Apple’s instantly recognisable logo has come out top in a new survey of the top 10 most memorable logos as voted for by UK start-ups and small business owners. The Most Memorable Logo survey aimed to discover which logos business owners find most effective, while helping new businesses understand how logos can communicate a brand’s story. So, what makes logos, branding and expert graphic design so important?
The logos which came out top in the survey were (see end of post for images):
- Apple: Clean, modern and extremely easy to reproduce.
BBC: Simple, memorable and works well on TV, online and in print.
- Nike: Suggestive of movement, ideal for a sports brand, works well on the product.
- Amazon: Embodying the company’s philosophy: everything from A to Z, delivered with a smile.
- Google: Strong primary colours, enhanced by ‘google doodles’.
- London Underground: The capital’s most instantly recognised logo, the shape recalling the tube’s tunnels.
- UPS: Brown is symbolic of parcel paper, with the shield suggesting security.
- American Express: Squares and block lettering indicate strength and trust.
- Sky: A versatile logo that supports brand extension: SkyNews, SkyHD, SkyMovies etc…
HSBC: The only logo in the top 10 to use a traditional serif font, more commonly associated with business and finance, suggesting authority.
So, what can we learn from this?
Ideally, your company logo should be effective, professional and recognisable. You don’t have to love it right away, Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, didn’t instantly love the swoosh – saying, “I think it will grow on me”. Overcrowded and confused logos are a common problem, tweaked constantly to attempt to make it reflect every possible value that the company wants to be associated with.
By trying to say too much, you are not really saying anything.
A logo is not your brand identity. A logo is your visual brand representation; it embodies your brand and what that stands for; little things like product quality, customer support, and the ability to deliver what you promise, time and time again. This does not mean that you should let your 15-year-old nephew with an outdated copy of Photoshop make your logo for you, or to just go without one either. Professional design is the most cost-effective way to create a visually strong and impactful logo.
It sounds simple, you have a company name and you know what your business is about, just choose some kind of graphic to represent it and add in the name, in a font you like, and there you have it, a logo. So simple, you could do it yourself. Or could you? Unfortunately, your knowledge of graphic design software is next to non-existent, so you are going to have to pay someone else to do it for you. Preferably while you sit behind them watching the computer screen and saying things like, “no, make that word bigger! Try it in red!” Easy enough, and shouldn’t cost you much or take very long, right?
The truth is, you could find someone who will do that and probably at a too-good-to-be-true price and you might not even discover any problems with it right away. But the problem will become obvious later, when you are in the middle of a busy week and the last thing you need is to figure out why your logo does not look as good as expected on those 10,000 leaflets you printed and whether you have the time or money to print them again. Or when you realise that your shiny new logo is almost identical to your competitor’s…
A professional logo design process is different from simply opening a software programme and playing around with icons and fonts for a few hours. Approaches will vary slightly by designer, but many steps are similar:
1. Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…
This step lays the foundation for everything else, by asking some questions and having a chat with you designers can get to know about your business, your personality and everything that makes you unique.
By working with you, discussing ideas and exploring concepts, designers can ensure you go forward with the most effective ideas. Work with your designer and don’t discount anything right from the start, even if it doesn’t seem to be your usual style.
3. First Draft
Your designer will send you a draft to proof by email, or you could call in with them in person. Decisions can be made regarding changes, amendments and alterations.
Simplifying ideas and ensuring the design meets your specifications while working effectively from a design point of view.
5. The Finished Piece
Completed designs can be used in a variety of print and display products depending on your business needs, from business cards and leaflets to signage and display stands, your designer can also sign over the entire brand package to you outlining the design guidelines to ensure your branding stays consistent and effective.
*Blog originally written by Inspired Business Solutions for ballyprint.com. Image courtesy of ballyprint.com.