What makes an effective logo?

What makes an effective logo?

What makes an effective logo?

Logos can be worth their weight in gold, revealing a company’s brand and values instantly. Yet for all the great logos you see, there are hundreds of bad ones. Making sure your logo ticks all the boxes can really set your business apart from the rest.


Logos that look like other logos or borrow creatively from established works tend to have a diluted effect. Your logo needs to convey your brand and your brand only; it needs to be completely unique in a way that does not remind consumers of other companies. Good graphic designers will be able to use inspiration from third party sources to design a unique logo. You also need to watch out for plagiarising trademarked works; speak to a patent lawyer if in any doubt about your logo design.

Ease of scaling

When designing your logo you probably have an application in mind, such as the side of your building. But your logo represents you in many places including letterheads, company vehicles, online directories and local magazines. Your logo needs to be viewable and recognisable at all sizes and be striking in both black and white and colour. This explains why logo design is such a complex art; even the most beautiful logo is untenable if it cannot be used in a variety of commercial ways.


Logos must be easy to understand; there’s a tendency for some businesses to work with complex logos that hide a lot of detail but this can be detrimental. Potential customers will only give your logo a fleeting glance, and in that second you need to convey your brand. If you’ve hidden a narrative in the logo this will not be apparent, and you’re likely to confuse rather than engage people. Make sure the design and story is simple, and comprehensible on first glance.


Logos should be memorable so that they stick. You want people to associate your logo with a particular product or service and think of you when they need a solution. It’s incredibly difficult to come up with an original, memorable logo and that’s why you shouldn’t skimp when designing one. Memorable logos are fantastic because they don’t need updating; think of the most popular memorable logos, such as Coca-Cola. They haven’t updated it in over 50 years, yet it’s still fresh and original.

Aesthetic appeal

As well as being unique, logos must be attractive, and easy on the eye. They should make people want to look at them. This serves an important purpose; close appreciation of the logo can often lead to close appreciation of the brand. Stunning designs are often the simplest, but it can takes considerable confidence to back a simple logo. Make sure you seek opinions from objective outsides; friends and family aren’t the best choices.

Industry relevance

You may wish your logo to be obviously relevant to your industry, particularly if your name does not innately convey your purpose. So, for example, a taxi firm may include a licensed cab in their logo in some way, or a construction firm could make use of bricks. You don’t want to be too over-reliant on an individual service or product as you may grow and diversify your offerings in the future, rendering your logo less applicable.

Thinking of designing your own logo? Take a look at these free resources and tools for marketing your business.  

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