What Makes a Good Logo?

Five principles

It's a question anyone involved in business or marketing departments should ask, and it's probably one of the most important questions for a business to understand. It's the difference between potential clients and customers loving your service or turning around and walking out the door. It's the single most important branding piece you'll ever use, so you'll need to invest in the most powerful one for your business.

It's the single most important branding piece you'll ever use.

The Five Principles

For a logo to be effective, it needs to be:

  1. simple
  2. memorable
  3. timeless
  4. versatile
  5. appropriate

What do these things mean? First, a simple logo will be a powerful mark that's easy to print and easy to recognize. If a logo isn't memorable, then you'll miss out on those instant associations that customers make with your product's brand. A logo must also be timeless so that you have an enduring mark that stands the test of time and branding. Next, if a logo isn't versatile, then you'll have issues printing it at extreme sizes and in different color schemes while still retaining its identity. Finally, a logo must be appropriate for its industry. A good example of appropriateness is the child-like fun of the Toys 'R' Us logo. Imagine how it might have turned out if it was made to look high tech instead. Not nearly as effective.

Don't Be Bad. Be Rad.

Everyone knows someone that knows someone's brother's daughter's nephew that's good with computers and Photoshop. We also all know that relying on that kind of help is hit or miss at best. Most of the time, you'll end up with a logo or graphic that wasn't properly researched, thought out, designed, implemented, or all of the above.

With that said, let's take a look at some of the kinds of logos you'll want to avoid. All of these have major problems. Avoid the desire to make a complex logo with gradients, effects, bad fonts, and too much information.

Bad logos

What Your Logo Should Strive For

On the flipside of bad logo design, you'll find excellent logos like the following. They're instantly recognizable whether they're mark only or a typographic treatment. Each one is powerfully simple, versatile, and appropriate. They don't rely on effects, trends, or obvious references to attract their customers. Instead, they use things like a simple swoosh to remind people that their friends' Nikes are cool, and that they should go buy a pair too!

good logos

Tune Back Next Week!

Stop by next time for a backstage pass into the logo design process so that you can see how Pleth works with you to create a logo that's more than just a mark; it's a brand to firmly plant your company behind!