A logo is that concept, symbol, graphic element that represents the main feature or the basic orientation of one company, site or product. In other words the logo is the element which provides feed-back to the potential customer.
The purpose of one logo is to make people say something like that:”Hey look at this, here we can buy swatches of the very high quality, I saw this symbol on the Tom’s swatch which is really fabulous, it shows the time with no error”. A great logo instantly connects the people with the product. For example the logo of Coca Cola is worldwide known, when you see the it’s logo, you immediately feel the taste of juice in your mouth.
Coca Cola’s Logo on the headquarters
It has an important quality which is essential for logos: is timeless, since 1885 they are using the same logo and that is something that bring an invisible, but important advantage for them.
History of Logo
The idea of logo seems to be something born in the same time as the Internet, but its history is longer than you ever imagined. The Mesopotamians and Egyptians used to stamp their bricks in order to reveal the intended construction place. The Romans evolved, they stamped on their bricks place of origin, final destination and the mark of the manufacturer.
The Middle Age wasn’t a good period for logos, but the Industrial Revolution was a step further for logos and their creators. The second part of 20 Century was the real development of creating trademarks and logos and since then we have been witnessing an identity (r)evolution.
Unfortunately there is no rule to make an outstanding logo, the process of creation is an art in my opinion (this is also the opinion of the majority of web & logo designers), and everything depends on the creativity and the power of expressivity of the designer. In spite of that, the logo designers tried to make a set of rules in this field to help you in the process of creation. Here is a list which is based on the common principles you find in all the lists of principles for logo design. Anyways, nobody has a definite list of basic principles for logo design, and I believe that it will never be established as it is art, not math.
1.Your Logo should be able to Use on a variety of media
The development of media represents an important fact in logo design. In the past any marks, logo or trademarks were used only in print; much more the quality of color and even style wasn’t as important as nowadays. A modern logo can be used in print, in a very high-resolution, on a site, on a banner, on business cards, and even on T-shirts. A solution for this is to realize a logo that is very simple or versatile. A very good example is the logo of “Nike” which is only a small black swosh; it looks the same on all means of media. This quality is also called versatility.
Nike’s Logo on T-Shirt
Nike’s Logo on a wall
2.Your logo should be easy to memorize and understand for everybody
Once again simplicity is the key of logo design. In the creation of one logo we should consider the human mnemonic value, it makes it memorable.
Color of Logo:
When we see blue it make us dreaming about the sea, red means for me,danger or forbidden things, green makes me feel calm and makes me think of grass and nature. Using these colors in the right context controls our thoughts in a good way.
An adapted color combination is also a step further; for example if we are making a logo for a kindergarten it is not recommended to use red with black-it is a very strong message even if the font type suits the message. A color combination of white which in this case inspires the feeling of purity can be used with blue or maybe some variation of green.(I repeat, this is only my advice, there is no rule).
Shape of Logo:
The shape of a logo is another important part: a complicated shape puts people in a difficult position, it is hard to see the drawing…the message surely is totally strange for them.
An example of Inappropriate logo
Great logo, perfect color combination
3.Your logo should be able to answer the questions: why? , who? , what?
A logo shouldn’t explain what the company does (the logo of “LG” have any connection to the IT items or TV screens? It sure doesn’t but they are an important and big corporation in this field). Nevertheless you can’t use everything for everyone; the logo should inspire us to think of the product in the way the company that produces it wants us to. If you want to make a good logo for a client you must have the answers to these questions:
- Why do you need this logo?
- Who is the target?
- What is the purpose of it?
Understanding these is a must, not a dispensable point in the process of creation, skipping it can cause a very embarrassing situation: maybe you will make a great and modern logo with disco style for a company that produces classic furniture; a strong disaccord between the style adopted for logo and the essence of manufacturer will occur.
Strong disaccord between the style of logo and product
4.Your logo should be timeless
I mentioned earlier Coca Cola, their logo is timeless. Being timeless means that time does not alter the quality of the logo. Style changes, you can easily find on the Internet many articles that sound like :“New trends in design for 2010”.
A company that wants to be in trend with the latest fashion in design might think they should change their logo every year …but that is a grave error, the customer hardly learned the logo and got use to it in a year, you can not change it. The ABC logo was designed by Paul Rand in 1962 and it has never been modified. This is another relevant example of what is timeless.
5.Your logo should be able to be displayed in black and white
This rule is an invitation to simplicity; in my opinion I think that the concept itself makes the difference and not the way the concept is materialized. The logo of Nike, LG, Coca Cola, ABC are easy to draw with a pen, they do not need high-resolution, special effects or shadows in Photoshop, Illustrator, Gimp.
Black and white = white and black
6.Your logo should be impressive & seductive
A logo is the first answer to the following question:”Why I am better or different from others?”. Having an impressive & seductive logo brings you closer to potential clients. An impressive mark gives your partners respect and trust in your power. It is possible for a logo that does not respect these rules to impress people. The originality of the company starts with the logo, so an original logo is an important plus in an economical competition. There is a dilemma: if I make an original logo it can be appreciated as a new construction, a mini-revolution maybe, but it can be seen as an element that stands out in the world of logo design.
Another Great Logo
7.Your logo should be SIMPLE
Everything can be resolved in life with a kiss, even in logo design. Here kiss stands for “Keep It Simple and Stupid”. I believe that this is the most important rule and the conclusion is: in many cases simple things explain and contain the message better than a complicated things. The logos below are a good proof.