 secret ingredients for and iconic logo design that aligns with your brand culture and captures the essence of your business:
- Know Your Brand
- Keep It Simple
- Don’t Explain
- Make It Scalable
- Don’t Rely On Color
- Minimize Risk
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND ALL ABOUT?
Designing an iconic logo that represents your global brand is no easy feat, and that’s why hiring a logo designer is a smart move. A professional logo designer can guide you through the design process and help you create a logo that truly reflects your brand identity.
The first step in creating an iconic logo is to understand your brand goals. A logo designer will work with you to identify what your brand stands for and what message you want to convey to your audience. They will ask you fundamental questions about your brand to get a better understanding of your brand identity and how it should be visually represented.
Next, the logo designer will create a design that reflects your brand identity. They will consider what imagery, typography, colors, and shapes will best convey the message you want to communicate to your audience. The designer will ensure that the design aligns with your brand’s positioning and overall message.
It’s important to remember that your logo is not just a standalone design element but a key part of your overall branding strategy. A professional logo designer will ensure that your logo design aligns with your brand’s messaging and values, as well as your company’s personality and culture.
Designing an iconic logo that represents your global brand requires a deep understanding of your brand goals, identity, and values. Hiring a professional logo designer can help you create a design that accurately reflects your brand and enhances your brand recognition, making it a worthwhile investment for your business.
THE MOST ICONIC LOGOS ARE EXTREMELY SIMPLE
In logo design, less is often more. Simple logos are more memorable and easier to recognize than complex ones. Overcomplicating your logo with too many elements can make it difficult to read, understand, and remember. Your logo should be easily recognizable, even at a glance. Keep your logo design clean, minimal, and straightforward to make it more iconic.
Many of the world’s most well-known and iconic logos are incredibly simple in design, such as Apple’s famous apple with a bite taken out of it, Nike’s swoosh, or Coca-Cola’s red and white cursive lettering.
The Nike swoosh, for example, is one of the best logos of all time and has become instantly recognizable worldwide. The simplicity of the design allows it to be easily reproduced and recognized, whether it’s printed on a sneaker or a billboard. Similarly, Coca-Cola’s logo, which has remained largely unchanged since its creation in the late 19th century, has become a universal symbol of the brand and is recognized in virtually every country in the world.
A simple logo design can also help to convey a brand’s message more effectively. Take the McDonald’s logo, for example, which features golden arches that are immediately recognizable. The simplicity of the logo not only makes it memorable but also communicates the brand’s emphasis on speed and convenience.
Simplicity is key when it comes to creating an iconic logo that people will remember. By keeping your logo design clean, minimal, and straightforward, you can create a powerful and memorable symbol that will represent your brand for years to come.
In contrast, overly complicated logos can be confusing and difficult to understand. The London 2012 Olympics logo is an example of a complex logo design that received criticism for being difficult to interpret. The design featured jagged shapes and colors that were intended to represent the year 2012, but many people found it hard to decipher the meaning behind the design.
They attempted to use the logo to explain their brand, rather than as a tool for people to easily identify it… which leads us into the next ingredient to creating an iconic logo for your own brand.
AN ICONIC LOGO DOES NOT TELL STORIES
Your logo is not the place to tell your brand’s story or history. Your logo’s primary function is to identify your brand and distinguish it from competitors. Don’t make the mistake of trying to explain what your brand does or its backstory through your logo. Instead, focus on designing a simple and memorable logo that can stand the test of time.
One method of deciding if your logo has potential is what we at MNGR refer to as “The Napkin Test”. The idea is that if you were in a coffee shop and asked a random customer to draw your logo from memory on a napkin, could they do it?
If the answer is no, then your logo is likely overcomplicated.
Of course, in such a scenario we don’t expect someone to recreate it accurately, but to be able to sketch the logo from memory well enough that we know what they were referencing. This takes us back to brands like McDonald’s, Nike, Apple or Coca-Cola. If you asked anyone on the street to draw these iconic logos, the results may vary but it is likely that all of them would be recognizable.
Your logo should be versatile enough to work in different sizes, from bottle caps to giant billboards. A good logo should look great and be easily recognizable whether it’s scaled down or blown up. Before finalizing your logo design, test it at different sizes to ensure that it maintains its visual impact. If a logo is too complex or relies heavily on fine details, it will often fail in printing at smaller sizes. Simply put, printers have limits with the point size they can accommodate, and the distance between those inked areas can become blurred thanks to ink bleed.
