A friend of mine recently asked me to help him select a logo out of dozens of crowdsourced submissions. It was a difficult choice but one of the things I noticed were that many of the designers that submitted were great at graphics, but not necessarily too keen on logo design.
Here are things we’ve learned along the way with selecting a logo:
- Can the logo be optimized for different sizes and uses across all media? Many sites allow you to include your logo nowadays but virtually every single one has a different standard for resizing it. While your logo may look fantastic at 300 pixels wide, how does it look at 80 pixels wide? Or if you wish to use it as an icon on your site, how does it look at even 16 pixels wide? Are there different elements of the logo you can utilize for smaller elements?
- How does the logo look with other background colors? We have two versions of our DK New Media logo – one for black and one for white. This allows us to use the logo pretty much anywhere, across any website.
- Will people remember your logo? Some logos are cool, but will anyone actually remember what the logo looks like or why? Especially with the web, it’s important that your logo be memorable so that people are tuned into it whether they’re on Facebook, at your site, or at a third party site that’s mentioning you.
- Does the logo actually represent the business you’re in? The famous Nike swoosh provides a visual of step and motion. The FedEx logo provides an arrow pointing at the destination X. Not all logos provide a visual for the industry – but if you’re buying a logo, chances are that you’re looking for an identity. Starting out, you may want that identity to be relevant to the industry so people make the connection easier.
Some other key features used to be important with a logo… but I’m not sure these are as important in this digital age:
- How does it look in black, white and gray? David Airey may disagree but I’m not out buying grayscale media anymore or sending my invoices by Fax machine.
- Is it simple and two dimensional? Again, I’m not sure I’m against a complex, dimensional logo with shading anymore. As long as it looks good resized, I’m okay with it.
With video views continuing to skyrocket, I believe you need to think about how your logo can be utilized interactively as well. Pixar has done a remarkable job at shifting a simple logo into a great introduction video:
Of course, some folks might take animating a logo a bit too far:
If you don’t see the videos, click through to the blog post, How to Select a Logo.