Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Five Elements of Really Good Logos

This article has been featured on "Women Wise Marketing"

How important is your logo to your business?

In a word: very.

People tend to judge on looks—even though it would be nice to believe otherwise. Your logo is the first impression that your business makes. So if you’re not giving the right look, then how do you expect people to want to know more?

Say you’re at a networking meeting and you meet two accountants. You’re in desperate need of an accountant, so you get a business card from each.

The first card has been printed off a free website such as VistaPrint. It has the VistaPrint logo on one side, it’s flimsy, the logo appears to be clipart from MS Word and there is a spelling mistake. The second card is streamlined and well-designed. There is a clever slogan underneath the business name, it’s glossy and has an original logo.

Most people will pick the polished card. It gives the impression of a well-run business, the mark of someone professional with an eye for detail.

What makes a logo good?

It depends on the type of business you’re running … but there are some elements to strive for when choosing a logo.

1. It’s memorable. Picture the McDonalds logo. Easy, right? That big M came straight to you? That’s because it’s memorable! I bet you can remember others, too: Target, Pepsi, Hungry Jacks/Burger King. Those logos succeed because they’re easy to remember.

2. It’s scalable. Is your logo as effective on a gigantic neon sign as it is on the back of an envelope? It needs to be! You see the McDonalds logo when you drive in, but it’s just as recognisable as when it’s on a cup in a trash can.

3. It’s recognizable and describable. When you see that big M, you think of McDonalds—not McWhirters shopping center. And when I said “Big M,” you knew exactly what I meant. That’s recognizable and describable.

4. It represents your business. Images often carry a certain emotion or energy. Keep this in mind when choosing your logo. How do you want customers to feel when they think of your brand—and is your logo successful at conveying that feeling?

5. It’s attractive. First impressions last. Just look at people’s initial reaction to Susan Boyle! Your logo is like the bait on a fishing hook. If it doesn’t look appetizing, no one will bite!

Now that you know what to look for in a logo, where do you get one? Should you hire a graphic designer? Can you just do it yourself? What is the most cost-effective way to get a logo without scrimping on quality?

Next month I’ll be exploring the costs associated with commissioning a logo, as well as looking into the false economy that is “spec work” and design competitions.


  1. Please don’t use Vistaprint or recommend it to your readers.

    Using Vistaprint could very likely lead to you being signed up to FAKE discount clubs and hundreds of dollars benig taken from you Visa/bank without your knowledge or permission.

    I have a huge blog post with all the details of all of the different scamming sites Vistaprint and Adaptive Affinity run and how best to get a refund.

    If you don’t believe me check this blog and the scores of comments form people who have been ripped off!

    According to the Washington Post this negative option selling scam earned the parent company Ventura $650 million in revenue in 2006.

    If you have already used Vistaprint, start checking your bank statements.

    You can also sign this petition!

  2. Hubbers, thanks for stopping by with that information. I would never use Vistaprint as in my opinion they don't have the customer's best interests at heart. I would not recommend them to anyone. Thanks for your comment.