Basic Logo Design Principles


We have already established that a logo is one of the most important branding tools that a business can have. Yet, it should also be noted that their purpose is not just limited to the means of identification for a company. Great logo designs do much more than that.

Today, logo designs are seen to be more creative than ever. They are being used as one of the key marketing materials, helping businesses carve and attract their own niche through carefully selected visual elements.

A logo plays an integral role towards the success of a business. It is so powerful to the point that it can either make or break a brand. Hence, it is important that, as a graphic designer, you are aware of the main principles of logo design.

But before that, it is also necessary that you have a clear understanding of the overall logo design process. So, without further ado, let’s cover all the vital things you need to know.

Logo Design Process

If you have never designed a logo before then the process of it may seem a little intimidating to you. However, it is important that you do not let it scare you.

Have confidence in your skills and take the time to brainstorm your ideas as this will be really helpful for you.

You can’t expect to just sit in front of your computer and have a logo instantly designed. The process is much more complex than that. It involves knowing your clients, understanding their creative briefs and requirements, target audience, and so on.

To break down the process in an easier manner, you should consider following these steps when designing a logo:

1) Talk to Your Client

This is the first and most important step. Merely knowing what they do is not enough. You need to get into the head of your client and understand their requirements.

Now, some clients may not be sure about what they want. They may not even be able to communicate their needs as clearly as you would expect them to. Some may even give you the freedom to provide your own creative input.

However, at times, you’ll find that some of your clients tend to be strict in terms of what they want in their logo. As a designer, you must be open to both scenarios. A lot of designers hate being told what to do. We do not enjoy limitations but these limitations do make sense in some cases.

For example, if you ever get the chance to design a new logo for McDonald’s, the company will most probably ask you to only use yellow in the design.

This is because the color yellow is a critical part of Mcdonald’s visual identity. If they were to allow you to choose a different color, they may have to change their overall brand identity as well which is never ideal for such a globally established company.

McDonald logo

2) Understand Why They Need a Logo

People need logos for different reasons. Some need it because they are starting a new company while some may need it because they are not happy with their current logo. Other companies just need it because they want new and better ideas that will revolutionize their brand’s visuals.

Knowing your client’s needs will allow you to come up with new and creative ideas that best suit them. Although it may be easy to convince someone who is currently getting a new logo for the first time, well-established businesses that are looking for a logo redesign may be a bit more difficult to win over.

Therefore, your job is to communicate with your clients in ways that will help you understand their needs in the clearest way. This will help you set a good foundation for your logo design.

3) Look at What Other Competitors Are Doing

We are not asking you to steal someone else’s ideas, but it is always good to take out a little time to have a look at your brand’s or client’s competitors. Observe what they’re currently doing and what their logos look like.

This is important because you do not want to end up creating a logo that is too similar to them. To stand out in such competitive markets, you want to create a logo that is incredibly unique to your own or client’s brand.

However, some designers believe that not looking at competitor’s logo may be the best way to go. They believe that doing so may cause you to get easily influenced by them. Therefore, you should consider doing whatever suits you best.

4) Brainstorm Your Ideas

Once you have had a conversation with your client, it is time to brainstorm and create rough drafts of these ideas. Some designers believe in working on a single draft and some like the idea of presenting two or more drafts for clients to choose from.

This will all depend on your own personal preference and how comfortable you are with designing multiple rough drafts as they will require more time and work.

However, before designing the rough draft, it is important that you keep the basic principles of logo designing in mind. If you are not so familiar with them, do not worry. In the next section, we’ll be listing the simple and basic logo design principles that all graphic designers should follow.

Basic Principles Of Logo Design

Knowing these rules of logo design will make the job easier for you. The principles are designed to tell you what to do and what not to do when designing logos. Following these will reduce the risk of errors:

Keep The Design Simple

Unlike other forms of graphic design, logos need to be simple yet attractive. Think of any popular logo, from Pepsi, to KFC, to American Airlines, they are all very simple yet intriguing.

A lot of designers make the mistake of adding too many flashy elements, such as a mix of colors and images to make the logo stand out. While such logos may look attractive, they end up looking more like posters and less like logos.

At the end of the day, the logo will be printed on different items and documents. Hence, it has to look professional and clean. Otherwise, your logo may end up looking very cluttered.

When coming up with a creative brief for your logo project, make it a point to explain this concept to your client if he or she insists on having loud or overly flashy logos. If they are not convinced by your ideas, then follow what they believe in. Ultimately, your job is to make your clients happy.

