Which clothing brand has the best logo?

10 characteristics that make a good logo

A good logo is as important to a company as the face is to a person. We recognize people by their face. It allows us to draw conclusions about the personality and character of our counterpart. And whether we find a person likeable or unsympathetic, attractive or unattractive, trustworthy or threatening, depends largely on their face.

Of course, other factors such as clothing, smell, body language or the voice also play a role. But the face is the focus of our attention. Companies don't have a face. However, they have a company logo that works in the same way.

It should therefore not be chosen lightly. But what makes a really good logo?

You can find some basic formal criteria summarized here in the video in just one minute:

But let's dig a little deeper: Here are 10 tips that will be of use when choosing the right logo.

1. A good logo reflects the personality of your brand

Your logo is a symbol for everything your company stands for. It should therefore by no means be a coincidence that has been rashly put together according to personal taste. A good logo is based on an idea that conveys your brand essence: Your vision, values, message, offer and target group should be reflected in it.

Ideally, you can use the company logo to explain to your employees, partners and customers what the brand stands for. Before you hire a designer to design your logo, you should therefore clearly define the personality of your brand. You can find out more about this in the article Get out of the similarity trap.

2. A good logo is symbolic

A well-designed logo contains a message to the viewer: it can be a story, an idea, maybe just a feeling. The choice of the font, the colors, the shape - every design element should be chosen consciously in order to convey this message.

The Apple logo is a good example: Instead of a technical logo, Apple opted for a bitten apple. It looks fresh, personable, witty, simple and tangible. Just what Apple products are supposed to be. But have you ever wondered what a computer manufacturer has to do with apples?

The first Apple logo from 1976 gives the answer: It showed a woodcut by Isaac Newton under the legendary apple tree. Allegedly there he succeeded in the stroke of genius of his gravitation theory when one of the ripe fruits fell on his head. The idea comes from Apple co-founder Ronald Wayne - because Apple claims that its devices will enable further strokes of genius to be achieved.

The woodcut logo was only used for a very short time because there were massive problems with point 5.

3. A good logo is a reference to the brand, not an illustration

A logo represents a company's values ​​and vision. It is therefore always a little abstract and only provides an indication of what is behind it. The best logos arouse associations in the viewer and thus attract attention. Logos that simply depict the company's performance, on the other hand, appear boring and not easy to remember.

Craftsmen in particular like to make this mistake: it feels like 90% of all painters use a brush as a logo. So everyone knows what craft the master works in, but the chance to set oneself apart is wasted.

4. A good logo stands above short-term trends

A logo and building a brand is a long-term investment (see step by step to a strong brand). Your company logo should still work well five or ten years from now. Avoid fashionable trends and effects if possible.

It is normal for a logo to evolve and change over time. However, these periods should be very generous and the adjustment should be based on a specific occasion or goal. This development can be easily followed with old brands, like here at Mercedes Benz.

5. A good logo can be used in all media

An important technical aspect is that your logo has to be usable in very different media. Today more than ever. A good logo must meet these requirements:

Four-color printing (CMYK colors)

Brochures, flyers and other advertising materials are usually printed in four colors. All other colors are mixed from the four printing colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). In the case of logos and company colors, this has the disadvantage that the color tone can deviate by a few nuances with each printing process. This printing process is the cheapest for this.

Printing in special colors (e.g. Pantone or RAL)

The office equipment (business cards, letterhead, envelopes, etc.) is often printed in special colors. Here you have a more uniform color effect and you don't see a color grid if you look closely at the print. Many advertising materials such as pens or balloons are also printed in special colors.

Display of the logo on the screen (RGB colors)

While color is applied to paper during printing, red, green and blue light are mixed (RGB) on the screen to represent color. Your logo color will therefore always look different on the screen than in print. Your designer should, however, provide you with suitable files for both purposes so that the colors appear as similar as possible.

Black and white (fax, stamp)

Fax machines are slowly dying out, but you may need a stamp sooner or later. A pure white or black logo also works better than a colored one on a colored background. Therefore, make sure that your logo still works in a pure black and white implementation.

XXL and miniature format (billboard, ballpoint pen)

Good logos have to adapt to any format. It should still be recognizable on a ballpoint pen and the shape shouldn't converge. In the same way, it should be possible to display your logo razor-sharp on a meter-high billboard. For this you need so-called vector data. In contrast to pixel images, vector data can be displayed in any size without loss of quality:

Landscape, portrait and square format

Today your logo is used in more media than ever. It should therefore also contain variants in order to work in different formats: in landscape format on your website, in portrait format on a roll-up or square in social networks are quite common applications.

6. A good logo is as simple as possible, but as complex as necessary

This means that a logo should be designed as minimalist as possible, but complex enough to be independent and recognizable. Anything beyond that makes your logo unnecessarily complex and affects point 7:

7. A good logo is easy to remember

A logo should be quickly remembered and easy to recognize. A good test is whether it can be quickly traced from memory. If you look at the development of well-known brand logos over time, you will find that these have often been reduced to the essentials.

A good example is the Starbucks logo with the two-tailed mermaid. The original version was very detailed and difficult to grasp. Today the logo is still very detailed, but the smiling mermaid is now easy to recognize:

8. A good logo is only the cornerstone of a convincing brand presence

The logo is the cornerstone of your appearance for a convincing brand presence, but it takes a lot more than that. Many companies make the mistake of designing their advertising material individually and not paying attention to the overall picture:

Sometimes the logo is at the bottom right, sometimes at the top. Images are brought together from all possible sources and mixed in a colorful way. Colors and fonts are used as they fit into the format. And printing is done where it is cheapest.

Unfortunately, such an appearance quickly becomes unprofessional. What arises from the will to save costs persuasiveness towards the customer. And the lack of uniform guidelines is often more expensive in the long run because everything is redesigned from scratch. A corporate design guide is therefore part of a professional logo:

Not only fonts and colors are specified here. It should also contain templates for brochures, advertisements, business stationery, imagery and everything else that the company needs on a regular basis - even specifications for the paper that is printed on.

This initially requires much more effort, but pays off in the long run. In addition, the result is a homogeneous appearance that is recognizable across all media. The company presents itself as a unit - as a brand.

9. A good logo enhances your presence

I have just mentioned that it seems unprofessional if your corporate identity is not designed in a uniform manner. Even if you as a person appear convincing and trustworthy to your customers, a cheap and inferior business card can quickly tarnish this impression.

But instead of just seeing the negative, imagine the opposite:

You present your services to a possible new customer and everything looks like a piece. Your business card is printed on high quality paper and is easy to grip and heavy in the hand. Your brochure fits seamlessly into the picture and is a pleasure to leaf through. In an elegant and effective PowerPoint presentation, every detail of the quality of your services is convincing.

This is not just a show, but emphatically testifies to competence and creates trust. Even in yourself. Because if you have to apologize for the bad printing of your price list from the copy shop, how are you going to charge a reasonably high price for what is certainly an excellent offer?

10. Your good logo makes you proud!

Is it a good feeling to stand in front of the customer like this? Yes that's it!

That is why it is important that you are not only enthusiastic about your logo, but also your entire corporate identity. The logo together with the associated corporate design is the flagship of your company. It is your baby When you hand over your business card, your chest should be bursting with pride.

Of course, I would also be happy to support you personally in the development and design of your brand (you can find my offer here).

If you liked the article, feel free to share it in your network. Of course, I am also looking forward to your comments, additions and your experience in handling or creating logos.

Let's change the world!

Matthias Barth
Brand developer & designer