We ask a lot of logos. It must represent your business. It must be unique. It must help to establish and reenforce branding. It must show up clearly in many different situations. It must be timeless. It must be easy to read. It must help your business to stand out among competitors.
These needs leave us with a big task, and there are lots of ways to fall short. If you find out your logo has problems after the launch it can be frustrating and expensive to fix – especially if you have print pieces involved. Here are some ways you can test your logo in progress before running with it.
Think inside the box. The web is boxes, in boxes, in boxes. Your logo or a variation needs to be in a shape that can tolerate trimming. On your website you control the space given to the logo. But what about everywhere else? Social media profiles all ask for square dimensions, or that your logo can be cropped to fit in a circle. Here’s an example I made that makes good use of the space social media profiles allow. Without the text below and only an icon, it would still “hold” a square shape.
Reproduced in other formats: one color, reverse color and more. Another way your logo can be beaten is by having no one color or reverse color options. What if your logo is printed in white on a colored shirt? Are these effects that cannot be reproduced with one color printing? Embroidered? What about the common one-color “sponsored by” section in the footer of websites? Those are designed to be surrounded by other logos and outside company branding.
Next to other logos, how do you compare? Thinking of situations where you are compared to competitors is important – self awareness in this can affect your visual impact. Food companies spend a lot of time comparing their packages to competitors, knowing that they will be side by side on a shelf. You may not have that much trouble but you are being compared to your competitors wether you know it or not.
Speed is important, filesize is important. I talk about this a lot, because slow speeds can turn visitors away. Loading a large logo slows down your site. Using fewer effects, limited colors, and bringing in .svgs to serve logos are all helpful. Size pictures to the space in which they will be used – shrink the file itself and not with css. Doing any of these will help but they also work well together to make a site load quickly.
Those are the known troubles to address. For the rest, you have to plan for less than ideal scenarios.
Small, large, upside down, distressed, sun faded, in the wrong color, used by non-designers and those with other skillsets can all play a role. Test your logo. Document colors, include type and as many formats and file sizes as you expect will be needed. Organize and label the files well, too. The easier you make following guidelines the more they will be used.
I hope this helps, leave a comment if you have other ideas.