Logo design requires more than artistic talent to create an emblem or a brand that will capture the market's attention. Like in any artistic field, effective logo design follows five fundamental principles that every graphic designer should know. These principals may serve as criteria for judging whether the design effectively conveys the message to its target audience.
Logos should be simple and easily recognizable.
An effective logo design puts together elements in a simple setting that is easily recognizable to anyone who sees it. The sign should be easily identifiable to people from different cultures or cities. The design elements cross boundaries of geography, culture, age and educational background.
Logos should be distinct and clear.
Aside from simplicity, an effective design should be unique and deliver a clear message to its target audience. The overall design should be easily memorable for anyone who sees it. Too many elements can crow the design and produce visual noise, which blocks the marketing message the logo attempts to convey.
Logos should be timeless.
Another measure of effectiveness is the timelessness of a brand, which appeals to the tastes of future generations. As long as the branding follows the rules of simplicity, distinctiveness and clarity, the logo will survive other eras. For example, the logos of Chanel, Mercedes-Benz, Nike and Shell did not change much through the years. Their classic designs continue to appeal to generations of consumers.
Logos should be versatile.
Logo design makes use of vector art more than photography because of scaling and applicability problems. Logos created with high-definition imaging software scale down to a smaller size without destroying the logo's design. The use of photographs, however, brings problems of pixelated and skewed images. Thus, all logos use vector graphics for creating images.
An effective logo design should also factor in the way images are transferred from one media to another. A good logo created in the vector format may be used for websites and for marketing and packaging. The colors used should not change in hue when displayed on a website page and on a poster or a streamer in public.
Logos should be appropriate for their intended audience.
Logos should speak to its intended audience. The type of font, the vector images and the colors used should match the demographics of the product's target market. The meaning should be immediately apparent to the logo's intended audience. For example, sports logos often signify explosive movement, which reflects athleticism. In another example, children's products use bright colors and fun fonts to appeal to children.
In general, the type of content in a logo does not necessarily convey the actual products sold or the services rendered by a company or business. A restaurant logo does not need to include food or a software logo does not need to use an image of a computer or laptop to let people know what it is. By way of example, in its logo design Apple uses the image of an apple, which someone obviously has bitten in one corner.