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Smashing Logo Design: The Art of Creating Visual Identities by Gareth Hardy

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Chapter 3: The Key to Success

What truly makes a logo successful? Is it pretty colors? Fancy effects? The answer, of course, is no.

There is not one defined recipe to designing a successful logo—if there were, there wouldn’t be so many unsuccessful logos out there. Still, certain attributes contribute to the success of a logo. A logo might not contain every one of these attributes, but the more of them the logo draws upon, the more successful the logo will be.

In this chapter, I tell you what these key attributes are and give examples of logos that possess them.

Memorability

What makes something memorable? Why do you remember some logos and not others? When you’re designing a logo, trying to come up with something that sticks in the minds of the target audience, memorability can seem elusive, hard to pin down. But the good news is, memorable logos share some common traits, traits that I explore in this section.

Remember: Something can be memorable for good reasons or bad reasons. Obviously, you want every logo you design to be remembered only for good reasons. Anything that causes controversy or offends people will only hinder an identity and, ultimately, harm the reputation of a brand.

Simplicity

The simpler the image is, the easier it will be for the audience to remember—the brain simply has less information to process. When you think of all the well-known popular brands, you’ll notice that their logos are extremely simple. When I say the name McDonald’s, the first thing you ...

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