As you can see, I like to use a logotype where I can.
A logotype is a logo made from the name of the organisation. Most small organisations will need their name as some part of the logo so it makes sense for the name to be the logo, if possible.
The next best thing is a signature – a symbol with the name alongside it.
This has some advantages: you can change the format (symbol above or alongside text) or use the symbol and text (if distinct enough) separately if necessary. I don’t think it’s as sophisticated as a logotype but sometimes a logotype won’t work. It can be difficult to make long words or multiple-word names into successful logotypes.
A symbol on its own is great if you have the marketing power of, say, Nike and you can make sure that people recognise it without accompanying text. For everyone else, you probably need to identify yourself but it does depend on what you want your logo to do.
Less is more
The best logo is a simple logo.
This makes it easy to recognise and you can use it more flexibly. Sometimes your logo might need to be a single colour or used on a different coloured background to where it is usually used. It might need to be very small or made in such a way that you lose all detail, for example, embroidered on a shirt.
Logos represent a business but don’t have to explain it.
There is a tendency to try and make a logo ‘explain’ a business. A restaurant logotype might include an image of a fork. A landscape gardener might have a plant for a symbol. But this isn’t necessary. It’s more important that your logo fits in with your image.1
The SA-HA logo above is for a steak house. It would obvious to try and ‘explain’ what the business was by including an image of a cow, a steak or a knife but everyone else does that. This is not your usual steak house and the logo reflects that.
Having said all that: a nod to what your business does, or its name, in the logo can be a good thing. The association between the logo and the business is stronger and it can help create a more creative and interesting logo.
For example, the Car Crowd logo pictured above just hints at the shape of a car.2 It took some playing around with the words before I could see that this was possible. It made the logo more interesting than it would have been, even if you don’t see the car. And it’s a more pleasing logo because of this subtle visual pun.
Contact me if you’re looking for a logo designed, just for you, with creativity and attention.