December 26, 2012

10 Rules For Designing A Great Logo


One of the biggest foundations of your brand identity is also deceptively small: your logo. Without a good logo design, your brand image can fall flat fast. Here are 10 tips to understanding and creating a logo design that will stand the test of time, and stand head and shoulders above your competition.

Usually half of our days are dedicated to brand identity and logo design.  For you to stand out amongst your competitors, you must have a strong brand identity. That brand is ‘You’. It shows others what you stand for, what you believe in and why you exist.  Let’s take a deeper look at the big picture and what it really takes to design a great logo.

1. Define Logo Importance
Creating an iconic brand identity with your logo is an absolute necessity. A good logo needs to be recognizable on the spot, and deliver an immediate and positive association with your company and products.

2. Learn What Makes a Good Logo
A good logo has to be unique and distinctive. The design must be artistic, while remaining simple enough for easy reproduction in a variety of sizes and media. Your logo communicates a message about your product, so make sure it’s a positive message.

3. Appreciate the Challenge
To the industry outsider, they seem like a simple little project. In reality, however, a good logo takes a great designer who can think outside the box while still delivering the right combination of simplicity and drama.

4. K.I.S.S.
You’ve probably heard of the K.I.S.S. method: Keep It Simple, Stupid. This is a great mantra to chant while designing logos. A simple logo is memorable, versatile and easily recognizable. It’s unique without losing accessibility to the general public.

5. Focus on Versatility
Is your logo still recognizable if it’s printed in black and white? What about if it’s miniaturized, or blown up to poster size? Being prepared up front for these likely eventualities will save a lot of potential redesign issues later on.

6. Avoid the Trends
You don’t want a design so cutting edge that it’s outdated in six months. One of the hallmarks of a good logo is timelessness, not trendiness; research logos that have shown impressive longevity and study those designs for examples of an impressive logo shelf life.

7. Make it Memorable
It’s surprising how memorable a simple, elegant design can be. Think of the Nike swoop, or the McDonald’s golden arches. Neither is complex, yet both are instantly recognizable. Even more telling, neither logo has changed significantly in all the years of their respective businesses.

8. Ensure Relevance
Although your logo should be creative and eye-catching, it should not be a design that has nothing to do with your product. For example, the Evernote elephant is a great representation for a productivity suite designed to help you remember and organize things. It makes sense, and connects directly to their product, just as your logo should.

9. Deliver an Immediate Association
Your audience should immediately associate your logo with your product. Take the Apple logo: rainbow, silver or polka-dot, that logo is unmistakable. Can your audience associate your company to your logo that quickly?

10. Work With a Designer That Follows These Rules
Don’t be fooled by the deceptive appearance of the humble logo; take the time to find an artist who will meet your needs. A good designer will take the time to ask plenty of questions about your goals and your company, and understand exactly how important a logo is to your success.

By following these ten tips, you’ll not only have a better appreciation for the process that goes into designing a good logo, but also a good idea for how to choose the right candidate to create your next trademark. In our current world of marketing immediacy, an instantly recognizable logo is almost as vital as your product itself.

Here is a quick article we also wrote on how to avoid a terrible logo design ala crowd sourcing.  Read it here.


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

We use a strategic combination of market research, design, and consumer testing to solve complex brand problems more effectively, create differentiation, and forge more meaningful connections with customers.

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