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What Makes a Logo Great

What Makes a Logo Great

2019-11-13 |

It is essential to firstly understand what a great logo is. Only by understanding this will you inevitably understand what the main purpose and therefore impact of a logo can be.

How many of you have played the popular logo game “Guess the Logo”? Did you ever wonder what it is about those logos that firstly enables us to instantaneously recognise them, and secondly what it is about the design of these logos that makes them so unique and recognisable? Well, read on and I shall tell you.

One of the first things that any great designer should ask themselves is what makes an ageless, exceptional and appealingly logo, one that will draw in and old the attention of their intended audience. Take a look at the below for an overview of what makes a logo great and how and why you should you it.

What is a Great Logo?

It is essential to firstly understand what a great logo is. Only by understanding this will you inevitably understand what the main purpose and therefore impact of a logo can be. Any one company will inevitably make use of a marketable trademark or profitable object, in other words, a logo. It is then its shapes, the colours, the fonts, and the images which are utilized to make that one company stand out from the many others. These aspects are often, or at least should be, blindingly different from other logos in the equivalent market niche.

Therefore Logos are a successful method used in order to identify one company from another. As this is so undeniably essential in contributing to the success of any one business, the design process has to have the chief objective of making the logo instantly recognizable. This will, or should, inevitably, inspire trust, respect, devotion and an implicit dominance.

In order to achieve these aims, a simple logo design can you be used to achieve this, allowing for an almost instant, even instant on many occasions, recognition. It also enables the logo to not only be flexible but unforgettable too. Great logos often feature some unique aspect without the need to be overdrawn. This then ties in to the fact that any effective logo should be ageless, to put it in other words, the logo should stay current and recognisable throughout the ages. Any decent designer should ask themselves the question Will this logo still be ultimately effective in one, two or even five decades time?

What Makes a Logo Effective?

In order to effectively and successfully create and make use of a logo you must ensure that your logo will function across a number of mediums and/or applications. Therefore it is obvious that logo will need to be functional. Due to this I would suggest always any logo be designed in vector format. This will enable you to scale the logo down to any size when necessary. You always want to keep in mind the future uses that can be made of your logo and is this manageable to scale the logo down to any size. Therefore it makes sense to say that the logo must be able to function well in both horizontal and vertical formats.

Your logo also needs to be able to communicate itself well across varying mediums. You must remember what your logo will look like on a business card compared to a billboard? Will it be as effective, will it still have the same pull? So please remember that creating a simple design allows for elasticity in size in order to deal with this issue.

So why are logos so successful and why are we so drawn in by them?

The answer is… because of the emotions logos can evoke. But it is important to remember to make sure that the emotions produced from the look of the logo are fitting to the company principles. A good example of this would be the Disney logo. Why is this? Well the Disney logo induces a strong sense of not only joy but also hopefulness, even allowing the oldest and most cynical of us to feel like a child again. For a company that has been creating cartoons and animation for children for such a long time, a harsh, sharp and dull logo would not be appropriate. A magical and timeless company such as Disney needs a logo to match. This is therefore no doubt why the entertaining and curved typeface is appropriate. In contrast to the above though, a similar bright and cheerful logo would not be very useful or effective on a sales platform.

In this respect you should remember your audience as they will determine the tone and style of your logo. For example, if you were in charge of running a bodybuilding gym, you wouldn’t make use of a soft, swirly, pink design as this would probably not entice your customers. Consequently your main aim in designing your logo is that it needs to be effortlessly recognizable in the competitive market you are aiming at, ultimately representing the company it works for.

We can probably then state that this is the most obvious and long standing need of any great logo. Essentially it must be designed well, be aesthetically appealing and draw in your intended audience. In order to do this you will need to utilise the essentials of logo design.

Fundamentals of Logo Design

- Space
- Form
- Consistency
- Clarity.
- Colour (making use of the psychology and    effectiveness of different colours on the    audience. E.g. green equals relaxation and    growth, whereas red evokes danger and stress.)

Some Great Examples to Reflect On;


The CNN logo is a great example to start with. This well-known logo has stayed relevant, recognisable and rigid since its creation. Even though the CNN logo has remained steady and unchanging, the popularity of this American cable and satellite television channel has continued to grow in popularity. Therefore the CNN logo is so successful at providing an exclusive network individuality which has made this popular TV channel a household name. You are probably wondering what is so successful about the CNN logo which has enable it to become so easily recognised in popular culture and remain current over the years.

Firstly the CNN logo makes use of a precise definite design that reveals and maintains an image of immense influence, constancy, and dependability of the network. The popular CNN logo has always been considered in an appealing manner, thus providing a characteristic acknowledgment to all three characters which belong to the CNN logo. It is no surprise then that the CNN logo has managed to keep its standpoint as an exclusive symbol across the globe because of its designer and extraordinary form.


When looking at the Nike logo, which many of you should know by the ‘Swoosh,’ has been designed in a way that two unassuming curved, lines are joined together. This brand is known throughout the world, and is a logo for a massively profitable company, yet is one of the simplest logos you could ever dream up. So why is this? Firstly let’s look at the “Swoosh”. This evokes an emotion which can be described as excitedness, exhilaration, or adrenaline, all due to the image the logo generates of movement and speed. The shape of the arc itself suggests this movement.


The Sony Logo is another hugely popular and successful logo. So why is this? This could be put down to the use of a simple design. When we look at the most up to date version of the Sony logo we can see that it is made up of a modest wordmark which was initially introduced in 1959. Black has no doubt been used in the Sony logo to represent faultlessness, stylishness and truthfulness. This brand is still going strong, so it’s probably safe to say that the use and understanding of the psychology of colours by the designers has been incredibly successful.

To Conclude

Hopefully the points listed above make it clear why a great logo is essential and how to create a great logo in order to make it a household name. You only need to look at the popular logos listed in this blog along with so many others that you can research for yourself, or even see in your daily life, to learn what is a great logo and how to successfully create a great logo yourself.