What Makes a Good Logo Design?

Graphic designer drawing sketch design creative Ideas draft Logo product trademark label brand artwork. Graphic designer studio Concept.
As the first point of connection with your customers, your logo needs to be more than just a distinguishing mark.

Every good designer knows what makes a good logo design – and any good designer will know the importance of getting the logo right. Your logo is at the heart of your branding and should convey the essence of your company’s personality. It sets the tone for your business and your brand and is often the first thing that potential customers will see when they come across your product or service. As the first point of connection with your customers, it needs to be more than just a distinguishing mark.

So, exactly what makes a good logo design? Surely design is very personal and varies depending on taste, setting and context? Absolutely! However, the very best logos, while different, all share the following five elements:

  • Simple
  • Versatile
  • Relevant
  • Memorable
  • Timeless

1. Simple

Think of the logos you know and recognize – which spring to mind?  The most famous logos we know are usually very simple. Strong but simple – think Nike, Amazon, or Apple. These logos are simple, clear, and highly effective. They are effective because they are simple, uncluttered and easy to recognize.

The job of a logo is to distinguish your brand and help it stand out from the crowd. Remember, the logo needs to catch the attention of someone who is driving by signage at 50km per hour. It also needs to be distinguishable from other products on shelves and displays.

Keeping the design simple won’t detract from your brand – instead, it will support it and ensure that the logo is memorable and recognizable.

2. Versatile

Think about where your logo will appear – ideally, there will be no end of locations! But even a start-up enterprise will need the logo to look perfect on the product, a website, social media marketing, marketing collateral, vehicles, packaging, and clothing. The logo will need to adapt to every size, from tiny items like a pen to huge outdoor billboard advertising.

To be effective, the logo needs the versatility to be scaled to any size and should work in a variety of formats. Best practice in the industry recommends beginning the design process in black and white only. This solidifies the concept and the design and brings focus to the shape and idea. Colour can distract the eye initially and make it harder to firm up on the design.

Aim to have a design that you can scale up or down as needed. The more flexible and versatile the logo is, the easier it will be to incorporate it on all your company branding, increasing visibility and brand awareness.

3. Relevant & Appropriate

It is safe to say that what makes a good logo design is its relevance to the target audience. A logo must communicate your brand’s identity, make an impression, and provoke a reaction. It can only do this if it relevant to and appropriate for its target audience.

The elements that comprise a logo are imagery, font and colour – these don’t need to show what the company does, they just need to be appropriate for the brand. Audi don’t have a car on their logo, Guinness don’t have an image of a pint and Lego don’t have building blocks. However, there is no doubt that each logo’s imagery, font and colour are suitable and relevant for their target market.

 

And then sometimes, there is relevance between the logo and the company name but not necessarily the product.… Apples and computers or phones? There is no immediate relevance but the logo and brand work, and they work incredibly well. This demonstrates clearly that the logo need not explain the company, its brand or even the product. It is about the association of quality between the logo and the product and the overall appropriateness of the logo within the brand.

4. Memorable

If the function of a good logo design is to identify and represent the company, and the purpose is to be recognizable and increase visibility, then the logo needs to be memorable. A distinctive, eye-catching and clear logo will render it both recognizable and memorable – when you see it, you instantly connect with the brand.

A strong memorable logo will be easy to recall after the fact – it will strengthen and lengthen the connection with your product.

A key element of what makes a good logo design is that it is unique  – it needs to stand out from the competition in order to make an impact on the consumer mindset. A logo that is simple and versatile, relevant and appropriate will all help to accelerate recall of your brand and aid more immediate recognition.

5. Timeless

The final element of excellent logo design is that it stands the test of time. The very best logos are as relevant and effective now as when they were first designed. Avoid the temptation to incorporate current trends and fashions as these will date your logo and they may not age well.

A timeless logo will help grow your brand, build on your marketing efforts and consolidate your market position. A strong, effective logo will not need to be updated to match current or future use and will remain relevant. Keeping the colours clean and the visuals simple is always a good decision. Many of the most famous logos have remained unchanged for decades.

Other timeless logos have undergone very slight cosmetic alterations : remember Aer Lingus tilting the Shamrock? Or the colour changes of the Apple logo? However, the basic concept of the logo has remained and has weathered Father Time very well.

what makes a good logo design
what makes a good logo design

For outstanding Logo Design and Brand Identity, it is always best to engage the services of a professional graphic designer. Their combination of design, skill and imagination will help create the best logo possible for your brand. You can rely on their excellence in both the creation and execution of the logo.

