With the rise of technology and and easier access for any business owner or entrepreneur to create their own logo, everyone has the ability to create marketing materials, a website or even their own apparel at the push of a button. While technology can be a huge resource for business owners, it can be quite daunting. Many sites now offer semi-custom or stock logo designs at the push of a finger. While this is great for someone needing a simple logo quickly, I always encourage businesses to really assess how they view their business or brand.
Do you really want the first thing people see is a stock logo or clip art that doesn’t reflect who you are as a brand? Of even worse do you want to use a logo that others may be using at the same time? It can be embarrassing to see that happen to businesses.
This blog post is directed more towards businesses who may want to create the logo themselves without the help of graphic designer or branding expert.
The first thing to look for in a logo: Does it work well in black and white? I’ve had some clients ask for “colorful” logos or logos with more than one or two colors in it. There’s things as a designer I consider. First what’s the emotion of your business. Color can dictate many things for a business. In many of my logos I work to add color palettes that reflect the nature and essence of that business. At the same time if the logo can’t stand up in black and white, adding unnecessary colors isn’t going to help at all.
If you have a logo, convert it to black and white to see if it has just as much impact as it does in color. How about the negative and positive space of your logo? Does your logo play with the negative space surrounding it to give it the illusion of dimensionality? Could someone recognize the logo just in black and white? How about printing t-shirts? Does your logo work just as well as 1 color image compared to a logo with hundreds of color? Use color to accent the mood and essence of your logo. Never use to “fluff up” your logo.
There’s a lot of great examples of business logos that works well in color and black and white. Many only use 1-2 colors max as their primary color palette while using other secondary colors as part of their overall brand and compliments the primary color palette of their logo.
Yahoo, Coke, Apple, Nike, BP, Shell, Walmart. I’m just naming a few off the top of my head. Not to say that these are good or bad logos, they’ve also incorporated billions in brand awareness and marketing to their audiences, so these logos are very recognizable. They all incorporate a specific color palette that they use, but all can work just as powerfully in black and white.
Look for these with your existing logo or a logo you’re working on now:
Does it work in black and white just as much as color?
How well does your logo play with negative and positive space?
Does your logo have a primary color palette for usage?
There are other things to consider with your logo design, this only being one tiny element to your logo process. Next time I’ll talk about the “flexibility” of your logo design as far branding goes. Are you apt to make tiny revisions to your brand through its lifetime, or are you stuck with a “dated” logo, which can be a costly problem for many businesses.
About the Author: Quantal Langford, CEO of LangforDesign member since 2015 specializes in design, strategy, and branding. View more of this work on his website!