One of the best things about our job is the privilege of working with a variety of people is a range of industries. Some are seasoned entrepreneurs/marketers where as others are taking their first stab at business/marketing. Our clients come to us for our creative, technical abilities as well as our professional guidance. As designers, we know that the details help make the designs unique and stand out, but when it comes to logo design, there are lines that when crossed make your should-be-logo to a mere graphic.
Wait, isn’t a logo a graphic?
A graphic is fundamentally a visual art, therefore, yes logo fall into the category of graphic but not all graphics are logos.
Your logo is the symbol of your brand. It is used on every marketing/promotional piece both alone or in conjunction with other elements. It can be incorporated into more elaborate designs effortlessly yet strong enough to stand on its own.
Here are some of the main factors that differentiate a logo from other graphics:
- the quality of being clear, in particular.
- the quality of coherence and intelligibility.
- the quality of being easy to see or hear; sharpness of image or sound.
Honestly, all art should implore some level of clarity. The clearer the image the quicker the mind can process the desired information and experience the desired feelings. With people exposed to thousands of images each day, the clearer your visual the more likely it is to be seen, remembered, engaged with or acted upon.
Regarding clarity, logos are usually clearer than general graphics as they tend to utilize few elements, such as shapes or colors. Graphics tend to incorporate more elements as a means to not only convey more information/feeling. They need to hold the viewer’s attention for a longer amount of time to process everything
- the capacity to be changed in size or scale.
A visual’s clarity is truly tested when it comes to changes in size. Logos are designed for unrestricted use. From business cards to websites to vehicle wraps, your brand’s logo should be present, and as a result, designers take into account how well your logo will scale while retaining its clarity.
At b.iD, we firmly believe your logo should look equally as great as it does on an 8.5″ x 11″, scaled down to 0.5″ or enlarged to 5 feet.
Graphics, on the other hand, are meant for a few applications and designed accordingly. As a result, these designs tend to lose clarity when reduced in scale or can appear empty when enlarged.
Reliance on Color
Disclaimer: This factor is a less reliable judge than the first two.
Due to their relative simplicity in design, logos translate well into black & white or greyscale versions (at least they should). Depending on its complexity (disregarding designs created for black & white or greyscale) most graphics rely heavily on their color pallets to help with not only conveying emotion but also to aid in the design’s clarity with the contrast of complementary colors, which can get lost when converted to grayscale.
Design should always be beautiful, but should also be purposeful.
When working with a designer, keep in mind the purpose of what you’re having created. If it’s a logo, always ask if it’s easily understood. Will it be functional and clear at various sizes? Is it still recognizable without color? Just because a design would make a great t-shirt or poster doesn’t mean it will also make a great logo.