Three Hurdles Your Logo Has to Clear.

Your logo is visual shorthand for your brand and a reflection on your company. If it’s outdated or doesn’t create the right impression, it’s working against you. So whether you’re having a new logo designed or refreshing an existing one, here are three tests it needs to pass.

Just Your Type
If a typeface is trendy at the time your logo is created, there’s a good chance it will get dated more quickly. So if you’re thinking about developing a logo or updating the one you have, look at typefaces that have managed to stand the test of time and still look fresh and current. Those timeless faces will still be working hard for you years from now.

Sans serif typefaces may be more suitable for industrial or technical types of companies, while serif typefaces often feel friendlier and may make more sense for human services companies. And there’s almost never an occasion when a script typeface or novelty face makes sense for a logo.

Color By Numbers
Too often, logo colors get chosen for the wrong reason. They may be colors that the decision-maker simply likes personally, or colors that a lot of companies in your industry use, rather than colors that make sense with what you offer and resonate with your audience. Color choices should fit your offerings and your audience, and make you stand out from the competition.

There are practical things to consider as well. Red fades in the sun more quickly than other colors, so if your logo is going to get a lot of outdoor exposure, red may pose some challenges. In addition, if your logo will appear on signs that direct people to you, the colors you choose need to offer a strong contrast and high readability.

Graphic Detail
Most logos have some graphic element or icon. It doesn’t have to be literal. And it doesn’t have to be the coolest thing in the world. But it does have to be different to be memorable. And if it can reinforce your name or what you do, so much the better.

As you consider your choices, ask if your icon is similar to that of a lot of other companies, especially in your industry. Or is it something truly unique? For example, a lot of companies want to show their patriotism by using some variation of the American flag or stars and stripes with red, white and blue. Often, this has nothing to do with the business they’re in or who their audience is. The result? The marketplace is seriously crowded with red, white and blue logos that use elements of the flag. This makes them harder to find and remember.

Consensus Kills
Consensus is often where great logos go to die. A design that gets watered down by a committee and has to be blessed by everyone is a lowest common denominator logo, and unlikely to serve you well. Hire a designer or firm you trust with expertise in identity design, choose the smallest possible number of decision-makers, and push yourselves to allow a logo that lets you stand out.

(Idealogy has been designing awesome, award-winning logos for more than two decades. If yours needs an update, ask how we can make it a logo you’ll love for years.)