Simplicity

Elegance is measured in efficiency of resources. Do more with less.The tendency is to want to do something elaborate, convoluted and busy. Look up the top 50 brands in the world and notice how simplified their logos are.

If you want to avoid looking like amateur hour, do your best to minimize the amount of elements involved in the design. You might consider going with just a wordmark, or just
a monogram for the time being.

Storytelling

One of the biggest missed opportunities in logo design is not incorporating elements that communicate who you are, what you stand for, or the value you create.

Think about what your brand is out to bring to the world, and look for creative ways to communicate that through your logo. Take FedEx for example. It’s extremely discrete, but you may have noticed an invisible arrow formed between the E and the x. It helps tell the story of what they do and the value they bring to the world. It’s a sign of forward progress, movement, travel, getting stuff done. And it’s not even actually there (talk about elegance).

Amazon has an arrow too. Though their brand is a bit more playful, so it doubles as a smirk. Both arrows do a great job expressing their respective brand values and services.

The Name Game

Think back: what was that ‘aha’ at the inception of your name? What does your name represent, reference, signal? And how can you bring that meaning and context forward in the logo?

You think Apple or Android, and it’s a very literal translation. It doesn’t need to be however. Take our Prismonde logo for example: Prismonde is made of two words, ‘prism’ and ‘monde’ (french for world). The essence of our name is around the idea of viewing the world through a new lens’ (or prism). Our logomark is a highly geometric, abstracted representation of that idea. The outer circle represents the world, while the pyramid inside creates a prism.

Aesthetic

This may seem obvious, because it is. Your logo should employ an aesthetic that embodies the characteristics of your brand Identity. Imagine if a bank’s logo were written in the Disney font. How likely would you be to trust your money with a bank like
that?

If you haven’t already, check out our Brand Identity Framework and Expression Dynamics Kit to see the system we invented to accurately define and consistently express the aesthetic of your brand identity.

Authenticity

Speaking of Authenticity—this is the most critical aspect of all your brand and
marketing efforts. This is the most critical aspect of all your brand and marketing
efforts. I wrote that sentence twice because authenticity is the most critical aspect of
all your brand and marketing efforts.

This is where most brands go wrong. Humans are driven by primordial instincts to gain acceptance from the herd, or DIE.

I wrote an entire article on avoiding these pitfalls. The short of it is: just be you. Own who you are. Let your brand be a rally cry for people that share the same values and perspectives. Be you and they will come. Now the key becomes: how do you figure out what your brand’s authentic identity is? Our cornerstone Brand Identity Framework is designed to accomplish precisely that.

Professionalism

Imagine you’re building your dream house. You have a really clear picture of the exact house you want. So why not just build it yourself?

For the same reasons you don’t design your own logo. Unless you happen to be a skilled designer (or hypothetical carpenter), please do yourself a favor and hire a professional. This is no time for DIY, there is far too much at stake.

Your logo is how people know and remember you. Whatever you save in labor costs will be infinitesimal compared to the money you’ll lose on people that were turned away by your questionable-looking logo.

You can spend $50 or $5MM on a logo. Spend what you can afford. I’d recommend investing in one that generates business rather than discourages it.

 


Key Hacks & Perspectives

  • Don’t over-embellish, keep it simple.
  • Communicate your story.
  • Tie in the design with your name.
  • Use an aesthetic that resonates with your tribe.
  • Be authentic, not what you think you need to be.
  • Have a professional do it. (even if a lower-budget designer)