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Three Principles to Design a Good Logo

Posted December 3rd, 2012 in Articles by Eko S

Few weeks ago, we promised that here, on iBrandStudio, we will publish a series explaining very in depth what logo design activities suppose and how to become a good logo designer. We consider that you had enough time from the publishing of the first post from this series until now to meditate if logo design is an option for your career. Now, we published the second post and you will know how to appreciate a good logo. Unfortunately, respecting the rules of good design isn’t enough; the logo is also a subjective entity as long as it must be appreciated by human beings. And as people have different perspectives and tastes, it’s obvious that it is impossible to satisfy everyone. In spite of these conditions, a brave logo designer will NEVER ignore the rules of good design. I am sure that all the logo designers are getting in touch with these but the repetition is the mother of learning, therefore it isn’t a waste of time to read this post and check and improve your theoretical skills.

The unconventional part of this approach is the fact that I preferred to enumerate rules as less as possible, letting the inner essence intact. If you read similar posts, you will notice that these usually present six to nine basic rules while here there are only three. This happens because many bloggers and logo designers don’t make the difference between a principle and a technique. In conclusion, I present the principles and at the same time I give you practical recommendations and this is tenfold more useful than other approaches. It will be great to have your feedback; everyone is perfectible and this is a chance to miss some ideas.

#1. A good logo must be versatile

How to Good Logo Design

Practically, a versatile logo is the one that may be used in various types of situations and its format won’t suffer too much. It means that a logo should be used on the official website, on a letterhead or a business card but also on a huge billboard, on a T-shirt or whatever kind of bearer. The versatility is very important because the actual economical climate is very dynamic and a logo surely can’t “stand” isolated on a website and sometimes on a business card. Even if the client assures you that he wants the respective logo only for online presence, don’t fall into this trap! A professional logo designer won’t sacrifice the versatility for a more colorful logo, keep this in mind!

How to check if your logo is versatile

Definitely, many people agree with the versatility principle but the real issue is how to put this into practice. The best method to test if it is versatile is to check the black and white format of it. Usually, if the black and white version of the logo is OK and it doesn’t differ from the original (of course, neglecting the colors) then yep, your creation is versatile.
Another capital fact in having a versatile logo is to avoid the powerful gradients; having a gradient is nicely in web but it’s practically impossible to have the same effect when adding it on your business card or in any print version.

#2. A good logo must be timeless

How to Good Logo Design

I think is almost impossible not to hear at least once the great hit of Faithless, “Insomnia.” Personally, I like the song and it sounds pretty cool even if it was released in 1995, when the electronic music wasn’t so common as today. Briefly, “Insomnia” passed the test of time, people still like it even if the song was created in the “previous millennium”.

The logo designers must embrace the same approach; a logo shouldn’t be created to satisfy the passing trends, it must stand apart and eventually create trends. The most difficult problem is to convince the clients that studied some logo galleries and noticed some features that were more common in the recent times and they require having something that is as cool and trendy as they saw. This is a big mistake.

A logo must be promoted and it is a difficult process to make the respective creation be recognized by other people. It requires money and many resources… Would it be a smart move to create a new logo and start again and again to make it recognized and loved by people? I doubt it…

How to create a timeless logo

Well, the one that knows the answer to this problem will surely keep it secret. You may accuse me of amateurism but there is no clear recipe, the only answer is the quality of the work done. In conclusion, try all your best and never agree with making compromises, in every logo you create.

#3. A good logo must be simple & recognizable

How to Good Logo Design

“Simplicity isn’t a scope in art but as you go deeper in the inner essence of the things, you discover the simplicity,” said Constantin Brancoveanu, one of the greatest artists of the humanity. Your logos should be simple, it isn’t a mandatory condition but it may be a solution… a simple and elegant logo will be appreciated forever.

In fact, the main purpose of a logo is to make the connection between its owner and clients; a simple and nice creation has the biggest chance of being noticed by people. You must be aware that people are bombarded with tons of promotional messages including logos and they developed a new sense that protects them and ignore the common advertisings. The good news is that a smart and wonderful message, no matter what it is, a logo or a banner, is never ignored. The conclusion is simple: try to create a simple logo that may be easily recognized by viewers.

How to create a simple and recognizable logo

A simple and recognizable logo is a double sided sword: not everything that is simple is automatically interesting and beautiful…no way. Once again, a simple logo must be a quality one and in this case it will be like a magnet for everyone. When you effectively create a logo, avoid using many fonts…two is more than enough and it isn’t mandatory to use something special.

Too many shapes simply disturb the mind of the viewers and it’s quite probable that they will ignore these kinds of creations…avoid making a complicated logo that has no message.

Related to colors, there is a small secret: many logo designers work in the initial phases only in black and white format (when effective working in Illustrator or Photoshop, and not only in sketching on paper). In this way, the concept, and not the graphical representation, is better revealed. In the end, according to the message one needs to send, colors are added. You may use as many colors as you can but the recommendation is no more than three.

In the end, I wish you good luck in making your logos and I strongly recommend following these rules.

- Written by Daniel -

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5 Responses so far.

  1. [...] Three Principles to Design a Good Logo – I present the principles and at the same time I give you practical recommendations and this is tenfold more useful than other approaches. It will be great to have your feedback [...]

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