Logos are the faces of our companies; they transcend words to describe what sort of service or product we provide. A logo can also give clients or customers a sense of the personality of a company. But how do we know if a logo is doing its job? Here’s a checklist. I’m interested to hear what you find!
Is it readable?
Sometimes we gravitate to fonts which are very thin, script, or playful, because we feel that those letterforms give a sense of the personality of a business. While these font choices often work well at large sizes, they become difficult to decipher on a business card, on the side of a pen, or in an email signature. That’s why those fonts are called “headline fonts” in the publishing world. They’re readable at a larger headline size and that’s about it. So, how do you know if the font in your logo is going to work or not? There’s a test for that!
Does it scale?
Simply reduce the size of your logo down to about 1 inch wide. If the logo is readable at that size, congratulations! You’ve passed the test. If it is not, you should go back to the drawing board, or determine how to fix those elements that are becoming unreadable at a tiny size. Lots of logos have smaller fonts incorporated with a bigger font; in that case, replacing the secondary font with something like Gotham, Avenir, or good old Helvetica could fix the readability problem. These fonts are tried-and-true because they are designed to help our eyes to decode each letter more quickly.
Is it simple?
Including a symbol or picture in the logo that’s representative of your business gives you more possibilities in the future for branding. Sometimes the mark can be recognizable enough to stand alone without words. Can you imagine that mark on a hat, a shirt, or the tiny icon in URL bar of your website? Whatever symbol you choose, simplicity is key for these applications. Does the image have too many parts? Does it rely on many colors? Your symbol should be simple enough to be understood close up and far away, in one color or many colors. Make sure to view your prospective logo at different sizes ranging from half inch to five or six inches wide.
Is it flexible?
Consider all of the ways your logo will be used throughout print and digital media. It will need to withstand applications such as embroidered shirts, promotional items, social media profile pics, letterhead… just to name a few. Making sure your logo is prepared for 1-color or 2-color printing is as essential as having a full-color logo designed. It’s best to have a version of your logo that works in one color, such as black, for those times when you only get one ink color.
If you’ve answered “no” to any of these questions, you may need some help to tweak your logo. Let me know how I can help.