5 remarks
regarding a good logo

Is the question of a good logo doomed to failure, just like the search for the truth about good art, an interesting painting, or a novel? After all, we are dealing with aesthetic matter, therefore a lot depends on reception, trends, tastes, ephemeral and undefined faccotrs. On the other hand, we know that even mediocre art can be promoted and elevated to the status of a masterpiece. Besides, who among us dares to unequivocally judge whether something is a masterpiece or kitsch? Especially in the field of advertising and visual identity, where aesthetic criteria are not always the most important.

Logo is not the brand

We will start with the first and most important tip: remember that a logo is not the brand itself. It is only one of its carriers. It doesn't have to encompass the brand's ideas, essence, values, or scope of operation. It should not contradict the brand's strategy but it should be as simple and concise as possible. One contradiction to avoid, for example, is using conflicting colours. It would be difficult to create a convincing logo for a concierge-type bank in pink. Although exceptions and bold concepts that break all conventions do occur. Therefore, try not to include too much in the logo; let it primarily reflect the spirit of your brand. A well-constructed brand will ultimately give it the right expression.

Simple sign, good sign

The simplicity of the sign seems to be a fundamental requirement. Keep in mind that it will function in various conditions: on a large and small scale, vertically and horizontally, printed on packaging, business cards, on cars, and sometimes even engraved in stone. Yes, the latter actually happens, for example, with logos of public institutions. Consequently, an excessive number of details can become a serious obstacle. Another obstacle would be a clear disproportion between the emblem (graphic symbol) and the logotype (name). When reducing the emblem, the logotype will inevitably also be reduced, which can affect its legibility on business cards or pens. For the same reason, a closed logo can be problematic when the brand name is inserted into a complex shape. Such an approach can also be risky when manipulating the scale.

Brand architecture

Another element worth considering is planned brand architecture. Determining this matter at the beginning, if possible, is essential not only for design reasons but also for general business purposes, which will not, however, be discussed in this text. Design reasons are equally important. If the architecture of our brand is expected to develop in an endorsing direction, our logo should be easily attached to other logos. Examples of such logos are Marriott or Nestle, which are often "attached" to other marks. If sub-brands are anticipated, the logo should not be burdened with ornaments or elaborate typographic treatments, as it would be difficult to fit them into other logos that need to express the product's purpose. A good example is the very simple BIC logo, a brand of writing instruments, razors, and lighters, which works well on products intended for professionals as well as children's glue or markers when a tiger or another symbol from the children's world is added to it. In the case of logos, the old Polish saying "it's easier to trim a stick than to thicken it afterward" does not apply; in this field, it is definitely easier to "thicken."

Originality, but not at any cost

Let's not die for the sake of logo originality, understood as a creative combination of forms that, depending on interpretation and perspective, are filled with multiple meanings. It does sometimes happen, evoking admiration for human genius, but there are far more failures (on the internet, we can find many combinations of symbols that evoke negative, unintended associations) or simply excessive focus on form over content. Take a closer look at logos that have achieved market success. Creative logos in this group constitute a fraction. Are they easily decoded? How many people notice the letter "c" inscribed in a diamond-shaped symbol of Carrefour? Meanwhile, there are hundreds of brands based on simple, readable symbols without unnecessary embellishments, yet unique in their own way. Excessive obsession with a logo often stems from a lack of understanding of the essence of the brand and the tendency to equate it with the brand itself.

Font: create or buy?

Finally, we should discuss the issue of designing a font for visual identity and a logotype. First and foremost, it should be noted that creating a good font (both terms - font and typeface - are used interchangeably here, although there are purists who distinguish between these two) requires tremendous effort and is usually very costly. We are talking, of course, about a complete set of characters, lowercase and uppercase letters, with appropriate diacritical marks for different languages, readable at different scales, and always maintaining proper spacing between characters. Such a font will certainly not be an absolute revelation to the average viewer - they may unconsciously appreciate the order and proportions - but few are able to distinguish and appreciate the artistry of different sans-serif fonts, especially when they are not juxtaposed side by side. We won't make headlines this way, although we may impress the design community. The important thing is that by doing so, we avoid font licensing issues and ensure a certain uniqueness. It is also possible to limit yourself to designing letters for the logo only - it is certainly an easier path, but it is also fraught with pitfalls when we manipulate the logo in the future. It is, therefore, a kind of luxury for brands that want to invest a lot in themselves. And rightly so, because a brand is like a person, and it is worth investing a great deal in oneself, especially in a person.

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