What makes a great logo design

What makes a great logo design? Good Question!

A great logo design is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message. It wont determine if your business is successful or not but it will certainly help. Your logo should give the outside world an instant impression of your brand, it does not sell (directly), it identifies.

This post is aimed at business owners/start ups that are looking for designers to work their magic on their branding. It will give you a bit of knowledge about what you should be asking/looking for in a designers work.

Let’s get started, first up…

It’s Unique
You need to be original with your design, set trends don’t follow them. Think of something that represents your brand, it can include text but don’t use boring fonts. Play with font styles and create something clever but effective. Be careful and don’t go too over the top. You don’t want you logo to be so cryptic that only people “in the know” understand its meaning.

It can be described
A good logo is always easy to describe. Almost everyone can explain what the McDonalds, Nike and Adidas logos look like, because the images are simple, clear and eye-catching.
If you want to generate a buzz around your logo, the world needs to be able to talk about it.

It fits your company
This one should be obvious but your logo must fit within your professional field. If a solicitors asked for a logo that had skulls on it, is that socially acceptable? Make sure you stick to what your customers would deem acceptable.

5 Principles Of Effective Logo Design

As mentioned above, a good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the ownerĂ­s intended message. You should follow the five SMART principles below to ensure that your design meets all of these criteria:

1.) Simple

2.) Memorable

3.) Appropriate

4.) Robust

5.) Timeless

1.) Simple

Keeping your logo simple makes it easy to recognise, versatile and memorable. Some of the best, most famous logos in the world are simple.


Apples simple logo makes it one of the most famous logos in the world.

Image credit: www.apple.com

2.) Memorable

Making your logo memorable can be helped by the first point of simplicity. Creating something that people can remember and describe to their friends or see and relate it straight back to your company is very important.


The McDonald’s logo is bright and colourful which makes it easy to remember.

Image credit: www.mcdonalds.com

3.) Appropriate

Creating an appropriate logo is very important. It should include colours and fonts that match its intended audience. Lets look at a children’s toy store as an example. Their logo should include a child-like font with bright, playful colours.


The Toys R Us has a very appropriate logo for its target audience.

Image credit: www.toysrus.co.uk

4.) Robust

An effective logo works across a variety of media and applications. For this reason, logos should be designed in vector format, to ensure that they scale to any size.

You need to make sure your logo is still effective when it is printed in the following formats:

In one color?
In reverse color (i.e. light logo on dark background)?
When its tiny, like 5p coin tiny?
Massive, as big as billboard?


The WWF logo is a brilliant use of negative space. It is a vector logo and can be printed at any size they require.

Image credit: www.wwf.org.uk

5.) Timeless

Making sure your logo withstands the test of time is very important. It needs to be effect in 10, 20 or even 50 years. A brilliant example of this is the Kellogg’s logo. This was first created in the 1910s and it really hasn’t changed much since then.


The Kellogg’s logo has been around since 1910. A truly timeless logo.

Image credit: www.kelloggs.co.uk
So there you have it, all you need to know about creating a great logo design.
Feel free to use this as a “checklist” when in discussion with your designer.