They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and when it comes to business a logo the cover is well and truly there to be judged.
Branding and a company logo are integral to how a business succeeds today, with major players spending millions in order to create a brand identity.
Colours, images and text each have their own unique purpose within a logo, offering different values and subconscious meaning within them. And what’s more, it’s been in place for generations.
The Evolution of the Logo
The evolution of the logo dates back way beyond the likes of Coca-Cola, with Ancient Egyptians being the founding fathers.
That began with the branding of cattle and animals in order to display ownership. History followed a similar trend through the Ancient Romans and Greeks and as trade began to grow, the likes of pottery and other products began to include markings to identify the producers.
This were there as hallmarks to signify quality and were generally small and simple.
Logos began to become a little more expansive in the 12th century as families started to create coats of arms to signify nobility and status.
These are still around to this day with many companies including aspects of coats of arms within their logo, Alfa Romeo being a case in point.
The coat of arms added colour, design and iconic symbols which we still associate with towns and cities to this day.
That very much changed the way in which families, people and organisations wished to represent themselves. The turn of the 20th century transformed the way we see logos and how they are designed.
The introduction of colour to printing gave companies the chance to use it for the first time across boxes, newspapers and posters. Logo designs started to use it alongside symbols that continued to represent royalty, quality and integrity.
It was at this point brands really began to understand what a logo means to a company. That developed into what we have today, where the very best are instantly identifiable with a brand.
What Makes A Good Brand Logo
Since the very dawn of logos, the simplest have been the most effective.
Today, most successful brands have logos that are basic but have important nuances that help them stand out. But what are those nuances? And what makes a good brand logo?
It’s easier than ever to develop a logo nowadays. If you’re a start-up you can create one relatively cheaply with logo design websites
so knowing what is necessary to add is a must.
First and foremost you need to understand what your brand is and who it’s aimed at. You need to have core brand values that can be represented in your logo, which can be implemented in many different forms.
Almost all are done simply though. Colour is one of the most integral part of a brand logo, with different colours representing different ideologies.
For example, a dark purple represents royalty and wealth, while yellows offer warmth and happiness.
The Google logo is always interesting to look at
when it comes to colour. Built of primary colours, the logo doesn’t follow the standard pattern of primary colours, instead including two blues - a message that Google don’t follow the rules.
The idea of primary colours came in order to offer the impression that Google as a company is just as accepted and recognisable as the primary colour chart. Which of course it now very much is.
Aside from colour, images of course always offer certain messages. Kellogg’s for example use the image of a cockerel, an animal widely associated with the break of dawn.
This suggests to consumers that Kellogg’s are the perfect cereal to rise in the morning to.
Both examples above remain simple yet have particular focus on their meanings. The simplicity of each one make them also very memorable.
An effective logo should be simple enough to remember. Too much going on will cloud a customers relationship with it and make it unidentifiable out on the shop floor.
One thing that has changed over the years is a logos need to be versatile. Today more and every the concept of versatility is thought of up there with simplicity. A logo needs to be as iconic across all mediums so certain questions will often be asked before a logo is signed off. These include:
- Will a logo be effective printed without colour?
- Can it be scaled down?
- Can it be scaled up?
In many cases a logo may be necessary without text. Adidas are a fantastic example
of how a brand can be versatile. The brand can be recognised with their typeface, just three simple stripes, no matter what the colour, or their famous trefoil. All of which are incredibly simple.
Logo design has evolved significantly since the days of Ancient Egypt, but yet one core value has remained the same. A simple design throughout history has been the story of success. And it will likely remain so for the rest of our days.