Branding in the 21st Century – 5 Essential Qualities of a Memorable Logo

Starting a new business takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention a huge outlay of resources and capital. If you have a great idea for a new business, you have a lot of decisions to make, from where your headquarters should be located to which marketing strategies you will employ.

You also need to think about how to best build your brand, and a key part of that is designing a memorable logo. Creating a great logo is not as easy as you might think, and you may not get a second chance to design one. Once your company has been associated with a particular logo, making a change can be extremely difficult, so it is vital that you get it right the first time. Here are five essential qualities that must be part of your new company logo.

#1. Distinctiveness

There are many reasons why your company logo must be totally distinctive. For one thing, making your logo too similar to an existing one could land you in legal hot water. Even if the resemblance is unintentional, you could be held legally liable for damages down the line, and that could stop your new startup in its tracks.

Making your logo too similar to another could also confuse viewers and dilute the value of your brand. No matter what design you are considering, you need to make sure the finished logo is completely distinct and entirely your own.

#2. Appropriateness

The logo you choose to represent your brand should be appropriate to your market niche. From the image you choose to the font you use, every element of the logo should be appropriate to your line of business, silently telling the story of your company and how it relates to the potential buyer.

The owner of a tech company might choose a font that appears to be computer-generated, while a publishing firm may prefer a font that mimics handwriting. The goal is to create an association in the mind of the viewer – a link between the logo itself and the company it represents.

#3. Simplicity

Making your logo too complicated could backfire badly, and simplicity is generally the best approach. Think about the logos you know best, from the familiar golden arches of McDonald’s to the CBS eye to the plain blue and white IBM logo. Those logos all have one thing in common – they are very simple, clean and elegant.

It can be tempting to try to force too much into your company logo, but the simplest approach is generally the best. A clean design that tells a simple story is more likely to succeed than a busy branding icon that will do little more than confuse the viewer.

#4. Timeless

If you play your cards right, your new company will still be around many years or even decades from now. That is why it is so important that your new logo has a timeless appeal.

You should steer clear of current trends and stick to the tried-and-true when designing your logo. From the image to the font to the colour, the design of your logo should be simple, memorable and timeless.

#5. Memorable

Your logo should create an instant impression on everyone who sees it. The more memorable your logo, the more effective it should be, so think carefully about the design.

Again, think about the most effective logos you know, from the classic Chevrolet bowtie to the iconic Nike swoosh to the unmistakable NBC peacock. The one thing all those logos have in common is that you would never mistake them for something else.

Your logo will play a central role in your entire branding strategy, and choosing the wrong one could doom your entire enterprise to failure. Understanding the qualities that make great logos great is one of the smartest uses of your time, and that research can help you design a logo viewers will remember.

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