A logo is an icon combined with typography, although, in technical terms, colors, shapes and dimensions, are also important. It constitutes the representative image of an organization. First of all, a logo introduces a company to the public; it transmits everything a company wants to transmit. Besides, it serves not only to identify a certain company with certain ideals, but also to differentiate it from its competitors.
Logos are designed in accordance with the function they are going to perform. What do we mean? That their design is carried out by changing the abstract ideas of the clients into concrete matter –images, characters, colors and shapes–, since a corporate logo is precisely that: a symbol that changes something abstract into something material. But, what is that abstract thing turned by a logo into a material thing? Well, with the market flooded out with both big and small companies, with the development of the computing world and at-distance business, and with the division between territory and the firms operating in it, companies are now abstract concepts and ideas, something that only exists in people’s minds. Where once a company was represented by its buildings, personnel and owners, it is now represented by just one sign that has replaced all the others: the corporate logo. In fact, it is its corporate logo that people associate with a firm nowadays. As much as words are necessary to think, as we always think through the language, logos are necessary for a company to be regarded as something real, existing. Let us illustrate this: without a word (concrete element) meaning “pencil” which corresponds to the idea (abstract element) we have of a pencil, we would never be able to recognize a pencil. Companies being abstract elements, we could not recognize them without a concrete, material element as the logo, neither. Of course, if people do not recognize a company as such, they do not buy its products. A logo is, therefore, absolutely essential to any company.
Now, we have drawn a parallel between logos and words, stating that the former are to companies what the latter to abstract concepts. But not all the words are the same: for instance, it is easier to remember the word “house” than the word “phenomenology”. This is due to two fundamental aspects: because we are more used to the first word; and because the second has more letters. Logo design is based on the premise that a corporate logo must be memorable, i.e. a logo is useless if forgettable. That is why we want it to be more alike “house” than “phenomenology”. To this end, we have to contemplate the same two aspects mentioned above. Firstly, it is advisable to use those design elements that are well-known in advertising rather than something never tried before, which would be hard to remember. In short, using well-established graphic elements will help people recall a logo. However, if we combine tradition with novelty, we will obtain a logo that is memorable and at the same time innovative. Secondly, it is important not to use graphic and visual elements to excess. A logo full of different typographies, colors and shapes will be certainly attractive, but also too complex to remain in the public’s memory. This is undesirable, as in logo design simplicity is the key to success. A good designer will know how to create a distinctive, elegant, persuasive and quality logo without using too much graphic tools.
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