What makes a truly great logo design

Pentagram partner Michael Bierut has teamed up with Vox.com‘s Joe Posner to release a short film, ‘What makes a truly great logo’.

In the four-minute video, the pair run through four different types of logo and explain what really makes a design work, as well as why online fights about new logos are misguided.

“It’s not the splash you make when you hit the water. It’s how long you keep your head above that water,” explains Bierut.

Logos are overrated

“It used to be that if a company was doing a logo, there would be this military operation that would be inscribed on all their equipment, and their aeroplanes, and their retail facilities, and gold pins, and cufflinks would be made for the executive suite and put on spittoons and ashtrays… and on everyone’s business cards, right?”

“Nowadays, none of that’s as important as an email signature, or your Twitter avatar, or the title thing that sits next to your URL,” says Bierut. “Those things are much more ubiquitous. They can be changed at the drop of a hat.”

Here’s the short film – if you’re working with a client who doesn’t understand what makes a good logo, maybe point them this way:

Bierut is the designer behind Hillary Clinton’s recent logo, and boasts a rich history of wordmarks and iconography in his portfolio.

You can see more of this work on the Pentagram website, and learn more about his design philsophies in his new book How.

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Words: Julia Sagar

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