Our 5 Logo Standards
Great logo design is easy to spot but can be tricky to conjure out of thin air. Your logo represents your level of taste and the quality of your business’ products and services. Investing in your branding shows that you are detail-oriented and give attention to all areas of your business.
“How you do anything is how you do everything.”
Logos possess the power to attract customers as well as the power to limit how much customers would be willing to pay you. People are smarter than you think, and they can spot cheapness from a mile away.
We are visual creatures. The massive, multi-billion dollar industries like Makeup, Skincare, Fashion, Interior Design, and Automotive are proof of how much we care about aesthetics. These products and services are extensions of us as individuals and how we tell our own stories — just as a logo and visual branding direction are extensions of your business and its unique story.
The following standards are what guide our design process. Reading through and understanding them helps strengthen our partnership with business owners in the creation of their logo.
1. The logo should play a part in the business’ story.
Every good logo — just like every business — has a story behind it. Strong logos are more than a pretty design. They are filled with meaning. The meaning may be sentimental, practical, hidden, or obvious, but it ties the company's core values and mission into a tangible, visible symbol.
The imagery doesn’t have to be so obvious — like a coffee mug for a cafe or a hammer for a carpenter. It could instead reflect the business’ values and attributes while properly and distinctly portraying the brand personality.
2. The components of the logo should fit with its future usage.
A logo should either be a combination of an emblem (icon) and text (for the company name) or the logo should be text-only (also called a “wordmark” logo).
Not every company needs an emblem. Going text-only is a great choice for a company who loves its name and wants to have it be spelled out and front-and-center of the brand. A typeface can emanate a lot of personality, like the Google (minimal and joyful) and Disney (whimsical and bold) logos.
When we create logos that have both an emblem and text, we consider the fight for attention between the two elements. For example, if the emblem is complex, maybe the font should bring in some simplicity for balance.
Investing in an emblem has value for brands who want to produce a lot of visual things, from digital media to merchandise. An emblem can be displayed without the company name, but people will not know what this symbol means until the brand becomes more popular. Marketing is an important commitment to an owner of an emblem.
3. Use colors that set the mood and make people feel things.
Colors can help cultivate the headspace that the business wants its customers to be in while shopping or working with them. Best practices indicate that more than two colors in a logo may be too busy.
The psychology of each color should be taken into consideration when developing the personality and feel for each brand. For example, the color red is associated with younger customers, aggressiveness, and passion whereas yellow is associated with freshness, sunshine, and energy.
Not all shades of one color are the same. The standard red may be intense, but dark red is more matured and calmed-down (think Universities) and light red is refreshing and delightful like yellow.
And, for the love of Odin, try to avoid the most overused color combination of blue and green.
4. For the love of Odin, don’t over-complicate it.
Leonardo DaVinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Its elements should be easily identified and are integral to the message that the business wants to communicate.
Complex logos can be confusing and send mixed signals about what the business is representing. A logo with too many colors, fonts, or decorative details can be distracting and give the feeling you have when you look into a cluttered room. Messy visuals give the impression that your business process might be equally messy.
If a logo has pieces that do not contribute to the whole, they must be edited out. If a detail doesn’t help people understand the logo better, it should be ditched. All of the most memorable logos are simple. It’s possible to say more with less.
If a logo uses multiple colors, it’s important to remember the colorless version. There are many situations where a logo will need to appear without color (newspaper ad, watermark, faxed documents). We aim to create logos that looks impressive in both color and grayscale / black and white.
5. The logo should be versatile and work in many mediums.
You must consider what mediums your logo could be used with. Will it become a watermark for digital images and videos, a vinyl window decal, a screenprint on a shirt, a frosted print on a champagne class, a stitched patch on a hat…? How would it looks as a small circle social media avatar or the tiny tiny website favicon? How would it look several feet tall on a billboard? Can it be turned into an ink or wax stamp or a neon sign?
These needs create different parameters for the creation of a logo. A simple logo will always make the task of versatility and scalability easier.