From website to billboard to pencil: does your logo work across all platforms?

Cecily Kellogg

In every business development process, somewhere in the midst of writing strategic plans and finding offices and hiring staff comes an important moment: designing your company’s logo. What do you want your logo to say about your business? Your logo will become your corporate visual identity, so the design is important.

Because so much marketing is done in the digital space today, logos have gotten much more complicated. Custom typefaces, dynamic color and even animations have become standard. Online it’s easy to give a logo a metallic glint or a colored shadow or any of a hundred different design tricks, but when you decide to put your logo on the t-shirts of your staff softball team, it becomes illegible.

So how do you make sure your logo will work across all platforms? Here are a few considerations to include in your design brief.

1. Keep it simple

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Design by Daivat

It can be incredibly tempting to make your logo intricate and beautiful. But unlike a piece of art, a logo has a specific job to do, and that job is to clearly convey your company’s message everywhere in a glance. Creating a logo that is crisp and clear and easy to see and understand means you need to keep that logo design simple. Here’s a great test: can you describe your logo in a single sentence? If not, it’s probably too complicated. Vector graphics are best in logo design.

2. Make it readable

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Design by Dimitry99

One of the blessings of the computer age is the ability to create custom typefaces for your logo, giving your company a unique way to describe itself. But quite often those typefaces can be hard to read. The most gorgeous typeface in the world won’t do a thing for you if potential customers can’t read your logo.

3. Think about color

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Design by ludibes

Using color in a logo is smart – it can help your logo be incredibly eye-catching. Of course most designers will bear in mind that you will need your logo to work in grayscale as well for those times you’ll print something in black and white. But another element that is often overlooked and must be considered is the single-color logo. Can your logo be printed on a pencil in a single color?

4. Size does matter

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Design by cmyk13

Logos look gorgeous when they fill your computer screen, but how does it look when it’s just in the top corner of the web page? How does it look on letterhead or a business card? Can it fill a billboard? Scalability is crucial when it comes to logo design. You want it to look good at every size, and it is crucial to bear size in mind when it comes to your logo design.

5. Be unique

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Design by gcsgcs

Our world today is filled with marketing images, and standing out can be challenging – particularly when you are in a particularly competitive field. It is important to create a logo that is original yet industry-specific – don’t fall for the trap of making your logo look like your competitors’ logos.

6. Avoid being trendy

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Design by Design Press

Some rare trends – think Art Deco – have longevity. But most don’t. Today it might be incredibly popular to use a compass-style logo with fun typeface, or (ironically) a moustache. But will your logo still work five years from now? Or ten? Or twenty? Probably not. While you can adapt your logo to changing trends, you want the core design to be timeless.

7. Don’t forget negative space

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Design by GmbH

One of the brilliant elements of vector design (as opposed to more 3D design styles) is the ability to be incredibly creative with negative space. An ideal example of this is the arrow hidden in the FedEx logo; it conveys movement in an elegant and understated way. Use your negative space, it can convey a great deal.

How does your logo compare? Ready to start your logo design contest?

 

The author

Cecily Kellogg
Cecily Kellogg

Cecily Kellogg became an accidental designer when she worked at a short-handed non-profit and although she now prefers designing with words, the lessons she learned from doing graphic design make her work in content development more well-rounded. She writes about the intersection of family, technology, and social media for Babble Tech and runs her own web content business. She is also known for her raw tone and humor on various social media platforms including her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Cecily lives in the Philadelphia area, is happily married, is mom to a fierce and amazing daughter, and has occasionally been called a bad ass.

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