Purpose of Logo and Principle of Logo Design

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

In the past several years, i realized i have a heart for logos. Probably because the nature of logo's simplicity, and often geometrical elegance, and my personal penchant toward these qualities.

Purpose of Logos

Logos, is a graphical representation of a entity. It is the visual analog of names. Logos are particularly important in our modern, capitalistic, corporate environment. Look around you, you can find tens of logos in your immediate surrounding, and recognize each of them or the company, without conscious thinking.

Logo is not a fashion statement. It has strong ties with marketing and public perception, which is a general property to anything representative, such as book covers, corporation's names, your attire.

Principles of Logo Design

Bad Logos: Generic

A good logo is not something generic, even if it is beautifully rendered.

Good Logos: Symbolic

Good Logo: Distinct

Good Logo: Simple

Good logo should not be overly complex. It shouldn't be photographic or complex drawings.

Artistic Quality

Besides all the above general principles, a good logo has some artistic merits and quality in its execution. Good logos are often created by experienced graphics designers who have years of experience. A ugly drawing, even if satisfying all the above principles, does not make a good logo.

Further readings

In addition, your local libraries probably have many books about logos and logo history. Alternatively, ask a friend who is a full-time professional graphics designer, or a art student, she'll probably show you colorful books and periodicals and logo collections, and logo design social awards etc you didn't know existed.

PS: Logos, as a subject among human animal's activities and histories, is rather a trivial subject. And, of course, different person can have different esthetic tastes. Nor are logos a critical matter in view of the whole human endeavor. However, a minimal understanding of logos, and logo's design principles, is good to have as a general knowledge in our complex modern society inundated with computer graphics and corporate logos. (actually, recently i found out that there are academicians who calk up the issue to a term visual literacy with full discourse, which i think is overboard.)