Once my sketching phase is done I go to the next phase of selecting logo concept. I judge my sketches from the previous phase. Logo design is not about what one likes or dislikes. It’s about what works. Personal preferences of colors, shapes, or styles do not prevail. Therefore I judge each of my early design concepts by the following criteria:
Is the logo concept appropriate?
By appropriate I mean that the logo concept is relevant to the client and its industry. For example: if the client’s industry is sport’s news (Probasket project), the logo may need to be bold and dynamic. If the client is in the culinary industry (FoodieCard project), the logo may need to be tasty and delicious.
I say appropriate, but not necessary expressive. Sometimes I have an opportunity to create a logo that conveys literal ideas about the entity represented (such as Probasket). But more often than not, a logo concept cannot express a great deal in detail. I often refer to a successful logo as a vessel that can hold the associations relevant to the company. Rather than actually illustrating them. This is because the next criterion: a logo concept has to be simple.
Is the concept simple?
By simple I mean that a logo design has to be focused in concept. It has a single “story” – and, in most cases, must be uncomplicated in form. So it can work effectively and flexibly in a wide range of sizes and media. It looks good in small size on a business card. Also in different physical materials such as those used for signage. And in pixels in the digital realm – even as a website browser icon. But the simplicity of the logo is only valuable as long as third criterion is met. A logo concept must be memorable.
Is it memorable?
By memorable I mean that while the form must be simple, it must also be distinctive – unusual enough to be remembered. Of course, the simpler the form is, the less special it tends to become. And so it is often a marriage between simple and distinctive. In other words, how memorable can the design be while remaining simple? How distinctive can I make the mark while keeping it focused? You can tell that the right balance has been achieved, after a brief time of looking at a logo, you can easily draw it from memory.
Selecting logo concepts.
Adherence to this criteria can produce marks that have potential to endure: they are relevant to the client and can be used flexibly and consistently, so they don’t need to be changed in the foreseeable future. They can be simple enough to read in an instant and memorable enough to persist in one’s mind. Based on these three criteria, therefore, I select the most promising design alternatives – almost always more than one, because there is rarely a single right answer.