From a branding standpoint, the logo is an important visual expression of what a company, product, or service is about. A logo can have a mark, a graphic element like the Pepsi logo followed by the product name, or it can be an all-type logo, like Coca-Cola’s. Whatever the design, the logo needs to convey the brand personality and ideally something about the brand promise. A team of two contestants in the studio have to use a library of maps and reference materials to solve up to five clues on the treasure hunt before it times out.
Logos have to be a quick read, so you need to brand boldly. Logos need to work large on a sign or storefront and small on a business card. That’s why simple graphic designs, strong colors, and contrasting shapes work best. Complicated designs don’t translate well in different uses, particularly on the web and on business cards.
Don’t go for the design trend du jour. Aim for timeless. Like your brand name, your logo should transcend time. You want a logo for the long haul that will work when you’re a small business and when you’re a big brand. Your logo may need minor visual tweaking over time to keep it contemporary, but it should evolve rather than change dramatically.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Google’s a rule breaker and doodles with its multicolored logo regularly throughout the year to commemorate different holidays and seasonal events. It’s a whimsical trend that started in 1998 when the cofounders inserted a drawing into the logo to commemorate their participation in the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. Your logo should communicate visually. A logo should be an icon, not an illustration. It’s better to suggest than describe. It’s best to have an idea behind the graphics that conveys something essential about your brand, even if only in an abstract or emotional way. Lindon Leader, the Landor Associates designer behind FedEx’s famous orange and purple logo, noticed a hidden arrow shape in the negative space between the capital E and the lowercase x. Leader began to play with the concept of an embedded arrow between the two letters to represent the speed and precision of the delivery service. The two typefaces he was using didn’t quite work, so he experimented and created a type font that was a hybrid of the two, allowing him to embed the arrow in a way that seemed natural in shape and location.2
With a name like Twitter and a communication service based on short messages, using a bird for the logo seems a natural. Mindful of money in the start-up phase, the founders originally used a graphic from iStockphoto that they paid $15 or less for. The logo has been tweaked through the years by co-founder Biz Stone and other designers and is available for download as part of Twitter’s open-platform philosophy.