Five tips for creating an awesome & enduring logo

November 17, 2011
5 minutes read

When we wanted a guest blogger to write about logo design, we naturally looked to Joselynn Maas, whose company Option B Creative designed the Wave logo. This post appears in our series for Small Business 500.

When people think of a company, the logo is often the first thing that comes to mind. So then why is it so often considered an afterthought? Your logo says a lot about your company, so be sure to follow these 5 tips to ensure your logo stands the test of time.

1. Simplicity

A great logo has a story behind it. The trick is to take the story, take the most meaningful and authentic parts of that story and infuse them into the logo. Keep it simple. Make it memorable. Do not integrate the story points too literally. And, whatever you do, don’t try to tell the entire story in the logo. To see what I mean, check out the story behind Wave’s logo.

2. Versatility

Logos must be easy to reproduce in any medium or product requirement and in any size. It must be reproduced easily in both colour and black and white and must be scalable. When it comes to versatility, recognition and a great back story, check out the story behind Playboy’s logo.

3. Appropriateness

Know your intended audience. If you are targeting senior citizens, ensure that the logo speaks to this audience. Also, depending on where your logo is going to be used, ensure you understand the cultural significance of certain colours and icons. You don’t want to end up on this list.

4. Timelessness

Logos should stand the test of time. It is an important investment, so the design should stay true to the brand story and vigorously avoid passing trends. Very few brands (and logos) have stronger heritage than Coca Cola.

5. Governance

Develop guidelines on how your logo can and will be used. The key to an effective identity is your ability to manage & enforce it. Try to cover every possible usage and give examples so that people don’t try to manipulate the logo for themselves. For example, check out the level of detail in the York University standards manual.

—With over 15 years experience in branding & design, Joselynn Maas has worked across the software, retail, and foodservice industries, helping both large companies revamp their communications strategies, and small start-ups establish their identity and brand story.

In 2002, Joselynn launched Option B Creative, which has provided individually tailored branding and design services to global software clients like Longview Solutions, WatchGuard (formerly known as BorderWare), Univa & Panl, as well as local Toronto retailers like Shops at Don Mills, GreenShag Bespoke Clothing and more.

Option B creative logo

“We work smart and we do smart work.”


By Rob Maurin

The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.

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