In an increasingly competitive market logo design plays an essential role in gaining a customer base through brand identity and recognition. The average American sees approximately 16,000 advertisements, labels and logos every day (Khalsa 1999), so you need to make a logo strong to really stand out.
What are the elements of a strong logo? A logo must be: legible, coherent, adaptable, reproducible, memorable, timeless and simple (Adîr 2012). The most popular logos are certainly simple, usually comprising of simple shapes or letters and colour schemes of only 2-4 colours; McDonalds for example, the yellow M on a red background. Just two colours, a simple shape, easy to understand, easy to adapt, very memorable.
A logo should also be relevant to the company, although, “a logo doesn’t have to […] literally reveal what a company does. […] the BMW logo, for instance. It isn’t a car.” (Airey 2009) Returning to the McDonalds example, the M does not explain that it Is a fast food chain, however it does use visual cues to suggest certain things; the colour yellow on red is reminiscent of fries and ketchup, reinforced by the way the M is stylised with thin lines and rounded, arching tops rather than sharp, pointed corners, looking more like fries. The stylisation of the M also suggests that the company is family-friendly, compared to the bold, sharp, angular M in the logo of Metro, a news company, which instead suggests the serious nature of the business.
For my own logo I considered these factors in relation to my audience and how my logo would be used. My logo would primarily be used as a title card for my media content and to represent me online, this meant that it could be somewhat more visually complex than, for example, a drinks logo like Pepsi which due to the necessity to fit on a small space comprises of a simple circle shape. I also didn’t want my logo to generically represent media itself, but more the character of myself and my work.
With these things in mind I chose the company name Brave Penguin Productions and produced a vector image representing the silhouette of a penguin’s skull; the image was intended to be striking and distinctive to intrigue the viewer and set it apart, and the character to be subversive by representing a “cute, cuddly” animal as a skeleton. I paired this image with a bold, all capitals title to add weight to the image, making it more striking. Together they do create a geometric shape, suggesting the shape of a triangle with the skull in the centre above the text, the beak pointing down diagonally.
I also experimented with using colour gradients through the image to adapt the logo to different moods and settings. I also have experimented with adapting the logo to different forms of merchandise as I have set up an online store for the company.
Overall I feel that my logo represents me and my work and fits the criteria for a good logo I earlier described. I am very proud of my logo and so have now officially trademarked it and my company name for my professional use and have set up various social media account using it to share my work.
Andrew Sheller is a Media Production student at Coventry University. You can see more content from Andrew at their Facebook page through this link.
Khalsa, D. S., Stauth, C. (1999) Brain Longevity: Breakthrough Medical Program That Improves Your Mind and Memory. Warner Books
Adîr, G., Adîr, V. and Pascu, N.E. (2012) Logo design and the corporate identity. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 51, pp.650-654
Airey, D. (2009) Logo design love: A guide to creating iconic brand identities. New Riders.