Graphic Design

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A good logo should be like masterful poetry: saying many things very clearly in a small space. As the centerpiece of any branding effort, logo design should be given ample consideration&emdash;the very image of an organization is at stake. So how do you choose a great logo? While graphic design is a creative process, it is possible to identify some basic factors that should be considered while evaluating potential choices.

1. Simplicity

How detailed are the lines, how much shadowing or 3D effect is going on in the logo? Most corporations and organizations typically favor as simple a design as possible. In general, the fewer the lines and colors, the simpler the rendering, the more versatile and instantly recognizable the image becomes. There are of course notable exceptions to this, but at the very least complexity should be considered when selecting a logo.

2. Placement

Does the logo communicate what field you're in? A good logo should place the organization within its industry or function. Put your logo next to competitors' logos, and the logos of successful companies who have a similar image and customer base to yours. Does your logo seem completely out of place or does it fit in well with the others?

3. Differentiation

While your logo should place you within a field, it should also in a more subtle way differentiate you from the competition. Are you trying to appear more innovative than the rest? More reliable? More modern? More classic? Your logo should reflect what makes your project and organization unique among others.

4. Color choices

What do the colors of the logo convey? Are they vibrant, dynamic? Open and bright? Dark and bold? Classic and trustworthy? New and wild? Full and saturated, or lighter and pastel? Are these colors ones you are used to seeing associated with the kind of service your organization is providing? Do the colors inscribe themselves within a design trend of the moment? Keep in mind that if you don't have a brand color palette already established, the colors of your logo are going to become de facto your first mini palette.

5. Pop

Place the logo in a page full of text & images. Place it next to the logos of major competitors. In each case, if you back up and squint your eyes, is your logo one of the shapes that still attracts attention and is clearly recognizable? If so, your logo stands out in a crowd, and will be able to compete for views in busy contexts--it "pops." How important this is depends on your project. For commercial ventures, it's almost always an asset to have a logo that commands attention.

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