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Logo Design Principles

A recent discussion has inspired me to write about logo design principles.  Understanding these principles can help any business start off on the right foot and avoid branding challenges as they grow and evolve.

Based on Wikipedia, a logo is:

A graphical element (ideogram, symbol, emblem, icon, sign) that, together with its logotype (a uniquely set and arranged typeface) form a trademark or commercial brand. Typically, a logo’s design is for immediate recognition. The logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand, or economic or academic entity, and its shapes, colors, fonts, and images usually are different from others in a similar market. Logos are also used to identify organizations and other non-commercial entities.

This means a logo is not…

  • A clipart image from Microsoft ClipArt or from a free ClipArt site. If you can download the image, imagine how many other people can download it.
  • A photograph that you’ve taken yourself, or purchased. Photographs have their place, but not as a logo.
  • Your brand, it is just a component of your brand, and is representing your brand.

Now that you know what what a logo is and is not, let’s look at the basic principles of logo design.

David from www.daivdairey.com has succinctly outlined:

  • A logo must be describable.
  • A logo must be effective without colour.
  • A logo must be memorable.
  • A logo must be scalable.

And I’ll add an additional point:

  • A logo must be simple.

To demonstrate the above principles, I’ve used our logo.

Hong Kong Based Company

  • Describable? Yes, a white flower inside a green box.
  • Effective without colour? Yes, notice it hasn’t changed the quality of the logo.
  • Memorable? Yes, especially in Hong Kong because it represents our national flower, the Bauhinia.
  • Resizable? Yes, this is particularly important because you want to be able to put your logo onto different promotional and marketing materials.
  • Simple? Yes, meaning that there is not too much going on in the design and it’s simple enough to look at it quickly without trying to work out what it is.

Now that we’ve discussed the principles, do you feel your logo is in alignment with them?

eCourse Implementation Specialist, Hong Kong

If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.

Written by: Nicole Graham


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Established in 2007, Bauhinia Solutions is a boutique virtual business support agency with a team of dedicated and experienced business specialists, administrators, and virtual assistants.