5 Basic Principles of Effective Logo Design

The ultimate goal of logo design is to create a brand personality that a customer identifies with. Even the simplest logo has the power to communicate the brand's message and should be able to do so in 10 - 20 years down the road.

When deciding on a brand logo, one should consider the timeless design and the familiarity it brings to your audience. That said, constantly rebranding or redesigning the company's logo (your brand identity) is not considered a good practice.

Sounds daunting?

Do not be discouraged. Professional logo designers follow basic principles that will give your brand timelessness that resonates deeply with your target audience. Without further ado, here are five basic design principles of an effective and successful logo.

1. Simple

A clean, uncluttered, and simple logo is more memorable than a complex and elaborate one. The best example of a famous brand that has a simple logo with a strong concept is Nike.

The Nike logo is a simple "swoosh" shape with a design style that is easy to identify. But more than that, the simple shape delivers a brand message for movement, speed, change, and innovation. These are characteristics that potential customers will expect from sports brands.

Other popular brands, such as IBM, Mcdonalds, and Apple, have simple design styles. You'll find that powerful and famous brands have simple logos.

The choice of typeface, graphics, and colors and the effective use of white space is crucial in achieving simplicity. As a major rule, graphic designers start with a simple black and white logo before adding other colors that will represent a brand's visual identity.

2. Memorable

Strong logos are memorable. They stay on people's minds and are easily recalled with a glance. However, for it to be memorable, it has to be a unique logo. This is the part of the design process that requires graphic designers to combine artistry and consumer design. Simply put, a memorable logo is unique but still relevant to the company's target customers.

When designing a logo, one can be creative but not succumb to design trends. Following social media and design trends can be disastrous since we all know current trends come and go.

Colors play a significant role in the recognition of a business logo. The color palette is the first thing that people notice and easily register in their minds. Then comes next is the shape, graphics, and typography.

3. Appropriate

It is important to include a company's value proposition and market positioning when it comes to designing an effective logo. The overall design should be appropriate to its intended target audience.

A professional logo designer knows that an awesome logo that can effectively communicate a company's brand identity requires in-depth knowledge about the brand, such as its products, services, and target audience. So it is important to provide graphic designers all the necessary information they need about your business to come up with a good visual identity for your brand.

Contrary to what most people believe, a logo does not necessarily have to show a picture representing what a company does in order to communicate what it is. A restaurant logo does not need to have food or utensils. Would you say Apple company sells apple? Even Toys "R" Us doesn't have toy pictures in it.

However, following the principles of logo design, it is essential to use design elements that are known to influence consumer feelings and buying decisions for different industries. For example, a colorful and playful logo may work for a toyshop company like Toys "R" Us, but may not be appropriate for a security firm that must convey strength and trust.

4. Resizable

Business logos will be used across different locations such as on a pen, signage, or an advertising billboard. With that said, size and scalability matter a lot because the logo must display well and look perfect on different surfaces and screens.

Another way to achieve scalability is with a responsive logo. With a responsive logo, you can put your brand in front of your target audience in various online media such as on websites and social media platforms.

When you decide to have a logo designed, ensure that the graphic designer creates your logo in vector format so they scale to any size for reproduction.

5. Timeless

Will your logo stand the test of time? A strong logo is classic. It should look good in twenty years as it is today. In fact, in Christian Annyas’ roundup of the Lifespan of a Saul Bass Logo, the average longevity of a logo is thirty-five years.

In truth, no logo is ever timeless. Even Nike has gone through a few revisions over the years. Note that the operative word is “revision” and not rebranding. Rebranding could break the hearts of loyal customers when logo transitions are handled carelessly or clumsily. But a few minuscule tweaks here and there over the years will not negatively influence people's familiarity with the brand as long as the essential elements of the logo are there.


Although there are many online logo maker tools that can provide a company's design needs, they do not provide the unique concept and distinctive personality necessary to get your brand message across your target customers, unlike handcrafted logos.

Remember, experienced logo designers spend a lot of time creating an effective logo that is right for your business. They do not only follow the basic principles of logo design, they understand and integrate the important aspects of your business into the design process to give you a strong logo that is effective, trustworthy, and timeless.