The Fundamentals Of Logo Design

Today we’ll discuss the intricacies and fundamentals of logo design so that your organisation can stand apart from its competitors. Without further ado, let’s begin.

Photo of Brodey Sheppard
Brodey Sheppard

A logo is the face of your business. It’s what people see and remember you by, and it should be memorable for all the right reasons. A good logo design can help a company stand out from its competitors, but designing one can be challenging! In this post we’ll cover some fundamentals every designer needs to know when creating a new logo.

Logo designing is interesting and one of the most effective ways to help a brand grow.

Fundamentals Of Logo Design

Rather than going from door to door, asking people to avail of an organisation’s services, it’s more convenient to design an eye-catching logo. It’s the first thing that people notice about the brand and is a simple way to reach the masses.

The best logos are timeless, explaining the business’s values through shapes, signs, and words. However, designing logos is far from easy, as it requires considerable effort to create something memorable.

Today we’ll discuss the intricacies and fundamentals of logo design so that your organisation can stand apart from its competitors. Without further ado, let’s begin.

5 Principles Of Logo Design

There are several ways to design an effective logo, but we have narrowed down five principles for your benefit. You can note these points to design a logo that will leave a mark on the audience.

World Recognised Logos

1. Being Original

To design a memorable logo, it’s important to be original. You can take inspiration from a good logo, but to create a brand identity, it’s essential to stand out.

The graphic designer must consider the brand’s style to use symbols and images that are recognisable and timeless. This will promote brand recognition, whereby customers can identify with the website and business by simply looking at the logo.

So, it would help if your company logo isn’t too similar to other brands, as that might lead to confusion in people’s minds. Try to be original while learning what the top brands do differently.

Fishtank Creative Brand Recognition

2. Simplicity

As a graphic designer, you might tend to go overboard while designing a unique logo. Working with different logo ideas may inspire you to be creative, but it’s essential to not lose sight of the big picture, which is communication.

The logo must communicate the message of the brand in an easy manner. For example, Coca Cola is one of the most popular brands, thanks to its simple logo. It has the company name in the design itself, creating an identity that allows the audience to relate to its services.

Coca Cola Brand Transformation

Similarly, Adidas has a great logo. Even if it doesn’t have a designated area for the brand name, the visual of the three stripes immediately makes the business recognisable.

So, focus on simplicity and create fonts that effectively represent the organisation.

Adidas Brand Transformation

3. Versatility

In addition to being meaningful, a great logo design must be versatile. Be it on shirts, mugs, or a business card, the logo must look good everywhere to spread the company’s message.

You’ll need to design a logo that’s eye-catching, even on a black and white background. If it’s visually memorable, it means that the design principles are spot on, and you can add colour to the font.

Moreover, changing the size and colour of the logo shouldn’t impact the brand’s idea. Meaning, it must be a responsive logo to satisfy the client and benefit the business.

4. Brand Appropriate

The basic principle of graphic design states that the logo should be appropriate. For example, car logos like Mercedes and Audi should be modern, incorporating elements of style and excellence synonymous with their vehicles and services.

On the other hand, logos for baby products need to be colourful with symbols of playfulness to communicate images of a happy baby. Hence, it’s essential to develop an appropriate logo, depending on the business and the company values.

7 Types Of Logos Infographic

5. Timeless

Another critical aspect of designing a logo is to create an element of timelessness. A memorable logo should be etched in the customers’ minds, ensuring they know what it means.

The design process must account for the longevity of a business, meaning the logo has to look good even several years later. This will promote a visual message every time a consumer views the design. So, it would be best to opt for a classic idea that will make the company stand out.

You need to focus on brand identity and the design process. A company can change substantially after a couple of years, but the logo must project the principles and policies of the business without any difficulty.

If the logo can project organisational values, it will become a symbol of the brand’s identity, making it timeless.

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Rules Of Logo Design

Let’s now proceed to the rules of logo design, explaining how best to use the resources at your disposal to satisfy the logo requirements of the client.

1. Brand Identity

The logo must hold value both for graphic designers and the company. It’s the first thing customers notice about the brand, leaving a lasting impression on their minds.

It would help if you thought about the purpose of the logo and how it can help attract the target audience. As a rule, the design process should focus on communicating the company’s message to the customers. This will determine whether or not they take an interest in the services and functioning of the business.

2. Seeking Inspiration

You need inspiration to create a logo because it’s not possible to wake up one morning and start designing. So, we suggest brainstorming with the graphic design team and writing all thoughts on a board or notepad.

This is the part of the design process where you can have fun as there are no good or bad ideas. By asking everyone to come up with suggestions, the little grey cells in the brain start working overtime to design a new logo.

Once all ideas are in, you can verbally spell them out, which might spark an idea. At times, you may also get creative and start thinking like customers, their needs, and expectations. Try to understand why people might invest in the business and how the logo aligns with their principles.

Additionally, push the boundaries of logo design and get everyone involved to share their views. Even seemingly bad ideas have elements of a memorable logo hidden somewhere.

