Checklist: Top 10 Must-Haves for a Strong Logo

Whether you're a startup business getting your new logo done up, or an established business wanting a refresh of an existing logo, at some point you're going to need to decide which logo design you want to use to represent your business. But, how do you know what makes one logo design stronger and more successful than another? How do you know it will work the way you want it to?

We know what an important decision this is - your logo is the basis for all of your other branding activities, it gives potential customers a feel for what your business is all about, and it is vital to your branding. It is worth investing some time and money into this process to get it right. So whether you're faced with 3 or 20 options from a designer, have a look at each one in light of the below checklist of must-haves for a strong logo to ensure you choose the best logo to represent your brand.

#1. CUSTOMER-FOCUS

Does it appeal to your target audience, both current and future?

This is the biggest question to answer - and probably the hardest because YOU are not your target audience, and your likes and dislikes are largely irrelevant here. So it's important that you have an understanding of your customers and their likes and dislikes, so you can figure out whether the design will have visual appeal for them, whether they'll get the message you're trying to put across, or whether they'll find it confusing or difficult to understand. This is where some market research can also help!

(You can read more about getting to know your customer in a previous blog post of ours!)

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#2. RELEVANCY

Is it relevant to your industry, product or service?

Sometimes it can be good to go really-left-of-field when it comes to your logo design in order to stand out, but this can also sometimes have the opposite effect if the symbol or words you use don't have some relevance to your business. If you don't have heaps of money to spend on helping customers understand why golden arches are the perfect symbol for your business, then you'll want to make sure your logo design reveals something about your business. It's worth noting though that relevancy doesn't have to be literal - you can leave some room for creativity here!

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#3. MEMORABILITY

Does it create a lasting impression?

The overall goal of your logo is to help people (potential customers) remember your business and retain some knowledge of what you're about so that when they're ready to get that haircut or buy that children's toy, they remember you!

So when considering what design you want to choose, have a look at what qualities it has that might make it memorable for potential customers.

#4. DISTINCTIVENESS

Does it create a strong and unique impression?

One way to be memorable is to be distinctively different from your competitors. Your logo gives you visibility in a noisy marketplace, so you want it to stand out from those around you. That doesn't mean the design needs to be revolutionary or completely unique in the whole world of logos, but you do want it to have some level of distinctiveness within your industry.

#5. SIMPLICITY

How many moving pieces are there in the design?

Another way to achieve memorability is through simplicity - a simple design is often easier to digest, and remember, than one that is overly complicated, detailed or fussy. The easier it is to process, the more customers will be drawn to it. Think the new Apple logo - simple, fuss-free and very easy to remember!

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#6. APPROPRIATENESS

Is it appropriate for your target audience?

How the logo "positions" your business should be appropriate for its intended audience. For example, a kids toy-store can use a child-like font and colour scheme, but this same font and colour may not be appropriate for a mortgage broker. 

#7. INHERENT MEANING

What does the design mean to your target audience?

It's important to understand if your logo design uses symbols or words that can be interpreted in other ways. For example - if you wanted to use the swastika because of it's originally a symbol of sacred spiritual principles, you need to understand that in modern times it is now more associated with the Nazi's than it is with its original ancient religious status and using it could alienate a lot of people.

#8. LEGIBILITY

Does the design work in all formats?

By itself on a page, a logo design can be deceiving. It's better to see it in-situ so you can see how it might work on your website, on social media, printed on a t-shirt or a pen. Will it work in black and white and in colour, horizontal and stacked formats, in large and small print? You want to future-proof your logo and ensure it will work in all possible formats you could possibly use it in, ensuring it still reads well in all sizes and formats.

#9. CREDIBILITY

Does the design lend you credibility as a business?

Your logo represents your business and you want to ensure it communicates quality, expertise and trustworthiness in order to establish customer-relationships. 

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#10. TIMELESSNESS

Will the design maintain vitality and relevance over time?

Over the years your business will grow and change, and you need your logo to be able to adapt so that it has a long shelf life. You don't want to have to re-do your branding everytime your business makes a strategic change. Designs that may be on-trend now but outdated in a year or two won't help you achieve timelessness, so look for a design that can instead absorb any strategic changes and still work for your business in 10 year's time.

If you use this checklist, together with your own specific business criteria, you're bound to get a logo that represents your business in the best way possible. But if you're a bit stuck on where to start, how much it might cost or what you need to do - we're here to help! We have worked on a number of new business logos, as well as logo refreshes, so we can help bring your business to life visually with a new logo. Just get in touch today and we'll set up your FREE consultation to get the design process started!