What’s the most important part of a logo?

I have seen it happen so many times I can’t even count it anymore.  A new business owner, with the excitement of the new venture, has a “great idea” for a logo design and very quickly everything goes wrong.

Too often these “great ideas” end up being too complicated, too costly and ineffective.  One of the biggest problems I see is companies that forget the most important part of the logo.

There are many elements to good logo design and many books have been written on the subject.  But this is one of those fundamental things companies can do to really help their logo be more effective.

The primary job of the logo is to communicate the name of the company, period.  The company name is the reason the logo exists.  If your logo does not do that well, you are already starting from a disadvantage.

You should be able to look at a logo and instantly know the name of the company.  If you can’t, it may be time to go back to the drawing board.

Good logo design is hard.  It’s the truth.  There are a lot of factors competing for attention in a logo.  The company name, the graphic, the tagline, the url or phone number, etc.

But any way you slice it, good logo designs starts with the clear communication of the company name.

Why is that important?  It is important because people are lazy.  If people have to work to figure the name of your company, they won’t.  If they have to look at a logo for more than a faction of a second to find the name of the company, you have already lost them.

Think about the logos of some major companies like Ford, Target, Best Buy, Apple, etc.  Is there any doubt about how well the logos of those companies communicate their name?  And I can tell you, those companies spent millions of dollars researching and creating those logos. They recognize the importance of the company name plays in the design of the logo.

Here are some examples of lesser know brands that do this well.

        

Notice here how the company name is easy to find and read.  There is no looking for it, it stands out very clearly.

They eye is drawn the largest element in a logo.  In these cases the largest element is not necessarily the name of the company.  But the name is still easy to find and read.

Here are some examples of logos that do not do this well.

In this logo, the eye is drawn the “legs” of the camera.  And if you do make it up to the top of the camera, it is  very hard to read the text.  This is a classic example of trying to get the logo to do too much.

In this example, the eye is drawn to the large white graphic in the center of the image.  Again, you have to stop and look to find the name of the company and then read it as it goes over an arch.; very difficult.  Yes, it is a nice looking design, but it fails to effectively communicate the name of the company.

Your logo is created to help your company establish its brand and identity.  But more importantly, it must clearly communicate the name of your company.

There are a number of companies you can find on the Internet to help you design an effective logo.  And surprisingly, it can be done without a huge investment.  If you are considering a change in your logo or are considering designs presently by a design firm, consider first how well those ideas communicate the name of your company.

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