3. Take Notice Of Rival Brands

At times people get so caught up in establishing their own brand identity that they disregard rival businesses. However, looking at what another company has done well may work in your favour.

This is especially necessary if two businesses have the same target audience. So, you can consider what creative elements a rival is using to attract customers.

What’s more, it’s important to be aware of the visual trends on the market so that the logo stands out. For example, if a rival organisation has a modern logo, it would help to opt for a classic design. Also, experiment with colours, shapes, and fonts, thinking about how the brand wishes to portray itself.

That said, the graphic designer must be aware of the difference between taking inspiration and copying someone else’s idea. The latter is stealing and a strict no.

4. Unique Style

The best graphic designers have a different style to create something unique, playing with the principles of logo design to achieve the brand’s objective. There are several elements that you need to bring together to design a new logo, so it would be best to look at them individually.

Be it fonts like serif or sans serif, colours, shapes, or appeal, work on the elements separately rather than as a whole. This will make the design process more manageable. For example, a logo for a law firm will have a classic style with solid colours, while a soda company like Coca Cola will have a vibrant design.

5. Letters Or Mascots?

You can use letters and mascots to design a logo, provided that it’s not overdone. For example, having a lion crest conveys a sense of pride and power, but it won’t work for a vegetable company. Hence, talk to the client to get a sense of the visual aids to use.

Zeka Graphics Mascot Logo Design

Similarly, handcrafted logos lend a personal touch, creating a bond with customers. Knowledge about the enterprise and its services can provide valuable tips for the designer. That said, it would help to keep things simple, as the logo must communicate the brand’s meaning, which is its priority.

Golden Tips For Designing A Logo

Taking the discussion forward from the rules of logo design, let’s now look at the golden tips for producing good logos.

1. Laying A Foundation

Logo designing is much like constructing a building; you need a blueprint to plan a course of action. Instead of worrying about how the finished project will look, it’s important to proceed in a step-by-step manner. So, the first step is laying the foundation, ensuring that the building stands the test of time.

Similarly, in logo design, you need a base for the design process, keeping in mind that every business is unique. So, it’s not feasible to use the same strategy for different brands.

It would be best to ask the client about his/her demands and conveying the same to the graphic designers to get everyone involved. Doing so creates a foundation for you to develop an effective logo that promotes brand identity.

2. Start Sketching

The best way to get something done is to start; the same holds true in logo design. Encourage your graphic design team to start drawing whatever idea pops into their head. This way, you can take the best bits of different sketches to create an effective logo.

Be it using digital tools or drawing on a notepad, the designers should play with shapes and ideas, trying to communicate the brand’s value. You can present these ideas to the client, showing how much work has progressed, while welcoming tips about the project.

If the company recommends changes, you can tweak the design accordingly, saving both time and effort.

3. Staying Relevant

The basic aim of the logo is to create a visual impression in the minds of people. Hence, it’s essential to focus on the finer elements of logo design like typography, fonts, symbols, etc. These are also part of the design principles that help align the logo with the brand identity.

For example, Amazon has the name of the company written against a white background, but the addition of the arrow makes the difference. It points from the letter ‘a’ to ‘z,’ highlighting the brand’s business model. In other words, it’s a creative way of telling customers that they can find everything on the website.

Hidden Meaning Amazon Quote

Even if the business changes with time, the Amazon logo will stay relevant, thanks to its simple and modern design. The consumer doesn’t have the time to ponder over the meaning of the logo, so it must be crisp and relevant.

4. Five-Second Rule

Another important factor in logo design is using the five-second rule to judge the effectiveness of the logo. Any symbol, font, shape, etc, must be easily recognisable to people, ensuring that they understand the design and recognise the brand within five seconds.

All visual elements must convey what the organisation stands for, encouraging consumers to explore the services and business opportunities.

5. Don’t Color Until The Very End

Initially, it would help to sketch a black and white logo, focusing on the basic design principles. If the logo leaves a mark on the consumer in its barest form, it ensures that adding colours won’t hamper the brand identity.

That said, the purpose of colours should be to give the logo a refined look. Meaning, you won’t need many resources; simple shades will help create a visually memorable design that customers can relate to. Usually, a maximum of two colours is enough to design a logo, ensuring that it’s attractive without appearing overdone.

Characteristics of Creating A Logo

We’ve discussed the rules and principles of logo design, but there are certain characteristics that will help you design better. Read on to find out.

1. Avoid Trends

It would be best to avoid the latest trends in logo design. We’ve discussed simplicity and being original, so designers mustn’t do what everyone else is doing. To stand out, you need to focus on something that’s fresh and will stay relevant for several years.

In other words, consider the long-term objective rather than a short-term goal, making the logo design process memorable for yourself and the client. This is how a designer can leave his/her mark on customers.

2. Should Be Readable

Ensuring that the logo is readable is an important principle of logo design. Graphic designers need to discuss with the client all possible products where the logo is likely to appear, be it on shoes, mugs, or a website.

Irrespective of the place, the logo must be clear and easily understandable. So, it would be best to use a serif or sans serif font, meaning that changing the size won’t obscure the company name or tagline. As with other elements of logo design, even here, simplicity is the key.

