What Makes A Good Logo?

August 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm By

Ah… Logos. We love them, we sure hate them sometimes, but at the end of the day they are what represents whatever we want to create. Whether it’s a blog or a business, having a good logo is one of the best advertising techniques out there because it’s the first impression the customer gets from whatever we are offering so it’s really important to take the time to think of a good logo that won’t get old and ugly for the next couple years. So what makes a good logo?


Simplicity is one of those things every designer should understand and apply. There’s nothing more eye-distracting and unappealing than an ugly, complex logo.  There should be balance of course; if it’s too simple the person might be left wondering something like “is this just a draft or…a letter or what?” instead of “oh my! it’s so cute and people will totally want to know what’s behind it!”. There are some “complex” logos out there that have actually managed to make it into the ‘beautiful’ category and props to the artists because that’s no easy task.

Examples of Beautiful Simple Logos

Color Theory 101

So you “know design”, that means you should know at least a little bit about Color Theory (Matching, Mixing and all that fun stuff) and you should understand the HUGE importance of mixing the right colors, the right way. I’ve seen some outrageous color combinations on logos and believe me, it’s not pretty. That’s one of the pros of going for B&W Logos (besides them being fancier), you just don’t have to worry about colors. For some guidance on this topic, check this tutorial or the smashing magazine guide which is quite complete. For scheme creators you might wanna try ColRD or Kuler that is a favorite.

Good Use of Colors

Pretty And Working Fonts

Pretty fonts are not the same as working fonts. I could say Comic Sans is pretty (if it was) but making that font look good in any logo… kinda tricky, isn’t it? Unless it’s a Sweet Corn Dog Shop under the Brooklyn bridge, of course.
If you’re working on a logo that has a slightly ‘complex’ illustration then you might wanna up for light text (no bold, no curves…) or vice versa, if the logo is too simple you might want to spice it up by adding some bold-ish text or some forms.
It’s all about balance, too much of anything can’t be right. Keep that in mind!

Nice Font Balancing


Even though there’s not much truth to the “It has to have a meaning” thinking. Yes, a logo that broadcasts a clear idea while keeping a decent visual can be called an accomplishment, since it tells the person what the business is about while projecting a nice, curious illustration. I, personally, prefer logos that transmit a clear understanding of the idea because I won’t find it interesting if it just doesn’t tell me anything. 

Clear Ideas with Clear Visuals

Keeping in mind these things at the moment of designing an identity is a must, try to come up with an idea that can be renovated, also. With that I mean, if you’re planning a long-term company have a logo that can be modified several times without losing the main idea  (like the Starbucks logo) so it is distinctive and people always recognize it.