9 Essential Logo Design Rules

9 Essential Logo Design Rules: Does Your Logo Pass The Test?

Your brand’s logo is your business’s unique thumbprint. While your brand is not your logo design, the integrity of your logo designs is one of the key elements of building a successful brand.

If you’re wondering if it’s time to rebrand or if you’re in the process of rebranding your business and you’re wondering how to decide here are some simple guidelines to follow to pass the logo design test.

1. Simplicity

Over time, most globally recognized brands become simpler and simpler. The benefits of a simple logo design are that it’s stands the test of time than a logo that is complex or is designed from today’s trends.

A logo design that is designed clean and simply also communicates better than a logo design that cluttered, so go easy on the effects.

2. Distinctive

When you compare your logo with your competitors does it stand out or does it fade in? A great way to test this is to create a page with your competitor’s logos on it and then add your logo onto the page and check to see if it fits in or it stands out.

Here is an example of using several crowdsourcing brands.

Quirky is the logo that stands out the most here and you will notice how all of the other logo’s are very similar.

3. Originality

There are lots of cheap and accessible ways to create logo designs these days such as downloading logo’s or worse using clip art or royalty free icons. If you are truly looking to create a brand that’s capable of global impact and success then I’d highly recommend avoiding these cheap tactics.

You will also want to make sure that the colours, fonts and symbols that you use in your logo design are uniquely different than your competitors.

4. Colour

Colours evoke feelings and emotions.

For example yellow is happy, vibrant and youthful whereas red evokes feeling of strength, love and passion. The idea here is to match the right colour with the personality of your brandIf you are using more than one colour try to keep the colours within the same range of tone so for example don’t mix a pastel purple with a primary red colour. You also want to make sure that your logo works as a grey scale meaning only using black, white and grey.

5. Alignment

One of the main reasons why you don’t start the branding process by creating a logo design is to ensure that it’s is aligned with your business and brand strategy.

You will want to ensure that the personality of your brand is aligned with the look and feel of your logo and other brand elements. For example if your brand has the word “elite” in it and then your logo design looks cheap it won’t look aligned.

6. Typography

Choosing the right font and size is an important decision. Some of the most famous brands use a font only logo design such as Canon & Prada.

If you are creating a font only brand then I’d highly recommend using a customized font so that your logo is uniquely different and distinguished from other logos. You may even choose to hide a shape like the arrow in the FEDEX logo. Alternatively, you can also integrate a symbol into your typography like The Body Shop did with the O in their logo design. 

On the other hand avoid using common fonts such as Cosmic Sans that look amateur.

7. Size (does) matter

It’s important that your logo is legible at all sizes so you will want to avoid complexity in the symbol so that when you reduce the size for smaller items such as a business card, pins and other small promotional items that you do not lose the legibility when scaled down.

That’s why I recommend testing your logo at smaller sizes and also specifying in your brand guidelines the smallest usage of your logo design allowed.

It also has to look good in larger formats such as on billboards, posters and vehicle livery.

8. Declutter

Don’t try to say everything about your business in your logo design. There is a tendency to want your logo to say everything about your business but remember your logo design will rarely be seen all on its own unless your sponsoring something.

If your brand is trendy and youthful it doesn’t necessarily need to be communicated in the logo, you could communicate this brand personality in other elements such as your messaging, colour choices and even the fonts that you choose.

There are several other elements that your brand should have in place such as fonts, colour and image palate and also your messaging. All of these things together tell the story about your brand.

9. Consistency

Once you have finalized your logo you will want to use it consistently. It’s a good idea to establish basic logo design guidelines around circumstances you will and will not use it. For example you may decide that your logo can never go over an image and that it needs to have clear space around it.

Global brands invest in having brand guidelines for the usage of all of their brand’s elements including the colours, fonts, images, grid systems, tone of voice and yes the logo design too.

Ready to put it to the test? Download the logo design test PDF of this infographic to keep in your files for the future: