Company Logos: 4 Keys to Great Logo Design

Ryan Goan can design with his eyes closed.

This is a guest post from flyte’s Creative Director, Ryan Goan. I also recorded an interview I did with Ryan around the same material called Logo Design: What Makes for a Good Company Logo? You can watch it at YouTube or down below.

Logos are everywhere, they are on everything from food and clothing to cars and buildings but we rarely give them any thought. What is a logo? Why are logos so important? What makes a great logo? These questions can be the source of some debate but one thing is certain, all great logos share 4 similar characteristics. Before we get to these characteristics let’s discuss the basics.

What is a logo?

A logo is a visual symbol used to identify a business, a product or service.

Why is the logo so important?

A logo is the cornerstone of a company’s communication, it’s on everything a company does. In it’s simplest form, it’s how we distinguish one company from another. Ultimately, a logo represents the brand, not simply for recognition but also to reflect the trust, quality and good will of the company.

What makes a great logo?

All great logos share these 4 characteristics:

1. Simple
“Less is more” is a phrase I use all the time when talking about good design but it’s never more true than when referring to a logo. The simplicity of a logo allows for it to be instantly recognizable, memorable, and powerful. Take for example the Nike logo. It’s made up of one single element, the “swoosh”. So simple, yet immediately recognizable.

2. Unique
Every great logo has something that makes it unique, something that makes it stand out from the crowd. A great logo not only should help differentiate a company from it’s competitors but also be memorable. For example, the Starbucks logo uses color, shape and imagery in a simple, yet unique way to give it that something special.

3. Versatile
Companies do business in a wide variety of mediums so the logo should be designed with this in mind. A good logo should be flexible and consistent in mediums as diverse as newspaper advertising, web sites, and signage. For example, the Apple logo works equally well both small and large, as well as it does in black/white and in color. The Apple logo is a great example of versatility. Whether it’s on the web or on their retail signage it’s always consistent.

4. Enduring
A great logo is one that is timeless, one that is not defined by trends or fads. Because a logo is used to identify the company and represent the brand, a logo should be designed to last the life of the company. Introduced in 1956, the IBM logo has changed very little and is as strong today as it was over 50 years ago.

If you have more questions on designing your logo, please contact us at flyte.

Ryan Goan
Creative Director
flyte new media

4 Responses to “Company Logos: 4 Keys to Great Logo Design”