In the same way that human faces are unique and allow people to immediately identify and distinguish one person from another, logos are the face of a brand that let customers tell it apart from its competition. If you’re looking to create a visual representation that will show the world who your company is and what it does, you can take inspiration from some logo designs that look great and have a proven track record.
Logos that are Instantly Recognizable
There is no better indication that a logo works than having people readily identify the brand that logo is associated with, especially when the company name isn’t even part of the design. Some of the most celebrated and well-liked logos belong to brands such as:
Suggestions for Designing Your Logo
One of the first things you’ll need to do is decide on a type of logo. You can choose logos of the wordmark or letterform variety. Examples of these include, respectively, CNN and McDonalds. You can also select an abstract or pictorial logo. Nike, Apple, and Disney utilize these types of logos, but they’re well-established brands, so they have more leeway to use designs that don’t include the company names. If your brand is just starting out and doesn’t have that kind of recognition yet, you may be better served with a logo that incorporates the name of the business into the logo’s symbols or icons.
Effective Use of Color
One of the principal things you can learn from highly recognizable logos is to use color effectively and in a meaningful way. Certain colors are thought to represent particular concepts or feelings. For example, people commonly associate:
- blue with serenity and trustworthiness
- yellow with optimism and appetite
- green with nature and freshness
- red with passion and confidence
- purple with opulence and royalty
- black with elegance and mystery
- white with cleanliness and purity
Beyond linking your visual identity with colors that represent your brand and the message you’re trying to get across, it’s imperative that your logo’s colors stand out in comparison with those of your competitors. Even if you’ve deemed purple and black to be the best hues to convey your brand’s personality, if it turns out another company in your niche has a logo utilizing those same tones, you’re better off choosing some other colors, lest your customers confuse you with the competition.
Shapes and symbols also convey ideas, and you can incorporate those that are relevant to elements of your business identity or are representative of what you do. Choose wisely; the shapes and figures appropriate for more serious business ventures such as law or investment banking are quite different from those applicable to industries such as toy or soft drink manufacturing. Another way to use shapes in a logo is to hide them using negative space. This requires that customers take a closer look at the design and makes your logo more memorable.
Proper Font Use
Typography matters as well. Because your logo, as part of your total marketing strategy, will elicit a certain emotional response in your audience, you’ll want to play around with different fonts to create the sort of vibe that best fits your company’s image. Fonts can give a logo a modern, authoritative, playful, or nostalgic air. What you choose depends on your business and your advertising campaign goals, but it should evoke feelings that appeal to your target customer base.
Keep It Simple
Perhaps the biggest inspiration for logo ideas you can get from examining famous logos is to strive for simplicity in your logo’s design. Minimal imagery, clean lines, and an economy of elements make for an effective logo that sticks in the mind of the customer. Another advantage simple logo designs have over a more complex one is that simplicity makes the logo more versatile because you can easily adapt it. For example, will you need to create neon signs with the logo? In this case, a complicated drawing or picture won’t work as well as a logo based on a symbol or a few letters.
Certain famous logo designs have used all of these logo ideas to good effect.
- McDonald’s employs the colors yellow and red to express happiness and appetite.
- Starbucks added green to their logo to communicate their commitment to re-usability and recycling.
- The shape of Nike’s “swoosh” mark suggests speed and power, which mirrors the company’s personality as a manufacturer of athletic shoes.
- FedEx uses negative white space to cleverly include an arrow shape inside the design of its logo.
- Coca-Cola’s typography imitates hand-drawn flowing script, conveying both tradition and the notion of flowing liquid.
- Target’s red-and-white logo symbolizing a bullseye is simplicity itself.
Interestingly, Apple’s logo started out as a busy drawing of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. You simply can’t imagine that complicated design becoming as iconic as today’s minimalist apple-shaped logo. You can learn from the success of these recognized logos to get some logo ideas for your own business.
Finally, remember that even famous logo designs have been tweaked and refined over the years, so don’t worry that whatever logo you choose will be something you’re stuck with forever. You can always make changes as your business and your industry grow and evolve.