Logo Design and Branding

by Brett Player

amfAR, American Foundation for Aids Research, was my first major logo I created while working at Landor in NY. From there I went to Desgrippes Gobe where I helped design logos and packaging for Colonial Candle, Gerber and Gatorade. Most recently I have designed original logos for Assets (SPANX), City of Savannah, Endeavor Air (Delta Airlines), Pace Academy and refreshed Zoo Atlanta. Many of these logos exists today, some coming up on 20 years. So how do you create a successful and long lasting logo? 

  1. You start with a solid Creative Brief. This addresses the audience (demographics and psycho-graphics), overall tone, key dates and other important information. Often PLAY will create the brief from an initial conversation and research (existing, performed, online) and then the client will revise in conjunction with PLAY for final Brief.
  2. Exploratory phase. PLAY recommends more is more here. It's important to cover the bases from conservative to unexpected. Metaphors are extremely important too. Often PLAY will product 10+ options for discussion. Why so many? Because if the idea is not there, it's hard to go back and create it. Hence, more is more.
  3. Narrow the logo choices down and see it applied. It's hard to make a decision on a logo without seeing it applied to possible marketing collateral like a Facebook page or collateral cover or apparel. This really helps.
  4. Must be simple and readable in small formats. There many reasons for this. Your logo will appear across social media and must be readable, be on other folks marketing through sponsorship and be produced on unforeseen material. It must also work with photography and various design messaging. Simple is more memorable too.
  5. Your logo must be appropriate to your space so your audience will connect with it. Have you seen Dumb and Dumber? You don't want to be the guy wearing the orange tuxedo at an Aspen black tie event! But seriously, it's important when your audience interacts with your logo/brand, you come across with intent.
  6. You must have an original and therefor "ownable" logo. Hence the need for a designer who understands logo design! Your logo must be original in your space and not infringe on another company's copyrighted brand. This can cause immense issues down the road, from being a major liability to deteriorating the value of your company. I would even suggest original logo-type design when possible. Again, this makes your brand more memorable.
  7. Consistency in roll-out and future usage. Do yourself a favor and create a Brand Style Guide. Make it friendly and easy to adopt so you don't have to be like in Seinfeld saying, "No Soup for You!" You can send it to your folks and vendor partners, helping them with implementing marketing collateral by showing logo usage, type, colors, etc. This is highly recommended.

That's the sum of the parts. Please reach out to me, Brett Player with any questions or to help you in your logo/branding. You can email me here - brett@goplaydesign.com or by phone 404-290-0728.