FAQs of Logo Designing – a Designer’s Perspective

Blogging, ICONS, Inspiration

The importance of a logo for branding and brand communication is unanimous. People are exposed to way too many concepts and ideas on a daily basis to remember them all. However, only the most attractive of elements stay in our minds and a good logo can be one of these attractive elements. No matter how large or small the display area is, a logo is such an interesting element that it can be displayed on everything. Brochure, ad, leaflet, pamphlet, business card, post card, banner… there are so many different mediums to show the logo off to the world.

My designer friends should remember that the logo of a company is the centerpiece of its brand, and so, if a business hires you or gives you the assignment to make a logo for it, it means that they have given the entire image of their company in your hands. So, being the creator of their graphical identity, you should be very careful and astute while designing a logo.

I have summarized some important FAQs regarding designing a good logo from the perspective of a graphic designer and I hope all my graphic designer friends will benefit from them in some way.

Distinctive logos can help items like flyers sell a specific product or an event.

1. How can a ‘good logo’ be described?


Answer: A good logo is more of a myth when it comes to graphic designing. Designers are creative people and each one of them has his/ her own taste and way of seeing things. For one designer a certain logo may be the best iconic branding, for another, it would be just another piece of graphics. However, following are the few attributes, mutually agreed upon by all the designers, which a “good logo” should have in it.

Describability – it should have a solid rationale behind it, a theme or a proper concept. And the logo should be communicating this concept well.

Memorability – it’s a fact that if human mind grabs the concept of something, it tends to remember it well. So if your logo will be able to communicate its core concept, it will automatically be memorable.

Effectiveness – color is secondary to the shape and form; the mark should itself be effectively communicating even in black only. One look at the logo should be an immediate call-to-action.

Scalability – size flexibility is vital for logo reproduction Your logo should be able to blow up to billboard size and scale down to postage stamp size and be readable across all of these different options.

Relevance – being relevant to the industry or the business it identifies. This helps to differentiate from closely associated competitors.

2. What are the different types of a logo?


Answer: There are three basic types of logos i.e. textual logo, symbolic logo, and combination logo.

Textual Logo – is mainly made up of the text. This text is of the company’s name and tagline. This type of logo can include some graphic elements like lines, boxes or borders, but the main focus of the logo is on the text.

Symbolic Logo – includes only a symbol or a number of symbols, images or shapes. This logo requires a lot of care and consideration while it is being made.

Combination Logo – is a combination of both a symbol and the company name. The symbol and text can be integrated together, side by side, or with one located above the other. This logo is most widely-made in the world.

The type of logo that will work best for a certain business or company hinges upon a number of circumstances. Such considerations include the size of the business, how well-reputed the business is, the uniqueness of the business’s name and a variety of other factors.

3. What does the term ‘elements of a logo’ mean?


Answer: like every other thing of the universe, logos are made up of different elements too. A logo is a combination of three elements that, when harmonized together, give out the actual meaning of the log and communicate to its audience. These three elements are: the icon, the font and the color palette. These three pieces all work together.

Icon – is the picture or the graphical element of the logo. The elements of your logo’s icon will all be symbols that have visual meaning. There are both abstract symbols and representational symbols. The icon you choose for the logo should not only be meaningful but should also be memorable and unique.

Font – the textual part in which your business’s name appears in. Each font has a different personality i.e. serious, educational, flowery etc. it is necessary for the font to be legible in every size.

Colors – complete your logo. Colors have different psychological meanings. The color should be added in the logo depending on the types of message it needs to communicate.

If the different elements in your logo sing together, you’ll have a logo that really drives your point home to your audience instead of being off-key and clashing.

4. Why is it important to keep the logo simple?


Answer: The main objective of your logo is to communicate what your business is all about, and you have only a few seconds to communicate that. If you try to say too much in that little time, it is more likely that your audience will either they’ll get the wrong message or will not get the message at all. This happens when you put up an overcomplicated logo. So for the sake of logo’s better understanding keep the number of shapes, lines and other design elements at a minimum to make the logo as clear and clean as possible. Simplify your logo’s design so that it will be more scalable. If you include too many design details, some design elements will be too small to be distinguished from one another and be unprintable when you’ll scale the logo down. A simple logo communicates with the clients instead of confusing them.

5. Can I design a logo according to my own taste?


Answer: No, not at all! A graphic designer should keep in mind that if he has been given the assignment to produce a logo for a certain client, he is responsible for their utmost brand communication. You cannot add a certain element in your client’s logo just because you like them personally. Logo designing requires an in-depth knowledge of the client company, their attributes and their target audience. You need to make sure that the logo you decide on will work well from the client’s perspective. Weigh your designs against the characteristics you have chosen. Think about every choice you make and how it affects your logo’s design, font choice and color scheme. The design and overall feel of the logo has to please the client and his target audience and not you.

6. Can a logo be designed without the name included in it?


Answer: Designing a logo without the name of the company or business included in it can be a big mistake. A symbol-only logo produces a big vacuum of communication in the viewer’s mind, because there is no text to help explain the business. It is important that your logo has some meaning and a role in explaining your business, and a little symbol cannot do it all by itself. If a client is insistent on a symbol-only logo you have an easy way out by designing a ‘combination logo’ that includes both a symbol and company’s name. Once you have designed the combination logo, you can always use the components separately.

7. How important is the logo’s font?


Answer: There is a general perception among the designer community that logo’s font is a piece of decoration and nothing more than that. On the other hand, a logo’s font is one of the important design elements. The font should be legible and scalable, to make your business’s name look good. Make sure the letters are spaced far enough apart and if you have a long business name, consider using a lighter font so that your business name doesn’t dominate the entire logo.

8. What colors to be used in the logo?


Answer: This is a colorful world and so colors play an important role on catching the eyes of viewers. The color of your business’s log has to be catchy. There are so many colors in the palette and you cannot use just any color for your client’s logo. Do some research about the meanings behind the colors you want to use or brainstorm, as on which color will suit your business the best or do a survey by making different color options of your logo. The colors used in your logo are important in terms of how logos are perceived psychologically (here the concept of Color Psychology can help you).

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About the Author

Arfa Mirza is a EuroPakistani and a graduate of Media Studies. Writing is both, her passion and profession. She is big fan of world cultures and is the proud co-founder of dzineblog360 and webblog360, alongwith her husband.

Comments and Discussions

  1. Dimi, 2 September 2010

    Very nice read, thanks!
    Let me just express how I feel about logo design: I hate, hate the logo design process.

    Props to the people that are good at it and have the patience. It is so hard to achieve a successful symbol, sure anyone can say they designed a logo, but I mean…a real logo. Some times clients do not understand how something so small can be so much harder than anything else design related. I can design,develop and deploy a corporate website for a client in half the time it will take to nail down a half way decent mark. (There are of course exceptions, sometimes we get lucky with a logo and get it right the first time around, not often thought.)

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Laura Meider, 7 September 2010

    I find general logo design okay to do, however when it comes to producing something a little more off the wall I think about it too much and I find it unrealistic to imagine.

    Just as an example the Apple logo is now a massive brand but who would have thought that the word ‘apple’ would have become so big!

    I think that it is great to always have an icon with a company name, this way both elements could be used either together or on their own. The icon could be used on its own or as a repeating pattern, it could have many uses.

    Thanks for the post, it has helped a lot to understand various logo types and it is defiantly something to refer back to.

  3. Tom Buch, 7 September 2010

    Logo design definitely has to be backed up with structure and logic, great post. May I add the the blue and orange illustration at the top is stunning.

  4. technology review, 22 November 2010

    A very comprehensive and guided article for web designers on the aspect of logo designing

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