5 expert tips to design the perfect logo

To produce a successful rebrand, or even to stand a chance of making it onto our prestigious list of the 10 best logos ever, you need to follow the advice of the professionals whenever it pops up. Texas-based graphic designer Armin Vit chronicles thousands of new brand and identity projects every year through Brand New, a division of design firm and publishing enterprise Under Consideration, which he co-founded with his wife, Bryony Gomez-Palacio.

The ex-Pentagram designer has reviewed hundreds of thousands of the world's biggest and bravest branding projects, so who better to explain exactly what does – and doesn't – make the perfect branding?

We caught up with Vit to find out what makes a standout logo. Here are his five top tips…

01. Do the gut reaction test

Armin Vit on stage at Kyoorius Deisgnyatra. Photography: Genevieve Vanspall

"The first thing I look for when evaluating a new logo or branding project is an initial, aesthetic, gut reaction: do I like it?" Vit explains.

"If I don't – if it requires a lot of explanation to make it make sense – then I won't enjoy it. But from the get-go, if it looks good, smart and well-constructed, then I'm at least interested."

02. Does it work?

The Airbnb logo is certainly different

"I then look a lot at execution: how it works; how it might work in different contexts. I compare it to what they had before and what other companies in the same industry have. Does it stand out? Does it blend in?" He explains.

"I thought the Airbnb logo was really interesting. They were confident in their process and designers.

"Nowadays most icons are taken: the Nike swoosh is taken, the Apple apple is taken – so coming up with a little symbol that can stand for something as big as Airbnb was really impressive."

03. Good logos make sense

YouTube revealed new logo recently that emphasised the play button

"Next, I look at every part of the explanation available from the client or designer. If the idea's good, you read the explanation they give you and think yeah, that makes sense.

"When a logo's good, it's instantly clear and there's a solid, simple explanation behind it."

04. Have courage

Google took a huge leap with its redesign in 2015

"What's the most common pitfall I see brand identity work fall prey to? Sometimes a project doesn't stand out. Either the designer or the client doesn't have the courage to do something different. Or if they chose to do something similar, they didn't have the commitment to it very, very well.

"The 2015 Google logo redesign was really fantastic. Not so much the word mark, but when you look at the whole system behind it and the care that went into it.

"It's a giant company taking a huge leap, going a completely different direction but somehow managing to maintain that quirky DNA they had. That sort of thing stands out regardless of the haters."

05. Take a step back

The iconic London Underground logo is one of our 10 best logos ever

"The key piece of advice I'd give to a designer or studio tasked with a rebranding project is: when you present your work for the first time, make sure you've looked at it from an outside point of view.

"Everything might make sense to you because you've been involved in the process. But designers and clients can get too involved in their own processes, and forget to step back and see how others are going to perceive it. Take a step back and ask: is this right? Does this work?"

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