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The Good Logo

Guest Post by Julie Young, Young Design

Logo design is like solving the best puzzle ever. Essentially, it is distilling a company’s story into a simple graphic. Like all good art, the simplicity is a cover for a deeper complexity. There’s a mystique and a sense of cleverness about logos; upon closer inspection, you can find hidden patterns and double meanings.

Combining colors, fonts and shapes to convey a concept may seem like voodoo, but designers are operating from a logical basis. We rely on culture and the audience’s perception: What do most people think of when they think of power, of comfort, of speed, of anything? It’s nice to have a secret meaning, but you want your market to “get it.”

What Makes a Good Logo?

  • A good logo is simple. You can’t say everything in a logo, so don’t try. Adding a tagline may help explain a company’s mission, but the logo should be able to stand alone. Interestingly, food and beverage logos seem to be able to get away with more complexity. But take a look at the story of the Oreo cookie design (celebrating 100 years). The intricate pattern is offset by its circular shape, monochromatic colors, and its duality (both sides are the same). The overriding concept is simplicity.
  • A good logo is flexible. A logo will be used in all mediums and in all sizes, so it must be flexible enough to fit all formats. How do you achieve that? Simplicity. No intricate photos, no complicated patterns, no tiny text.
  • A good logo works as well in black and white as it does in color. Often, the black and white version will reveal the parts that *don’t* work. Convert your logo to black and white: Does it pass the test?
  • Good logo design isn’t cheap. The time it takes to develop a logo can be substantial. Plus logos have a higher market value: They are used on all online and print collateral, and over time the number of viewers can be awesome. It’s similar to advertising, where cost is based on circulation. A logo’s long life makes it the ultimate branding tool. A good logo is a business investment; a cheap logo will ending up costing more in the end, in terms of lack of branding and uniqueness.
  • Good logos need tending. Times change and so do logos. It’s fascinating to see how famous corporate logos have changed over the years. The Apple logo has undergone multiple metamorphoses (it actually got simpler), yet its original integrity remains. Read what Rob Janoff, the original designer, has to say about developing the original logo and seeing it change over the years. It’s a good logo – who isn’t looking at that logo every day?

About the author: Julie Young is a print and web designer at Young Design. For over 20 years, she has been creating quality branding, print collateral, websites and email marketing to help companies communicate with their customers and raise profiles and profits.

 

Your Brand Needs to Listen In on Social Conversations

Judge Judy is fond of reminding people in her courtroom that we have two ears and one mouth, meaning we should listen twice as long as we speak. Truth, even for brands.

Every brand needs to have a social listening strategy. Social listening happens when you monitor and analyze conversations across social media to better understand the customer, brand perception and the current impact of its online presence.

Understand Your Customer

The first reason to invest time in social listening is to better understand your customer. Social listening can help you discover the habits, interests and problems of your target audience. Social listening also helps you to discover which channels your target audience uses and how they are used.  With this insight, you can create content that is shared in the right places and is relevant to their interests.

Increase Engagement

Social engagement is not always easy, but social listening tools can help you stay on top of conversations. it increases your ability to find conversations everywhere they are happening, not just on your channels.

Discover Business Opportunities

Social listening can lead to inspiration for new topics to cover in your content marketing. You can tap into top of mind topics and pain points. You may uncover an issue you didn’t know existed and win by addressing a customer need.

Reach New People

You can find new people in your target audience via their social conversations. Monitoring keywords and phrases that are relevant to your brand can lead you to people who need you and don’t know it yet!

Research Competitors

Social media is public, so it is a very transparent place to monitor competitors and complimentary organizations. Listening can help you learn about what your competitors are doing. You can see the impact of their content and who is engaged.