15 Main Principles That Logo Designers Should Know
Let’s find out several logo design principles that every designer should understand!
Created by Tornike Uchava | https://dribbble.com/shots/16754226-logo-mark-logo-design-brand-mark-symbol-abstract-logo
What comes as a simple looking visual identity project, logo design, there are a lot of principles that every creator or designer should know. At a glance, design is known as one of the complex processes thanks to its vital usage for business brands. The logo is the representation or the most recognizable aspect of the business itself.
With that in mind, the project has a crucial role in creating impressions as well as attracting attention. Considering the very important role and how complex the process can be, it is natural that every logo designer needs to learn and understand its principles under it. That is where some principles of logo design appear as essential knowledge.
When it comes to the principle or ideas and details in the logo creation process, the application helps the work to have a meaningful yet minimalist visual output. Those ideas indicate that the organic process is considered as not easy or requires more planning and consideration. Many of those considerations later turn into a guideline and grounding of the project.
Created by Shot Identity | https://dribbble.com/shots/19480213-M-Lettermark
Many principles behind the creation of signs also indicate the complexity of the process that include the elements, the reason to make it good, or what the visual identity should be. There are also ranges of processes or steps in creating the logo, which later can determine the function and needs of the process.
Before going to the principle, designers need to understand that logo designs are made out of several basic ingredients comprising some elements. Those elements include lines, shapes, colors, negative space, graphics, and layout. The principles behind the process can cover the elements, but it does not imply that a good design should have everything.
A good logo, in general, is known as an identity that is easy to distinguish against competitors, has an impact, and is translatable across every medium. While every person has personal taste, a good design can include compiling the elements together, making it stand out yet also memorable. That is to make the logo good and work.
With the said idea of a good sign or emblem come the needed principles of how to properly state those ideas. The following principles of logo design compile all of the crucial aspects to highlight during the creation. It comprises several fundamental ideas on grounding works, elements planning, and functionality. Read further for its details.
Created by VASK®️ Studio | https://dribbble.com/shots/16838803-Pluna-Logo-design
Simple or simplicity becomes one of the vital principles in creating logo design in general. It is a king and solution to creating a visual identity with a bolder and cutting-through style. The idea of working with simple images is not only due to the more modern applications, such as icons and digital products. But it also goes back to a long time ago, when a simpler symbol is more memorable.
There are also versatility and usability advantages in working with simple imagery or visual design. Despite the sense of lack of details, a good simple logo design tends to have many points to highlight. Apple threw its original complex image into the more minimalistic and simple design that sparked the simplicity principle.
The key to the simplicity principle is the ability to stay visible, clear, and direct in delivering the brand's message. Nike sign with its monochrome swoosh is the prime example of simpler is more principle. It is less complicated to remember; rather, it creates an impression of how direct the brand is.
The simplicity principle of logo design is not only about visual appeal. Many other elements, such as color, typeface, and symbolic aspects, also play a crucial role in the process. A good logo will stay clear from overcrowded elements, such as images, fonts, shadings, or letters. For a solution, the creator can play around with white space to make up for the breathing space.
Created by Zeki Michael | https://dribbble.com/shots/19106954-Dragon-Slayer-Artwork
One of the fundamental points in logo creation is to develop a design for the audience. Depending on the brand, product, and market, the demographic aspect will differ. Thus, it forces the creator to adjust their works to follow the audience. This is why demographic principles take place. In many cases, the client or designer will talk with the creator.
From the discussion, many will include details on the design brief. The brief will tell every needed detail and company information, including the target audience and brand logo. In this demographic principle, creators need to determine or know details of gender, location, income, age, occupation, or attraction. Most can do market research and eyeball the competition.
From here, the principle highlights creating a specific logo that maintains its market under the proper demographic. Sometimes, the appeal from different demographics will differ. Such as vibrant colors for the youth demographic. But the simpler or more sophisticated imagery for the adult audience. Those are the fundamentals of demographic principles.
