10 Must-Have Ingredients of a Great Logo Design

Last Updated on June 26th, 2020

I love Starbucks!

After all, it serves me my favorite Vanilla Latte.

The exact amount of sugar, precisely made… Oh, they know my type of latte.

For sure, you, too, share a special connection with your favorite coffee giant. Imagine, someday, you step in, and they mess up your coffee by putting in more ingredients.

How would you feel? Heart-broken, eh!

Talk about logos, they too need some Master Chefs skills, or I may say Master Design skills.

Without any further ado, let’s dive right into the must-have ingredients of great logo design.

Logo Design

Logo Design

1. Simplicity – Your savior

Tell me what you can easily memorize?

An essay filled with a plethora of words or a summary? If you say the former, then I’m sorry, but your mind is running antilock wise. (wink wink)

A summary that is enriched with the main gist of the matter is easy to memorize yet is conveyable.

Now, when I talk in terms of design when making a great logo, you are indirectly asking your customers to recall the brand when they see it again.

Without adhering to the notion of simplicity, it is next to impossible to design such a great logo.

A simple logo directly gets etched into our neurons, and we are more likely to recall a brand when we see its logo.

Unnecessary visual noise gives the impression that you are not confident enough about the message you are conveying, which is undoubtedly not true.

P.S: Learn it from Nike:

Nike Logo

Nike Logo

Clear, precise, yet focuses on one core message. What a great logo!

Pro tip:

  • Strengthen your cord with simplicity.
  • Make sure that there is no visual noise and a vague message in your logo.
  • Focus on one idea and voila! You have taken your first step.

2. Memorability – Your connecting cord

Okay, here I have an issue with most of the people who follow the mythical theory:

“Your logo should represent what you do.”

Excuse me! If I own a plumbing company, should I include tap in my logo?

Or you want me to include a hanger if I own a fashion brand?

Silly theories. If you want to include a symbol in your logo, make sure that it doesn’t provide a literal image of your brand.

In such a case, a symbol that breaks the clutters yet is memorable can be a game-changer. Talk of symbols, I can easily mention Twitter here:

Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo

Twitter doesn’t sell birds but has included one in their logo.

Every time when I see this bluebird, the only thing that comes to my mind is “Twitter.”

A great logo design is instantly callable. You see it, and you recognize the brand. This plays a major role when it comes to cashing “micro-moments.”

Pro Tip:

  • Try to search for symbols that go with your brand’s mission or vision.
  • Incorporate it into your logo and ask people what they think about it.
  • Make sure that the visual isn’t too busy that it distracts people.

3. Versatility – Your supporter

Yesterday, I opened my wardrobe and saw my favorite black T-shirt. Well, I don’t leave it, I mix and match stuff and come up with 100 ways to make it look different every time.

Thinking why I am telling you about my T-shirt out of nowhere?

Well, that black T-shirt is basically your logo. And those lowers are your various mediums where you get it published.

You got it now!

Your logo should be versatile enough that it looks good on every medium. It shouldn’t look forced.

No matter in what size it is scaled to, it should look good. Let’s see an example of “Beats.”

Beats Logo

Beats Logo

No matter you scale it small or large, whether you place it on a website or get it printed on letterheads, the logo will look the same. It won’t look off-beat.

Your logo should serve the same purpose if it doesn’t, then disown it and come up with a new one. A great logo design needs to gel well with all sizes and mediums else it won’t support your branding efforts.

Pro tip:

  • Start making your logo in black in white.
  • Scale it in small and large sizes; analyze how it looks.
  • Get it printed on letterhead and see how it turns out.

4. Timelessness

Memories are timeless; logos are too.

I am a person who is not so fond of FADS that come and go in a blink of an eye.

If you are someone who wants to move with the FADS when it comes to logos, then I’m sorry. You will always be in the battle of rebranding time and again.

Winning logos are timeless. They are not bound by any restriction of what colors are in, what sort of gradient is in the fashion. They run on the principle of simplicity.

Talk about FADS, they make you look outdated, as soon as a new FAD jumps in. So yeah, it’s preferable to avoid it.

I suggest you play on the safe ground and use colors, symbols, and images that stay relevant in the days to come.

See the example of “Microsoft.” I can call it timeless.

Microsoft Logo

Microsoft Logo

Pro tip:

  • Analyze what a brand is about
  • Get to know the target audience
  • Take the mission of the brand into account while designing it.
  • Owe to simplicity

5. The correct vibe – Your differentiator

To decide the vibe you want to give, first understand your brand’s voice.

What if I turn McDonald’s logo into a blue colored one?

