Every business that wants to stay in the market has to do some things and go through some steps. For example, the expert team collects and registers the business so that no legal problems arise. In addition to those tasks, the business/brand must have its own appropriate and distinctive name and logo. It is not an exaggeration to say that choosing a name and designing a suitable logo is one of the most difficult parts of the job.
Logo design is precise and sensitive work. The logo of any business is the symbol of that business. The customer should remember the brand with that logo. Brand owners tell the designer or illustrator what kind of logo they want (in fact, they commission the work). The designer should make some plans and show them to the employer. Maybe the employer doesn’t like any of them and the designer has to make new designs.
What principles should a designer follow to design a logo? Does logo design have principles and rules? How to design logos, will they be good logos? In this article, I will introduce you to the basic and important principles of logo design as well as tips for a successful logo design.
Illustrator is one of the most powerful software used for logo design.
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Logo Design Principles
Logo design is specialized for itself. Not every designer who knows graphics or illustrator can design effective and successful logos. A logo is a means to communicate with people. The brand logo speaks to the audience and conveys a message to it. Having an impressive and unique logo is very important for brands because
The logo of a brand is what firstly differentiates it from competitors and secondly becomes a brand symbol everywhere (in the real and virtual world).
Therefore, logo design requires graphic knowledge as well as a deep understanding of the market, brand, and audience. A logo is a graphic design that has a mission, and if it cannot accomplish that mission, it has failed. The brand and the logo designer have failed together.
When a design is so important, its design must have principles and rules. In designing a logo, you should pay attention to everything (color, font, font thickness, lines and shapes, etc.) and choose everything carefully. The designer must first choose and design based on the brand message and what the brand wants to convey to its audience, and secondly based on the basic principles of logo design.
5 basic Principles in logo design
How to design a logo like the Benz logo? Or a logo like the Chanel brand logo, which is easily used in the design of anything (fabrics, shoes, bags, jewelry)? The answer is creativity, mastery of design principles, and principles and rules of logo design.
1. Being creative and original (Originality)
The logo of each brand must be unique and specific to that brand. A copycat logo will fail and is of no use to the brand. The logo designer must be very careful about this. The logo should not only be imitative and repetitive but also should not be similar to other logos. If the logo is designed similarly to the logo of another brand, the viewer will notice very quickly and will remember the original logo. For example, if a logo designer is going to design a logo for a clothing brand, he must see all the logos in the field of fashion and clothing before designing.
2. Timelessness & Simplicity
The second and perhaps the most important principle in logo design is simplicity. The logo should be simple. The viewer should be able to understand all its components with one look at the logo. The viewer does not spend time on a logo that is full of details and patterns. In addition, the logo designer should take into account that the logo is used in different sizes and for display on different platforms. How can the viewer see the complex logo full of elements in very small dimensions and understand all its details?
Also, logos should not become old and fall out of fashion. The logo should be designed timelessly. This means that the logo should not lose its appeal to the viewer after a few years. It may be hard to believe, but the Benz logo was designed nearly 100 years ago. This logo has indeed undergone minor changes over the years, but its essence (that three-pointed star) has remained intact.
The viewer should remember the logo after seeing it once. A logo that is not remembered by the viewer is useless. A logo is a symbol and, like all symbols, it should be easily and quickly imprinted on the viewer’s mind. Another reason for the first principle, simplicity, is that simple logos are faster and easier to remember. Look again at the Benz and Chanel logos, they are both simple and memorable.
As I mentioned, the logo of a brand is supposed to be used in very diverse dimensions and on different surfaces with different colors and materials (for example, on very large billboards or the body of a psychoanalyst, or the handle of glasses or in the design of earrings or necklaces, etc.). The logo may even be placed in different directions (horizontal or vertical) or placed next to the logos of other competitors. The logo designer must consider all these possibilities and all possible applications when designing.
When a multi-purpose logo is designed, it is also scalable and can easily be given the desired dimensions. This is why logo design is done with vector design software, especially Illustrator. Because vector designs can be made very small or very large without reducing their quality.
When the principles of proportion and symmetry are used in logo design, the result is more natural and beautiful logos. The human brain understands and loves symmetry. In logo design, as in user interface design, psychological principles and rules (such as Gestalt rules) help the designer to reach designs that the human mind can communicate with and understand more easily.
Another rule that helps the designer a lot in logo design is that the human brain tends to complete shapes and designs that are placed next to each other. That is, if the shapes and letters are supposed to be placed next to each other in the logo, the viewer sees the shapes and letters complementing each other and together, as a whole. Balance, symmetry, and totality are beautiful in human eyes.
3 tips for a successful logo design
Knowing these principles, will the designer design successful and effective logos? Unfortunately, not! Logo design has three sides: the logo customer, the designer, and the logo audience. Therefore, a logo designer alone cannot design a specific and successful logo. It is better for designers and brands to pay attention to the following points in addition to considering the principles of logo design:
- A successful logo design is the result of constructive interaction between the designer and the brand. First of all, the designer and the brand must define the target audience as well as the message that the logo is supposed to convey.
- The logo must be tested. When the designer and the brand arrive at a final design, they must test it. That is, ask a group of people (the audience of the logo) to see the logo (less than 15 seconds) and then ask them to explain the logo and say what they understood from it. In another test, the logo should be placed next to other logos (at least 8 logos) and after people have seen the logos for a short time, they will be asked which logos they remember.
- Based on the results of the tests, it may be necessary to redesign the logo or remove elements from it. Remember that the fewer logo elements and components, the better. The design should have the letters and shapes that are necessary to convey the message to the audience. Also, it is better to use Pantone Matching System (PMS) for choosing logo colors so that the exact used colors are displayed on all devices and browsers.