Your logo has ONE job—to identify your company or your brand. For a logo, to be memorable is to be effective, and throughout the history of marketing, every logo that leaves a lasting impression that is forever indelibly linked to the desired brand, by definition, a rousing success. Every logo that has ever been featured in the marketplace shares four characteristics of success.
Keep It a Manageable (and Memorable) Size
A memorable logo will be small enough to actually remember.
Studies and experience have shown that although the human brain has a memory storage capacity of about 2 ½ petabytes (about a million GB for non-math majors), it is the proper absorption, retention, and accessibility of that enormous amount of data that can prove problematic, if it is not formatted for storage and retrieval in the proper manner.
“Working memory” is that information that our minds hold in temporary storage that is small enough in size that we can still pay attention. In experiments, most people can remember a string of digits no longer than seven or eight numerals, and usually, no more than one or two strings at a time. However, most people can easily remember several 10 digit phone numbers without any difficulty. What is the difference?
It is because the information presented in phone numbers – the 10 digits – is broken up and presented for memorization into three blocks of three and four numbers. We are so accustomed to using this method that we no longer consider that this reduction of information is a standard memory trick. Even when we give out our number, we don’t reel off all 10 digits at once – we break into a cadence of three digits, three digits, then the last four digits. We use the same sort of mnemonic device when we are giving out our Social Security number – three digits, then two digits, then the last four digits.
In each case, what we actually have to remember at a given moment is a portion of the total.
Keep It Simple
A memorable logo will not be overburdened with unnecessary details.
Ideally, you want your target audience to recall your logo so easily that they can instantly access the associations of the image with the actual experiences they have with your brand. The more superfluous details or colours that their minds have to try to reload, the less likely it is that their recollection will be clear.
Clean, uncluttered images lend themselves to clean, uncluttered recollections. Simplicity in design and colour scheme make it easier for your target audience to instantly identify your logo, and hence, your brand.
Keep the Editing Tight
A memorable logo design will have been heavily edited.
There is a difference between designing for simplicity versus editing for simplicity. In a perfect marketing situation, your final logo is simple enough to create an iconic, instantly recognizable image in the minds of your target audience. This is the goal, because simplicity equates to recognition.
It is the hardest thing in the world to purposefully design simplicity from the outset. Too often, logos that have initially skimped on design end up looking somehow incomplete, as if something that was imminently necessary was left out altogether. The final result can seem unrelated to the brand and coldly impersonal to the target audience.
A better solution is to let creative inspiration guide your initial logo design, and then slowly and carefully pare that design down, stripping away any unneeded or extraneous details and colours. Eventually, the correct design will become apparent, totally free from the visual cacophony that had been provided by the now-discarded design elements. The final logo will be lean, clean, and often, completely unrecognizable from the original concept.
Best of all, the simplicity of form will facilitate faster, more precise recognition from your target audience, completely unimpeded by extraneous information.