5 Facets Of Good Logo Design

In his post entitled “What makes a good logo?”, world renowned graphic designer David Airey once explained that they need to meet five key criteria in order to be successful: describable, memorable, effective without the use of color, scalable and relevant.

When you work with our logo design services, you’ll collaborate with skilled designers to blend these elements into the perfect logo for your brand. But first, let’s take a moment to break down these ideas and see why each element matters.


You want your logo to be easily explained in words. The goal is to be able to describe it to someone who has never seen it before and have them recognize it based solely on that description. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to describe. For example the McDonald’s logo can be described as the “Golden Arches” or even “a big yellow M.” Compare that to a complicated, busy logo.



The best logos are effective because they can be easily remembered. Limit a logo to one element and you make it easier to recognize – the more elements, the more there is to remember. Overly complicated logos become less memorable. A brandmark related to the company name, or something that’s slightly unexpected, also helps to retain people’s interest. The Apple logo is a great example of this.

Logos that follow current trends too closely are also something to stay away from. If characteristics are shared with a number of different brands, it becomes harder to make a logo stand out on it’s own – it loses its identity. Trends come and go, what you’re after is longevity.

Effective without the use of color

Work in black first – color is secondary to design. If color isn’t playing as strong a factor, then the idea behind the logo will stand out more. The focus should always be on strong, solid design. If the logo doesn’t work in black, no choice of color will matter. This also ensures that your logo can reduce to a single color without losing any impact.


Making a good logo means that it will appear clear, even when scaled down to a small size. This gives you flexibility. You want it to work when viewed at about an inch in size, without losing any detail. This is another area where keeping things simple helps. If the logo is too complicated, it won’t scale effectively. Take a look at the logos of some major corporations such as GE, HP and Wal-Mart and notice how their simplicity aids their effectiveness in this manner. Scalability is critical not just for the placement of your logo on your products, but also for when it comes time to put together the collateral elements for your business: letterhead, business cards or promotional items.


Your logo should reflect your company’s attitude towards your industry. It should be one of the defining elements that sets you apart from the competition. It’s always best to avoid meaningless squiggles, generic art or images that are unrelated to you or your field. At the same time, a logo doesn’t need to spell out exactly what your company does in order to be relevant – Harley Davidson’s logo isn’t a motorcycle, McDonald’s logo isn’t a hamburger, AT&T’s logo isn’t a phone. In fact, it’s good to note that not every logo even needs a symbol – sometimes a wordmark will suffice.

Tied in with the relevancy of your logo is its level of appropriateness. Say you run an accounting firm – your logo needs to portray the message that you’re serious and a professional. On the other hand, if you own a kids’ clothing line, you can have a little more fun with it.

Tying it all together

Following these points will definitely go a long way toward helping you form the backbone of good logo design, but your logo needs one more thing to truly succeed. It has to accurately reflect what your brand stands for. After all, you can use these attributes to create a great logo for a clothing company, but that doesn’t exactly help if you’re running a hardware store. So don’t be afraid to dream big, get creative, and be true to your brand identity.

Posted in Logo Design, Logo Design Tips

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Printwand Staff
Author: Printwand Staff

Our marketing, design and printing experts are passionate about sharing their knowledge. We're eager to help make your vision a reality in print. Be sure to explore the rest of the Printwand blog for more reliable, easy-to-understand information.

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