The Difference Between Bad, Good, and Great Logos
When you think of a popular brand, what’s the first image that comes up in your head?
No matter what strategies digital marketing agencies use to promote a company, the first emotional touchpoints consumers have with brands are their logos. Logos function as visual tools to condition viewers on a brand’s identity. Without logos and visual branding, products and services lose their emotional appeal and are stripped down to their bare, utilitarian forms. Without their logos, Chanel is just a bunch of clothes and cosmetics, and McDonald’s is simply fast food.
Logos also allow brands to differentiate between other products and services that would otherwise be interchangeable. For instance, take Coke and Pepsi. When it comes down to it, what sets these sugary, carbonated drinks apart is their logos. Coke’s logo inspires a classic, nostalgic feel, while Pepsi awakens more of an offbeat, wild card sensation.
The power of logos lies in their ability to communicate to consumers on a subconscious level, which is no easy feat. In the digital marketing age, coming up with the perfect logo not only requires strong conceptual thinking, but an impeccable technical understanding and skillset.
Keep reading to find out what differentiates good and bad logos, and to discover what makes a logo truly great.
Bad logos are often difficult to pin down due to the fact that they simply don’t leave an impression. This often stems from brands who create logos for the sake of having them, or don’t understand their significance. In this situation, logos end up being either too confusing or too literal to be memorable.
Brands that don’t take their digital marketing strategies into consideration when making their logos can also fall into the trap of being too cluttered or too reliant on colour. Logos should have the ability to translate in different mediums, even when their colors are inverted or in black and white form.
Furthermore, logos with multiple fonts and scattered visual elements overwhelm viewers and make them quickly lose interest, and are impossible to see when scaled to a small size.
Finally, the advancement of digital technology has made it inexcusable for a logo to be pixelated or blurry. One of the greatest sins brands today commit in the logo creation process is poor quality, so investing in a professional designer- or even a design team- is a must.
Like all things visual, the merit of a logo is often subjective- however, the foundations of a good logo are simple. Firstly, good logos appropriately represent their brand- or at least reflect their brand’s identity, products, or services. They are also decidedly unique, solidifying the brand’s identity and setting it apart from its competitors.
Good logos keep it simple; limiting fonts to no more than three, and using a minimal number of complementary colours that can be differentiated even in monochrome. They have a clear, solid visual structure, enabling them to be scaled to different sizes and easily recognizable on different platforms- from business cards to billboards.
Lastly, good logos appeal to human beings’ natural gravitation to order. A valuable digital marketing tip is that in a sales context, people like to feel safe. One might appreciate the wild and untamed beauty of nature while on a hike, but feel very differently when making a purchase. For that reason, good logos possess a sense of balance and symmetry.
The great Pablo Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” Similarly, while knowing the do’s and don’ts of logo creation is a great starting point, what makes a logo truly remarkable involves understanding why the rules are there in the first place, and knowing how to harness that knowledge to create something magical.
When analyzing the Apple logo from the perspective of the points above, it seems ridiculously literal. However, the sheer bravado of a brand called Apple with the logo of an apple is an ingenious reflection of the brand’s minimalist, yet innovative personality. On a deeper level, the apple symbolizes the pursuit of knowledge, which is what computers were originally designed to do.
Essentially, a great logo encompasses a brand’s entire identity as simply as possible. A valuable measure of this is if a logo can be easily recreated by hand and from memory after being seen once or twice. This indicates that it’s digestible, yet impactful enough to be stored in the viewer’s long-term memory.
When done right, logos can set your brand on a brilliant trajectory- influencing public opinion and purchase intentions, and enhancing your brand’s overall performance. That being said, it takes a significant amount of creative and strategic acumen to conceive this.
As one of the top digital marketing agencies in Malaysia, Social Grooves is no stranger to the power of a strong visual. We take great pride in the seamless integration between our bold, creative insights and keen digital marketing strategies, which helps us create a consistent stream of trendsetting digital experiences for our extensive list of clients. Contact us today if you’d like to be part of our digital marketing revolution.