Apple logo signage against architectural backdrop. Apple logo signage against architectural backdrop.

What Makes a Good Logo? 5 Pointers to Create One

If a picture says a thousand words, a good logo will create an identity for the brand and the memory of a lifetime for buyers. They appear everywhere, on neon signs and billboards, as embroideries on garments, and food wrappers that make you drool in anticipation for what’s inside!

What makes these logos memorable or cringe-worthy? Let’s find out!

1. What is a logo? Seriously!

Before you jump to the juicy bits, let us tell you there’s more than what meets the eye regarding logos. Did you ever wonder what is so special about them that all brands and businesses get one for themselves?

Their consumers worldwide also love to flaunt their favourite brands’ logos on totes in the crooks of their arms, sportswear, and cars. 

What Makes a Good Logo?
Unsplash by Laura Chouette

Now, could we have a curious pause and ask again, what is a logo? A logo is a visual, short-and-sweet representation of a brand or entity. It conveys the overarching concept of a brand… but here’s the catch. In and of itself, a logo is seldom meant to be informative about the brand or the specifics of products they sell, at least directly. It goes way more personal than that!

Logos are designed to convey sentiments. Their visual appeal is such that they get customers to feel connected to the brand by representing things we positively identify with, admire, and proudly wear on our sleeves.

1.1. The Impact of Well-Designed Logos

Samantha Odo, Real Estate Sales Representative & Montreal Division Manager at Precondo, explains the importance and impact of a well-designed logo:

“A well-designed logo acts as a visual shorthand for a brand, capturing its essence and communicating with customers on a subconscious level.

For example, a simple and clean design may convey a sense of modernity and efficiency, whereas a more intricate logo may evoke tradition and craftsmanship.

This immediate visual impact is crucial in developing a memorable brand identity that connects with the intended audience.

Moreover, the logo’s consistency across different brand touchpoints promotes long-term recognition. A cohesive and recognizable logo, whether used on packaging, websites, or marketing materials, fosters familiarity and trust.

This consistency reinforces the brand’s presence in consumers’ minds, allowing for quicker recall and association with the values and attributes represented by the logo.”

Samantha Odo
Samantha Odo

All being said, the design elements of a logo are still just a combination of image, shape, and typography. But what makes it great, like the one we just described?

2.1. Simple

A clutter-free and unembellished logo is powerful, one that even a kid can draw and yet capable of representing the emotion behind a brand. It can convey the brand sentiment effectively and is known to build a brand’s identity rather than vice versa. 

Like a person of few carefully chosen words, these simple yet impactful logos prove their presence with minimal elements. They are either words or a single bold pictorial mark, seldom both. These have minimal letters and analogous colours, and many are even monochromatic! 

You must admit that when a single stroke of swoosh, a bitten apple, or a click on a play button arouses strong emotions, the logo has done its job!

What Makes a Good Logo?
Pexels by Ray Piedra

2.2. Minimal Logos Foster Community and Desire

Lindsey Wolf, the Marketing Manager at SportingSmiles, discusses ways a simple logo can embody a brand’s emotion and identity:

“Lululemon is one of the most popular and influential brands today. Their logo is just a simple U-shape, yet it’s one of the most recognized logos everyone knows, needs, and desires to have.

When others see one of their bags and the small U is on the corner, a flash of emotion and idolization waves through the consumer. The U logo is one of the most simplistic logos among brands, yet it says so much more.

The logo is confident, smooth, wealthy, and so much more. I believe that a logo can not only convey the emotions and identity of a brand but also transform it into a global sensation that outshines other athleisure brands.

I believe in a simple and unembellished logo because when others see it, they want to become a part of the community that owns a Lululemon product.

If you remove the logos and compare it to a similar product, no one will care, but when you re-add it, everyone wants Lulu. Because, after all, they only want the U.”

Lindsey Wolf - Featured
Lindsey Wolf

2.3. Memorable

This is about how well you can remember a logo, echoing the simplicity and further adding to the value that a brand creates. Carefully chosen fonts, colours and pictures need to represent the sentiment of a brand and arouse the same in the customers. 

Avoid using colour palettes that conflict with the brand’s emotions. For a luxury brand, a logo with a typical shade of green would be utterly confusing, if not appalling!

