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What Makes a Good Logo? Key Attributes of Logo Design

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Munch Studio
  • Date Published
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Good logo designs share five key attributes—read on to find out what they are.

If you landed on this post, chances are you need a logo designed and the search for a provider has left you feeling a bit confused. We are not surprised — a simple Google search can return a tsunami of results — from online marketplaces that offer ridiculously cheap logo designers via a bid system or competition to a vast list of agency’s websites — the choice of providers can be overwhelming.


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So How Do You Make an Informed Choice?

Your logo is one of the most important visual expressions of your brand and the primary visual element that makes your company identifiable. The logo design also provides the foundation upon which your brand’s visual language will stand on. Great logo designs share five key attributes — they are:

  1. Legible
  2. Memorable
  3. Scalable
  4. Timeless
  5. Simple

Legible

A logo is a company’s signature, a unique mark that identifies a business, so it must be legible; otherwise, it defeats its purpose — the design can be clever, but if one cannot read the business name, it has no function, and therefore it’s useless.

Memorable

A great logo should be easily remembered. It should capture your attention, stick to your mind, and leave an impression. The logomark should look and feel aligned with the company’s brand personality, but it doesn’t have to symbolise the company’s product or service—Google and Apple are good examples. Paul Rand is one of the most celebrated graphic designers known for his corporate logo designs, including IBM and UPS — and he once said: [QUOTE] “Memorability is achieved by having a simple, yet, appropriate logo. A logo is purely for identification, so it doesn’t need to show what a business sells or offers as a service. However, its look and feel should be appropriate for its intended purpose.” —Paul Rand

Scalable

Great logos are flexible and versatile — they work well across a variety of mediums and applications. The best logo designs catch your attention when viewed on a billboard at seventy miles per hour, as well as when printed in small size on packaging placed on a crowded shelf of a store. With this in mind, a logo mark should not contain elaborate artwork or detailed illustrations — so that it can be scaled down to one-inch size without losing details, and can work equally well enlarged for application on a building’s signage.

Timeless

“To achieve timelessness for their creations, designers must always eschew trends of the moment.” —Massimo Vignelli

Like the Italian design legend says — “Good logo design doesn’t follow the current trends; instead it is conceived with a long-term mindset”. It is supposed to be timeless and work well now as in ten years’ time.

Simple

Finally, we think simplicity is the key ingredient that embodies all these principles. A simple mark ensures your logo is memorable, has an immediate impact, and works well when scaled at any size. Great logo design is a case of less is more.

“Remember, the basis of the hugely effective international branding for the world’s largest shoe manufacturer is a very simple graphic swoosh.” —Jeff Fisher

Final Thoughts

A logo is a unique mark that identifies a business, just like a signature is unique to a person.

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” —Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar CEO

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar once said the sentence above. Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes that business owners make when it comes to investing in design is looking for the cheapest solution, not realising that logo design creation is an intricate and fascinating process that requires a mix of science, logic, and magic.