There's a Practical Method to Logo Selection

From time to time I've run across posts on social media asking for help in choosing a logo. Generally 3 to 5 designs are uploaded and are identified with letters or numbers beneath them. There's usually little other information provided. Nothing to base my selection on.

Typically a range of other people weigh in, but without the right criteria, their response is probably based on personal taste. That's not a bad thing but it shouldn't be the only thing.

Before you begin posting for help you may want to think about how your logo is going to best serve your company.


Define your primary customer

Different audiences have different tastes and ways of accessing information about their brands. A communication style can be driven by age, gender, even occupation. It helps to get inside the head and lifestyle of your core customer and consider which logo design fits best within their world.

Know how your customer looks at media

An extension of your audience profile is their consumption of media. How does your audience prefer to connect with their favorite brands? Web? TV? Print?

Does their day start with their smartphone on a social network or with the sports section of a newspaper? 

This is important to know because graphics designed for print can be very different than those built with digital media in mind. 

Look at the overall function of the mark

For the most part, new brands rely on digital media to connect with their customers. That means it's a good idea to stay away from designs with too much complexity. Delicate swirls and fine lines can turn to mush when converted to pixels.

Your logo design should be able to hold up as a social media icon and as a brand element on a freeway billboard. It's important for the design to be flexible, immediate and maintain its integrity regardless of scale.

Know the production around the design

Get a sense of how expensive your new design will be to produce in a printed environment. A one or two color design could be much less costly to print on posters, brochures and business cards than a 6 or 8 color design.

Be sure that the colors identified for your design will translate well in print, digital and video.

Focus on originality

Make certain your look is new and different for your category and think about its shelf life. Will it still look fresh in 5 years? 10 years?

Keep in mind that a clean and classic design may out live one that's hip and trendy. Also keep in mind that hip and trendy might be the perfect style for your audience.

Remember to circle back to your personal preference. That could come in handy as a tie-breaker against two competing logos. More importantly you'll want to ask yourself:

"Would I wear it on a T shirt?"

If the answer is yes then you're heading in the right direction.

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