3. Can The Logo Communicate?

Imagine writing a long description about a brand, explaining its business model and available resources. But hardly anyone will have the time to appreciate the brand value by reading a long and tedious write-up.

A logo is exactly the opposite, helping people identify with the brand through its trademark symbol and design. For instance, if you see a black swoosh on a t-shirt or shoe, it immediately reminds you of Nike.

The simple design has left a mark on customers, meaning people relate at once with Nike’s products.

4. Animation

It’s possible that if the logo appears on television, it might be part of some form of animation. Understandably, there will be a lot of colours and moving visuals to grab the audience’s attention.

The logo design team needs to discuss what changes to incorporate with the client, ensuring that it doesn’t lose its meaning even on a visual medium. This is an important aspect considering more brands are pushing for state-of-the-art technology to unveil a new product.

Also, television helps spread the brand identity to a large population, so you need to adjust to the changing demands of logo design.

How To Design A Logo

Although we’ve spoken about logo designing principles, it’s essential to discuss how a graphic designer can sketch effective logos. So, let’s get started.

1. Background Research

Proper research into the organisation, the client’s requirements, and the business model will help produce eye-catching logo designs. You can welcome suggestions regarding what fonts to use or which symbols to avoid, creating a blueprint in your mind.

Note down everything the company tells you, making it easy to join the dots later. We assure you that having a physical copy of the design principle is better than guesswork. Hence, gather all the necessary information and share them with the designer.

2. Look Beyond A Specific Industry

Don’t limit yourself to examining the logos of rival companies; it would be best to explore outside the industry.

You never know where the next source of inspiration might come from. Many websites have top-notch logos that might align with the client’s objective, or you might stumble upon a stunning design while walking down the street.

We’ve also spoken about avoiding trends, but don’t forget to explore an obvious idea as it’s still relevant. You can refine this thought later to develop a brand new logo.

3. Play With Words

It will help to play with words if you’re looking to add the brand’s name to the logo. For a car business, the words “vehicle”, “motor,” and “engine” communicate the brand’s meaning and what it stands for. This allows a designer to innovate while aligning with the organisation’s principles.

4. Fine Tuning

Sketching logos is just the beginning, as it’s important to fine-tune the design. Incorporate all available inputs from the client to make sure that the logo has a memorable visual impact on consumers.

Moreover, think about what colours to use as the choice of shade defines how people perceive the logo. For example, green is usually associated with eco-friendly or vegetarian products, while red is a fiery and aggressive colour.

Colour Psychology In Logo Design

Similarly, having a groovy font might work for a clothing line, but for a financial organisation, classic fonts work best. So, once you finalise the initial design, fine-tuning it with the brand’s representatives ensures that the logo serves its purpose.

Types Of Logos

When it comes to logo design, there are innumerable options at your disposal. So, let’s discuss some of the popular logo choices that have remained timeless.

1. Brand Mark

A brandmark is a visual representation of what the company stands for, such as the logo of a vegetable for an organic farming business. Initially, the brand mark will appear alongside the organisation’s name until people learn to associate the business with the logo.

With time, using only the logo will be enough to attract consumers.

Nike Logo Presentation

2. Abstract Logos

Usually, abstract logos are difficult to understand, meaning people may not find geometric shapes and patterns appealing. However, they do possess a uniqueness that, if refined, will help promote brand value, allowing the organisation to connect with more people.

Different Types Of Logos Explained

3. Emblems

Emblems are signs of pride and prestige, appearing selectively. People already identify with the history and tradition behind such logos, so the designing team need not do much.

All the colours and patterns hold great meaning, so it would be best to keep the original logo design intact even if the brand wants to reinvent itself. Hence, don’t make too many changes as it might rub people the wrong way. Rather, add to the glamour surrounding the logo, making it relatable for a contemporary audience.

4. Combination Logos

Combination logos incorporate the best of two different logo designs, namely symbols and wordmarks. The former includes a shape or style that best represents the organisation’s values, while the latter is the brand name.

Combination Logos Example

Combining the symbol with the name helps communicate the services on offer, making it easier for people to recognise the brand. For example, a law firm named “LAWYERS” can replace the “Y” with the image of a tie so that people realise that the firm is serious about its profession.

Moreover, it adds to the image that the organisation is well-versed in legal proceedings.

That’s All There Is To Know About Logos!

That brings us to the end of our guide about designing logos; hopefully, you can sketch something that will capture the audience’s imagination.

We’ll leave you with this tip: don’t try too hard and enjoy the process. Keep working at it every day to get the creative juices flowing and you might even surprise yourself with some of the ideas.

Whether you’re a startup or an established business, having the right logo is one of the most important decisions your company will make. A compelling logo can be the difference between success and failure for many organisations. But how do you know which type of logo to choose?

Let’s take a closer look at some key considerations when designing logos so that you get it right on the first try!

Photo of Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey is the CEO of sitecentre and a data-analyst in the SEO, Paid advertising space who uses machine learning and AI to advance sitecentre as an industry-leading digital marketing agency across Australia.

Find them on their website: sitecentre, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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