4 Principles of a Great Logo
By Abra Johnson – Aboveboard Designer
1. A Great Logo Must Follow Basic Design Principles
A good logo is simple, straight forward, and easily recognizable. Take for example Nike, it’s universally renowned, extremely simple, and looks good in any color, on any background, and is endlessly timeless. When considering your new logo, think about who you are, how will you be using the logo, what kind of overall look are you hoping to achieve? Do you want a darker logo, a lighter logo, are you a sensitive company, or a strong and empowering company. Will you be needing to print this logo on very small elements like tags or keychains?
A logo can also have many looks, perhaps for larger applications your logo has a longer tagline alongside it, yet still a recognizable icon for small applications.
In the end consider:
- Application of logo within your marketing and on merchandizing.
- Complicated or simple.
- With an icon or simply your company name in a good, unique font.
2. A Great Logo Must Be Functional
As I said above, a logo must be functional. A good logo can be recognized both large and small. Take into consideration what your company sells. If you are a Real Estate Agent, a simple logo is key. Prospective buyers need to be able to see your logo as they drive past a sign at say, 25-45 MPH. that’s very little time to take it all in, so keep it simple and instantly recognizable.
A logo must also be adaptable to your marketing material. The logo is your launching point for the visual design and theme of your entire company. If you logo is simple, your website should be clean and simple to follow suit. Your logo needs to blend well, and adapt to future updates and changes within your institution as it grows. Take for example a college football logo, many have changed in the past decade to better match the ever growing sharpness and athleticism of the programs.
See here how Washington State University transitioned from Washington State College (WSC) to Washington State University (WSU) while maintaining the same concept. Also note how this is an endlessly timeless logo, simple, and instantly recognizable on TV, Clothing, Etc. (clearly we are biased here.)
3. A Great Logo Must Represent the Company
A great logo embodies your purpose. Take our logo for example, it’s simple, but the slanted line under “Aboveboard” suggests that we are in fact, Above the Board. ‘Aboveboard’ is a poker term meaning: You’re keeping your hands on the table, full disclosure, we aren’t hiding any cards.
Looking again at Nike, it’s a swoosh, it’s speed, simplicity, streamlined (quite literally).
4. A Great Logo Must Be Unique
A great logo is unique in that it’s not easily recreated. A unique icon, or manipulated text helps to set your logo apart. Looking at the WSU Cougars logo again, that is a very stylized, very unique logo. Sometimes just a good font is all you need, but make sure it’s a unique font, not just a font you found in Microsoft Word. Make it a font that someone can’t just find somewhere for free. Make it YOURS.