The logo is one of the most important parts of any brand identity. Whether you design your own logo, or you decide to hire a graphic designer, these 7 characteristics will help you better evaluate if the work done is on the right track.

Before we explain everything in detail, we would like to clarify that these principles do not govern an exact science and that the best logo does not have to be the one that rigidly follows these principles, but the one that is conceived taking into account the conditions of each situation and of each company.

How to Design a Logo? What Are the Characteristics of a Good One?

1. Simplicity

A good logo should be simple and without any superficial decorative elements. It is a graphic "identifier" of an abstract concept such as a brand. This is not an image or illustration that should describe every aspect of your business. All superficial decorative elements that hinder the communication of a message, diverting attention from what is important must be eliminated. When designing a logo, "simplicity is the greatest sophistication".

FedEx logo design example

The FedEx logo design fulfills the first characteristic of a great logo. Also, if you look at the space between the E and the X, you will notice a small hidden arrow. According to the company, this arrow serves to symbolize the speed and precision of FedEx.

Simple logos tend to be easier to remember, which is also a benefit of the feature below.

2. Originality

Your company's logo must be original, easy to remember and identifiable. By this, we mean that you should try to be unique and different from the rest of the companies in your sector.

For example, if you have a kitchen catering, and your logo includes a spoon, your logo will not be very innovative.

3. Representation

A good logo must capture the essence of the brand and reinforce its message. It must synthesize the essence and personality of a brand as much as possible. It must be true to the personality and identity that the brand represents. That is why we put special emphasis when designing a good logo, and avoid taking paths or graphic resources that have nothing to do with the brand that's being represented.

Evolution of the Starbucks logo throughout the life of the company

Let's take the Starbucks mermaid logo as an example. This company uses the siren as its main graphic identifier and this is closely linked to its history. The name "Starbucks" comes from the famous novel Moby Dick. Starbucks is originally from Seattle, a city that has a port. In addition, the company's coffee often has to travel long distances by sea to reach its destination. The mermaid is a symbol that perfectly represents part of the essence of Starbucks.

4. Scalability

A good logo must be reproducible at any size and adaptable to various formats. This feature is closely related to the simplicity of the logo. When we say that a logo must be scalable, we mean that it must be reproducible at various sizes without losing legibility: from a small embroidery to a sign at the entrance of any building. When making the smallest scaling it should be readable and look good with its recognizable shapes.

A logo overloaded with thousands of ornaments will be very difficult to achieve this characteristic. If your logo has a typeface, it is important to pay attention to this detail and carry out the tests that apply to guarantee correct scalability. Custom calligraphy is not a problem for this feature, but it is important to pay attention to the thickness of the stroke and that the letters or characters are not too close together.

A logo design that comes to mind when we talk about scalability would be Apple's apple. It seems that the famous apple bite was chosen because of the scalability issue. With the bite, it was guaranteed that it would be associated more with an apple people won't confuse it with a cherry or other small fruit.

5. Memorability

A good logo must be memorable, it must leave a mark on the memory of whoever sees it. This feature is closely related to the first one: simplicity.

McDonalds logo is a great example of memorability element

There is a very simple exercise to do with family and friends to study the memorability of a logo. So you show them the logo you have designed for a short period of time, for example 10-15 seconds. After a few days ask them to draw the logo shown on a piece of paper and assess how much they remember about it.

6. Durability

With durability we refer to the ability of your logo to be durable over time, despite the fashions or the changes of the decade. Having to redesign a logo can be very confusing for your audience. We do know that if a company opts for a bad logo, it is very likely that sooner or later they will have to redesign it.

Coca-Cola logo design: made in 1905

The best example of a logo that comes to mind as the best representative of the durability feature is Coca-Cola. The original logo was designed in 1905, more than 100 years ago, and has hardly changed.

A logo must not be based on fashion, its design must respond to justified reasons. Sometimes it is difficult to put your subjectivity aside and try to have a critical eye. Perhaps the variant that works best is not the one you like the most, but it is important to always make thoughtful decisions and strive to find a balance between practicality and taste.

7. Relevance

Your logo design must be attractive to your target audience. That is why it is important that you know who the company is targeting and have the audience profile correctly defined. The appearance and finish of the logo design must always be fine and professional in order to reflect the solidity and solvency of the company.

Barbie logo - example of relevance

The Barbie logo meets the relevance element and shows that the company knows its target audience well. Although today it may be somewhat topical, considering the logo impacts directly on the young female audience with the pink color and calligraphy.

In conclusion, logo design must be simple, original, representative, scalable, memorable, durable and relevant.