Crafting your Brand. Part 1 - Constructing an effective Logo Learn what makes an effective logo. Information business managers need to crafting a logo design specification for strong brand design.

Crafting your Brand. Part 1 - Constructing an effective Logo

Published on Mon, Apr 11 2011 by Adebola Oyewumi
In How to build a winning Brand!, we note that the first step is crafting the image early on in the business startup process.
 
The Logo is the most obvious signal of a Brand. As such, having an effective logo can prove either a great asset or a great liability for any organization.
 
Apple Inc current logoFor example, according to Forbes, Apple is considered the world's most valuable brand for 2010. From a marketing perspective, Apple's iconic Apple logo, pictured here, is recognizable to consumers worldwide, making it an extremely efficient Logo for the company. It was adopted in 1976. 
 
Apple Inc original logoHowever, even design-savvy Apple did not start out with an effective Logo. Their original pre-1976 Logo, pictured here, is an example of a complex, interesting but ultimately inefficient logo.
 
Examining these two Logos, side by side, it's easy to see why the former will ultimately fail in the marketplace and the simpler iconic brand we've all come to recognize succeed so well as a brand identifier.
 
Too often, the task of creating a logo is approached from a creative standpoint, with business executives leaving its definition up to creative designers. This often leads to logos that may look different, cool and even hip, but very ineffective and remarkably unmarketable.
 
 
 
Business Managers must be drivers of brand definition
 
To build an effective Logo, business managers must be the drivers of Brand definition. In order to do that, business managers must understand some basic rules of effective logo construction, so they can in turn provide creative designers with clear brand design goals that will guide brand design implementation.
 
In the next series of blogs, we will go in depth on Logo Design Composition knowledge necessary to crafting an effective Logo for a Brand.
 
In this first part of the series, we start with The Effective Logo.
 
 
The Effective Logo
 
It helps to know what makes a logo effective!
 
Logo effectiveness is achieved in two stages
 
In the first stage, and most basic form, a logo is effective when it helps the Customer clearly recognize and remember the Company Name. We will call this Visual Identity Communication.
 
In the second stage, a logo is effective when it helps the Customer clearly identify a specific product or service with the Company Name. We will call this Product Association Communication.
 
 
Using best practices, it is better to approach these two independently.
 
Achieving effective Visual Identity Communication for a brand should be the overriding goal of initial Logo design. That is to say, in deciding exactly what goes into your final logo, the most important design requirement is that the Logo help the customer clearly recognize and remember the Company Name.
 
Achieving effective Product Association Communication for a brand should be a job left for marketing and brand positioning initiatives. That is to say, the messaging we put out via our marketing and communication efforts to consumers will ultimately and more concretely define association of specific product and services to the brand.
 
Too often, many logo designs try to achieve both stages of effectiveness at the same time, but there are serious repercussions to doing so, an issue that probably deserves a whole blog treatment by itself.
 
However there are two specific ones worth summarizing here.
  • Overly busy logo designs
    More requirements results in busy, complex logo design compositions. As a rule of thumb, the more distinct elements is introduced into a logo composition, the less effective the overall logo becomes.
     
  • Limited brand scope
    Integrating specific product or service association to a brand in the Logo naturally limits brand service expansion options for the company in the future. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should be recognized that successful brands naturally grow to provide more products and services, and in some cases, in completely different market categories.
     
In the next blog in this series, we will continue by exploring basic logo composition layout options.
 

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