You can find quite a few hints and tips concerning logo design on the branding and graphics sites on the Internet. Many are helpful and worth considering.
But I donâ€™t remember anyone addressing the shape of a logo.
I believe proportion is crucial.
It can really make a difference in legibility, particularly when logos need to be reproduced in a small size. Also, when a group of co-sponsors are listed, either on a web site or a print publication, their logos need to be reproduced with a uniform height and/or width. And so you see some logos that stand out and some youâ€™ll be hard put to read at all. As the sample array demonstrates, square and circular logos donâ€™t lend themselves to the co-op array at all.
There are four branding elements that need to be considered here: name, font, symbol and tagline. For smaller logo reproduction, Iâ€™ll usually recommend the tagline be eliminated since it canâ€™t be read anyway.
In designing logos, youâ€™ll face your first problem if your name is a long, three-word descriptive group of words. Either you compromise the name (probably turning it into three initials) or you stack the words. Neither is a perfect solution.
This brings us to the second element, the font. Quite often a designer will resort to a condensed font if theyâ€™re presented with a longer name. But when shrunk, condensed type becomes illegible, particularly if itâ€™s also bold face. Also, many designers are so intrigued with an unusual font â€œlookâ€ theyâ€™ll sacrifice legibility for the novel.
Finally, the symbol: legitimately, it might stand-alone in place of the name in logo form. But before that happens, it must become associated with the company and its name. One of the problems with using both a symbol and name together is the placement. If the symbol is placed to the left or right of the name, the entire line becomes too long and doesnâ€™t standout when arranged with other logos. On the other hand, if the symbol is placed atop the name, when reduced to a standard height with other logos, it becomes far too small.
So I suggest that when evaluating logo designs you ask the designer to show you how the recommended designs will occupy a one-inch by half-an-inch space. Or indeed, just download the array of logos here and ask her or him to overlay the recommended design on top of one.