A logo is your first impression to the world. It is imperative that your logo design identifies and reflects the spirit of what it represents.
Most people assume a logo should be a direct representation of what the company does. There is an alternative approach where a logo can represent not necessarily what you do, but who you are, personality wise and philosophically. Good worldwide examples of this approach would be: Apple, Starbucks, Nike, Toys ‘R’ Us, plus many more. Now you know to keep an open mind and don’t restrict your options.
While some would like a logo to represent the entire world and more, you should focus on the essence. In the same as being asked to describe yourself or your company in one or two words. The simpler the concept, the better it will convey.
Make it simple
People nowadays have very short attention spans, leaving you no more than a few seconds to give your first impression. Avoid cluttering your logo with details, focus the design on the minimum details required. As for the technical aspects, logos should be designed in vector format only, no images. They should be simple and streamlined enough to work well in small as well as large formats. Colors should be treated accordingly, a great logo should not rely solely on colors.
Is it memorable?
A logo must stand apart and be unique. Even without noticing it, everywhere we turn we are constantly exposed to aggressive marketing. This exposure eventually becomes embedded in our minds, and makes it difficult to see passed. Fight the temptation to imitate other logos, your logo should be 100% yours, own it. Try to avoid elements that are overused (i.e. world, stars, hearts…) or any other cliches. Test it, show the logo for three seconds, see what people remember, and listen to how they describe what they saw. Last but not least, make it simple (as stated above), the simpler the logo, the more memorable will it be.
Your logo should be effective in any format. From a smaller format like on your business card to a large billboard. Color wise, you can showcase a full color logo on the web, a 2 color logo on a t-shirt or black and white on a fax. Your logo should perform the same no matter what. Having (again) a simple and strong logo, can give you extra flexibility of not being restricted to a certain color. This can expand the logo use for product series and much more. Follow the “make it simple” rule will make this possible.
Logos should be designed with the target audience kept in mind and we should consider the culture environment it will be showcased in general. Learn and research your target audience. What appeals to them in sense of color, style, and visual? Appropriate logo properties will make this more marketable.
Since we have big inspirations for your company, your logo design should transcend beyond any fads or trends. Neither of us can see the future (or can we?), so try to imagine your logo in 15 years from now, and see if you can see it standing. Though some companies do update their logos, a simple strong logo will be much easier to tweak and will require less cosmetics to update it without losing the brand identity. IBM and Apple are both great examples of how a logo can transcend and be updated very minimal and still feel fresh.