Your Logo: Built for Marathons

Sep 02, 2015 Posted by Karl Bear in Branding and Identity Design

A logo mark, what we at Cassel Bear refer to as “the cornerstone” of an organization’s visual brand, does a lot of hard work. In a recent post, “A Logo Design to Remember,” we discussed what makes a trademark design successful in visual brand recognition.

If your company is tackling a logo design for the first time, or simply redesigning an existing logo, consider the value and work that this seemingly small piece of graphic art will do for you. You might think about it in terms of creating a logo that can run a marathon. To successfully run a marathon, make sure that your logo adheres to all of the below tenets:

STRETCH: A logo must size

A well-crafted logo mark must scale big or small, remaining visibly recognizable and carrying your brand message with it. The most common minimum size manifestation usually occurs printed on a company giveaway, such as a pen.

The maximum size is typically on large signage, such as a billboard design or a vehicle graphic. Through all of these iterations a logo must reproduce well, maintaining readability, clarity, and consistency.

ENDURANCE: A logo must have shelf life

How many times are you planning to print a logo? It is easy to underestimate the sheer volume of times that a trademark will be printed or displayed. Depending on your business it will range from a few hundred thousand times to well into the millions. Take for instance the Martin’s Family Fruit Farm logo. Millions of apples on supermarket shelves have sported thumbnail stickers with the Martin’s trademark.

Others logos appear on vehicles or billboards that are seen by a thousand sets of eyes each day along the road.

When you consider all of the times a trademark will be printed, it is important to craft something that will work as times and styles change and evolve.

ADAPTIBILITY: A logo must be able to adapt to any media

Often a logo discussion centers on the primary place that a logo will be applied. It’s also extremely valuable to talk about a logo in terms of the oddest places that it might need to appear.

Just to prove a point, I flipped my new shoes over and sure enough, the logo mark is debossed in the rubber sole. In this case, I hope the manufacturer had a conversation about how wear and tear on the shoe might affect the logo.

DISCIPLINE: A logo must work in both black and white and color

Color is an enjoyable part of logo design and clients typically look forward to seeing their logo and brand colors develop. We enjoy the color phase of trademark design as well, but remember that care must also be given to the black and white rendering of a logo. Working in gray scale is a requirement of every logo design project produced by our firm. There are a few reasons that we never waiver from this starting point. A logo must work in gray scale in order to work well in color. Organizations need the ability to print low impact brand materials such as an invoices, or run black and white ads, knowing that the trademark is going to look great and maintain a consistent brand image.

These are a few of the ways to ensure that a logo works hard as the cornerstone of your brand and goes the distance. Celebrate your organization’s logo and all of the hard work that it does for you each day. If you find that you aren’t celebrating . . . let’s chat. Maybe we can help to design something to celebrate about.


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