Put simply, a logo is the symbol or design that identifies your business and brand. Some businesses opt to create a logo that may consist of a stylized version of the company name, like Google, eBay or Kellogg’s.
Other businesses might skip using words and go with a design like the bright golden arches that brand the thousands of McDonald's around the world, or the Nike “swoosh,” which conveys motion and speed on every pair of sneakers.
Whether it’s a word, a design or even a combination of both, having a good logo is an effective way of communicating information about your business and products to potential customers.
Logos have existed for hundreds of years. They have hung outside shops and marked barrels and crates ever since the merchant class started selling and promoting their goods and services. Most of these logos have been lost in the sands of time. Some, however, have survived and found a way to thrive in today’s world.
The World’s Oldest Logos Still in Use Today
Stella Artois can be found in supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and refrigerators around the world. This Belgian company has been in business for over 600 years, consistently selling the same product: beer. Its logo adorns bar taps, cases and trucks, and it can be found front and center on a wide range of advertisements.
Next time you’re in a grocery store or enjoying a bottle of this pilsner beer, take a close look at the logo and you will see a classic design with the year of its founding clearly printed on the top of the logo: 1366.
A lot will ride on your logo. It will be the design that represents your business and your brand identity. Consider it the flag, banner and coat of arms of your company. Your logo will be on your products, advertisements, company website, store front and business cards — basically anything and everything associated with your company.
Creating the right logo for your business will take thought, time and, above all, research. If done right, the hard work and effort invested in your logo will pay dividends that could last for as long as your business will be around.
And remember, it’s not just important that your logo tells the story of your company, what it stands for and the products it sells, but it is also critical that your logo connects with your audience and potential customer base. So let’s get started with the following key elements required in creating a good logo.
Keep It Simple
Your logo should not be a puzzle or a riddle that needs to be solved or deciphered. If you are including an image, the image should be clear and recognizable. If you are using your company name or initials, make sure that the letters are distinct and the word or words are easy to read.
Make Your Brand Relevant
Stay in tune with your customer base. Your logo, like your business, should connect with the people that will buy your products. Feedback is important. Knowing what your customer wants will help you when deciding on a logo.
Stand Out from the Competition
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but copying someone else’s logo may be perceived much differently, especially when it comes to your audience. Instead of creating a logo that displays integrity and trust, you may be accomplishing the exact opposite. Don’t be a copycat! Be original!
Offer Clear Messaging
Be straightforward. Your logo design should have something to do with your business. Having a logo for your barbecue catering business that features an image of your favorite pet may not be the best idea, no matter how much you love your dog or cat.
Choose the Right Colors
We’ve all heard the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder. “ Well that's true. What one person finds appealing another may find repulsive. We each also have our favorite color or our preferred text font. And when it comes to colors, it is common knowledge that certain colors are linked to specific themes or emotions.
For example, red is often associated with love and romance, while green is associated with nature or prosperity. In choosing your logo's colors, it is important to find the right balance or combination for your design, background and lettering.
Having a logo of a VHS tape, cassette player, vintage computer monitor or, let’s face it, even a pay phone may give your customer a moment of pause and confusion. That said, having a logo that incorporates a medieval knight, chariot or log cabin may still have a way of identifying with people, as they can be associated with a number of themes, including defense and integrity (knight), speed and energy (chariot) and even shelter and simplicity (log cabin).
Your logo design should stand the test of time. Avoid trends, as they always fade and are replaced by something else. And above all, be adaptable and tweak or change your logo as you — or the market — may deem necessary.
10 Examples of the World’s Most Iconic Logos
Need inspiration? Consider these 10 examples of great logos. Many of these brands have been using the same logo for decades. Their company names and logos are known throughout the world, consistently strengthening their branding and company story.
Use the Right Product to Design Your Logo
If you need a helping hand, support for creating a business logo can be just a few keystrokes away. You don't need to hire a designer or have expertise at using Photoshop to create a great logo either. Considering using Wix.com's Logo Maker to get a logo created for you. You can customize everything and get a high-resolution logo ready to print or use on your website and social media channels.
Peter Mavrikis is an author and editor with over 25 years of experience in publishing. He has worked as the Editorial Director for Barron’s Educational Series, as well as Kaplan Test Prep, where he ran the test prep, foreign language, and study guide divisions. Peter has also written several books on history, exploration, science, and technology.