Creative Logo Design – Four Principles of Effective Logo Design

4principlesofeffectivelogodesign

Creative Logo Design – Four Principles of Effective Logo Design

What makes an effective logo design?

A great logo is simple, appropriate, connects with the qualities of your company, conveys the intended message, and is relevant to the target audience. Have you also noticed that you can see excellent logo designs from a great distance? Take for example: McDonald’s, Nike, Walmart, Sears, Apple, Hertz, and 7 Eleven. These logos work well in different sizes on a variety of mediums. So, it’s no surprise that companies spend millions of dollars developing their identity and branding it everywhere. Creative and effective logo designs have made companies more distinguishable and memorable. So make sure you apply these logo design principles (in no particular order):

  • Simple
  • Versatile
  • Memorable
  • Relevant

Simple

Nike - An Example of a Simple Logo

People appreciate clean, simple, and basic logos. Some of the best logos demonstrate this principle well, and Nike, Apple, Fedex and Walmart are good examples. Having a simple logo allows for easy recognition. In fact, 75% of the top corporate companies use one or two colors in their logo design. Having too many colors can make your logo difficult to see or convey the wrong message. Effective logo designs use one to three colors. Avoid the common mistakes of using too many colors or including raster images in your logo designs.

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”–Leonardo da Vinci

Versatile

FedEx - An Example of a Versatile Logo

The best logo designs can be seen when they are very small on a pencil or very large on a billboard. Logos eventually end up on a variety of mediums and need to be able to be used in all kinds of situations. For this reason a logo should be designed in vector format, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size. A logo that is too vertical or horizontal will become difficult to read when enlarged or reduced in size. It doesn’t matter how fancy or cool your logo looks if it cannot be easily seen. Believe it or not, many logos use common San Serif fonts like Arial, Myriad or Verdana, while about one third of logos use Serif fonts like Times New Roman or Garamond.

I like to work first in black and white to assure that the logo will look good in its simplest form. Color is very subjective and emotional- this can distract from the overall design. If you saw your logo in all red, that color may be the first thing that you respond to and not the composition of the design elements. I will not even consider submitting color suggestions to a client for review until they have signed off on a final black and white logo.–Patrick Winfield

Memorable

applelogo

You want people to remember your logo long after they’ve seen it. Make your logo design unique so that it will stick in the minds of your customers and be recognized next time they see it. People are inundated with hundreds of logos every day, so you want your logo to be distinctive, memorable, and clear.

A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique.–Primo Angeli

Relevant

bestbuylogo

Finally, it doesn’t matter how well your logo follows the principles above if it doesn’t connect with qualities of your company and your target audience. You want people to associate your logo with your company. So your logo has to be relevant to your target audience.

Good design, at least part of the time, includes the criterion of being direct in relation to the problem at hand – not obscure, trendy, or stylish. A new language, visual or verbal, must be couched in a language that is already understood.–Ivan Chermayeff

Good design must be defined by appropriateness to audience and goals, and by its effectiveness, not by its adherence to Swiss design or the number of awards it wins.”Drew Davies

What principles do you think are most important when designing a logo? What are your favorite logos?

10 Comments
  • Terry
    Posted at 03:42h, 01 September Reply

    I love this article! It’s very helpful! I think making sure a logo is versatile is so important… from the font selections to the color choices, the logo has to be reproducible at all sizes.

  • Ron James
    Posted at 07:35h, 01 September Reply

    Thanks for the article and tips I enjoy reading them and I enjoy the work on open resources. One thing I like about some logo’s is that there could be a subtle hidden emblem that really doesn’t matter if anyone really sees it because it doesn’t take away from the brand. But once you see it you can’t help but notice it every time. (such as the fed ex arrow between the e and the x) Again thank you for your work and tips.

  • Winny
    Posted at 00:40h, 11 October Reply

    A very clear, informative article in an easy to read style. Love it!

  • delali karumbidza
    Posted at 21:23h, 30 January Reply

    This is so great! thanx!

  • Anyanwu anayo peter
    Posted at 14:26h, 05 July Reply

    Thanks for the inspiring article!

  • Pharma791
    Posted at 02:39h, 10 August Reply

    Hello! Interesting site! I’m really liking it! Very, very good!

  • kreativekrayons333
    Posted at 15:00h, 10 January Reply

    A company logo signals the identity of a company. It represents the overall individuality and image of the company.

  • Dubai Monsters
    Posted at 09:55h, 04 December Reply

    A logo is a visual representation of your company. A unique and eye-catching logo can go a long way in establishing your business identity and creating brand recognition

  • Grafitive Australia
    Posted at 16:54h, 19 April Reply

    Thanks for the article and tips I enjoy reading them and I enjoy the work on open resources. One thing I like about some logo’s is that there could be a subtle hidden emblem that really doesn’t matter if anyone really sees it because it doesn’t take away from the brand. But once you see it you can’t help but notice it every time. (such as the fed ex arrow between the e and the x) Again thank you for your work and tips.

  • Padraig Cahill
    Posted at 09:34h, 09 August Reply

    I would definitely add a fifth principle – timeless. Too often new SME’s try to be trendy and create logos based on a trend or gimmick only for it to become quickly outdated. Designers can also be guilty of over using design features that are popular at the time as opposed to doing what is right for a particular job.

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