How to Select a New Logo: A Checklist for Branding Success

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How to Select a New Logo: A Checklist for Branding Success

If you’re launching a new company, changing your company name, or revamping your brand identity, selecting a new logo will be one of your most important marketing decisions.

The logo is the most visible element of your brand identity and the foundation of a smart marketing strategy. A great logo gets attention, sets you apart from competitors, and solidifies your position in the marketplace. A poor logo makes a permanently bad impression on prospects and confuses people about what your brand stands for.

Here’s a checklist of factors to consider when your creative team or marketing agency presents you with new logo design concepts:

  1. The logo looks like your organization. Your logo should reflect your mission and brand positioning. The design should feel authentic to those who know you – such as your current customers and your staff – and represent your organization accurately to people meeting you for the first time.
  2. The logo clearly differentiates your organization from competitors. Your logo should be unlike any competitor’s logo or brand identity and establish your organization as a completely different entity in your marketplace.
  3. The logo has a distinctive and memorable style. Your logo should have a look and feel all its own, conveyed through the creative use of fonts, colors, and design. It should be visually interesting and memorable, so that people will quickly begin to recognize it each time they see it.
  4. The logo works in all marketing channels. Your logo must be versatile enough to work well in all marketing media, from traditional tools like catalogs, direct mail, product packaging, and signage, to email, the web, mobile devices, and social media.
  5. The logo can be used in all sizes. Think of every possible application for your new logo, in places large (like the side of a building) and very small (like a mobile phone screen).  You should be able to enlarge or shrink your logo easily without sacrificing the details of the design or its visual integrity.
  6. The icon adds value to the design. If your logo includes a graphic element to symbolize your company (think Mr. Peanut or the fruit symbol in Apple’s logo), the icon should communicate something meaningful in its design and be strong enough to eventually stand alone.
  7. The logo has staying power. A logo typically lasts a long time, at least five to ten years.  The design you select should be so good that it will represent your brand effectively for the foreseeable future, yet not so trendy that it will become passé when design styles change over time.


  • Greg


    Nice article. It is all too easy to rush into a logo without giving it proper thought or getting excited about fancy graphics, I am guilty of this myself. Thanks for the well thought out checklist!

    September 10, 2010 at 4:39 pm
  • Matthew Goldsbrough

    All good points. You may think I’m joking, but another test I use for a workable logo is “Can it be embroidered on a polo shirt and still look good?”

    Logos that pass that test invariably stand up to use elsewhere.

    July 9, 2011 at 5:08 am
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