Use Colors Strategically

Rule # 2 is to be careful when using colors. You can use any color you’d like but we prefer that you understand the role of color psychology and the effect they can have on our mood. This way, you will be able to select the right colors that best resonates with the brand.

We have previously talked about how colors impact our mood. According to science, the colors around us can have a huge effect on our emotions. Some colors can result in the release of specific hormones that can make us happy, sad, afraid, or anxious. Interestingly, some colors are even associated with hunger, which is why you will see a set of specific colors that tend to be used in restaurants.

You may choose to select one single color or multiple for your logo. However, it would be best to stick a maximum of three colors as you do not want to give your customers a visual headache when looking at it. Remember, less is always more.

When considering the use of multiple colors, never use two colors that do not go well with one another. Always look at the logo from the perspective of the end user.

Additionally, think about how colors will look both in physical and digital forms of marketing material and see whether or not they look attractive. This point is very important because the logo will end up being used on multiple channels. You want to make sure that it looks equally stunning in all of them.

Make it Memorable

A successful logo is one that is memorable to consumers, and this tends to be the most difficult part of logo designing for many graphic designers.

Some designers believe that complicated or unique logos are memorable but the success of simple logos like that of Apple’s have proven that this theory is not always true.

Simple logos can also be memorable, they only need to connect well with your audience on personal and emotional level. So, how can you create a memorable logo? The key is to make your design relevant to the business and its target consumers.

For example, if you are designing a logo for a garage, it should ideally include elements related to a car. You can choose from a variety of options including tires, steering wheel, etc. But, this is not always necessary.

A good example can be the KFC logo that became famous due to the founder’s image. People connected with the logo because they all wanted to reach the level of success Colonel Sanders achieved. Plus, the smile in his face within the logo design was what helped elicit positive feelings towards the company.

Studying other logos can be a very good way to come up with new and striking ideas. Never hesitate to search the internet for various logo inspirations.

Create a Logo that Communicates the Brand’s Essence

As mentioned earlier, the logo should resonate well the brand as well as the niche it is targeting. Yet, it does not have to be too specific.

For example, including the image of a plane and writing the name of an airline underneath it may not be the most original and creative idea. For some consumers, this type of airline logo will look too boring. At the same time, it would also not be wise to include the image of a cake when designing a logo for an airline company as this is not representative of the company’s services.

COUT Logo identity logo denton whisk badge stamp scout bakery

Image Source: SCOUT Logo by Emily Holt

All images and shapes you decide to include within your logo should clearly communicate the essence of the company. Within a single look, consumers should be able to identify what exactly the company sells and what industry it belongs to.

To add some personality to it, you should also select the right font and color scheme to compliment all the other visual elements. This will make the logo even more unique to the brand.

Create a Timeless Logo

Think of any popular company and check out its logo history. You will notice that even though they have redesigned and upgraded their logos many times, they have hardly moved away from their main design concept. Google, for example, has upgraded its logo several times, yet they have always stuck to the same exact color scheme.

In fact, some people may not even be able to tell the differences between the upgraded logos since most changes are so minor. There are no logos that never needs to be upgraded. Many of the world’s largest brands have all had their fair share of logo redesigns. Therefore, when designing one, make sure that you at least create a logo that is timeless.

For example, a lot of companies introduced the ‘dab’ symbol in their logos when the move was popular. However, now that it is no longer considered a hot trend, they have no option but to change the logo since it is outdated.

The dab logo may not even be recognizable in a few years as design trends are always changing. Once you are able to create a timeless logo, your design will be able to retain its appeal for the longer term.

Make it Versatile and Original

You cannot copy someone else’s logo or ideas. Even stealing the color scheme can get you into legal trouble. Hence, your logo should always be original and unique.

Plus, it should be versatile so that it can be placed anywhere and everywhere without trouble. You cannot design one logo for the letterhead and another for the website. It has to be unanimous, hence this factor must be kept in mind.

How Much Does A Logo Cost?

There is no definite answer to this question. Some famous companies got their logos for as low as $5 and some smaller companies have paid over $50,000 for their logos.

The market is huge and you will find all kinds of designers that will be able to help you with your logo. However, it is best that you stick to your budget and find someone who is skilled and affordable. This way, you’ll be able to get a quality logo without breaking the bank.

In most cases, the cost will depend on several factors including the niche of your business, the nature of the logo, its complexity etc. Discuss your requirements with the provider and make sure there are no confusions.

Where Can I Get the Best Logo?

If you are looking for a professional custom-made logo for your business then look no further. At DesignBro, we offer high quality logo design services for all types of companies at a very affordable price.

Contact us here to find out more about how we can help you get started on the process.


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