Why does your brand need a killer logo?
Your logo is like the face of your brand - it needs to align with your promise while appealing to your target market. Creating an appropriate logo may be one of the most important parts of branding, as visual recognition is a powerful tool for penetrating the consumer evoked set. While some logos like Shell or Target may seem overly simple, they've succeeded in becoming recognizable, memorable and easy to understand. A brand logo doesn't have to be overly intricate or mind blowing, in fact - logos perform better when they're simple and to the point.
Finding a way to relate your logo to your name is one of the easiest ways to reinforce brand recognition. Think of the 'M' for McDonalds, the interlocking 'C's for Chanel or the half eaten fruit for Apple. Whether an initial, acronym or visual representation, these logos find a way to tie in with the name of the brand. If your logo makes sense in regard to your name, it will be easier for first time prospects to make the connection to you brand upon seeing your logo. Try using signs, symbols or depictions with a double meaning if your name has more than one meaning to relay - this will help you logo to be unique and authentic.
Who are you targeting, and what will appeal to them? Think in terms of age, occupation, location and interests. Your logo should be somewhat flexible to apply to different campaigns, situations and circumstances. Consider preferences for typeface and color schemes according to who you are, color emotions and the message you want to resonate with your customers.
Make sure your logo is scalable, and can be applied to marketing and promotional materials. If you have a storefront, the logo should look appealing on a sign, but should be able to be applied to business cards and the like. Plan for long-term applications of your logo - make it versatile enough to last through trends, innovations and company expansions.
This goes for everything - color, font, separate elements and the overall meaning. If you want your customers to grasp the meaning behind your logo, you'll have to present it in a clear and obvious way. In terms of design, you don't want your logo to be complicated, cluttered or hard to read. Avoid using extremely elaborate fonts, and go for legibility. Brand names that act as logos have succeeded for being memorable, legible and to the point (think Sony, Ebay or IKEA). If you're going the approach of your name as your logo, feel free to spruce up the font, within reason (think Coca Cola, Disney and IBM).
Try applying these tips if your creating a logo for the first time! However, don't forget there's such a thing as rebrands - your logo may not always be the be all end all of your brand, but it sure helps to get it right the first time!