An article of mine from a while ago – still true!

Here's the link to it:

Send the right message

3 easy ways to create a clear, uncomplicated logo

Have you ever come across a company logo that looked like a jumbled mess of drawings? Where there were so many elements competing for your attention that you didn’t even know where to look or what it all meant? The job of your logo, says brand identity expert Erin Ferree, owner of Elf Design, is to communicate what your business is all about in an instant. But if you try to say too much in that instant, Ferree notes, it’s more likely your customers and prospects will either not get the message or get the wrong message.

The key to avoiding a confusing logo is to keep it simple. Ferree offers these easy steps to create a clear, uncomplicated logo as part of a corporate identity development strategy — a logo that communicates your key message to your target audience:

  1. Don’t try to say too much. Your logo should tell the story of your brand. That story is made up of four parts:
    • Your company’s personality
    • The type of services or products you offer
    • What distinguishes you from your competition
    • Who you can best help

    Once you develop your brand story, scale it back to one or possibly two main ideas that you want customers and prospects to instantly see in your logo. If you’re trying to tell a complicated story, then your logo design will reflect that and have little impact. Again, simple is best.

  2. Don’t include too many details in the icon. A logo that contains a lot of visual elements may turn out to be too complicated. Keep the number of shapes, lines, and other design elements at a minimum to make the image as clear and clean as possible. If you include too many design elements, it’s more likely that when you scale the logo down, some of the finer details will be blurred, and it may not print well.
  3. Keep the icon and the name of your company separate. If you layer your company’s name on top of the icon in your logo, it can be difficult to read. Moreover, if you include text on top of the icon, the concept may get lost. Separating the image and the company name will make both easier to read and understand.