Designing an Effective Logo


Every business begins and ends with an idea. How effectively that idea is conveyed in your marketing depends first and foremost on whether or not it can be communicated through your graphics- more specifically your logo.

The basis of any logo design lies in the knowledge of what a logo really is and what it represents. A common misrepresentation is that a logo consists solely of an image and text. While it is true that a logo may employ these devices, the true value of a logo is its ability to reflect your brand message via shape, color and fonts. Your logo is essentially the 'face' of your company. There are many guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to designing a logo, but we're only going to cover the basics. Ideally, when reduced to its bare minimum, a well conceived logo should be instantly recognizable such as the bright yellow and soft curves of McDonald's golden arches or the bold red and hypnotic pattern of Target's bullseye. An effective logo exemplifies duplicity- it works on a large scale and small, in color and b/w, in print and online, etc. This duplicity (or flexibility) carries on into the potential settings/uses in which the logo will be used; a great example being MTV whose brand personality shifts within the pop culture bloodstream which requires their logo to be used in a wide variety of color schemes, patterns, mediums (2D, 3D, claymation).

With these starter guidelines in mind, its time to develop a process. Its at this point that you should consider obtaining the services of a professional designer if you lack the artistic insight or technical ability of design software. Every design experience is different so there is no one process that yeilds a better logo than another, though most design processes include research, sketching, illustration and revisions. Creating a design brief will also help you to stay on task, clearly define the goals of your logo and save money on costly post-production revision fees. In the next post we'll walk through a sample logo design process and I'll go into more depth on some of the guidelines that make a good logo an effective one.


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