What Makes A Good Logo?

Ryan RydellAdvice, Blog

What Makes a Good Logo

Your company’s logo is a big deal.  A really big deal. It is going to be the most recognizable image within your business, and should be given some care when designed. I’ve compiled a list of a few tips you should consider when designing a logo for your company.

Hire a Designer

If you have the budget to do so, hire a professional graphic designer with branding experience to create your logo. If you do not have a budget for this, you should make one. Your logo isn’t something you should do yourself unless you are an experience and unbiased graphic mind with skills in vector graphic software. Plumbers plumb, Roofers roof, Accountants account, and Designers design.  If you absolutely cannot afford to pay for a logo, consider offering barter. If this is not possible, and as an absolute last resort, do it yourself while following these tips:

Keep it Simple

A great logo is simple, clean, and easily remembered. Nothing will ruin your branding more than a logo that is complex and hard to read. Your logo will be used in many different ways and multiple forms of media. It must transfer equally across all of them. The consumer’s mind jumps quickly from one thing to the next, so your logo must translate a message with as little effort as possible. A simple design is best to get this done.

Remember Your Customers

A logo is not designed for you, it is designed for your customers. Remember to NOT design something that you like, but rather, focus on something that will be recognizable and memorable to your customers. You might not like squares or blue, but that might be exactly the design elements needed for your company. If you find yourself trying to design something that you find appealing because of your personal tastes, you are probably on the wrong track. A good design company will offer quick, low-cost, and sometimes free critiques of logos. Take these critiques as gold.

Do Not Rely on Industry Specific Images

Does Nike’s swoosh look like a shoe?  Do the McDonald’s Arches look like a cheeseburger?  Does Apple Computers sell Apples?  Some of the best logos have marks that are not relevant to their products in any way. This is because a good logo doesn’t have to be industry specific. You will be limiting yourself by relying on images that show your product, and essentially removing all creativity from the equation. Let the ideas flow, and try all of them. Shoot, sometimes a straight textual logo is the best option. Does a construction company really need a hammer in its logo?

Focus on Size & Weight

The size, dimensions and weight of your logo make a big difference. When you release your logo you may need it on business cards, web sites, pens, letterhead, signs, shirts, etc… Each of these applications requires a special size and style. Your logo must work equally well on all of them. If your marketing plan includes a lot of web links or event sponsorship, a square logo may be best. A square logo covers more of the allocated space on a website sidebar than a rectangle logo.  The weight of your logo can be defined by its demand for visual attention.  In the sea of other logos, who’s logo do you see first? That logo is the one with the most overall “weight”. Sometimes, a logo can even have multiple forms to accommodate for varying applications. A good logo will let this happen, where a bad design will lose its character immediately.

Save the Color for Last

You will want your logo to work in black & white first. Only after your logo is great in black & white should you begin to add color. If your logo relies on color for its effect, you will lose that effect the moment a media supplier prints your logo in black & white. Rely first on the logo’s form, then apply color for added, but not entirely necessary, effect.


These tips should help you get off in the right direction. If you realize you are not the right person to design your logo, RyCOM is here to help. We do this kind of thing.