McDonald’s Logo

McDonald’s Logo

It feels Ewww!

What’s the reason?

The logo will not give the vibe of fun and sassy. While the target audience of Mcdonald’s is fun, happening, and lively.

It is crucial for a logo to give positive vibes about a brand. To communicate the right vibe, it is imperative to understand your target audience.

When you are to create a logo, make sure that you understand the brand voice. A great logo appeals to its target audience and evokes positive emotions.

Pro tip:

  • Analyze the target audience before designing a great logo
  • Make variants of your logo with a minimal difference
  • Choose colors that gel well with the vibe you want to communicate.

6. Use of appropriate colors – the emotion evokers

Colors are the truest reinforcers of a message. For instance: If you want to give a happy vibe, you use bright colors like orange, pink, etc. Similarly, if you are corporate and want to give a more serious look, you go with black, blue, etc.

Let’s suppose: You own a vegan restaurant and want to convey a message that you only serve vegan meals. In such a case, the color green will help.

The green color relates to Mother-nature. A vegan will have no issues in recognizing what your brand is all about.

“Body Shop” logo serves the best example here. Right after seeing the color, you can say, it’s a brand that deals in products made of all earthy-elements.

The Body Shop Logo

The Body Shop Logo

Pro tip:

  • Be very fussy when it comes to colors
  • Take help of emotional color wheel
  • Understand your audience before making a great logo design
  • Make sure that your logo is aligned with the brand voice.

7. Uniqueness – Your key to customers brain

Every other Tom, Dick, and Harry claims to be a logo designer.

I’m sorry, but I will stick to my words. What do some designers think? By making swoosh or a bird, they become a logo designer?

In their dreams, they can!

A logo should make your brand different from others. Every other logo I see gets killed by monotonous. For God’s sake, please stop using mainstream elements.

When you look the same amid 4 different brands, your customers fail to recognize you. For sure, it’s good to take inspiration from other brands, but being a copy-cat doesn’t sound good to me.

Pro tip:

  • Please don’t use clipart
  • Break your relationship with monotony. Think of more ideas
  • Make sure that your designed logo looks unique enough

8. Typography – Say it in a sensible way

I have seen many designers killing their logos with the use of the worst typography. Sometimes, they use two fonts in a logo, which isn’t an ideal approach.

It sheer speaks for unprofessionalism. Your choice of font plays a significant role. Whether you are choosing serif or sans serif fonts, just assure one thing that it doesn’t make your logo look busy.

If you are to make a typographic logo, be very choose with the font as it is responsible for uplifting the real essence of a great logo.

Talk about the typographic logo, Coca-Cola is the best example.

Coca-Cola Logo

Coca-Cola Logo

Pro tip:

  • Experiment with different typefaces before selecting the one
  • Don’t ever think of including more than one font

9. Brand’s message – the golden key

Oh, this truly reminds me of Amazon. Not only is it scalable, but it conveys the brand’s message.

Amazon Logo

Amazon Logo

If you see the message they are trying to convey, it is understandable. They want their customers to know that they have everything from A to Z and everything in between.

I know it’s not easy to incorporate a brand’s message in a logo, but it isn’t something unachievable.

When the brand’s message gets etched into the imagery, it gives it a new life, perhaps the real meanings.

Pro tip:

  • Know the message and think of the symbols that best represent it
  • Once you have the symbols, try to come up with a unified symbol that has it all that a brand wants to convey.

10. Visually pleasing – Soothing to eyes

Run of the mill things fail to impress us. Almost everyone dislikes too loud or too noisy logos.

A visually pleasing logo runs parallel to the simplicity and doesn’t let you wander. It is soothing to your eyes, and your subconscious mind approves of it consciously.

Adidas Logo

Adidas Logo

Here I can give an example of a sports brand, “Adidas.” The visual contains no unnecessary elements; it is simple, unique, yet has it all to hammer a customer’s brain.

Pro tip:

  • Make sure your logo isn’t too loud.
  • Avoid using unnecessary symbols

Final thoughts

I’m sure by now; you must have learned what it takes to become a Master Designer.

Perhaps many of you are the Van Gogh of the 21st century, but you haven’t ever discovered it, who knows?

The key ingredients I have mentioned are essential to creating a winning logo. If it’s a bit overwhelming for you, then I recommend taking baby steps and practice, including every element one by one.

Moreover, entrepreneurs can analyze their logo with the help of this guide. If two or more elements seem missing, I feel that it’s the perfect time to rebrand.

Do you have something to share? I’d love to know in the comments section.

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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