Basic Principles of Logo Design

Logo Design

If your company needs a logo it is a sure bet that you want it to be unique, distinct, easily recognisable, practical, appropriate – and to have that wow factor that is difficult to explain, but you know when you see it. This is not so easy to do as it may sound, even for a logo designer with a great deal of experience. It takes discussion with the client and research of the company and of the general history of the business it represents, not to mention finding out what ideas, if any, have already been thought of.

However, there are certain basic principles of logo design that must not be forgotten in the general scramble to offer something that is different, but effective.

  • Simplicity – logo design that is overdrawn will not translate well to all media and when it must be really small will become blurry and indistinct. Look at some of the most well-known logo designs and you will see that the shapes and colours are really simple – think Nike and Apple for example.
  • Memorable – following closely behind simplicity, the design must be memorable. In fact a simple design is usually a memorable one because a single shape is easier to remember than something more complicated that has several elements. Being appropriate is part of it memorability.
  • Appropriate – Being appropriate is one of the most important principles. It is the amazing appropriateness of famous logo designs that make them so famous. When people see them for the first time it’s like a light bulb moment as it dawns on them just how appropriate the design is. The apple with its ‘byte’ out of the side is just one great example.
  • Enduring – a little more difficult to accomplish, the logo should withstand the test of time so that it will still be modern, stylish and appropriate in 50+ years time. Coca Cola has established this well with a simple but effective logo design which has remained the same since 1885. In that same time frame, Pepsi Cola has gone through 11 changes.
  • Versatility – a versatile logo design will work across a number of media and in all different sizes. Remember that it may need to be printed on clothing, in the paper, on websites, in brochures, on drink bottles or backpacks, on packaging or on a huge sign by the road and so on.


Some logo designers begin their work using black and white only so that colour will not be a distracting influence on the actual design and shape. Colour also tends to distract anyone who looks at the design, even if they don’t realise it.  Most people respond emotionally to before noticing the shape of the design.

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