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By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, September 18, 2013

6 Attributes of Good Logo Design

Von Glitchka at work designing logos

Although there are many stylistic approaches to logo design, there are certain fundamental attributes that make a logo successful.

It’s unique It’s no secret that our world is being flooded with more images, tweets, articles, books, designs etc. every minute, so creating a unique design has never been more important. Although there are times when the creative fairy blesses us with an inspired design, more often than not great designs are hard earned. Proper research, intelligent creative thinking, and a lot of exploratory drawing should be part of your creative process every time.

It’s memorable Making a connection with your viewer and staying with them is an important part of effective logo design. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: being unique, keeping it simple, using a clever concept or play on a business’ name, making an emotional connection with your viewer, and more.

It’s conceptual Embedding a visual idea into your design will make it a more engaging experience of discovery for your viewer. It can be hidden, much like the arrow in the FedEx logo, or more overt, like this logo Von Glitschka created for a computerized pen called Fly.

Fly logo by Von Glitchka

It works in black and white Although logos mostly live in an RGB world, it’s always a good idea to provide a black-and-white version of the logos you design so they are more versatile. Below is a logo Von Glitschka designed for a creative workshop. He chose to also simplify it down to an iconic black-and-white format so it could be used in a wide variety of ways.

Color and B&W logo comparison

It’s scalable The end use of the logo design should always play a key role in how you approach it stylistically. What looks great at billboard size might not read well when reproduced at a postage-stamp proportion. Pay close attention to how your shapes, details, and form balance together, and the spaces they create. Both the negative and positive spaces within your design should be carefully considered and refined throughout your design process.

It just feels right This last attribute is an accumulation of all the above attributes working together as a whole. When you feel like you’ve got a strong design, step back and look at it with a very critical eye. If something feels off, out of place, or not quite right, don’t ignore that feeling; chances are that others will feel the same way. Isolate what is causing you to feel that way and make the appropriate refinements.

Keeping these six attributes in mind as you design will help you create a logo that fits your clients like a tailored suit. The end result should be a logo that appeals to their target audience, helps them stand out in the industry they compete in, and engages the public with an identity that reflects well on them.

Be sure to watch Von Glitschka’s course Foundations of Logo Design to learn the ins and outs of great logo design, as well as how to navigate working with clients. I also recommend watching his other courses: Drawing Vector Graphics, Insights on Graphics Design with Von Glitschka, and The Creative Spark: Von Glitschka, Illustrative Designer—only available on lynda.com.

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