5 Tips for Creating a Memorable Logo
Your logo is one of the first things that people will notice about your charity. It’s on your website, your letterhead, your envelopes, email signatures, and just about everywhere else.
A great logo can convey your organization’s values and set your charity apart from the rest. It anchors your brand, and becomes a unique identifier that you use to distinguish your organization in all of your communications and outreach activities.
First things first: A logo is something you absolutely need to splurge on. Don’t scrimp here. Hire a professional designer who has experience with brand development. The designer should be able to listen to how you describe your organization and pull together some design concepts based on your conversations and briefing notes.
As you get started, here are some tips to help you design an effective, memorable logo.
1. Describe your organization’s work, values, and personality
Before you start thinking about your brand, take a look at some of the most memorable corporate logos. Nike. McDonalds. Coca Cola. Apple. You can easily see how each logo connects to the products they sell and the personality that those companies are trying to convey. Nike’s swoosh equals movement and speed. Perfect for a sports brand.
Start your own logo design process by really thinking about the personality that your organization has, or wants to convey. Are you professional? Warm and friendly? Nurturing? Trailblazing? A little tough? Youthful? Sophisticated? This list can go on and on. Narrow it down to a manageable number of traits and incorporate this into the briefing notes you provide your designer, along with an overview of your work, and your mission, vision and values.
2. Keep it simple
Simplicity is key when it comes to any logo. A simpler logo will scale well, while a complicated logo will lose much of its definition when, for example, you have to print it at the size of a postage stamp. Complicated graphics are also a lot of information for a person’s brain to process, making them less memorable in the long run. Additionally, multiple fonts in one logo can look unprofessional and make your logo illegible.
3. Make it timeless
This is not the time for Papyrus font. Choose fonts that are more classic, and will hold up for 10-20 years. You might want to invest in purchasing a non-standard font, or designing a custom font, and using that across your logo and other branding. When it comes to colour, try using a small colour palette of just 3 colours including a neutral. If you use bright, primary colours, tone them down a bit so they won’t appear garish.
When it comes to the actual design your logo needs to be useable across different kinds of media, like print and web, without distorting or becoming blurry. To do this, make sure your logo is created in a vector format. This will allow you to use it at any size, as well as online. You’ll also want to think about how you’ll use your logo to ensure it’s versatile. Does your logo work in one colour? In reverse (ex. White on a dark background)?
5. Take it on a test run
Outside perspectives can be really valuable and can help you make sure you’re on the right track. Focus groups are one way to do this, but they can be expensive. You can gather feedback by informally showing your draft logo to employees, trusted donors, volunteers, and board members. Don’t ask whether or not they like your logo. Ask them how it makes them feel. What emotions and perceptions does it stir up? Probe their answers and ask for suggestions on how the logo can be improved. You should also put your logo in a line-up of your competition’s logos to make sure it stands out from the crowd and is easily recognizable.