Elements of a Great Logo Design

There’s nothing quite like a genuinely good logo design. Take FedEx for example – the bold font, vivid orange and purple, and the cleverly disguised arrow, hiding in the negative space between the last two letters. There’s a reason Lindon Leader, who designed the icon in 1994, won over 40 distinguished design prizes for it. What part of the FedEx logo won him those awards? 

“Simplicity and clarity,” he said. “Great design is born of those two things.”

And he’s right. Think of the biggest brands today. Nike. Apple. Starbucks. You can’t look at their names without also seeing their logos. 

The modern marketing industry puts a lot of effort into reminding people how much of their company’s branding lies outside iconography, but there’s a reason the industry never has to convince someone that they need a logo. Everyone remembers a good logo – representing your brand with an icon that can permanently etch itself in someone’s memory is a no-brainer. Today, we explore exactly what it takes to build a logo that can stand alongside the all-time greats.

onfire design elements of great logo design

Keep it simple and memorable

The simpler your logo is, the more recognisable it is. It’s hard to imagine mistaking the Nike swoosh for another brand logo, even if only glancing at it for half a second. Over-designing a logo will only lead to it being too busy to stick in someone’s head. In order to tie your logo to your product, it has to be elegant and uncomplicated. There are other ways to make it loud, aggressive, or gripping, without leaning on making it overly intricate. Ask yourself, does this logo look the same when scaled down in size? When blown up to fit a billboard? Does it look good printed on labels that fit to your product? The best way to achieve these things is to keep it simple. 

Keep it timeless

It costs money and time to invest in good branding and design. Don’t pay for a logo twice – design it to last the first time. Think of the Coca-Cola logo, which has barely changed since the late 1800s. Again, over-designing is your enemy here. Use a small palette of colours. Find the one theme or style you like best, and commit to it. Research your market, and try to imagine the future of it. Plan ahead – design a logo that’s simple enough to subtly evolve over the years, rather than needing to be completely rebuilt to keep up with progress.

Make it flexible

Leading on from the last point, designing a logo that has the power to change is a huge benefit. The very best logos look great in colour, in grayscale, and in black & white. Beyond the potential technical issues forcing you to use a logo in these circumstances, you also want to be able to change the logo’s palette easily, for a number of reasons. Collaborations. Special company events. Evolution over time. Imagine all the possible ways the logo might get used over its lifetime. What does it look like upside-down? Or back-to-front?

Make it apt

Know your audience. Think of how different the Lego and Rolex logos are. One appeals to kids, the other to adults, with very little crossover. Designing a logo to fit your brand’s customer base is vital, especially when you are first starting out as an organisation.

Make it Onfire

For help putting all of this together, it pays to talk to the experts. Reach out and contact us today. Onfire Design makes brands more visible, more differentiated, and more competitive. On budget, on time – and on fire.

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