logo design

Basic principles of logo design in 2019

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Before we dive into principles of logo design, we need to define what the logo is. In its essence, logos are symbols made up of text and images that help us identify specific brands. A good logo is the first contact of the user with your brand. If it is good, it helps customers understand what you do, who you are and what are your values.

Paul Rand, the graphic designer who is behind logos for IBM, UPS, ABC, and others, said this about logos:
"If, in the business of communications, ‘image is king,’ the essence of this image, the logo, is the jewel in its crown."
Well, this "jewel" can make or break your business. You have to have a strong brand and a fresh take on your business.

To have a successful business, you need to stand out from the crowd, having a strong logo is a must. It takes only 10 seconds for a consumer to decide whether they like your logo or not.

The SMART approach

Although there are no strict rules for designing a good logo, there are proven guidelines and principles that can be learned from the graphic designers of the past. Observing the past logo designs, we can notice principles which apply to all the iconic logos. These principles can be made into a simple acronym - SMART:
  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Appropriate
  • Resourceful
  • Timeless
Logos by one of the greatest logo designers of all time, Saul Bass, are standing the test of time and are still looking fresh and modern.

We can notice all the SMART principles in every logo in the example below.
Saul Bass Logos

Simple

Simplicity in a logo is one of the best qualities if you want your logo to stand the test of time. Simple logo design makes it understandable for everybody and is easily recognizable.

Compelling logos feature something unique and unexpected without being overdrawn and overworked on. Putting in too many elements may not work and could pass a confusing message that will not draw any attention.

Companies such as Nike, Apple, IBM, and Mcdonalds have a simple logo design which proves to be successful and highly recognizable. We can see that some companies, over time,  have simplified their logo to increase recognition. 

The example below presents the evolution of the Pepsi logo. We can see that over time; the company decided to simplify their visuals so that they can be more recognizable to the mass consumer.

Logo design evolution - Pepsi

Memorable

An effective logo design should be remarkable. Memorability is achieved through simplicity. People remember simple shapes faster.

Same goes for color. Color has a vital role in recognition of a brand. The first thing what people see in a logo is color.

When you considering color for your new logo you should ask yourself, what message should my logo convey.

Every color induces a specific emotion. In the image below you can see which color arouses which emotions.

Source

Appropriate

When creating a logo, you should think about the audience.  A logo should be appropriate for its intended audience.

For example, if the logo is used in a business that's selling women garments, a calligraphic and bold font with pink or purple colors could be used. Think about your business type and industry.

Create a logo that is appropriate within your targeted business. Research the logo of your competition before making your own.

Resourceful

A good logo should be able to work across a variety of media and applications. A logo should look good in black & white as well as color.

Also, you should make a logo that can be easily printed on anything - t-shirts, mugs, vehicles, trophies, business cards - you name it.

Avoid lengthy horizontal logos, which can be challenging to fit on various projects. The image below shows how a logo can be applied to multiple mediums.

Akut Medica logo application


Timeless

An effective logo should endure the test of time. Avoid using logo design trends as they date quickly. A logo should be still effective and relevant in 10, 20 or in 50+ years to come.

Doing a redesign every few years is not recommended. Every time the visuals are changed, a company stands to lose a little credibility.

Consumers love stability and if a business is not showing that, you will lose loyal customers. 

Conclusion

No matter what type of business or organization you are running, having a good first impression means everything. Using high-quality logo and professional imagery and design throughout all of your products and branding is one of the best ways to deliver a lasting impression. 

If you need help with designing your logo, contact us, and we’ll be glad to help.

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