logo lessons 4: memorability

Look at your logo. Close your eyes. Is it still there?

If it isn’t, your logo needs improvement. How easily your logo is remembered is important because as we explained at the start of this series, your logo serves as a vessel for your brand. When people see your logo, it reminds them of the feeling that your brand evokes in them. Therefore, you want your logo to be easily remembered.

How do we test this?

Close your eyes, and try to picture your logo as vividly as possible in your mind’s eye. Obviously, if you’ve had your logo for a long time, then it may be a bit easier to imagine, but if you’re in the process of designing your logo right now, then it’s a great time to test this. You can try it yourself, have your designer try it, or even find a new employee or customer who is not very familiar with your current logo. If they find it easy to picture your logo in their mind’s eye, and they tell you that their internal image is on point with the real thing, then your logo is memorable. If they have a harder time imagining it, then you have room for improvement.

Here’s the best part: everything you’ve learned about logo design so far, contributes to your logo’s memorability.

  1. Unique: If it stands out and is unlike all the other logos we’ve seen, then we’re obviously more likely to remember it. We remember things that are different.
  2. Simple: What’s easier to remember? Lots of stuff, or less stuff? Less, of course. The less details and intricacies a logo has and the simpler it is, the less work our mind does to visualize it.
  3. Harmonious: Remember, the human brain is designed to seek out and enjoy visual harmony, and we can easily visualize and imagine the things we enjoy. We do it all the time, it’s called daydreaming;) So if you’re lucky enough to have a logo infused with symmetry or even the golden ratio, then there’s a much better chance your logo is memorable.

Close your eyes and do the test. Is your logo still there, vivid and clear? If not, then look at how it measures up along the 3 principles above.

Is it too generic? If so, then try to remove the bland elements that your competitors also have in their logos, and replace them with more abstract elements. 

Is it too intricate and complex? If so, start trimming the fat. Remember, simplicity is the epitome of good design. Anything that doesn’t absolutely need to be there, shouldn’t be there.

Is it easy on the eyes? Or does something feel a bit off? Slice it down the middle and assess its symmetry. Play around with its dimensions while incorporating the golden ratio of 1.618. (A talented designer can really come in handy for this.)

Applying any of these fundamental changes to your logo can dramatically improve its memorability.