Designing a successful logo

Three Elements of a Successful Logo

Think of a successful logo. Now, think of two more. Odds are, at least couple of the logos you picked are from one of the world’s 50 most admired companies.  

The logos you picked may seem completely different, but the basic characteristics of most successful logos have more in common than you might think. Let’s take a look at three elements crucial to your logo’s success.



Let’s start with a scientific truth: A simple design is easier for most people to understand.

It’s no surprise then that the logo designs of the world’s 50 most admired companies would be considered simple. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking simple is easy. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Simple is harder. The more you simplify your logo, the more quickly you’ll find yourself encroaching on an existing brand. The goal is to simplify your logo as much as you can while retaining an element unique to you and your company.



There are always exceptions to this next rule. (Google. There – I said it.) But if you look again at the world’s 50 most admired companies, you’ll find 43 of them use no more than one or two colors in their logo designs. For those of you old enough to remember, the Apple logo was originally rainbow-colored. Quick, flip your iPhone over and tell me how many colors it is today?

Simply put, flat color is better for multiple reasons—the latest of which is that it’s less distracting on mobile devices.  Don’t believe me? 45 of the world’s 50 most admired companies agree.



Of all the missed opportunities I’ve seen to make a logo more successful, typography is often the culprit. It’s what happens when you give novice designers too many choices. I’m not here to kill creativity, but the facts are:

 Why? Remember: simplicity and readability are key. Sans-serif fonts and capital letters are more immediately recognizable and scale better from large to small sizes. They are also more versatile. In fact, 22 of those 50 successful logos use a customized font or “tweaked” off-the-shelf typeface to make them more personalized.

Like a successful business, a successful logo is generally the result of applying proven methods to a unique vision. There are always exceptions, but many of the world’s most admired companies promote their brands with logos following the same principle: simplicity in design, color and type.

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