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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.

How To Become An Interior Designer

How to become an interior designer
An Interior Designer At Work

What is the job?

So what is an Interior Designer? Well firstly - they are not the same as interior decorators! Interior designers use a range of design techniques to make the best visual and physical use of space; they plan and organise the design of commercial and domestic interiors such as offices, hotels, shops, public buildings, ships, aircraft and homes. In contrast, an interior decorators sole focus is the selection of furniture and finishes to create a consistent style within a space. The role of an Interior designer is more complex and will also usually involve the use of architectural software(s) and a working knowledge of the architectural/construction process.

Interior designers may specialise in residential or commercial interiors or both. Interior designers formulate designs which are intended to be practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or just improving life style within the home. Commercial contracts include hotels, restaurants, schools and universities, office buildings, factories and clubs. In addition to planning the interiors of new buildings, they may also redesign existing interior spaces. Interior designers in the United States earned a median annual salary of $50,000.

Training and qualifications

Training to become an interior designer can take from two to four years and is available from professional design schools, colleges and universities. One can earn an associate degree or certificate by attending a two to three-year program, or a bachelor's degree by attending a four-year program. 

Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, an interior designer would most likely begin a one to three-year apprenticeship program at a design or architecture firm and work under the supervision of an experienced interior designer before later taking on projects by themselves. 

A graduate with a certificate or associate degree would usually start his or her career as an assistant to an interior designer.

Developing your own portfolio while studying and during an internship or apprenticeship is also a vital part of progressing your career as an interior designer. For freelance work and during interviews for promotions or new jobs a quality portfolio of work will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Essential knowledge and skills

skills of an interior designer
The skills of an interior designer
If you want to become an interior design the key skills that you will need include...
  • Excellent communication skills in order to deal with colleagues, clients, suppliers and craftsmen.
  • Ability to use multiple softwares such as Auto Cad, Archi-Cad, Sketch-Up, Artlantis, PhotoShop etc in order to create plans and 3D visuals to present to a client or local authorities.
  • Strong creative skills matched with a desire to produce original designs. High level of organisation skills - managing finances, project timelines, suppliers deliveries, craftsmen, client objectives - potentially on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy, especially in creating plans and layouts which may need to meet building and safety regulations depending on the project.
  • Resourcefulness and problem solving to overcome issues arising such as unexpected costs, unavailable materials, missed deadlines, personality clashes or multiple other potential issues which can arise during a project.
  • Ability to work as part of a team or as a team leader.

Typical Workday Activities:

A day in the life of an interior designer.
A day in the life of an interior designer
A typical day in the life of an interior designer may include the following activities...

  • Establishing what the client wants to achieve and the budget available for the project.
  • Consider how the space will be used and how people will move through the space.
  • Developing initial ideas and concepts through sketching preliminary design plans, including electrical and partition layouts.
  • Producing designs using hand drawings and computer-aided design (CAD), showing how the spaces inside the building will be organised, constructed and finished.
  • Ensuring all proposals comply with the relevant regulations.
  • Producing detailed drawings for the contractors to use once proposal is accepted.
  • Detailing to scale the construction and finish of all areas of the project and writing specification of works including schedules for finishes, ironmongery and equipment.
  • Preparing tender documents where necessary for the construction work.
  • Visiting the site to check progress and inspect the work.
  • Project managing for the client where required, to ensure the project is constructed and finished to suit the proposals and to keep control of design issues which may arise on site.
  • Working closely with other construction professionals such as architects, quantity surveyors, structural engineers etc.
  • Searching for and bidding on new projects.
  • Specifying materials and furnishings, such as lighting, furniture, wall finishes, flooring, and plumbing fixtures.
  • Creating timelines for the interior design project and estimate project costs
  • Placing orders for materials and oversee the installation of the design elements.
  • Conduct the construction administration of the project and coordinate with general building contractors to implement the plans and specifications to build the project
  • Visiting the site during the project
, to ensure progress is being made in accordance with agreed timelines and plans are being adhered to.

Typical career routes

The job tends to be divided into various levels of seniority, based mostly on experience. As a general rule, the greater the seniority, the more responsibility the designer will have for the overall project.

Environment - Large design firms may have the resources for a more comfortable work environment and state-of-the-art equipment. They also have established connections with related firms and specialists. This can be an important consideration for anyone starting an interior design career.
Clients - If you are self-employed, you may have more say in which jobs you take; however, you are responsible for finding your own clients and connections.

Many interior designers are self-employed or do contract work on top of their jobs at design firms. When deciding where you want to work, you must evaluate the risks and rewards for yourself.
Work Hours - If you are self-employed or work for a small firm, you are more likely to work flexible hours as you adjust your schedule around your clients' needs and deadlines. If you start your interior design career in a large design firm, you will probably have more predictable hours.

Specialist Areas:

interior design career specialists
Many interior designers will specialise in a particular field

As your interior design career progresses, you may discover a preference for one type of interior design over another. You can specialize in designing for corporate settings, restaurants, hotels, and hospitals or other health care facilities, or you may decide to focus on residential design. You may even narrow your focus further to kitchens or bathrooms, for example. If you like choosing colors and fabrics, but would rather not handle the nitty-gritty details, such as safety codes, you may want to be an interior decorator rather than an interior designer. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, interior decorating is less technical than interior design.

Whether you prefer sticking to one interior design style that fits you perfectly, or you want to switch things up now and then, an interior design career gives you many options. Choose from the following types of interior design...
  • Corporate Interior Design - Design ergonomic and efficient work spaces that will project the right image for a company. They focus on creating spaces that are efficient, functional, and safe for employees. They may incorporate design elements that reflect a company’s brand in their designs.
  • Bathroom Design - Help your clients get the bathrooms of their dreams with designs that are elegant and restful as well as functional. You will need expert knowledge of the variety of relevant cabinets, fixtures, appliances, plumbing, and electrical solutions.
  • Exhibit Design - Create exhibits for clients ranging from art galleries to zoos, or help companies design exhibits for tradeshows and showrooms.
  • Feng Shui Interior Design - Use the principles of Feng Shui to get the energy flowing and create balance in an environment.
  • Green Interior Design - Develop expertise in designing spaces using products and methods that are environmentally friendly. They may obtain certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 
  • Health Care Interior Design - Help make health care centers such as hospitals, cancer centers, drug treatment centers, nursing homes, social services providers, doctors' offices, dental offices, etc. more efficient and welcoming through interior design.
  • Hotel Interior Design - Create inviting spaces for the hotel industry while considering several important factors such as: comfort, function, aesthetic appeal, concept and budget.
  • Japanese and Asian Interior Design - Bring the graceful, uncluttered aesthetic of Japanese and Asian interior design to clients in any geographic location.
  • Kitchen Design - Give your clients the kitchen they've always wanted. Develop expertise on appliances and efficient kitchen design.
  • Modern Interior Design - Incorporate the sleek look and practical principles of modern design into your work.
  • Residential Interior Design - Work with clients to improve the form and function of their living spaces, while helping them define and reflect their personal style.
  • Restaurant Interior Design - Develop design concepts that will contribute to positive customer experiences and the success of restaurant businesses.
  • Set Design - Use your design skills to work in film, television or theater.
  • Zen Interior Design - Create beautiful interior spaces using the minimalist style of Zen interior design.
  • Universal designers renovate spaces in order to make them more accessible. Often, these designs are used to renovate spaces for elderly people and people with special needs; however, universal designs can benefit anyone.

*If you enjoyed this article you may also find our interior design process, interior design styles and design presentation boards