What’s in a Logo? Design Yours Now

The Starbucks mermaid. The Gerber baby. The Hallmark crown. We’re betting that if you close your eyes, you can picture these logos easily—and that means they’re effective. There’s a reason these notable business logos have endured for decades—actually, there are a number of reasons. Today, let’s take a good look at what makes a logo successful so that you can apply the tenets to you own logo design.

SHIFT1: The Branding of a Brand Identity Expert

We recently developed SHIFT1 as a site promoting our brand development and web design work. You can understand how important it was for us, as a design and branding agency, to come up with an eye-catching, beautiful, and memorable logo for our very own brand. After all, if we want small business owners to entrust us with the task of designing custom logos that serve as visual ambassadors for their sites and shops, it’s important that we greet them with one of our own the first time they visit our site. The name “SHIFT1” was inspired by the keyboard shortcut Shift + 1 for an exclamation point. We wanted to communicate that our brand is a lot like an exclamation point: bold, sure of itself, and packing a serious punch. In our clean, elegant logo, the mirrored 1s form an up arrow, which is the symbol on a shift key. Now this striking graphic will be an important part of our signature on our web site, brochures, and all other promotional materials.

The Takeaway: Tips for Designing Your Logo

Our logo is clean and elegant, and we’re confident that people will remember it. What are some of the principles we employed in designing it that you can apply to your own logo?

  • It represents us, and the services we offer, very well. If SHIFT1’s logo is effective, our potential customers can feel assured that our branding and design work for them will be equally skilled and successful.
  • It’s timeless. It doesn’t use an uber-trendy font or hip, clashing colors that will make us cringe six months from now. It’s like a classic piece in our closet that won’t ever go out of style.
  • It’s visually powerful. The sans-serif font, all-caps typeface, and simple orange and white color palette make a bold statement. And the “up” arrow indicates to potential customers that we’re on the rise—as they will be when they work with us on a branding or web design project.
  • It’s attractive, but simple. We haven’t overdone it with colors or busy design elements. If our logo appears in black and white instead of our chosen color scheme, it will still look great. If we need to adapt it to appear against a white background, it won’t require huge or arduous changes.
  • It’s clever. When the reader becomes aware of the up arrow and the symbolism of the word “Shift,” it’s a little a-ha moment. This tells potential clients that we’re fun, imaginative, creative, and witty—which is just what they’re looking for.

Your logo is your company’s calling card—its own personal Bat symbol. You want it to tell viewers who you are in an instant and leave a lasting impression. If you’ve never designed a strong and effective logo to represent your brand, there’s no time like the present. Just be sure to employ smart logo design tips so that you create something that’s as compelling as you are.


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  • By Dennis Consorte
  • Published on April 22nd, 2014