The Logo Design Principles

Logo Design Principles
The 5 Principles Of Logo Design

Following up on our article on the logo designs of the summer Olympics we will now learn how to create a logo by using the 5 basic principles in the area of logo design, collectively known as the principles of logo design.

The logo design principles state that a logo should be...

  • simple
  • memorable
  • appropriate
  • timeless
  • versatile
Each logo design principles relates to a particular ideal of logo design and should be considered individually, however all the principles also relate to each other and it is when all the principles are used together that the best logos are created.


Simple Apple Logo
Simple Apple Logo 

Simplicity is the most important of all the logo design principles. Logos can appear in various places and in various sizes such as small emblems on t-shirts or as iconic symbols on billboards. It is because of this that they need to be clear and simple so that they still display correctly and effectively at any size. Logos are designed as vector graphics to ensure they retain their image quality at any size but it is just as important that they retain their overall clarity as well. 
A good test of a logo's simplicity is if a child could draw it
By keeping you logo simple you are ensuring that at any size it will be easy to identify and read. In this way, a logo should really only contain a single graphic and a small amount of text. Prime example of simple logo are the Nike 'swoosh' and the Apple 'apple'. They are clearly identifiable at any size and even work without any text as seen above.

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Memorably Creative Vividways Logo
Memorably Creative Vividways Logo

There are 3 stages to making a logo memorable. To make a logo memorable you must first ensure it is simple. Like anything, the simpler it is the easier it is to remember, it is no different with logos. The second key element to making a logo memorable is to make it as original as possible, if something is unique or different people tend to remember it and it will be set apart from other similar businesses, products or services. The originality of the logo can be achieved through elements such as interesting fonts, unique shapes, bright colours or a catchy tag line. 
When you think of a brand, if you can visualise it's logo then it's memorable.
The logo above uses bright colours, interesting and unique forms and shapes which themselves create original lettering. The third stage to making a logo memorable is to make it relative or appropriate to the business, product or service it is representing. This is discussed in more depth in the next section.

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Solicitors Logo
This Solicitors Logo Is Appropriately Clean Lined & Serious Looking

Toys Я Us Logo
The Colourful Toys Я Us Logo Is Appropriately Fun & Quirky

When designing a logo you must consider the business, product or service that the logo is representing. You cannot design in any style or using any fonts or colours that you want. Every logo is different and requires a different approach, an approach that is appropriate to the business, product or service it is representing. To give an example a logo for a solicitor should ideally be clean and linear with a mono or two toned colour scheme to represent the serious and professional nature of the service being offered. 
As long as a logo doesn't feel out of place then it's appropriate
On the other hand bright colours, quirky fonts and curved lines would not be suitable for a solicitor's logo, however they would be suited to a toy store or play-school to represent the fun nature of the business. An appropriate graphic, such as a house for an auctioneer, also helps to immediately associate the product or service being offered with the name of the business which by itself may not suggest a specific product/service. 

For example a local business called after the owner, lets says 'Smiths' does not in itself suggest any particular product/service that is why an appropriate graphic is necessary. An appropriate logo graphic is also vital for new businesses logo to help consumers to identify with them and their logo while they are still in the process of marketing their company identity.

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Olympic Logo
Olympic Logo Is Iconic & Timeless

London Underground Logo
London Underground Logo Unchanged Since 1908

A company can be in business for months, years, decades or even centuries; therefore it needs a logo that will stand the test of time and not 'age' badly. A logo may be tweaked or updated slightly over time but it should not require a full overhaul as that would mean the company would have to spend lots of money re-marketing its new identity, which can be a very expensive process, especially for large companies. 
An unchanged logo, is a timeless logo
Public bodies or services also require logos and as they cannot go out of business they tend to be around for a long time and thus need a timeless logo design, the London underground logo is a classic example of this. It is a simple logo design using basic shapes, primary colours and clean, simple text. As previously mentioned, all the logo design principles link together and it is evident in the London Underground logo as it is because of it's simple and appropriate style that it has remained unchanged for so long. The Coca Cola logo, the Olympic logo and numerous car company logos such as Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen and Mercedes are other examples of timeless logos which have remained unchanged for decades.

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Apple Logo Showing It's Versatility

A versatile logo is one that will work equally well at any size and in any colour scheme. The logo must first be simple in order for it to have the potential to be versatile, again reinforcing simplicity as the key logo design principle. 
If the same logo will work on a badge, banner and bus then it's versatile
The best way to achieve a versatile logo design is to first design the logo in black and white, as, if the logo works in black and white it will most likely work in any suitable colour scheme. See the example of the Apple logo above.

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Now You're Ready To Create The Logo...

Once you have used the logo design principles above to actually plan out and design your logo on paper the next step is to actually create the logo. There are numerous ways to do this but one of the best and easiest is to use an online logo generator, such as LogojoyLogojoy's simple 5 step process enables you to create an industry standard logo without the need for software or an in depth knowledge of design and is definitely a great option for anyone, but especially those without any Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator skills. It’s totally free to make logos. Only pay for a design when you're happy with it, so why not try it out here.

If you do have good Photoshop or Illustrator skills then you can create the logo yourself as a vector graphic. If your skills are not the best you can always find free vector graphics and edit them to suit your needs. Well, we have you covered there too with this illustrator logo design tutorial. We hope you find it useful. You may also be interested in exploring the general principles of design, if so, then click here.

The Logo Design Principles The Logo Design Principles Reviewed by Opus Web Design on December 28, 2017 Rating: 5

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