UX, Web & Brand design by Stuart Gamblen

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5 Secrets of a Killer Business Logo Design

A great logo design is the pillar design element when branding your business, right?

Good design is good for business and your logo is the one design element that represents your business everywhere and subconsciously communicates everything you do, even when you’re not around.

Your logo is the cornerstone design element that instantly communicates your business message and values.

Like the Knights of Medieval times, your logo is your Coat of Arms that quickly allows people to recognise you, what you stand for, and whether or not you represent quality and trustworthiness.

A great business logo design immediately communicates your product, its pedigree, and its quality.

But what exactly are the secrets of a killer business logo design?

Well first off, a great logo is…

1. Simple

The first secret to a killer business logo design is simplicity…

Simplicity ensures that your logo is easily recognised and understood. Elements that make up a good logo must be things that people can easily interpret, and that can also easily draw upon subconscious associations and emotions.

In order to achieve simplicity a logo should have…

Proportion and symmetry – Symmetry and proportion should be used wherever possible to ensure a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing logo. The devil is in the details.

Limited colours – There’s no rule set in stone, but 2–5 colours is a good range to try and stick within. Like all good branding what’s most important here is consistency. Just try not to go crazy.

Clarity – A great logo should be distraction and clutter free. Clarity breeds simplicity and is one of the keys to quick and efficient communication. Too many elements make a logo confusing. Simple images will embed themselves in your customer’s mind.

Be sure not to confuse simplicity with amateur or quick and easy, though. Selecting and retaining the right elements whilst removing unnecessary ones that complicate is a real art…

Tip: What you choose to remove is just as important as what you decide to keep. Finding that perfect balance is the key to retaining simplicity whilst still effectively communicating your message.

Nike business logo designPin
Nike – A classic logo design and example of simplicity.

2. Memorable

The second secret is memorability. A memorable logo design is…

Unique – A killer logo must be original. No one remembers a logo that blends in. Uniqueness equals memorability. Also, if your logo isn’t unique your not only guilty of plagiarism but even worse, at risk of looking like a second-rate version of the original business you copied.

Describable – Great logos have a distinguishing feature. If someone’s able to describe your logo to another person without them seeing it, because of a distinguishing feature, then it’s likely to be a memorable logo.

Differentiated – A killer logo should stand out from the competition not look like everyone else. Smart businesses differentiate. Don’t blend in, be different, be memorable.

Tip: Negative space is the white or empty area between different elements. Clever use of it can be one way to create a very unique and memorable logo. It can be used to convey multiple meanings. A good example of this is the Fedex logo. Take a look below. Can you spot the message in the negative space?

Fedex company logo designPin
The FedEx logo makes clever use of negative space to help differentiate and make itself memorable.

3. Timeless

A killer business logo should be able to endure the test of time…

Good design is timeless and remains effective regardless of age or era.

A timeless business logo design

Avoids clichés – Cliches are unoriginal to the point of being irritating. It’a best to avoid these along with metaphors, and euphemisms. These things have meanings that can change into negative connotations almost overnight. You want to be original and fresh with no lingering negativity associated with the old and worn out.

Avoids trends – Trends and fads don’t last and can often fade as swiftly as they begin. Trends also indicate that you’re following. Your business should be leading and creating the trends that other companies and people want to follow.

Transcend fashions – Fashion is fickle at best and changes with the shift of public opinion. Fashion follows what’s popular and trendy and whats popular or trendy isn’t always the most effective, aesthetically pleasing and timeless.

Shell company logo designPin
Shell – A timeless logo design that has remained effective and changed very little since 1907

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4. Versatile

A great business logo design is able to appear anywhere and be used in any situation…

Versatile business logo designs are…

Transferable – A great logo should be able to be used in any medium. It should remain just as consistent in the physical, printed world as it does in the digital, pixel-based world, regardless of format.

Effective in one colour – A killer logo must also be able to function as a silhouette or single colour image in the event that it appears on faxes, letterheads and other monochromatic documents. This also enables you to keep printing costs down should you wish whilst retaining an effective design.

Scalable – A good logo should be effective regardless of size. It should work on roadside billboards, postage stamps and everywhere in between. Tiny or huge it should remain legible and effective without any loss of detail. A good graphic designer will always ensure that your master logo is created as a vector graphic for this reason.

Reversible – Ensuring your logo can be printed in reverse, with the colours the opposite way around, allows for flexibility. It might not always be appropriate for you to place your logo on a white background. Ensuring it works in reverse allows you to use it on coloured backgrounds and is also great for things such as transparent stickers.

Apple - Versatile business logo designPin
Apple – A great example of a versatile logo design.

5. Appropriate

A quality logo design must fit with your product or service and the customer base you are attempting to attract…

A successful logo resonates with your perfect customer. The audience who responds most strongly should be the ones that are most likely to purchase your offerings.

The are the key ingredients of an appropriate business logo are…

Relevant – A first-class logo design should be in harmony with your target market and demographic, as well as the product or service your provide. Achieving the right image, one that is relevant to your small business, is critically important if you intend to grow and prosper.

Targeted – A targeted logo conveys the perfect image to your perfect customer – An excellent logo should not only give your ideal customer an understanding of your products and services, but also speak to their sensibilities.

Communicates brand value – Along with resonating with your ideal customer your logo should also convey a feeling that’s in line with the core values of your business and customers. A good logo design will also strengthen your businesses perceived value.

Meaningful – The colours, fonts and form your logo uses communicate an awful lot about your business. They should be in harmony with your corporate values, product and audience, whilst also being pleasing to look at.

Disney - Appropriate business logo designPin
Disney – A happy, playful animated and appropriate logo design.

The keys to business logo design success

So there you have it, the five secrets to a killer logo design…

…along with the various elements that must be included in order for each of them to be implemented successfully.

Use these principles correctly and you’ll create a positive brand image for your business and embed it into your customers hearts and minds…

Get these five secrets right and your is guaranteed to be a success.

Ready to improve your trust, brand image and sales? Checkout out my logo design services or book your complementary logo design discovery call here now.