Created by VASK®️ Studio | https://dribbble.com/shots/19039361-Seventy-Studios
3. Competition And Trend
Learning about competitors and logo design trends are some other principles that will greatly shape the logo and its design. Designers need to underline that every client has their niche, whatever their business scales are. With that, one of the keys to succeeding in the project is to create a better visual identity than other competitors.
The principle is that every business will always share its audience. But a better visual identity aids their name known and possibly has more success than others. Designers can do market research and learn what works and does not work in the niche. Sometimes, the creator can also learn from the competitor's mistake. Along with the competition, learn about trends.
The trend is one of the principles of logo design that will aid the creator greatly in determining their features and values. Trends tend to shift every year or moment. Due to that nature, joining the bandwagon trend only add cliché. It will lessen the originality and timeless principle. But there are also decent trends out there. Be aware and learn what to do or not.
Created by Lance | https://dribbble.com/shots/15229194-Bankjoy-Brand-Guidelines
Simply said, the principle pinpoints the need to be original, authentic, unique, and unforgettable. The logo design should stand out from the crowd by being different but also not fully straying from its purpose. It is a challenge by itself, which demands the creator to consider varying aspects of logo features and design elements.
The best solution is to be unique with the design concept. The key is to get a firm grasp of consumer design which also meets with the artistry aspect of every creator. Skill and experience can help cover this principle since it helps stay away from the cliché and trends. But again, there is a brand consistency that the creator needs to highlight.
Created by Laura Dillema | https://dribbble.com/shots/16729702-The-Alchemy-of-Hype
5. Brand Consistency
Every client has certain points that make them unique. It can be personal preferences or something related to the products, demographic, or brand ideas. The points make brand consistency the crucial principle of logo design. It emphasizes keeping certain aspects of the media or the client's preference as part of the design.
It can appear from the color, fonts, or impression it has. Sometimes, the principle also tells us to stay consistent with the brand or core personality. In its implementation, it will subconsciously shape and lead the logo design creation. One should be careful not to lose its personality since the act might lead to losing identity, especially for rebranding.
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6. Design Style
With the unique brand consistency and varying personality, it will later come with design style consideration. The key of the principle underlines the value of picking the best style that fits the company as a whole. It goes with the fact that not all companies can look good with vintage style; rather, they can get better with a more modern intake.
In other words, there is no single design aesthetic that will fit all logo brands. That is why designers need to consider the principle and pick the best suitable business brand. The ideal answer and solution should be picking the one that remains constant over time. It helps the logo to stay memorable and timeless.
Created by VASK®️ Studio | https://dribbble.com/shots/19338155-namtra-Brand-Identity
Memorability is the principle of logo design that keeps the work in the market for a long and attracts more audience. The key is pretty simple, which is creating a design that is less complicated and can be easily understood. After that, the logo should stay in people's memory for a long time. Sometimes, the solution is a bit unique, but staying the same over the years can help.
Many will say similar ideas in working or crafting a unique concept that people found unique on the market. Being different without being a sore thumb in the market makes the logo design memorable. Nike's swoosh and Apple's bitten icon are the best examples. Both have had fewer unnecessary changes over the years, which also make the sign more memorable.
Created by Nupur Akther | https://dribbble.com/shots/19102987-sontan-logo
Simple, unique, and memorable add up to a timeless design. One way or another, there are points where a rebranding is needed due to the changing trends or following the changes in the company itself. But a good logo design should successfully run the timeless principle. The idea is not impossible since many businesses stay loyal to their logo for years.
The timelessness principle is also a prime solution for less demanding financial needs. Creating a new logo every second year or in a short time can unexpectedly increase the financial deed. The idea of redesigning and rebranding the sign can also confuse the customers. Losing its loyal customers is one of the roads to hell in business.
That is why timelessness puts a nail in creating a modern logo that is also contemporary without fully absorbing the hot component or trend. It explains that the design should be changeable but also not necessarily need to be redesigned every time the trend runs its course and make the design feel outdated. It also explains how simple and modern principles of logo design are more favorable.
Created by Lisa Jacobs | https://dribbble.com/shots/17813104-Logofolio-Vol-2
9. Imagery Meaning
Every imagery, shape, line, and symbol can prove meaning on its implication. While there is no exact principle that works for every design, it is best to learn more about how certain aspects evoke certain meanings. You can get deeper with the feng shui principle, shape psychology, or line art interpretation. Whatever you are trying to use, try to learn it further.
