Is your custom logo design good enough?
A great logo design can make all the difference when someone needs to make a decision between two or more similar products. A good logo can convey reliability and a sympathetic relationship with your client, increasing their trust in your brand or product. But how can you know if your company have a great custom logo design?
First Lesson: Trust the graphic designer!
Most experienced designers can distinguish a bad from a good custom logo design at the first look at it. Without much concerns about the details, an experienced designer can tell if your company’s logo is good enough. But is possible to analyze meticulously a custom logo design using the method I’ll show you in the next paragraphs.
It’s common to see business owners who don’t understand the value of having a great custom logo design, neither the real purpose of having a logo. I’ve seen along my entire career as a graphic designer, people who want to put every little thing about their business in a little picture as if the logo could sell the entire business itself. But the first, and maybe the most important thing to analyze in a logo is if it’s simple enough. That’s why you have to trust a graphic designer, he’s probably very well trained and have lots of experience in designing a custom logo.
I’m not a designer! How can I rate my logo?
If you search on the internet, you will find some methods to analyze how good a logo is, and based on some of them, I’ve developed my own evaluation matrix, with the criteria I find essential in a custom logo design.
This evaluation matrix consists of four criteria, where 3 of them are rated from 1 to 10, and the other is rated from 1 to 20. The result is divided by 5, giving a result from 1 to 10. If the evaluation reaches a rating below 7, it’s discarded. If it is from 7 to 9, I’ll try to see where it can be improved, and make respective adjustments. When a score above 9 is achieved, then this is a great logo!
So let’s explain what are the four criteria, and how to evaluate them.
You want to be one more in the crowd or you want to be distinct from your competitors? That’s why the Uniqueness is our first criteria to evaluate. Let’s imagine you have a restaurant and need a custom logo design for it, then in the benchmark with competitors, you’ll see lots of red logos with icons of forks and spoons, or one of those chef’s hats. So, what’s the point in making your logo following exactly the same concept? In that case, I would suggest using a concept that’s unique of your business. But be careful! This doesn’t mean you have to be so distinctive that will make your logo lose any link with the industry your company belongs to. You don’t want to use colorful balloons for a lawyer’s office logo, right?
Probably, you’ll use your new custom logo in some stuff, not only a simple logo printed on a white background. Your logo needs to adapt well in several situations. It has to look good in a simple white background, in a dark background, a monochromatic or grayscale print, at small places like a business card, at big places like a billboard, and many other things. That’s why your logo needs to be flexible. If you have a beautiful logo on your computer screen, but it looks bad on a business card with a dark background, you don’t have a flexible logo.
This is usually hard to define or measure, although is very important. Your logo doesn’t need to express exactly what your company does to be remarkable. It can be abstract or express something about your company in a subliminal way. It must be easy to read and memorize and must be timeless or at least very long-lasting. Remarkable custom logo designs spread fast because people love to talk about it. Designers love to analyze and criticize them. Remarkable logos has potential to viralize and make your brand famous.
4. And the most important: Simplicity!
Great logos are simple! This is the most valuable subject to analyze in a logo. That’s why in our evaluation matrix, it weights more than the other three criteria, so we evaluate it from 1 to 20. The simplicity could even be part of the Remarkability criteria, but this is so important that deserves a place for itself. A simple logo actually could influence the rating for the first three criteria. But why simplicity is so important for a custom logo design? One of the most important purposes of having a logo is to make people remember your brand, remember who you are. And people are most likely to remember simple shapes rather than complex ones.
Do you want to try a simple exercise of simplicity in logo design? Grab a pen and a paper. Now draw these three famous logos: Nike, McDonald’s, and Audi. It was easy, isn’t? You don’t need to draw them perfectly, but sure the logos you’ve drawn are very much resembling of the original ones. They are simple enough to be remembered and recreated by hand. This level of simplicity and respective quality is very hard to achieve! And when it’s achieved, the logo has the potential to go carry the company’s name very far!
It’s very hard to achieve a perfect 10 by rating a custom logo design. But as I said before, if you managed to reach something above 7, it’s good. Above 9 it’s a really professional logo design.
As a professional designer, sometimes clients ask me to design the logo exactly how they imagine it in their minds. But most of the times, they’re not good ideas. Without even put these ideas on paper or screen, experienced designers can already know that they won’t reach a good score in this evaluation matrix I wrote above. But for beginner designers or even people who don’t design anything at all, this test may be a good way to evaluate your custom logo design.
Hope it can help you sometime!