Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Most Important Elements of Logo Design

Close your eyes and say the word "McDonald's." Now try the same thing with the word "Nike." I bet the first thing that came to mind were the iconic logos of both businesses. This is the essence of powerful branding.

Logo design is, arguably, one of the most important aspects of any web design project or marketing campaign. Since effective logo design can become a replacement for a business name, it is critical that all businesses take this seriously.

Logos might appear simple, but designing them is anything but easy. While one iconic logo is vastly different from the next, they all have three things in common. Consider the following qualities as the key ingredients to a timeless and effective logo:


It isn't a coincidence that the most iconic logos in history are all incredibly simple. Simplicity allows for an unforgettable quality, which is at the very core of branding. Let's recall the McDonald's "Golden Arches" logo.

From its birth, this yellow "M" structure has been an interchangeable symbol for anything McDonald's-oriented. Why is the simplicity of it so effective? Well, the fact that it resembled no other logo to date was a good start. However, the designer of this logo knew better than to muddy the logo design with detail that would overshadow the meaning. You might be the best New York website design company, but if your logos are busy and ineffective, your branding attempts will surely fail.


What good would a logo be if no one could remember it? The ingredient of "simplicity" is essential in guaranteeing a logo with memorable qualities. The fact that McDonald's "Golden Arches" are so simple and distinguishable, from even 250 feet away, says a great deal about its "memor-ability."

A well-executed logo should, essentially, be able to replace all of the language, feelings, emotions, products, and mission of the company at large. A hectic logo will dizzy the mind of its viewers and, ultimately, get overlooked.

Memorable logos, like the "Golden Arches," possess simplicity that stains the visual mind. Web designers, you must marry the "simple" and "memorable" qualities of a design, in order for it to brand a business.


Achieving a memorable and simple logo will require a relevancy. The web designer for McDonald's "Golden Arches" chose an "M" for the logo because the "M" is relevant to McDonald's as it is the first letter of the branded business. Further, the golden yellow color is said to resemble the delicious French fries, while inducing an appetite, sense of warmth, and happy spirit.

Relevancy is, arguably, the number one ingredient in effective logo design. Can you imagine how lost viewers would be if the "M" were changed to a "Z" and colored black and purple? This question answers itself.

All of these ingredients may appear effortless to achieve in one logo design. However, fulfilling all criteria is the challenge, in and of itself. I imagine these three ingredients as three linked spheres, where all require the rest. If you are a web designer, you know that logo design will demand all of these three criteria and that it is not easy, no matter how simple the logo.

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