What is usually a simple image or even a small bit of stylized font can take hours of research, collaboration, brainstorming, and trial and error to create. It requires creativity, skill and vision.
Although judgments like "good" or "bad" are subjective, there are some definable criteria to evaluate a logo and considering it a masterpiece. Developing a successful symbol requires meeting many different criteria:
Logos represent a company or brand, so they must be distinctive and memorable. Otherwise, they lose their purpose. The best logos are the most unique and the most memorable. The Nike swoosh is instantly recognizable for its distinctiveness. McDonald’s golden arches are recognized the world over. Neither of these logos is complicated in design, but they are memorable and unique.
A company whose logo is a cassette tape or a boxy monitor is not likely to be taken seriously as a current market competitor. Because logos become synonymous with company identity, they must be timeless and be able to grow with the company. For example, Apple uses the simple apple logo rather than any emblem of technology, and its logo is able to carry it through multiple evolutions of technology.
Color, design, and symbolism in a logo can all say a lot about a company. If a company provides financial advice for the elderly, then bright colors and cartoonish fonts would be inappropriate. However, the same choices are perfect for the logo of a toy store or children’s boutique. A logo should fit the needs of the company — namely, conveying a sense of style, the spirit of the business, and the type of customers it wants to attract.
Companies must be able to use their logos for a variety of purposes and in a wide range of marketing materials such as flyer printing and others. Good logos should be versatile and functional for multiple formats, including print, television, and the Web. They should be scalable and recognizable for any use.
The best logos are recognizable no matter how they are presented: in color or black and white, large or small, alone or with text. Some great examples include the Target bull’s eye, the NBC peacock, and the Olympic rings. These logos all use simple lines or shapes, and they are recognizable in any format or incarnation.