Focus on Strong, Recognizable Symbols

Paul Connolly, the Creative Director at Pivot Strategies, explains the key elements that Make a logo memorable:

“A simple mark is a must-have. A strong, recognizable symbol, even at the smallest sizes, should be the focus of a memorable logo. Then, building off your mark to create a responsive brand system will ensure your logo looks good at any size.

Many logo designers start by zeroing in on a mark and creating a brand noun list with the client. Refining that list of nouns down to a shortlist will give you a common foundation to start ideas.

Once a mark is coming into focus, fonts can be paired or customized to fit the overall aesthetic of each option. Look for ways to tie the shapes of the characters to what you have established in other elements of your logo.

Lastly, I like to start in black and white to ensure the client is focused on the design elements of the logo, then bring in color options. If it doesn’t work in black and white, color won’t save it.”

Paul Connolly - Featured
Paul Connolly

2.3. Original

The only time you should look up logos of other brands is when you need to avoid them, for real! Inspirations are great, but that could also mean conformity, a sure way for bad juju spells for a brand’s identity. 

Your brand’s logo should be relevant by being true to the products and services the brand offers and by considering the authentic experience you want for your target audience. Creating an original logo essentially means that you have collected enough information about the brand image and can enter the idea digitally into vector software.

2.4. Original Logos Build Trust and Recognition

Tom Molnar, the Creative Director at Fit Design, explains how originality in logo design contributes to the authenticity and identity of a brand:

“I believe that an original and innovative logo can help a brand stand out from its rivals and build trust with customers.

If the logo is authentic and creative, a brand can communicate its values, personality, and mission to its target audience, which eventually helps to build brand recognition and loyalty.

Originality in logo design plays a significant role, in my opinion, in establishing a brand’s identity and creating a lasting impression in the minds of consumers because you want to set your brand apart from the competition and show that your brand is unique and has something special to offer.”

Tom Molnar - Featured
Tom Molnar

2.5. Timeless yet modern

Good illustrations should act like a time machine, relevant at any time and to any generation. Some famous brands that have survived the millennia have changed their logo drastically, but their brand is still recognizable through the iterations. 

What Makes a Good Logo?
Pexels by Antony Trivet

Avoid jumping onto the trend bandwagon and create on a whim. Timelessness is a quality that develops from a clear vision of the offerings of a brand and its admirers. It is a perfect way to create further value and brand identity through many decades.

Strategically Evolve Brand Identity

Magee Clegg, the CEO of Cleartail Marketing, shares their perspective on the balance between maintaining long-term relevance and incorporating modern design elements to keep a logo fresh:

“As the founder and CEO of Cleartail Marketing, I’ve navigated the fine line between preserving a brand’s long-term relevance and integrating contemporary design elements to keep logos and branding feeling modern and engaging.

It’s a balance that requires not just an understanding of current design trends but also a deep sense of a brand’s core identity and values.

Incorporating modern design elements can certainly attract attention and signal that a brand is keeping pace with the times, but it’s critical to ensure these updates don’t dilute or stray too far from the foundational elements that make a brand recognizable and trusted by its audience.

One notable example from our experience at Cleartail Marketing involved a B2B client in the technology sector.

Their logo and branding were heavily rooted in early-2000s design trends, which, while nostalgic, did not communicate the forward-thinking and innovation-centric message crucial to their industry. Our strategy was not to reinvent but to evolve their brand identity.

We incorporated sleeker, more minimalist design elements that reflected modern aesthetics while retaining the original color scheme and the symbolic essence of their logo.

This approach led to a 35% increase in website engagement, as analytics showed that clients and prospects perceived the brand as more relevant and in tune with current market demands.

Another aspect to consider is how changes in design trends can impact consumer perceptions. For instance, the recent push towards sustainability and eco-friendliness has seen brands incorporate more green and earth tones into their logos and packaging.

In response to this, we advised a startup client to slightly adjust their logo’s color palette to softer, more natural tones.

This subtle change aligned them more closely with current trends and consumer values, contributing to a 20% uptick in consumer engagement on their social media platforms.

The key takeaway from these experiences is that maintaining a brand’s relevance while keeping its logo and visual identity fresh demands a strategic approach.

It’s about understanding the intrinsic values and messages that your brand wants to convey and how best to express these in a modern context without losing the essence of what makes your brand unique.

