Gloucestershire Schools

What makes a good school logo?

Where do you start when considering good school logo design? We feel the following quote is a good place…“A logo is a visual piece in a bigger brand identity system. A logo embodies and transports the meaning of a brand, the logo is rarely the meaning itself.” (Tobias van Schneider)

We are surrounded by logos. Some have been around for decades and some are relatively recent additions. But they are all part and parcel of our everyday world.

And if you think of just how many there are out there, how many can you actually recall? The ones that spring to mind immediately, for example Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple and McDonald’s, are all examples of good logo design.

So what exactly is it that makes these logos good, if not, great? And what can we learn when it comes to considering good school logo design?

Here are just a few thoughts:

1. Simplicity

KISS is a well-known acronym which stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. And this is none-more-true when it comes to school logo design. The simpler is often better. Overly-fussy design which requires a bit too much thinking time will fall by the wayside quickly.

A good school logo should be able to be described in an instant, like the Nike Swoosh or McDonald’s golden arches. If you stumble over the description – “it’s looks a bit like a child, possibly holding something, with what could be books in the sky but they might be birds, inside a crest with some latin words around the edge” – well, it’s clearly not doing its job!

Your school logo design should therefore be easily recognizable, memorable and effective. With school logos being most frequently seen on school uniform, that’s never more important. Which leads nicely on to…

2. Timeless/Distinctive

With the amount of packaging and advertising surrounding us on a daily basis, logos can sometimes start to become wallpaper. So to stand out from the crowd and not be the grey man, your logo has to be distinctive. Not just rehashing something that has been done before. Or plumping for the most obvious solution. And certainly not including overly-used icons (think lightbulbs and leaping children). Dare to be a little bit different. This will make your logo more memorable and easily recognizable (see point 1).

Don’t feel tied to represent the school marketplace. For example, Apple doesn’t show a computer, Mercedes is not a car and Virgin Atlantic is not a plane! A good statistic here is that 94% of logos don’t describe what the company does! (Source: Jacob Cass).

Try not to jump on to the latest trends because trends change and suddenly your school logo design can look outdated and not relevant. Try to aim for a timeless solution. Coca-Cola is a great example. The classic flowing script has hardly changed at all since its launch. Whilst its direct competitor, Pepsi, has undergone many iterations and, in our opinion, still not quite nailed it!

3. Versatile

A good school logo design has to work across all mediums: horizontal; vertical; one colour; small scale; large scale; reversed out. Logos which have too much detail (see point 1) will not work when made small. And can be a nightmare to reproduce on school uniform. Detail gets lost and everything starts to look like a bit of a blob.

One of the considerations when we design logos is to remember there needs to be options for all eventualities. You know when a logo is good because you can put it on just about anything and it looks like it always belonged there.

Another thing to remember is that your school logo needs to be easily used by everyone. If it requires a manual the size of War & Peace to show how to use it, chances are it’s not really working too well! That’s why we always provide our clients with a set of files of the logo that can be used across different documents, media and the like.

4. Appropriate

Is the logo appropriate to the marketplace? Dainty looking fonts and pinks for a gym logo aren’t really speaking to guys who like to bench press small cows for a hobby. It may be good for a ladies only gym. But you get the idea.

Colour is also important. Fewer colours (or at the least, using common pantone colours) the better, as it means your school logo is more easily reproduced – especially on uniform.

The elements and colour within a school logo should therefore be appropriate. And they should reflect your school and its values.

We hope you found those pointers to good school logo design useful. Click here too view some of our recent school logo designs.

Alternatively, if you’d like to organise a no-obligation chat about how we can help your school, click here to get in touch.

School logo design for Warden Hill Primary School, Gloucestershire

School logo design for Upton St Leonards C of E Primary School, Gloucestershire