Logo Poetics

While the art of logo design can take years to master, there are a few guidelines that can get you there. But remember, like poetry, once the rules are learned, they can be broken to great effect.

The Five Second Rule — If a logo cannot be recognized in five seconds, it won’t connect with the public. Logos are used in a variety of ways, and some of the places they are used are quick reveals. Ads, videos, signs, on the sides of vehicles. These are places where the logo will be seen a maximum of 30 seconds, and even then, it won’t be the focus. Having a logo that’s easy to process will do wonders for a brand.

The Rule of Simplicity — A logo should be able to switch easily to black and white to keep clarity in all situations. As mentioned above, logos can appear anywhere. Since this is the case, why limit the effectiveness of a brand?

The One Inch Rule — The clarity of a logo should be the same at one inch as it is at 100 feet. One major way to ensure this is to build the logo as a vector image. This will ensure the same look on a business card and on the side of a bus. The mediums of marketing are far reaching, it would be best to build your logo so that it’s ready for anything.

The Rule of Two — A logo should use no more than two typefaces. You can’t always rely on color to aid in contrast and feel, contrasting typefaces transcend all settings. Not only do they aid in contrast, but a proper pairing of typefaces will create a unique feel and add trust to your brand.

The Rule of Parts — A logo should hold its identity with or without text. While this may seem to contradict the previous rule, keep in mind that the way brands are presented are ever changing. There may only be opportunity for one single icon, if done well, your brand will still be recognized.

Poems are remembered for their clarity and making (or breaking) of the rules. Keeping these rules in mind will ensure that your brand is remembered.


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