If you were to ask Paul Rand, he would tell you that the primary goal of a logo is to identify. And he should know best. Many of the logos Rand created in the 1950s are still widely used to this day! What does this mean to me though? It means that as a designer, you could spend hours on a logo with precision detail - fail at creating what some would deem “a good logo,” but as long as the company uses it consistently, their audience will still be able to identify the brand with just one look.
Now this does not mean we should abandon our conventional logo design processes or start with our most experimental idea first. But it does, however, mean that these “rules” we tend to follow are not set in stone so to speak. It is pretty obvious that most graphic designers use processes that are unique to their style of work. With that being said I am going to go out on a limb here and say, there are no rules to logo design. With the disclaimer: as long as the end result is identifiable.
There are quite a few logos that are in use today that have been around for decades! Some, of course, look very dated - mostly because they followed a trend at the time. However, there are marks that hold up well. These are the logos we can learn from. A few of my favorite examples are National Geographic, Campbells Soup, IBM, Shell, and Nike.
It is valuable for all designers to study these old logos and understand what it is about them that has worked consistently throughout the years. We are able to pick up on their characteristics and use them to make our own informed decisions when it comes time to start our design process.
The characteristics I mentioned above are what I use personally to set a sort of “mock guidelines” for myself. Here is the characteristic checklist:
When starting your logo design process, keep these characteristics in mind. For an extra bit of accuracy, some designers use grid systems and the golden ratio to ensure their mark is pristine and well laid out. Logo design in Raleigh, NC is one of our specialties. Contact us today if you are interested in rebranding or are in the need of a complete brand identity from scratch!