A logo should have one or more of the following attributes. A logo must:
- Own a color. Not just any color, but a color supporting the identity of the brand the logo represents. Usually it is a single color used in all promotional materials and displays. Heinz (ketchup red) and National Geographic Society are perfect examples of owning a color. The Society changed it's logo to the simple yellow rectangle in 2005. The National Geographic Magazine - the Society's monthly publication recognized by people around the world - has used the iconic yellow border on its cover since 1910.
- Own a shape. Simple or complex, a unique shape is essential for recognition in different languages and cultures. The Target bulls eye design and Nike swoop are great examples of leveraging a shape. Sometimes the shapes are not that apparent like the arrow in the FedEx symbol (see it? between the E and the X?). Shapes - as these examples show - add to the character and personality of the company or organization.
- Own a letter or number. Numbers and letters remind a viewer of name or value of a brand. Embassy Suites uses a stylized E while Google uses a multi-colored G. Seven Eleven and Union 76 each incorporate numbers into their logos to help promote their company values.
- Pass the pencil test. A truly great logo design can be drawn quickly with a simple number 2 pencil. The Olympic rings, Audi logo and iconic Mercedes-Benz symbol are all great examples of simple, easy to draw logos.
None of these great logos are considered the best. Why? They may be strong in one or two attributes, but they are not strong in all four. In fact, the best logo of all time not only excels in all four categories, it has one more quality – the fifth factor – unique to itself and not found in any other corporate symbol.
The best logo ever is just a single click away.