Once a month, we dive into the ever-growing catalogue of logo design contests at 99Designs to bring you the best of the best, sharing pointers on what makes one logo sit head and shoulders above the competition. This month, we’re taking a look at the real estate solutions company LionStone Home Buyers and their new logo!

LionStone Home Buyers came to 99designs asking for a mature, masculine, and sophisticated new logo for their company. They were met with a truly astounding 88 designs from 34 different designers. We’re going to take a figurative magnifying glass to three of the submitted designs, including the winner. Below, we’ve superimposed the designs onto our classy Stainless-Steel Stemless Wine Glass (11 Oz.) to spark some ideas for the way these logos could be used in future marketing campaigns.

Lionstone logos

The winner: Design #1

Who should have won: Design #3

Design #1 has the sophisticated look that LionStone was hoping for, but Design #3 is much more dynamic and, from a technical perspective, a stronger design.

Design #1

SIMPLICITY IS KING- Create brand recognition with minimalism

Lionstone design #1

We can all agree that some of the most compelling logos of our time are also the most simple and straightforward (think McDonald’s big M, the Nike checkmark, Apple’s well… apple!) Although there’s no single formula to making a great logo, the goal is having a clear intent and communicating it as briefly- yet attractively- as possible. After all, the job of your logo is to represent your business! The last thing you want potential clients to think is that your company is dated, boring, or forgettable.

For this contest, the winning design, Design #1, features an easy to recognize silhouette and clear visual hierarchy. It doesn’t creatively say anything specific about the business, but the lion and his pose are definitely memorable. When creating your own logo, be conscious of what could overcomplicate your design. Avoid clutter and overly dense linework when simple shapes will communicate your message most effectively.

One way to test the effectiveness of your logo is to have a friend or other cooperative party draw your logo from memory- which parts do they remember most? Are the main elements of your logo the ones that stood out to them? If not, you’ll want to go back to the drawing board!

Overall, it’s understandable why LionStone chose Design #1 to represent their company. It’s not anything revolutionary, but it is a solid design. Now, let’s take a closer look at the other two logos and discuss how they compare to the winning design.

Design #2

CLARITY AND PURPOSE- how direction will sell your brand

Lionstone design #2

This logo’s fatal flaw is that it communicates the wrong message about the company. It’s surprising, but the wrong visual cues can ruin a client’s first impression of your business. One of the elements at play here is the font choice—for a company that asked to be represented as masculine and sophisticated, this font’s soft curves and lowercase lettering radiate playfulness and youth. This results in an ultra-casual style that just isn’t appropriate for a home buying company, or any company that will be handling your money.

When it comes to style, it’s all about communicating the nature of your business to your customers. You want clients to take one look at your logo and be able to tell what you do. Are you a very serious business, or perhaps more laid back and family-friendly? Who is your clientele? Deciding this can ultimately help you find a style for your logo.

Design #3

WISE DESIGN- Combining function with form

lionstone design #3

The third logo could be recognized even without any text at all. It boasts a clean and modern design that could appeal to any audience. It’s noticeable that the designer put a great deal of thought into tying the company’s home buying service together with the motif of the lion! This is something significant that the winning logo failed to do.

When we talk about what makes a great logo, this one checks all the boxes. Its success is tied to its minimalistic design, superb readability, and highly memorable nature.

So why didn’t this logo actually win?

When it comes down to it, the answer is simply… preference! The winning design had a mature and sophisticated air that matched the client’s needs to a T. Design #3’s modern imagery has presence and style but lacks the same classic appeal as the winning entry. Although LionStone Home Buyers didn’t end up with the best design from a technical standpoint, they did pick the design they felt was the best fit for their brand. Who can fault them for that?

Final Thoughts

Here at Quality Logo Products, we love bringing you the latest insight and inspiration from the contests at 99designs. We feel that understanding what makes a great logo is essential to helping your company’s own stand out from the crowd. Whether classic or modern is your forte, we know you’ll be able to use these tips to conquer the competition.

Check back every month for the inside design scoop on the latest and greatest logos and competitions to hit the web!

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