Technically, all logos should have an international target because the internet is global. However, there are thousands of logos that cater only to a local market, mainly for three reasons: lack of interest to go global; budget for a professional logo designer; and inability to conceptualize their business as being international.
These are simple issues that can be addressed and resolved with the right attitude. First of all, going international should be automatic, and not even questioned because the minute a website is launched, it’s international. Second, finding the budget to hire a designer can be managed with a deal that has nothing to do with exchange of money. And third, a website is universal and global, so like it or not, it’s international.
This brings us to the question of designing an international logo. There are 8 steps to creating a logo design that appeals to a market without borders. These steps are: design concept, research, reference, conceptualization, feedback, revision, presentation, and launching.
It should also conform to logo design criteria like versatility, timelessness, simplicity, appropriateness, and recall factors. It should also be a work that can be used regardless of platform or application. This is because not everyone uses the same media and application. For instance, Asia has it own preferences, as does Europe and the United States.
One of the most important aspects of designing an international logo is being able to avoid offending anyone. With so many different cultures and ideals, it is possible to overlook one aspect of a logo design, and end up offending the very market you would be interested in targeting. For instance, a logo with sexual “suggestions” will not be taken lightly with a grain of salt in many Asian countries, especially a superpower country like China. You will alienate these countries and make it impossible for the business to get a foothold in any measure.
You can try to follow these set of principles in logo design that have been used by major international companies all across the globe.
First, avoid use of too many colors. This is distracting and a waste of logo design. A logo should be simple and memorable – but for the right reasons.
Second, no clutter means better market value. The logo design is the last place to incorporate everything about the company and its products. You don’t need to do this at all. It can come as part of a process when the product becomes associated with the logo.
Third, be as unique as possible, but make sure it is readable and recognizable. This means avoid twisting and turning your design any which way. People need to be able to relate to the logo, and if they can’t figure it out, then it has very low recall value.
Fourth, not everyone will like your logo design, so who should you listen to? Always design the logo with the client in mind. They are the ones who will approve your work, and even if your spouse or boss hates it, it is no indication of rejection. The queerest logo often find their way to the top because being unique without a hint of offensiveness sells. Of course, you should find a group of people, who objectively think your logo design is good, because if everyone is telling you your work is horrible, then there may be a need to go back to the drawing board.
Fifth, be sure to do your research on international logos. You have a lot of ground to cover, and it is possible that your design bears some similarity to an existing brand from a business halfway across the world.
Sixth, never, ever use clipart. This is logo design 101, and unacceptable for international standards.
Seventh, you need to focus on designing a timeless logo. This means it will look great as black and white, inverted, or resized. If you decide to go with existing trends, you might find the logo to be outdated in a few years. You should also never use a picture or photograph to be the logo. It’s cheap. It’s lazy, and it’s never going to work in the international arena.
Eighth, keep it simple. This means no special effects and too much details. It should also stay more on the side of conservative rather than being flashy and modern. A logo that tries to shock may be very successful in a specific community, but when you are dealing with people from all over the world, it is possible that the logo alone will either create interest or be a reason for rejecting a product.
Finally, a logo will never be perfect. Just look at Google. It constantly goes through changes and re-designs, wanted or unwanted. You can make different perspectives on your logo design which will increase your chances of having your work approved by the client.