What makes a great logo design?

In this post, I will explain what factors contribute to a great logo design.

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What is a logo?

A logo is a simple mark that ends up meaning something. The key thing to remember when thinking about a great logo design for your new business is that, at first, it’s unlikely to mean anything to anyone except you.

I know what you’re thinking. “I want it to represent me and the key qualities of my business. When people see that logo, they should think of my business.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen overnight.

A logo should be thought of as an empty vessel which you then pour meaning into using various marketing strategies. Enthusiastic new business owners tend to over think their logo design. The temptation to try and cram every aspect of their business personality into it is huge but this is the wrong approach. A logo should be very simple. I can hear you scoffing so let’s look at a case study of one of the world’s most recognised logos and see what makes it so great.

Case Study: McDonald’s Logo Design

I can hear you scoffing so let’s look at a case study of one of the world’s most recognised logos and see what makes it so great.

Great Logo Design 'Golden Arches' Case Study

Left to right: 1953-1960 Speedee the first mascot, 2003-2006 ‘Im Lovin It’ and 2006-present flat version.

The ‘Golden Arches‘ a global symbol of McDonald’s fast-food chain. This logo evolved from originally being part of the restaurant design to being incorporated into the logo in 1962. It finally took the form of the current Golden Arches logo in 1968 when it was altered to resemble a ‘M’ for ‘McDonald’s’.

Success equals recognition

The original logo looked nothing like the simple symbol we see today, and it wasn’t the ‘Golden Arches‘ logo that made the fast-food chain the global giant it has become. The brothers that owned McDonald’s built up a successful franchise, driven by the expansion of the interstate highway system and America’s burgeoning car culture. By the ’70s, the ‘M’ had become an instantly recognisable icon and would remain the company’s logo for decades to come.

Big Budgets

McDonald’s expanded into the Europe, Australia and Asia and with this came big budget advertising campaigns like the one created by Heye & Partner GmbH in 2003. ‘I’m Lovin It‘ became McDonald’s most successful advertising campaign. The logos success is a by-product of the savvy marketing approach of McDonald’s owners. Celebrity endorsement along with sponsorship deals for global events such as the Olympics have only added to its fame.

How can you make your small business logo as successful as McDonald’s?

Firstly, make sure your logo has longevity. Do this by keeping the design simple, clean and professional. Look at the above Speedee McDonald’s logo would that still be considered a great logo design in today’s cut-throat advertising world? No, it looks dated and is far too complex with small text and detail that just wouldn’t work across the many advertising platform we use today.

Secondly, pour your passion and brand values into the marketing strategy that surrounds your logo just like all the big brands do. A logo is the first part of any creative project; it should come before anything else. It is NOT the most important part, branding and marketing strategies should be identified alongside it.

If you need help with a new logo design for your business, get in touch today. I can work with you to come up with lots of creative logo design ideas for your business. For examples of my previous logo design work, please visit my portfolio here and for more information on my logo design services visit this page.