WHAT MAKES A GOOD LOGO?

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

Logos represent the identity of an organization,product, brand, or idea. A logo should clearly represent an organization’s identity..

A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message. There are five principles that you should follow to ensure that this is so…An effective logo is (in no particular order):

  • Simple

  • Memorable

  • Timeless

  • Versatile

  • Appropriate

1. Simple

A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile & memorable. Good logos feature something unique without being overdrawn. A refined and distilled identity will also catch the attention of a viewer zipping by signage at 70 miles per hour, on packaging on the crowded shelves of a store, or in any other vehicle used for advertising, marketing and promotion. Remember, the basis of the hugely effective international branding


2. Memorable

Following closely behind the principle of simplicity, is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple, yet, appropriate logo.


Surprising to many, the subject matter of a logo is of relatively little importance, and even appropriateness of content does not always play a significant role.

This does not imply that appropriateness is undesirable. It merely indicates that a one-to-one relationship between a symbol and what it symbolized is very often impossible to achieve and, under certain conditions, objectionable. Ultimately, the only mandate in the design of logos, it seems, is that they be distinctive, memorable, and clear.


3. Timeless

An effective logo should be timeless – that is, it will endure the ages. Will the logo still be effective in 10, 20, 50 years?


Leave trends to the fashion industry – Trends come and go, and when you’re talking about changing a pair of jeans, or buying a new dress, that’s fine, but where your brand identity is concerned, longevity is key. Don’t follow the pack. Stand out.


4. Versatile

An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications. The logo should be functional. For this reason a logo should be designed in vector format, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size. The logo should be able to work both in horizontal and vertical formats.

Ask yourself; is a logo still effective if:

  • Printed in one colour?

  • Printed on the something the size of a postage stamp?

  • Printed on something as large as a billboard?

  • Printed in reverse (ie. light logo on dark background)

One way around creating a versatile logo is to begin designing in black and white only. This allows one to focus on the concept and shape, rather than the subjective nature of colour. One must also remember printing costs – the more colors used, the more expensive it will be for the business over the long term.


5. Appropriate

How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For example, if you are designing a logo for children’s toys store, it would be appropriate to use a childish font & colour scheme. This would not be so appropriate for a law firm.

It is also important to state that that a logo doesn’t need to show what a business sells or offers as a service. ie. Car logos don’t need to show cars, computer logos don’t need to show computers. The Harley Davidson logo isn’t a motorcycle, nor is the Nokia logo a mobile phone. A logo is purely for identification.


For further evidence of this, take the top 50 brands of the world – 94% of the logos do not describe what the company does.


©2018 Deep Purple creative

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