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February 27, 2012

Principles of Effective Logo Design

A logo is what makes a company recognizable at once, - a simple design that doesn’t age in time, while the message it delivers is easily understood by everybody.
Being the commercial brand of a company, logo design is quite tricky, satisfying certain rules that are related to the psychology of colors and shapes. Logos identify a business and make it memorable. Now, creating one is the hardest part if you don’t already have a genius idea set up in your mind. There are certain rules and principles that lead the design process of a logo that every designer should take into consideration. This might be the first introduction to your company and people might spot it even before seeing your products or learn about the services you provide. 
This is why meeting the clients expectations is definitely a must. Before starting the design of a logo, take into consideration the five most important principles of logo design:
1. Make it simple
Less detail is more effective when it comes to logo design. Don’t overcrowd the design of your logo with useless details, aim for something simple and stylish. Think of Apple’s first logo design (a detailed representation of the legendary Isaac Newton siting under an apple tree) – it was replaced immediately with one simple rainbow-colored apple and since then has gone through some slight changes. Simplicity is definitely the key to success when it comes to logo design. This is what will make it easy to remember and imagine, especially if it goes along with a memorable slogan. A simple design will make a faster and efficient impact, as the human brain is more open to fewer details and a direct message.
2. Go for memorable
The second principle goes hand in hand with simplicity, because as it has been mentioned – a simple logo design will have more chances to be memorable. Keeping the design of a logo simple, yet memorable is what made companies' logos like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, or Nike for instance last for such a long time and be recognized in every corner of the world. Of course, it is not just about the logo in order to become popular on the worldwide market, but this principle applies to any logo design anyway. One can still stand out with their logo in a small community of people and this is what will definitely make it memorable.
3. Timeless
Being simple and memorable will make your logo satisfy yet another principle of effective logo design – being timeless. Yes, logos have to stop aging in time and should not belong to a certain period of time, unless that period is epic for a reason or two. In order to stand the test of time, a good logo should beat the trends, hence lasting for more than a year would be quite an achievement. Trends come and go – good logos are timeless.
4. Do it versatile
The dictionary defines versatile as being capable of adapting to different environments, or capable of many uses. This is exactly what a logo should do. Whether it’s about a small thumbnail or a huge poster, on television or on a printed newspaper – your logo should look good on all of them. Carefully pick colors, design your logo in black and white if needed first, in order to make sure the shapes and the fonts are right, then pick the needed colors so that it will look good on different backgrounds when needed. Using raster images for logos is definitely a no-no. Go for vector graphics software instead like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator for instance in order to design your logo. Remember about the “versatile” principle – logos have to look good no matter the size.
5. Appropriate
In the end relevancy is what’s important and counts a lot when designing a logo, though it is not a general rule followed by all the designers out there. Designing a logo, let’s say for a medical company, hence representing a medical kit on it is already outdated, unless your logo stands out by having that something that other logos intended for medicine don’t have. Design a logo that would be appreciated by the target audience of the company, guess what the client wants by researching his field thoroughly, anticipating what would people expect to think when they will see the logo you designed.
There are several other things to be considered while designing a successful logo, some of them being:
Sketching your idea first: Sketch the idea of your logo in black and white, make sure the shape is right, and then start adding colors to that. Adding colors in the first place might be distracting. However this is not a strict rule again – creativity comes in different ways and if colors is what’s on your mind in the first place then go for it.
Choose your fonts carefully: Fonts are as important in a logo, as the shapes and graphics you use. Finding the perfect font might be a tricky job, so that you have to know what is appropriate for the company or product you design the logo for and what matches the overall design of the logo. Play with sizes if needed but don’t overdo it.
Be inventive: Try not to copy other ideas. You can get inspired from other popular logos, but copying elements is first of all stealth of copyrights, and second of all – not professional. Be inventive and think out of the box – this is what everyone appreciates and always will.  

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