Five principles of sweet logo design

AUTHOR:  
Published:  June 3, 2016
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WORDS BY
BRIAN JENS

The understanding of the basic principles of logo design is a must for all those businessmen who want to create a splendid logo or, at least, to control the design process.

Choosing a pattern, style, colour, and form of the logo is quite challenging and very responsible task since the designed logo will represent your company for a long time, forming the corporate identity and engaging new buyers.

So, how to design a logo that will clearly convey the priorities of your company and contribute to the success of your business? Although any individual case has a lot of pitfalls and nuances, there are some basic rules you have to stick to regardless of circumstances. I hope the top five principles proposed by DesignContest professionals will help you to come up with a strong and relevant logo.

1. Relevance

As I just mentioned, the designed visual image must correspond to the nature of activity and ideology of the company and mustn’t contain any false promises. For example, the logo of the design bureau should call the emotions connected with clarity and precision, that is, to look “technical” and “strict.” Uncertain and vague forms, as well as too many colors,  may look confusing and discordant with the direction of the company’s activity.

2. Containing signs of the general group of goods/services

As a rule, businesses are not focused on a one single good or service. Thus, before accepting the future design of the logo, think about what signs of a business as a whole are already in the logo and what else have to be included.

A logo is designed to help potential clients to quickly navigate in a variety of proposals and to identify the cheapest products with the lowest probability of error. Therefore, the group of goods related to the means of child care and the producers of elite varieties of tea will have completely different distinctive features. A logo designed for cheap diapers won’t look good on a teapot. Of course, I exaggerate. But you have to think about what signs are relevant to all the items provided by your company and represent them in the logo.

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3. Highlighting the company on the market and calling for the desired emotions

A logo that makes the brand stand out from the competitors is a successful logo. Without departing from the previous two principles, try to find and display the unique features and advantages of your goods/services over the main competitors. Try to display the practical use of the goods to a potential buyer, not just how beautiful and cheap they are. The buyer must understand exactly how your service or product will make his life better.

The visual image should cause the desired emotions and associations. For example, the logo of a jewelry company should be associated with luxury and wealth, informing the potential customer about the luxury level of the brand.

A visually appealing logo enhances the aesthetic value of the product for consumers. Even more: sometimes logos become integral components of logos design.

 4. Simple, clear, and recognisable

This is important for both visual and text parts of the logo. To simplify the perception, try to make the graphics identifiable (that is, when the user can identify an intelligible form).  A font logo must be readable: better resist the temptation to use fancy and fleeting trends of the season, so not to design a logo that will become outdated very soon. Although trends are quite changeable, the logo must be timeless.

Text and simple geometric shapes are always in trend.

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5. Versatile and scalable

A good logo should look equally well on the computer/mobile screens, brochures, and signboards. That is, it mustn’t lose its visual qualities, regardless of size and color if printed in black-and-white. Try to avoid such techniques as transparency, shadow, and gradient if designing a logo for print since they may give unpredictable results; or, at, least, design a flat version of the logo.

  • The best resolution for Logos for websites is 72 dpi.

  • Logos designed for billboards and brochures should have a resolution of 300 dpi.

Sociocultural and linguistic features are another valuable aspects to consider. If you’re planning to expand to overseas markets, please make the correspondent research. The logo should be well understood by people of different nationalities and have positive connotations both inside the country and abroad.

Of course, negative interpretations are forbidden. The features of human perception are such that the figure and the background may change places. There is a considerable number of designs in which hidden from the first glance shape plays a cruel joke later. It is better to prevent such an option from the very beginning than to be in an awkward position soon.

Drawing an image is a just a small part of the whole design process. In order to match the five criteria above, you need to spend a lot of preparatory work, namely, explore the market and the competitors’ logos, as well as pick up some original visual images that carry the desired message. The final version of the logo must pass the test of time, that is, the designer and the client must get accustomed to it.


Don’t be shy and ask Brian Jens for research if you have some ideas pending. Jens is an experienced freelance designer who joined DesignContest team not so long ago. He’s always interested in preparing in-depth materials based on the far and wide studying of the question.

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