On larger scales, small details and sharp edges can have the opposite effect, making things feel squeezed or disproportionate as bigger areas will bleed more and fill more space and thinner areas will seem to be shrunken. If you look closely at old printed posters, for example, you will notice the small fonts tend to be sharper and have pointed edges, and larger fonts will have rounded corners.
This is a method used in print press days, to help force ink to pool in certain areas, to help the final image look more accurate and even. While printing in this way is less common, keeping these practices in mind when designing a digital logo will help to ensure your brand can be seen anywhere and everywhere, without any extra work.
Some brands make use of multiple marks specifically for reasons like this. Perhaps they are married to a logo, but it just won’t ever look great on a smaller scale. Nike has two separate “logos” that create its overall brand identity; the wordmark “NIKE” as well as their iconic “swoosh” as a pictorial mark. This isn’t necessary for every brand, but for brands that realize their name is important, we may find that they opt for a symbol as a backup logo mark for instances when putting words down doesn’t make sense or won’t scale properly.
If we look at McDonald’s yet again, we will find that they actually utilize both logo styles in one. Their true, full, logo is a large rounded “M” with the name “McDonald’s” written through it in a simple sans-serif font. This allows them to use the two interchangeably and together in a seamless fashion. And other brands such as Apple, rarely use their wordmark and almost exclusively rely on their symbol. There is no right or wrong way here, as long as the goal is to keep things simple and scalable.
When hiring a designer to create an iconic logo for your brand, consider which types of logos you think will make the most sense. Will you stick with the tried and true wordmark (your brand name)? Will you rely heavily on a symbol or monogram? Or maybe it’s a combination of the two?
Whatever you decide, keep it simple!
IF IT WORKS IN ONE COLOR, IT WORKS IN ALL COLORS
Color is more of an element of your overall branding, and it is good to understand what those colors are when designing the logo, but we urge you to avoid relying heavily on color. Sadly many new brands fall victim to this bad habit and down the road they find themselves spending extra time and money on reworking an existing logo or rebranding entirely because they realized the logo doesn’t work in a certain application.
The issue with color is that not every application can use full picture-quality colors. Logos that rely on color gradients, or the contrast between multiple colors in order to create the symbol, ultimately will fail the moment your color options are reduced.
Imagine your logo is the Earth/globe, with all the continents and water creating some kind of monogram letter in the center. You decide to get this embroidered on shirts for your employees and when the shirts arrive, all they have is a white circle on them. Since the embroidery machine could only use a single color, there is no way to define the various shapes and elements within.
Take for instance the Mastercard logo. While this is a memorable and iconic logo design, it does fall a bit short if you remove its colors. With 2 overlapping circles of contrasting color, which create a third color between, when flattened down to a single color it becomes one amorphous blob that resembles a filled-in “8” turned on its side.
While in the correct context, most people may assume the brand, if taken outside of its typical uses and placed on a shirt or other promotional merchandise, it is unlikely people would connect the dots (pun intended) and realize it is referencing Mastercard.
Another iconic logo that suffers a similar fate, is the icon for the famous web browser Google Chrome. With the usual primary colors that Google uses in all of its branding, this logo is great! But making it work with a single color would require a reworking of this emblem, to create separation among its parts. As-is, the logo simply becomes a circle.
Colors can help bring life to a logo, and we are ALL FOR IT. But relying on these colors as a fundamental element of your logo can cause far more headaches down the line, and should be avoided when possible.
LOWER PRICES – HIGHER RISK
When it comes to designing an iconic global brand logo, you should never cut corners by hiring cheap designers. A cheap designer may not have the necessary skills, experience, or understanding of your brand to create a unique and memorable logo. This can increase the risk of copyright infringement or ending up with a logo that is similar to another brand. Always choose a reputable and experienced designer who can create a logo that represents your brand and sets you apart from your competitors.
There is nothing worse for a business than finding out that you need to be forced into a complete rebrand because someone borrowed an element of your logo from someone else. Here at MNGR we don’t use templates, we don’t use premade icons, and we have proper licensing for any typefaces we use, so you never need to worry about your logo. Your logo will be custom crafted just for you, based on everything we learn about your brand, your personality, and our decades of research as designers.
If you are ready to create an iconic global brand, then you need an iconic logo design you can rely on. Hiring a logo designer can be a pain, but we hope to make the process much easier for you.
Get in touch today, and let’s make your brand everything it deserves to be!