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The Top Seven Logo Design Principles for an Unforgettable Brand

A designer designing a digital logo.

Art is subjective. Everyone has different tastes and different people can have different reactions to the same work. However, there is a science to logo design — one that can influence people’s unconscious minds.

From budding entrepreneurs to seasoned business owners, anyone with a brand will benefit from a strong, thoughtfully-designed logo.

Organizations like the Professional Association for Design (AIGA) are dedicated to advancing design as a professional craft. The AIGA also provides certification for people working in design.

We offer a self-paced course for this design certification.

Humans are drawn to brands by their logo and a good one will attract the audience you want. There are a couple of logo design principles that are important for creating a strong brand identity.

Whether you’re branding your business or starting a career in graphic design, these 7 principles will guide you toward creating the perfect logo.

Why Logo Design is So Important

Logos represent brands and help create a visual identity for them. Humans are visual creatures and although a brand’s name is important, logos are easier to recognize.

Think about Nike. Their iconic swoosh logo is so synonymous with their name that they don’t even need to use their name.

A good logo will elevate your branding and help you:

  • Be recognizable

  • Stand out

  • Be more shareable

  • Have a coherent identity

Elements of a Logo That Rules

You might be wondering where to start when designing a memorable logo. Logo design is much more complex than a simple art project. It takes a lot of effort to create an effective logo.

Here are the top 7 principles of logo design.

A hand and pencil on a sheet of paper with multiple logo variations sketched.

1. Keep it Simple

Simple logos can create quick recognition. They are also more memorable. Consumers don’t want to waste their time deciphering your logo and your brand.

2. Keep it Balanced

Have you ever looked at a picture or design and had a feeling that something was wrong? The image isn’t disturbing, but something isn’t right. If you don’t have a trained eye, you may not even notice that the logo is out of balance.

Off-balanced designs make audiences feel uneasy and off-kilter. Logos don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical, but they can’t have areas that have “heavy” points. These are areas where design elements jut off.

Instead of placing elements based on gut instinct, graphic designers need to use grids and guides. The golden ratio is also a great guide. These will help make sure all your design elements are proportioned and placed correctly.

3. Make it On-Brand

This might seem obvious, but your logo needs to be on-brand. A logo for a therapist should look different than a logo for a motorcycle mechanic. Branding for law firms should feel formal and mature, while fast food should feel fun and young.

Consider what your brand’s identity is and how your logo should make people feel.

4. Make it Tell Your Story

Imagine having a logo that tells people what you do without any prior knowledge of your business. A good logo can do that. You don’t need to think too hard about how to do this. For example, owners of landscaping businesses could incorporate the tools they use into the logo.

5. Make it Versatile

While it needs to be unique and true to the brand, a logo should also look good in a variety of settings. Think of all the ways you’ve seen the Coca-Cola logo — it can “fit” into almost any situation.

If you’re having a hard time creating a logo that can be versatile, you can always create variations. Starbucks is a good example of well-executed logo variations. They have a round logo with text, a round logo with no text, and a rectangular logo with just the company name.

6. Use Color Theory …

Most logos include colors but don’t use them flippantly. Instead, color theory is a necessary tool for logo designers. Certain colors look better together than others. The color wheel explains the relationships colors have together and which combinations work well.

Apart from traditional color theory, there is also the psychology of color. Different colors evoke different feelings.

  • Red: Mostly associated with passion and appetite. Red can increase people’s heart rates and is used to create a sense of urgency.

  • Blue: This color can change meaning a lot based on the tint or shade. Lighter shades are associated with gentleness, but darker blues are associated with dependability and strength.

  • Orange: Orange is thought of as being playful and optimistic. (This has made it a favorite choice for startup companies in recent years.)

  • Green: Green creates a calming presence and is associated with nature and development. Your color choice is important. Consider what you want your customers to feel when they see your logo and design according to that feeling.

… Though it Should be Recognizable in Black and White

Color plays a huge part in your logo and brand identity, but not every use of your logo will be in color. Some limitations in various marketing channels mean sometimes color is not an option. Make your logo at least recognizable in black and white.

A desk covered in printed color palletes and a laptop with branding assets open.

7. Make it Memorable

The goal of all branding is to create a memorable experience. This will draw people to your products and services time and time again.

If you’re successful in this, customers will be able to recognize your brand no matter where they go.

Do More With an AIGA Certification

People who want to use their creativity at work may find logo design to be a fulfilling job. Not only do you get to spend your days sketching ideas, but there is a possibility that your design could be seen by millions.

If you’re trying to take your first steps into this sector, you can open a lot more opportunities by receiving an AIGA certification. The REDC at Yavapai College offers a self-paced course that will not only get you certified, but will teach you everything you need to know about designing logos.

Businesses are rebranding all the time and the need for creative minds has never been higher. Offer your services and start rebranding logos and creating new ones.

Home LinkThe REDC is a Division of Yavapai College.Go to yc.edu

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