13 Characteristics of A Great Logo: Logo Design Essentials

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Shannon Robinson

8th October 2020

Shannon Robinson

Before we start discussing the main characteristics or logo design essentials, we need to tell you something really important about a logo…

Remember, your custom logo design speaks for your business on behalf of you. It is your brand’s ambassador and will make people remember your brand, even if they don’t hear your elevator pitch.

Moving forward, no matter how good your logo design is, it cannot make your business a success. According to Paul Rand, “A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolises, not the other way around.”

A design, before being used as a trademark or logo, is nothing but an ordinary shape or image. It gains its meaning when it is associated with a brand, product, organization or individual.

These associations can be felt and seen easily. For example, when a business or brand is unsuccessful, everyone can make out that their logo will also be unsuccessful. Conversely, the logos of top brands like Apple, McDonald’s and Nike are not only considered successful but admired by everyone.

Why? Because the businesses they represent are extremely well-known and prosperous. Every product or service that gets connected with such brands will be embodied within the logo.

Just by looking at the logos of these huge brands, your mind will visualize everything these big names stand for like the Scrumptious Burgers, quality sportswear or the most advanced Phones and gadgets etc. Such is the impact of creative logo designs in the current times.

To understand the concept of logos, I want you to see or think about the Swastika. One casual glance at it will bring to your mind Nazi’s, Hitler, Germany and other things like war etc. For a large majority of people, Swastika evokes negative emotions like fear and sadness.

With all these things, you cannot say it is a bad logo. In fact, this creative logo design has all the logo design essentials required for a great one. It is brilliant. It has all the right qualities of a logo and all the ingredients that a great logo should have.

Logo Design Essentials


Let’s now dive into the main characteristics of a logo and tell you how you should create a custom logo design for your brand.

1. Eye-catching


Your logo must be stunning and pleasing to the eye and there is denying it. Although you cannot quantify this attribute of a logo but let us make things easier for you. You can measure the beauty and aesthetics of your logo by showing it to your colleagues, friends and everyone around you.

Ask them, how did they find your logo? Did it catch their attention? Did they find it attractive? Or your competitors’ have something better than you? These sorts of questions will enable you to move in the right direction and rectify anything that you have done wrong or if something is missing.

2. The conceptualization


Is your logo conceptually correct, clear and focused? Make sure your brand name, symbol or anything special in your logo can communicate the ‘real idea’ about your business.

If you are unable to broadcast the message in a comprehensive way, make sure you redo the logo design so that it tells the right thing about your brand.

If you are unable to do it on your own, hire any leading professional logo design services provider to serve you with an affordable logo design.

3. Must be scalable


To stand apart from the rest, scalability is a must. Your logo must be such that it works on all mediums like visiting cards, flyers, billboards and even the smallest of things like billboards and cups etc.

4. Comes with a ‘wow’ factor


Do you what is the similarity between the logos of Baskin Robins, FedEx, Toblerone and Amazon? They all have a surprising element in them which makes them more memorable than others.

Take the example of Toblerone, a confectionary company which started in Bern, Switzerland. This city is known as the home to Matterhorn Mountain and is also famous for bears. Look at its logo more closely and you will see a bear nestled in the mountain. This logo incorporates both the mountain and the animal for which the city is famous. A great example of a company sticking to its roots.

Baskin robins has 31 hidden in their logo which represents their 31 ice cream flavors. Amazon has an arrow from A-Z which symbolizes they sell everything starting with letter A till the letter Z and with a smile.

So always try to incorporate a ‘wow’ factor in your logo. Not having a creative logo design for your company won’t give you an edge over others.

5. Unique


The uniqueness in your logo is a clear give-away that your company is unmatched and you will be serving the customer base in a unique way. Let’s suppose you are a coffee company and opened your first branch in a city where there are hundred coffee shops already operational and selling different types of coffee.

To stand out from the rest, you will be doing it in a completely different type like giving complimentary buns with a specific number of coffees ordered or something that portrays your services to be customer friendly and completely unique.

Does your logo picturize the differential factor? If not, make something that reflects your unparalleled services and makes your business exclusive.

6. Color usage is sensible


According to leading custom logo design experts, colors have their own language, and every color has a different meaning. This is why it is important to incorporate such colors that perfectly align with your brand and evoke the right responses.

Make sure you research about the psychology of colors before your start designing your logo.

7. Stands the test of time


Make something that still represents your brand 2-3 decade later or even more. It must be futuristic. Take the example of CocaCola or Cadbury. They haven’t changed much for decades and this is why they are not only recognizable but we can also relate to them.

Apart from minor changes in CocaCola’s script logo, nothing has changed in it since its inception in 1885. It still rules the trademark world. While Cadbury’s bold logo is the same since 1961 which is a simpler and bolder version of 1951.

8. Works well in black and white


Yeah, we know the usage of sensible colors for your logo is an integral part of custom logo design and should never be forgotten. However, one characteristic of your logo is that it is able to work just as fine in color as in black and white.

Why? Full or multiple color printing in one is still not available and if your logo loses its essence in black and white for instance in a newspaper ad, return shipping label or a clothing label, then you need to work on it. If it stays the same and portrays everything just like it does in color, job well done.

9. Can be animated


Motions graphics are considered to be a strong point for your overall marketing and will help you gain substance in the times to come. When used for your logo in television or YouTube, animation can instill a world of good to your logo and you can gain immensely from it.

10. Say ‘No’ to trends


A creative logo design has to be free from all kinds of trends so that it doesn’t look outdated after a few years or even months. This is where your creativity, innovation and futuristic vision comes into play.

Using the most in-demand design trends won’t do any good to you, your brand and your logo. Because it is going to disappear in the crowd of neglected ones once the trends are gone. Make something free from trends that is original and has the capacity of being evergreen.

Take assistance from professional logo design services providers in your area and they will enable you in coming with something fresh, inventive and recognizable.

11. Right typography


Typography plays an important role in the success of your logo. We’ll again quote the examples of CocaCola, FedEx and some others like Levi’s, Calvin Klein, BBC, Facebook etc. The typefaces, weights, capitalization, the kerning and overall size of the letters are all perfect.

Your logo should also be well balanced when it comes to the typography − just like the Giants named above − and must telegraph your message and brand style. Once you are done with your brand logo, make sure the typography is exactly what you wanted and what describes your brand.

12. Is it readable? If not, make it.


Another logo design essential that not many logo designers focus on is readability. If it is easy for people to read your logo, from close and far away, you are on the right track. Otherwise, make sure you redo it to a better one with good readability.

13. Passes the ‘5-second test’


An ideal logo is the one that describes your company’ operations in only 5 seconds. Plus, the conveyed message should not be confusing. It should be clear. If your logo passes the 5-second test and tells people what you sell, you have cleared a big hurdle in giving yourself something that stands out from the rest.

Final Words

Let us tell you an interesting or you can say a shocking thing. Some of the all-time greatest logos don’t meet even half of the characteristics we mentioned. Meaning there are no hard and fast rules for designing a logo. There are no logo design essentials defined to follow.

Above mentioned were some of the best practices and if you tick-off at least half of the qualities, you are on the right path to designing something that perfectly portrays your brand. This way you will have a logo that becomes an integral part of your brand identity in the times to come.

If you think we have missed a characteristic or two and you want to bring them to our attention, do let us know in the comment section or write to us at 1-888-420-8889

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