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Checklist for a good company logo

A handy list of five must-have factors for any good company logo.


In many ways a logo is like a piece of art - anyone looking at the logo will have some kind of emotional reaction to it. You want your target market to like your logo, and you want to like it too. While this instinctive positive reaction is important to the success of a logo, a smart buyer understands that other factors need also be considered when picking a new logo.

This article lays out five qualities of a great logo. Stick these on a post-it note somewhere, so when your initial concepts arrive you'll be ready to rationally evaluate designs for your potential new logo.

1. Is it appealing? Does the logo appeal to your target market? It's nice if you like it, but more important is that your customers will like it. Test your logo with them. See what they think.

Most common mistake: Picking a logo you like without checking in with your customers.

2. Is it effective? Does the logo carry your brand message? Does it tell potential clients "this is what I do" or "why you should choose me over the competition" or "this is what we stand for"? A logo doesn't need to carry all of these messages, but it certainly shouldn't contradict those messages.

Most common mistake: Picking a logo that looks "cool", but can't be associated by customers with what the company offers.

3. Is it distinctive? Does the logo look sufficiently different to your competition, or other well-known logos in your market? Making your logo too similar to competitors can result in legal trouble as well as punishment from annoyed customers.

Most common mistake: Asking a designer to "adapt" your new logo from someone else's.

4. Is it scaleable? Does the logo still look nice and clear at different sizes? This is especially important if you're going to be marketing yourself online. If you're going to be promoting your brand in banner campaigns, you want to be sure your logo will be legible.

Most common mistake: Using small text that is impossible to read when the logo is used on a banner.

5. Is it practical? Does the logo work in all the contexts you plan to use it? Will you be able to use the logo's color scheme in your website or office or on your products? Will the logo look just as good on a website as it does on stationery or in print or on a wall? Will the logo still work in black and white, or on black or white backgrounds? Is the aspect (ratio of height to width) going to make it easy to use the logo in other layouts (hint: business card shaped rectangular logos are usually the most versatile).

Most common mistake: Picking a logo that is too tall and skinny, or too short and long.


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