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Typeface or font is part of the typography principle. In many design projects, including the logo, the lettering is also a crucial aspect to highlight. When making a logo design, the creator can get many options to choose from. There are acronyms, full letters, logotype, or monotype styles. Other than that, there are also ranges of font styles to use in the logo.
The decision can vary based on many factors. Demographic, brand personalities, and styles are some of the principles of logo design to use. Some companies will appear better when using more formal typography, especially for the luxurious brand. At the same time, there is also a typography design that can create certain effects on the logo.
Created by Baruch Nave | https://dribbble.com/shots/6182050-Sacred-Spiral
11. Motion (Passive Or Active)
A new principle in logo design that can increase the likeability of the project is adding some motion. This is an idea highlighting that the motion rules come from adding a certain illusion of movement in the imagery. It can appear as simple as twitter's symbol with its blue bird facing a certain direction and looking flying.
But not every design or logo needs the elements of motion or active looks. The Apple logo is a standstill object and still brings a great attraction to its appearance. The key is to learn the brand's message. Twitter is a social media that constantly updates many subjects' talk. Thus a moving bird is an appropriate strategy.
Created by Slagle Design | https://dribbble.com/shots/17372288-Preservation-Parks-of-Delaware-County
12. Color Usage
Similar to font and shapes, color in design has a huge role in evoking certain meanings or emotions. That is why color psychology will be the next principle that you should learn better. In a way, color is the key to attracting the audience, staying in the market, and creating the impression meant for the brand.
In general, it is an element that can also affect appearances greatly. It can appear professional, cool, passive, or negative. That is why designers need to consider many other principles of logo design to ensure that color usage hits the mark. When learning about color usage, there are also points in considering contrast, imagery, or font images.
Created by Stevan Rodic | https://dribbble.com/shots/17352678-Dog-Cat
13. Black And White
A surprising principle that every designer needs to learn when creating a logo is the black and white version. Many people only focus on the colored version, but the black and white version strips off every element to ensure everything works well. The idea is that it allows designers to learn about the core elements of text, shapes, or anything for legible design.
Created by Touhid | https://dribbble.com/shots/18770780-Tech-Beat-Logo-Concept
14. Balances And Proportion
Readability and legibility can rely heavily on design balance. The logo has many elements to features, which can risk creators developing less balanced imagery. This is why proportion and balances take place to ensure everything can complement each other. The principle takes points in creating a fitting balance with the concept, even if it means breaking the rules.
Created by Victor Murea | https://dribbble.com/shots/15054863-Albums-Logo-Concept-2-SOLD
15. Scalability And Versatility
Due to the vast uses of the logo, the best principle of logo design to not miss out during the design process is scalability and versatility. In its implementation, a logo can appear in a place as small as a website copyright mark. But there are also chances that the visual identity will appear in the media as big as a computer screen or billboard.
Those explanations also indicate that creators need to consider working with both digital and printed versions. Many principles help in improving scalability and versatility, such as working with vectors or designing from a smaller scale to a bigger one. One of the best solutions is to keep everything simple (image, text, or color-wise), which always makes the work legible even in its smallest size.
Created by Lynae Hilton | https://dribbble.com/shots/14921785-Magnifico-Media
Even with many principles behind the logo design creation, one should underline that the final result should reflect the brand's voice and face. It has a crucial role in the business, which also highlights the designers' responsibility to create a working or successful visual identity. This is the reason some of the principles keep pinpointing the importance of the brand.
At the end of the day, the 15 principles of logo design are meant to lead and aid the creator to stay in the project with the proper mindset. They need to pay attention to the simplicity aspect, the demographic, every element, and the usability or functionality of the final result. It won't mean anything if the creator cannot represent the business.
Whether it is a logo for a client, personal uses, or practice, designers need to underline that the principles are simply some guidelines in the making process. Learning about the principles further aids the creator in determining and planning the logo better. As the design process can appear complex, learning the said philosophies will test or guide you through it.