This balance is not just about aesthetics; it’s about effective communication and maintaining a genuine connection with your audience over time.”

Magee Clegg - Featured
Magee Clegg

2.6. Strategic Brand Refresh Cycles

Lyndal Ashby, the Brand Strategist/Web Designer at Visibelle Web Design, offers perspective on balancing timeless relevance with modern design to keep a logo fresh:

“I believe that every brand should be strategically built to attract the business’s ideal customer. Following logo design trends may be popular, but it can lead to a confused visual identity that does not help you achieve your business goals.

It risks making your brand blend in with competitors and alienating your customers. As businesses grow and evolve, so does their ideal customer. This is why it’s crucial to revisit and update your brand strategy and potentially the design every three to five years.

This helps your brand stay fresh, modern, and relevant without constantly changing the logo, and in turn, damaging brand recognition and trust.

This strategic approach is the key to maintaining the balance between maintaining relevance over time and incorporating modern design elements to keep a logo fresh.”

Lyndal Ashby - Featured
Lyndal Ashby

2.7. Versatile

This brings us to the following characteristics of a good business logo. They need to be designed for pliancy. They should be easy to download and simple enough for logo variations and different surfaces, digital, print, or on materials. Also, it should aesthetically appeal to the global community of business buyers.

2.8. The Strategic Role of Logos in E-Commerce Growth

Steve Pogson, the Founder of First Pier, elaborates on how logos become powerful tools for marketing, influencing consumer perceptions and loyalty:

“From over 20 years of experience in driving growth for online businesses, I’ve learned that logos go far beyond mere identifiers; they are pivotal in forging emotional connections and embedding brand values into the consumer’s consciousness.

A prime example of this is the visual identity we developed for a client’s outdoor gear online store, where the logo incorporated elements of nature and adventure, aiming to evoke feelings of freedom and exploration.

This carefully crafted logo not only distinguished the brand but also deeply resonated with the target audience’s desires and aspirations, demonstrating how logos can encapsulate and communicate the very essence of a brand’s narrative.

Working with a diverse range of e-commerce businesses has also highlighted the importance of aesthetic choices in logo design. Specific colors and shapes are chosen to convey particular emotions and qualities.

For instance, implementing a green color palette in a logo for a sustainable fashion brand helped to emphasize environmental consciousness, attracting a like-minded customer base.

Similarly, the use of a bold, assertive font for a fitness equipment online retailer aimed to convey strength and reliability.

Such design decisions are crucial in ensuring the logo aligns with the brand’s identity, evoking the intended emotional responses and strengthening the brand-customer bond.

In the realm of e-commerce, where competition is fierce, and the digital marketplace is saturated, logos serve as a beacon for brand consistency across various platforms.

From the online store’s layout to social media profiles and email marketing campaigns, a well-designed logo fosters brand recognition builds trust, and enhances the overall customer experience.

This consistency is key to creating a cohesive brand image that sticks with consumers, making the brand easily identifiable in a crowded market.

In summary, logos are more than just visual marks; they are strategic assets that encapsulate a brand’s values, promise, and personality, playing a critical role in building lasting connections with consumers.”

Steve Pogson
Steve Pogson

3. Logo Types: Which One is for You?

When classifying logos, all the allusions behind its meaning simmer down to basic visuals. The only criteria for classification are imagery and typography. However, designing a logo ultimately hinges on the brand image. 

Overall, the following are broad classifications of types of logos and which brands are suitable for a specific type of logo: 

3.1. Letterform/ Monogram/ Lettermark

Only slightly varying, these logos have only letters. 

Letterform: These logos have a single letter. 

Monogram/ Lettermark: These use multiple letters but differ in appearance. Letters found in a monogram logo are interlaced, giving a stylized appearance, which is quite common for luxury brands like Chanel and Gucci. Meanwhile, lettermark logos have letters placed side-by-side punctuated with a background, giving a formal feel, like HP and NASA.

What Makes a Good Logo?
Unsplash by Laura Chouette

Often, these are initials of rather lengthy names of companies that are made into monograms or letter marks. Some fantastic examples are IBM, HBO, and CNN. 

Suitable for: Since this type of logo is good for longer names and has only initials, it doesn’t hint much about the brand and is usually chosen by established businesses. 

3.2. Wordmarks/ Logotypes

Like lettermarks, wordmark logos are typographic and spell out the brand’s name. 

