I’ve been working with a large group of real estate brokers who have successful businesses. Many have recently premiered their new logos. They are sharing them with me to be used in some printed materials. Most are outstanding! A few have had some issues which prompted this post.  I will not post their samples because I don’t want to embarrass them. They wish they had run it by someone to ask these questions before they ordered signs, shirts, hats, and more with their logo.

The image in this post shows logos that resized great, had easy to recognize marks and were ADA compliant. The exception was the 2D4D logo. The odd shape made it awkward to use. I have many more examples of “not my favorite” logo, but those still belong to current clients who are not ready to change their branding.

A few graphics terms related to logos:

Logo: A graphic symbol or emblem representing an organization, company, or brand. Designed to be recognizable and memorable.

Mark: A graphic symbol, logo, or stylized text representing a company or organization. May focus more on visual icons than text.

Serif: A small line or stroke attached to the ends of letters in some fonts. Serif fonts have these small lines, like Times New Roman.

Sans-serif: A font without serifs or the small lines at the ends of letters. Sans-serif fonts have clean lines, like Arial.

Step-repeat: A graphic design technique repeating an image repeatedly in a stepped pattern, like wallpaper. Used to create consistent backgrounds.

  1. Are your logo colors ADA-compliant? This includes contrast.  You can test your colors here.
  2. Is your logo readable with a transparent background and floating over colors or images? TEST IT.
  3. If you may want shirts and hats, does your logo work with a single color – black, or white? and is it still legible?
  4. Same with embroidery. Will we understand the words and identify your mark?
  5. Will you sponsor a local sports team, and will your logo appear on a pixelated scoreboard? Can we read it?
  6. Does your logo have a “flare”? Is it a basic rectangle except for one big swoosh or “thing” far above the basic words, throwing off the balance? Think about websites. Typically, logos are in a rectangular space. Your swoosh may require a WAY taller header space to accommodate the “swoosh.”
  7. Are you using a font face that is thick and thin? This can be difficult to scale and can cause the words to lose clarity as you resize or float over an image or color.
  8. It’s the same for very tall and thin sans-serif fonts like Roboto thin.
  9. Does your mark lend itself to a “step-repeat” background you may want to create for an event, conference booth or vlogcast?
  10. Is the logo design simple enough to reproduce easily without losing meaning? Complex designs get muddied.
  11. Does it scale down for use in digital formats without losing definition? Test sizing for mobile.
  12. Is the logo design based on shapes that are too intricate or complex? Simpler is better.
  13. Does it translate well into different languages? Consider international reach for colors, and symbols.
  14. Is it easily recognizable even when small, like for favicon or app icon? Icons are key brand touchpoints.
  15. Will it remain relevant over time as trends change? Classic over trendy logos have more longevity.
  16. Is it versatile for different mediums like print, web, and signage? Test scalability.
  17. Does it look professional, credible, and inspire trust? Avoid anything amateurish.

If you are creating a new company, brand, or product. Slow down. Get opinions to ensure your branding will be clear to read, and at least give a hint about what you do. If you are REBRANDING, check the competition. Likes and dislikes. If you need help or just want some feedback, let me know.