Specific Considerations of What Makes A Good Logo Design
Logos that are considered universally to be good logos or strong logos are visually appealing – they have stand out traits like symmetry, balance, spacing, contrast or proportion. The alignment, choice of and position of a tag line, and colour palette used all contribute to the creation of a great logo.

Keeping your design simple and aiming for a minimalist approach is the path of choice for most designers. This ensures that your message is conveyed as clearly as possible. It is essential that your logo works for your brand and not against it. Think about it… if you must to explain your logo, then it has not achieved what it set out to do.

With so much to consider to ensure the success of your logo and consequently, the success of your business, are you really going to take the chance of a DIY logo? An investment in your professionally designed logo, branding and brand identity is both valuable and worthwhile. To guarantee the right result, the first step for best company logo design is to work with a premium business logo design company.

Symmetry, Balance, Proportion
As a visual representation of your brand or business, your logo must be the best it can be. A professional logo designer will consider elements such as symmetry, balance and proportion.

The text and image don’t need to be symmetrical but they do need to have an overall symmetry. It greatly adds to the visual appeal. Take the Promotive logo below: Symmetry is achieved through balance and proportion of the various elements namely the size of the font and the proportions of the icon beside the name. There is balance too, left has the icon and the purple ‘pro’ and right has the green ‘motive’ with creative marketing underneath.

 

Alignment   
Taking the Promotive example again – the position of the tag line was not a random selection. Imagine it were centered underneath the word Promotive or left aligned…. The words wouldn’t change but the look of the logo would just fall shy of hitting the mark. It is positioned directly under the ‘motive’ and although the number of characters in Creative Marketing exceeds the number in motive, the size of the font is reduced to enable it to sit directly underneath. 

Tagline
Not every brand has a tagline… Not every brand needs one! But, when you decide to incorporate a tagline, there are a number of factors to consider. Personally, I believe that a tagline should consist of either two or three words… a further nod to symmetry, balance and proportion! Two words such as Creative Marketing or three words as in Nike’s Just Do It work very well.

 

Whatever your tagline choice, it should be simple, concise and aid recognition of your brand or company. And even better, if you can make it a catchy phrase that stimulates an image of your brand for your customers. The tagline should help your target audience make an association with your business. When I see/hear “Creative Marketing”, I think “ Promotive”…

Coming up with a tagline can sometimes be a challenge – This is where a professional logo design company can help you. We listen to your story, hear about you and your product. With a different perspective paired with a creative marketing approach, we can devise an apt and agile tagline.

Colour and Contrast
The use of colour in a logo is incredibly important. Deciding on the colour palette, the shade to use, the selection of companion or contrasting colours has been influenced by colour psychology. Before you get totally bamboozled by the options available, remember Less is More!

The second thing to remember is to have your design firmed up in monochrome before you introduce colour. The colours should augment the style but your logo should not depend on colour alone for impact.
Generally speaking, two-colour logos are the industry standard. Contrasting shades can be used which are eye-catching and effective. Think Black & White, Yellow & Blue or Navy & Teal.

Two colours offer choice to allow for different effects and can blend harmoniously for ease of viewing and recognition.

 

 
Three-colour logos are also frequently used. This enables two colours to be used for the brand name and include a third for the tagline or for an element of the design. Again, keeping it simple and clean will greatly help your logo stand out but not feel busy or overdone.

There are ongoing benefits to limiting the number of colours used! The more colour in the logo, the more expensive it is to reproduce your branding on branded merchandise.

Brand Identity Kit
A further advantage of working with a professional graphic design company for your brand logo is that you will take away both your logo and the brand identity kit.

This will provide your branding in Vector file format for use on your marketing and promotional products. For best results with online advertising such as your website and Social Media, vector format files are required. They enable your graphics to be increased or reduced without losing quality.

The colour palette is also defined on the brand identity kit which ensures consistence and accuracy for your printed marketing collateral and promotional merchandise. Your exact selection of CMYK or RGB will ensure that your colours are optimized according to how they are being produced.

Finally, the font choice is laid out with all the various options that have been designed and agreed. It aids consistency and accuracy in how your logo appears in various formats. You have spent time producing your logo and are very invested in it. As I said earlier, it is more than just a distinguishing mark and it is important that when being reproduced, it is being done correctly.

So, we have established the fundamentals of what makes a good logo design. Now, you just need to get in touch with our experienced creative team to see how our expert designers can help you design the next greatest iconic logo: hello@promotive.ie.

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