Suitable for: Especially new brands who want to put their names out there, but the name is also short enough. With carefully chosen fonts and colours, wordmark logo designers can create a no-fuss yet memorable representation of the brand. Think of the perky red Coca-Cola logo or the happy-go-lucky colours of Google.

3.3. Pictorial marks/ Abstract logo/ Mascots

Also called brand marks or logo symbols, it is nothing but an icon, but one that speaks volumes. 

  • Pictorial marks: These carefully chosen pictorial logos represent the core image of a brand. Think of brands like Instagram and Apple, hinting at capturing moments and knowledge. 
  • Abstract logos: They are just that, abstract images. But as with all famous image logos, they are not random. Behold Pepsi, the patriotic tricolours and waves representing freedom, or Nike’s Greek goddess-inspired Swoosh logo representing speed and victory.
  • Mascots: An illustrated and colourfully depicted character that represents a brand. They are most likely to be actual or fictitious characters known to start the company, almost giving a story-like feel to the logo. We love our Mickey Mouse from Walt Disney Corp, the Starbucks siren, and KFC’s Col. Sanders, don’t we?!
What Makes a Good Logo?
Pixabay by oberaichwald

Suitable for: For businesses with strong recognition and so iconic that they need nothing more than an icon, literally! Also, this type doesn’t need any translation. Mascots are great for companies wanting a family-friendly, inclusive atmosphere. 

Made by combining a wordmark/lettermark and a pictorial (picture/abstract art/mascot) mark. 

  • Combination mark: It is a perfect combination of typography, colour and picture, as in BP with its abstract yellow-green helios and brand letter mark.
  • Emblem: This is a typographic logo inside an icon, as in badges and seals. They have a traditional and regal appearance, e.g., Harvard University, and luxury merchandise and automobile brands like BMW and Harley-Davidson.

Suitable for: Newer businesses that want to stand out with an abstract logo or a lettermark but can’t risk confusion may opt for a combination mark logo. However, complex design also means higher designing costs in recreating logo variations on different surfaces.

3.5. Versatile Logos: Simplicity, Adaptability, Global Appeal

Ryan Esco, the Chief Marketing Officer at FireRock Marketing, offers insights on maintaining the global appeal of aligning logo with brand identity:

“Understanding the interplay between brand identity and visual representation has been key. A well-designed logo must not only stand out but also convey the brand’s ethos effectively across platforms, from print to digital media.

From a specific example, we worked on a brand redesign for a client in the highly regulated healthcare sector.

The challenge was to create a logo that was recognizable in small digital formats like mobile apps, yet detailed enough for print materials such as brochures and event banners.

We achieved this by focusing on simplicity and versatility—using a combination of vibrant colors and a simple icon that could be easily adapted without losing its essence.

This approach ensured the logo maintained its aesthetic appeal and brand message consistency across varied touchpoints, satisfying a global audience.

Moreover, my background in analytics and customer segmentation played a vital role in understanding diverse audience preferences.

This insight allows for the creation of logos that not only adapt well across mediums but also resonate on a cultural level, making them appealing to a global audience.

For instance, employing universally recognizable symbols or motifs can transcend language barriers, making the brand more accessible to international markets.

Understanding these nuances and employing them thoughtfully within the design process is crucial for global brand appeal. 

In summary, the key to creating a versatile logo lies in its simplicity, adaptability, and cultural resonance.

By focusing on these elements, one can ensure a logo remains effective and appealing, irrespective of the medium or global market it is presented.”

Ryan Esco
Ryan Esco


Love or love to hate them, logos are everywhere, waiting to be seen. And, from now on, we will get to know them a little closer, being aware of the principles behind logo designs. Maybe, through this article, we will also appreciate the intricate details and tireless hours spent by graphic designers to create the simplest of logos.

What makes a truly great logo

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Last Updated on by Saket Kumar


  • Lucy

    Payel is an avid writer. She hails from the community and public health fields. She has an insatiable knack for traveling, meeting people, and knowing their cultures and customs. Her writing reflects her passion in the lifestyle and health genre. Through her writings, Payel weaves words to bring out the nuances and angles of our lives and things that matter to us. Education MPH, MSc Specialization in Public Health and Biology Certifications/Qualifications MPH MSc in Biology

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