No doubt, many generations of advertising executives have pondered on this exact question when testing revealed the general public hated their latest design. The GAP fashion brand certainly did when they tried to introduce a new logo and it bombed. British Airways made a similar faux pas when they ditched the British flag in favor of a multi-cultural icon.

To the initiated, what makes a great logo is not always obvious. With big brands like GAP, British Airways, and CocaCola, the public becomes accustomed to a logo, so any attempts to revamp the logo are met with fierce criticism. The general consensus of opinion seems to be “if it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it”.

The problem many brands face, however, is how to design the right logo in the first place. It would be great to create a logo that is instantly recognizable, rather like Apple, Nike, or even McDonalds, but this takes a lot of work. However, unless your new logo fulfills some essential criteria, you don’t stand a chance.

Creating a Logo

Big brands use expensive Madison Avenue advertising agencies to create their branding, but most small and medium-sized companies don’t have that kind of budget to play with. Instead, they use online logo makers to come up with a suitable brand logo. The good news is that it doesn’t matter at all, if you stick to the following principles.

Keep it Simple

The best logos are really simple. Think about the Apple logo. It is exactly what it purports to be – an apple. Most people barely look at a logo for more than a second, so it needs to be instantly recognizable. The more complex you make your logo, the less likely it is to capture a viewer’s attention.

For example, if you use company vehicles, think about how effective a logo will be when viewed at high-speed. If the logo isn’t clear when printed on moving vehicles, it isn’t going to work anywhere else.

Keep it Timeless

Design trends come and go, but the best logos are timeless. Coca Cola is a good example of a logo that has stood the test of time. Coca Cola’s main rival, PepsiCola, has seen its logo go through a number of different incarnations over the years. Coca Cola, on the other hand, has stayed virtually the same for decades. If you had to spot a bottle of Pepsi on a crowded shelf of soda bottles, you might struggle, but Coca Cola’s logo is instantly recognizable next to its competitors.

Make it Versatile

Brand logos need to work anywhere and everywhere. Companies use their logo online and offline, so your logo needs to look good, whatever the format. This is where simplicity is a godsend. The more complex a logo is, the less likely it is going be successful at different sizes.

Play around with different logos and see what you come up with. Once you have some ideas, test them out to see how effective they are in the marketplace.