What Is A Logo?

Series: How To Design A Great Logo

by John Murinye

Throughout this series, you will learn how to design a great logo. Our team has been designing great logos for over 12 years, and we have worked with some of the biggest companies in the world like Facebook.

Before you can engage in effective logo design, you need to understand what a logo is.

Logo Design — Zarura Creative

So, What Is A Logo?

A logo is a symbol or text designed to identify a brand.

Often times, and we’ve seen this amongst a lot of brands in Zimbabwe, people want their logos to say everything that the business does. For example, a carpenter may want a saw or hammer — whilst, a tech company may want a computer or device in their logo. This is fundamentally a flawed philosophy. A logo should build recognition over time. It will eventually become a vessel through which people can associate your values and emotions associated with your brand.

Think of a flag of a country — a very reductive graphic element, that represents so much more than the colours and icons used in its design. It would be virtually impossible for a flag to describe every nuance of a country’s history, culture and heritage. A flag, simply put, is a unique identifier.

A logo can simply be understood as punctuation at the end of a sentence. What do we mean? Your logo is not supposed to describe in detail everything that your company does. It’s a lot to ask from a logo. The more complicated it is, the less memorable, effective and flexible it’s going to be. At best, your logo should capture the essence of your company’s big idea.

The purpose of your logo is to identify. Not to illustrate or describe.

Below are some brand logos that, at face value, do not illustrate or explain what the company does.

Famous Logos: What Is A Logo?

The meaning of your logo will be realised over time. In other words, the more people see your logo, associated with your values and product or service — the more they will remember and understand your brand.

Nike Logo: What Is A Logo

In Greek mythology, Nike is the Winged Goddess of Victory. The logo is derived from goddess’ wing, which symbolises speed, movement, power and motivation.

The globally recognised Nike logo is simple, flexible and timeless. Without Nike’s powerful marketing campaigns and brand ethos — the logo would just be another symbol that could have represented anything.

Designing the right logo, to accurately identify your brand, will save you money in the long run. How? When you eventually partner with the right agency or designer, you will have to change a lot of the existing collateral, from signage all the way to brand swag. You also risk losing valuable visual equity you would have built over time.

Below are logos of some of the leading brands in Zimbabwe that we redesigned to add value and show how, by simplifying — you can create better recognition and improve brand recall.

Logos Designed By Zarura: What Is A Logo?

You can see more concept projects here.