What makes a great logo?

A great logo allows people to make a connection to a businesses core values.

You should follow the six principles below to ensure that your design meets all of the following criteria:

    1. Meaningful
    2. Distinctive
    3. Simple
    4. Versatile
    5. Relatable
    6. Timeless



I love NY Logo

Milton Glaser designed the I Love NY logo in 1977 for the city of New York. During that decade, New York had one of the highest crime rates in the world. Tourism was taking a hit. The introduction of the logo changed the perception of New York tourism and swept the world in the process. People from all over the world have copied and profited from the identity Glaser designed for free.

A meaningful logo allows people to connect with your brand both consciously and sub-consciously. It makes it memorable, unique and powerful.

People structure and interact with the world differently on the basis of the meaning they assign to events in their social and physical environments. At Landmark Education, I learned that humans are meaning making machines. We place meanings on everything we see, feel and do. Meaning making is embedded in our DNA. This allows for a deep connection between you and the world around you. Without meaning, we would be living an empty life.

Questions to ask

  • Does it make you feel a certain way?
  • Will you remember it?
  • Did it made you think?



Pixar Animation Studios Logo
A distinctive logo should stand out based on its attributes and qualities. It allows for the logo to be easily recognized and distinguish among others.

There are many logos out there that are begging for attention. It is important to create something original. Do NOT follow the trend if your goal is to stand out. Be bold, unique and clear. This will allow for the logo to never be mistaken with another brand. Recognition and distinction sets apart the high performing brands from the low performing ones.

Questions to ask

  • Does it contain a strong silhouette?
  • If the lights were off, could you tell what it was?
  • If you squint, can you still see it?
  • Could you tell what it was from a distance?



Nike Logo

The simplicity of the logo will decide how clear and precise your message is. It allows for it to be easily recognized and remembered.

3-hour feature movie. Anybody can talk non-sense for hours… Simplicity demonstrates clarity and focus.

Questions to ask

  • Is your message precise and to the point?



WWF Logo
A versatile logo should be able to work in different mediums and platforms. It should adapt to future project needs. If tomorrow you had the opportunity to have your logo on a billboard, would the logo be scalable?

You should always keep your business economics in mind. Most people don’t think about the business side when developing logos. Did you know that it cost more money to print a shirt that has 5 colors opposed of 3?

You should always think outside the box. Think of all the possibilities you can create by sharing your brand in unique ways. Have you thought of your logo being a unique keychain?

Questions to ask

  • Does it work in other mediums and platforms
  • Does it work both in horizontal and vertical layouts?
  • Does it help the economics of my business?
  • Does it have potential for expansion?



Apple Logo

Did you know that  during Apple Inc struggles, they remained the largest education supplier in the world. The brand appealed to teachers and students. Have you ever given an apple to your teacher before?

A relatable logo allows for creating connections with the targeted audience. What makes something likeable is the ability to relate to it. Think of the brand Apple for instance. Mac users think of themselves as a creative group of people. They view Apple as a creative brand, therefore they choose to buy a Mac over a PC.

Questions to ask

  • Will your target audience create a connection?
  • Will your target audience be drawn to it?



Coca-cola vs pepsi Logo
An effective logo should be timeless. It should survive the real test of time. A logo that is timeless is embedded with the core values of the business. Core values shouldn’t change over time and neither should the logo.

A perfect example of consistency is Coca-Cola. They haven’t changed the logo since they started. They have only refined it as technology advances.

Questions to ask

  • Will the logo survive in time?
  • 10, 20, 40 years later, will new generations accept it?


What makes a logo great in your opinion?

Recommended logo design books:


Disclaimer: This article was written by Alejandro Rodriguez. All post reflects his personal opinion based on factual research.
All other trademarks, logos and images remain the property of their respective owners.

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