You have probably noticed that every famous and prosperous company has its own logo. Of course, a logo is not a defining reason for success in business, but an important one for sure. It is a determinative part of branding that makes people notice your company and recognize it among others. And that’s what will definitely help you to get more clients and succeed.

What are the main principles of logo design? How to design a logo for a business? How should an effective logo look like? What are the elements of a good logo?

A logo is a starting point in creating visuals for a startup. Everyone relies on his own taste and experience in choosing logo design for a business, but we will try to explain what key points you should pay attention to.

1. Name Is Important

What is the main component to start with when creating a brand from scratch? It’s your business name, of course. It must be well-thought-out before designing a business logo.

If you want designers to generate great ideas, make sure that they have something to work on. Interesting names awaken their imagination, so they are more likely to find a solution that will accomplish your brand. When a name is strong and clear it’s easier to draw a semantic parallel and use visual associations.

A successful combination of a name and related icon design will definitely affect your customers. This way your logo will become eye-catching and memorizable.

A great example of a successful name is Twitter. It has a strong meaning that makes people understand what this service is about. And regarding its logo design – it has a number of associations to work with and gives a lot of benefits for developing a marketing strategy.

Twitter Logo
Twitter Logo

2. Delivering a Message

A semantic message is something that connects you with customers. There is no doubt it’s definitely one of the “must have” features of an outstanding logo. An effective business logo delivers information about a company, its aim lies in distinguishing you from competitors. Applying the message approach, you can drop a hint about the services you offer or show some advantages of choosing you among others.

Using mood is surely important to evoke customers’ emotions. A logo can make you credible in people's eyes. Let your potential clients believe at first sight that this is what they have been looking for. It will help a lot, especially if the task is to design a logo for a small business.

The message you deliver doesn’t necessarily have to be literal. Using a metaphor can often work better. And don’t be afraid that the hint is hardly readable – lots of famous companies have hidden information in their logos. It keeps interested in their brand alive. Encourage people to get to know you closer.

One of the most famous logo designs was made for FedEx Corporation. Look at the space between letters “e” and “x”. This arrow is a subtle clue to the kind of services they provide – fast delivery. Definitely a great example of the best practice logo design!

FedEx Logo
FedEx Logo

3. Composition

Designing a logo is a huge process. Here the construction stage begins. As visual perception is extremely important, the first rule in this regard is a balanced composition. It’s the way to make your rough idea more accurate.

Composition rules are used in every part of graphic design and in creating any visual product. And for logo design, a composition is a basement, a skeleton.

Logo design principles include building a geometrical construction. There are no better tools for achieving a well-balanced composition.
Take a look at OpenTable logo – a beautiful and greatly constructed idea. This is really a wonderful example of well-thought-out logo design.

OpenTable Logo
OpenTable Logo

To understand how well your logo is built, consider it as a silhouette. Try to analyze it asking yourself a few questions:

  • Is it steady?
  • Is it balanced?
  • Are shape correlations kept?
  • Do the elements go well together?

You can also try to look at it in a mirror. This is an effective way to find some gaps and disadvantages.

And don’t forget about a word mark. Only fonts that are consistent with your icon shape configurations have to be applied.

4. Color Combination

Choosing colors for your logo is a challenge. Let us give you some advice on how to find perfect ones.

The best decision is always to apply colors that match your business direction or traits of your business strategy. And, as everybody knows, each color has its own mood and influences people in different ways.

For example, color psychology says that red is the most attractive to the human eye. It first catches your sight in the surrounding environment. Red was used to create the Virgin logo, one of the most effective logos in the business world. It is dynamic and provocative, just as the company. And the color matches those traits perfectly.

Another nice solution is the Starbucks logo. As they produce coffee, calm faded green feels natural and cozy paired with brown hues.

Virgin and Starbucks Logos
Virgin and Starbucks Logos

Be careful with colors, because there are some options you should bypass. For example, avoid neons as they are problematic when using white or black backgrounds. They are also difficult to implement in print ads.

Choosing combinations of highly saturated colors is also a dangerous idea. It can cause low readability. They often get too vibrant (bright pairings of blue and red, red and green) which is hard on the eyes. Applying more contrasting combinations and pairing bright colors with less saturated ones is a better decision instead. And consider that all logo elements have to be readable.

It’s also important to predict how your color combination will look on different backgrounds and surfaces. This affects the look of your future UI (User Interface).

But don’t stick to matching colors with your business specifics too much. It’s always great to break rules and try something unusual.

5. Adaptability

Technologies are rapidly progressing in the course of time. Smartphones and other devices have already become an essential part of our lives, and if you want to stay afloat there is no chance to ignore it.

When designing a business logo, don’t forget that it will be used on different surfaces — from small screens and print ads to huge billboards. So if you want to stay recognizable everywhere, it must be responsive, especially when it comes to e-commerce.

Let’s get closer. The main task of adaptability is to make a logo look good everywhere and in any size. Fussy and detailed symbols were OK 20 years ago. And now, in the age of technology, they aren’t that effective anymore. The principle of simplification works here instead.

Adaptability is also one of the reasons old logos are remade. For example, how would you perceive Apple’s first logo if it was used in the mobile interface? Those kinds of design cause a lot of problems at the UX (User Experience) stage.

Apple's First Logo
Apple's First Logo

For some industries (restaurants, hotels, bakeries etc.) logo styles that were used centuries ago can be still appropriate. For example, the vintage style is mentioned in the list of the latest trends. But in this case, an alternative or simplified version of it may be needed for web and mobile design.

Let’s analyze MLSDev logo as an example of successful responsive logo design for business. Its simple shapes give us a wide range of possibilities to easily use it in web and mobile apps, in print ads and other materials. It is a versatile logo that looks recognizable in any scale and on any surface.

MLSDev Logo
MLSDev Logo

Remember, a logo is not a painting. It’s a signature, a label. Don’t go into details too much.

So, to sum up...

The best business logo design has to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Clear and strong name
  • Semantic message
  • Balanced composition
  • Proper color combination
  • adaptivity to any surface

Should you hire designers to create a custom logo or should you do it yourself? Even if you have read the article, it’s not enough to get down to work on your own. Leave this part to pros.

MLSDev builds world-class mobile and web applications and helps people to develop their own businesses. Our team of well-skilled professionals can create an outstanding design for various projects.

So if you are thinking about starting a business, consider logo design first. The reality is that if you don’t pay enough attention to your branding now, you may pay a high price in the future. But those, who are attentive, will definitely succeed!

Looking for the app design service?

Our team of designers can make great UX and UI design for your mobile application and website, as well as create a catchy logo for your product to stand out from its competitors. Contact us to learn more.

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