What Makes a Logo Successful for a Company or Organization?

It is easy to see a successful company logo and overlook the effort that went into making it so appropriate. The best logos embrace the principles of effective design. They must be simple, memorable, appropriate to what the business is offering, and versatile. An additional attribute is timelessness, but this one is difficult and unpredictable; in fact, uber-successful corporations such as Target and BMW have changed their logos several times in the decades in which they have been industry stalwarts.

Why Businesses Use Logos

Corporations and small businesses alike employ logos for almost the exact same set of reasons.

  1. They want to create an icon for the public that elicits a positive emotion. Each time a consumer sees a logo, he/she should associate that company with a desirable product or service.
  2. The logo should capture the essence of the company’s product or mission statement. For example, the Apple Computers logo features a bitten apple, representing the company’s original purpose of providing computers for education. In times past, students would bring a favorite teacher an apple, hence the correlation.
  3. Although logos often sport a wide variety of colors, a great logo should also look great in a black and white format for print media and colorless mediums. This means that although the colors can form an important part of the message, the logo’s central meaning should not be lost if colors are not present.
  4. Both clarity and uniqueness should be central to any logo, whether it is for a multinational corporation or a small business. Clarity is especially important when the medium is tiny, as you still want your logo to be distinct. As for uniqueness, obviously you do not want your brand to be mistaken for that of someone else. One way to do this is to use a logograph. For example, Coca-Cola has a distinctive logo of a red circle with a white sash running through the lower half. However, this symbol is so simple that it would be difficult to make it sufficiently distinctive. As a result, Coca-Cola employs a logograph by having the actually name of the company inscribed within the circle as an essential part of the design.

The Importance of Colors)

The choice of colors often depends on the country where the business is located. Not only do people in general respond in different ways to certain colors, but colors also have different meanings in different cultures. In fact, research strongly suggests that color is the driving force behind some consumer preferences. Not only do the right colors encourage brand awareness and recognition, they also result in more purchases.

  • Blue, when used in moderation, represents productivity, and it enhances consumer trust and the reliability of the brand. Corporations employ this color a lot; you can find it in the logos of Twitter, Ford, Dell Computers, Microsoft Word, General Electric, and Wal-Mart.
  • Red is evocative, often used as a stimulant and to increase appetite. This is why you will see it prominently in the logos of McDonald’s, Red Robin, Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola, and Frito Lay. Red grabs your attention, thus it makes for a great color in signage.
  • Green is relaxing, and the logos that use it liberally intend to convey wealth, serenity, and nature. It is no wonder then that the icon for supermarket giant Whole Foods is entirely green. Holiday Inn, Starbucks, and Tropicana also embrace the color green.

In summary, forming a logo for a business is a serious affair, because it needs to convey the essence of your enterprise. It is certainly worth having a graphic designer take a look at it to come up with something that withstands the test of time and embodies your company’s principles.