How do you go about making your organization, your name, not only known but recognized? Start with a logo! A logo is arguably the most important aspect of your branding story. It is your identifying mark. Ultimately you want everyone who sees it to associate it with you and your business. A few of the most successful logos include the NIKE swoosh, Starbucks and Apple. Developing a good logo, whether you do it yourself, or hire an expensive ad agency, all should adhere to the same fundamental principles: Memorable Your logo should be memorable and exclusive to you. The font and colour choice should reflect you and your business — tell a story around your specialty. Frequently the holistic world favours earthly tones and simple lines, but there are loads of combinations that work. Think about what you do, how you do it and also your company name, to see which elements best fit your unique story. Translatable Your logo should translate to a number of applications — from business cards to signage and everything in between. It needs to be equally legible far away as it is up close, without compromising quality. Watch for too many fine details and complexities which may be difficult to maintain through these transitions. Your logo should work equally well in four colour as it does in one colour. You never know where it may need to be placed. Timeless Your logo should have a timeless quality in that it does not adhere to anything too trendy. Choose colours, font styles and design carefully to maintain a look that will work year after year. Like home decor, you don’t want someone to say “that’s so 1980s.” Professional Your logo should look professional and polished even if your neighbours’ teenager designs it for you. Professional need not be pricey. A telltale sign of an amateur logo is the use of too many font styles, too many colours or general over-design. Keeping it simple and clean works best. Focus on your intended message and be clear about it. Legible Your logo should be legible particularly if it has a written component. Frequently the writing portion evolves such that initially your entire name or that of your organization may appear and once you become well established, your identifier can be shortened. Starbucks, a well-known graphic logo, has dropped the name totally without negative consequences. Everyone still recognizes the brand. The CANNP changed its logo several years ago. It began incorporating the entire name, now it identifies mostly with the acronym and is transitioning to using it alone without the entire name — a slow process with a clean and simple result. This commonly happens with logos as they become better known. Interesting Some of the most interesting and successful logos bear multiple meanings. FireFox browser has the fiery coloured fox that is circling the world — the fox is obvious while the product does give access to a world of information. FedEx is another example. It is a company that moves things forward hence the arrow made simply by strategic positioning of the E and the x. CANNP has a logo that at first glance is a swirl, a force in the industry. It is clearly representative of a piece of fruit and the colour presumes that it is an apple. The common leaf is replaced by the maple leaf as a symbol that it is a Canadian born company. Whether you are purchasing a logo design or attempting to design it yourself, see that the following are accurately descriptive of your end product: memorable, translatable, timeless, professional, legible, interesting About the author: Article from CANNP which provides business and professional support to Members. Watch for CANNP eblasts because coming this summer, Members will be invited to submit logos, business cards and/or brochure designs for a FREE graphic arts critique — information that you can use as part of your future redesign plans.