Workings of a great logo

Before we get to the “oohs” and “awes” of logo design, it is time for a generic post so we know how to judge the good vs the bad. After visiting the site of Graphic Designer Jacob Cass (, I am a bit more knowledgeable of what characteristics make a first-rate logo. Let’s break it down into five. Simplicity, Memorability, Timelessness, Versatility, and Appropriateness are key. The purpose of a logo is to convey a brand’s message so why not create it in a way that is appealing to consumers. Quite simply, simplicity is memorable amongst the clutter that logos are always found. We have heard the acronym K.I.S.S. so many times throughout the advertising industry and yes, it applies here too. Memorability usually attaches to the characteristic of simplicity because, if it is simple, it is probably more recognizable. Timeless logos have the ability to be effective next year, 10 years after that, and 30 years after that. A good judge of if a logo is versatile is it’s ability to work over different media. Can it fit in a small space? Can it look nice large on a billboard? Quick tip: working on a logo in black and white first is a good way to test how a logo interacts in it’s simplest form. Of course, lastly, it should be appropriate. Does it work for the message that is trying to be conveyed? But enough with the lecturing. Let’s judge some examples. Can you guess, using the criteria above, which logos work and which are less effective?

Answers (just incase it is not clear): Good logos: World Wildlife Fund, Underground; Bad logos: Tree Doctor, Hip Hop For HIV

I’m sorry if the competition felt unfair because the good logos are more successful brands but I won’t be sorry for a pitiful display of trying to do way too much. I dare you to copy all four images to your desktop (to where they turn into tiny thumbnails) and view the clarity of the goods and the mess of the bads.

May all logos be clean, neat, and memorable.


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