One thing that nearly every business has in common with another is a logo design. Despite its importance, many companies miss the mark when designing their logo. Those that hit the target with their design oftentimes reap the financial benefits from their logo for many years.

So what makes a design the right logo for your company? There have been volumes of marketing books that have devoted space to logos but basically a good, effective logo boils down to five key elements.

An effective logo is simple in form, distinctive, appropriate, conveys an intended message, and has a memorable design. Let’s take a look now at each of these elements.

1.  Simple in Form. A simple logo design improves the chances that the intended target audience recognizes your business. A simple design most often works well in tandem with a short, catchy slogan for the business. An effective simple design also works well in black and white as well as in color.

2.  Distinctive. Effective logos feature something distinctive or unique in their designs without being overdrawn. The design does not have to match the product or service provided by the company. The distinctive logo is purely to help customers identify your business. Nike’s swoosh design and McDonald’s golden arches come to mind as effective  distinctive logos.

3.  Appropriate. The logo should be positioned to reach the appropriate audience to achieve the desired effect. For example, if you’re a specialty store catering to babies or children, then it would be appropriate to use a childish font and color scheme in your logo like ToysRUs. However, if your business is a funeral home, then an entirely different logo design demonstrating caring and seriousness would be more appropriate.

4.  Conveys an Intended Message. The message conveyed by your logo should be clear. Customers will be able to identify that message by your logo easier when all the other elements of your branding and marketing come together. The best companies have integrated their branding, marketing, and logo so well that when a customer sees the logo, the company slogan immediately comes to mind. For example, “I’m lovin’ it” comes to mind for many people when they see the McDonald’s logo.

5.  Memorable Design. A memorable, timeless design works the best for a logo. You can’t always predict if a particular design will stand the test of time no matter how much money and research were involved in its creation. Some companies like the international soft drink mogul Coca-Cola have hardly changed their logo in over 125 years. This is the exception rather than the rule as logos go. Coke’s main competitor Pepsi-Cola, on the other hand, has made minor and major adjustments to its logo over a dozen times in the last 100 years.

An effective logo design can go a long way to helping your business succeed when you utilize the five key elements mentioned above in its design,

Learning from Iconic Logos

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