5 Elements of an Evergreen Logo
Wanna listen on the go? Check out my audio version of the post below
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could design a logo that you not only love in the moment but 5 years down the road you still are just as much in love and have no desire to change it? I think that is the ultimate goal for everyone who is looking for their perfect logo design.
Unfortunately not enough time is spent researching, brainstorming, and asking for feedback, when designing our logo. We seem to be in a rush to get that final logo in our hands so we can pop it on our website and call it a day. What a lot of people fail to see is that your logo is a big chunk of your brands voice. If you spend a few hours designing your logo and think, "well, this is good enough" you need to stop, delete what you just created, and start fresh.
Pro tip: never go with your first idea. Research, sketch, brainstorm, sketch some more, look for inspiration, keep on sketching.
When it comes to your logo you need to:
a) 100% love it
b) Can see yourself having the logo 10+ years down the road
c) Make sure it's unique and speaks for your brand
If you design your logo and are constantly changing it multiple times a year you are not creating a solid brand for yourself. You won't be memorable, your audience will become confused, and ultimately your brand has failed. Sounds harsh, right?
Today I'll be sharing 5 elements you need to create an evergreen logo. By incorporating these elements you are going to end up with a logo that works for YOUR brand, and most importantly you'll end up with a logo you love and will keep around for years and years.
Even if you are just starting out in your business you owe it to yourself to create a timeless logo. People will take you seriously if they see you take your business seriously. Simple as that.
So let's dive into the 5 elements, shall we?
1. It's Functional
Creating a logo that is functional means that it works well blown up huge (you know, if you ever make it on a billboard) or scaled down small for brand collateral such as buttons, pins, business cards. If your logo only works scaled up but looks like a blob when you scale it down then you need to reconsider your logo design.
The image below was taken from my, How to design a logo you love, post.
As you can see above I scaled the logo at 4 inches all the way down to 1 inch. By doing this I can tell that at 1 inch those dots next to "Sally's" are almost invisible. I might decided to eliminate them from my logo completely. The frozen yogurt icon is also looking like a blob at 1 inch so I might opt for a different icon that isn't all black and has some more white space.
Having a functional logo is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to designing an evergreen logo.
2. It's Unique
We live in this amazing time period where you have so many resources at your fingertips. You can hop on sites like Creative Market and purchase just about anything to help you create your killer brand. I'm in no way bashing sites like Creative Market, I love purchasing fonts from them, but just remember 1000 other people probably bought it as well so if you're going to use it in your brand just be cautious.
Here are a few things to look out for :
Pre-made logos - pre-made logos might be the ultimate sin of branding your business. When you see a logo design for $10 it's hard to resist the urge, but keep in mind, it's $10 for a reason. The seller is likely going to sell it over and over, and 100 other people could end up with the same logo as you. There is nothing unique about that!
Copying another logo - The worst thing you can do for your brand is copy another persons logo because you think it looks nice. If you find yourself going down this path, stop, close your laptop, go for a walk, and come back with a clear mind. Just because a logo you found on someone else's website or on Pinterest looks nice doesn't mean it will work for your brand. Avoid the temptation!
Avoid trends - I talk about this in more detail below but in short, avoid using elements or styles that are overused by everyone.
3. It's Simple
The best thing you can do for your logo is keep it simple.
Avoid throwing in unnecessary icons because you think your logo should have one, or adding long blocks of text because you think people should see it in your logo.
Let's dig a little deeper.
The image above is something I threw together to show you what you should avoid. Can you tell what's wrong with this logo?
- The scissor icon is waaaay to big. It overpowers the company name and it's too distracting.
- The long text block under "Sally's Salon" is not needed. Could you imagine scaling down this logo with that block of text and trying to fit in on a button or business card?
Now let's look at another version below.
By taking away the icon all together and having a short tagline the logo is clean, simple, and straight to the point.
Here are some tips for keeping your logo simple:
- Your logo doesn't need an icon. When people read, Sally's Salon they automatically know what it is, having the scissor icon just adds more bulk to the logo. Now I'm not saying icons don't add personality, if you choose to have an icon just make sure it doesn't overpower your business name.
- If you are going to add any extra text other than the business name keep it short. Don't include your mission statement or what you blog about, leave that for your about page.
- Avoid using a bunch of colours in your logo. You don't want your logo to be an eyesore.
Less is more!
4. It won't go out of style
You want an evergreen logo so avoid using elements that are currently "hot" right now because a year or two from now your logo will be out of style and the temptation to change your logo will come to haunt you.
Here are a few things you should avoid having in your logo:
Watercolour - watercolour has become so huge lately that everyone and their cousin is using it in their logo.
Does this look familiar?
As pretty as watercolour is, if you are looking to design an evergreen logo that will last you years and years you need to avoid the temptation of adding it in your logo design.
Take a minute to look at logos from well-known, big brands such as: Apple, Nike, Google, Etsy, etc. What do their logos have in common? They are simple, recognizable, memorable, and timeless. They don't have to worry about their logo going out of style because they added a watercolour graphic, or an element they found on Creative Market that 100 other people have in their logos. Make sense?
Brush Scripts - Brush scripts have blown up this past year, you see them everywhere.
Just like watercolour, brush scripts are a trend. You see them everywhere and they are anything but unique. If you are using a brush script in your logo right now can you explain why, other than it just looks pretty?
You want a logo that will grow with your business.
Using trends is going to put you one step backwards and you will constantly be struggling to keep up.
6. you can explain why YOUR LOGO looks how it does?
This is a big one! If someone were to ask you why your logo looks how it does, and how it represents your business would you be able to tell them? Explaining your logo looks the way it does because you thought the font was nice looking, or your favourite colour is purple so you just had to have it in there... Ohhhh no no no, if you can't explain why your logo is designed how it is then it's time to take a step back and reevaluate.
There should be some meaning behind your logo.
- Why did you choose a san-serif font over a serif font?
- If you are using purple in your logo what is the meaning behind that?
- Does the icon represent anything in your business?
If you have a moment I suggest reading the design process of the Nike logo. There is reasoning behind the swoosh symbol and the colours. Read here. Nike has had the same logo since 1971 with minor tweaks along the way. This is a great example of an evergreen logo.
People get caught up with the fact that they need all these bells and whistles in their logo but when it comes down to it you only need what is necessary and sometimes that only involves a single font, or a simple design that will last you years and years.
If you are looking for a designer to create a logo for you please keep the following in mind:
When it comes to logo design remember you get what you pay for. You can pay a designer decent money once and have a logo that will last a long time, or pay someone $100 for a logo that will last a year or two until you have to pay someone else again for a new logo.
If you are hiring someone you found in a Facebook group and they are charging $100 for a logo then:
- you will likely outgrow your logo and it will go out of style in a years time
- a good designer isn't going to charge $100 for a logo so your logo may lack some of the important features including, using type properly, having a logo that works in multiple sizes and on multiple colours, and it isn't using trends.
Before hiring a designer take the following steps:
- Visit their portfolio, do you see only trends being used? Are all their past logo designs using watercolour, brush fonts, and crazy colours?
- Ask the designer to explain their design process. Is there reasoning behind why and how they design?
- Ask if they have any past client testimonials.
So there you have it, peeps! This blog post is solely based on the fact that you want an evergreen logo that will last you a long time.
Now it's time to take action. Make sure to download my free logo workbook to help you create your dream logo.
Don't forget to check out my, How To Create A Logo You Love, blog post. Click here to view it.