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5 Traits of a Great Logo Design

Logos are created so that people can identify your brand or business at a quick glance of the eye. Many businesses treat their logo design as an afterthought – something they pay $5 to a random stranger on the internet to design.

As the old saying goes: You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Logos represent that first impression. If done incorrectly, logos can give off the wrong impression – or worse yet – no impression at all. The overall design and color of a logo can be a subjective process – there are generally agreed upon design elements that should be present in every single logo. When coupled together, these elements help make the logo not only more effective but more memorable as well.


Logos that are simplistic in nature are more easily remembered and recognized by people when they see them. If people have to stop and stare for a minute in order to comprehend or figure out what your logo is about, it’s defeating the purpose. Especially in this day and age, human beings have a limited attention span. As such, keep the design simple. The logos that people remember the most are the simplest (think “golden arches”).


The logo itself needs to be scalable. Meaning it should be simple enough to be scaled up or down in size and still look good. A general rule of thumb is that the logo should be legible at one inch. If the logo is extremely complicated, it won’t scale effectively. The simplicity of the logo design will enable it to scale up or down in size – from a business card to placement on products, to residing on marketing collateral such as promotional items or even company letterhead.


AT&T logoA good logo should immediately give the viewer an idea of the personality of your company. Take the AT&T logo, for instance. It’s a circular globe with blue lines wrapping around it. AT&T is a telecommunications company and has a global presence. It helps connect people from one end of the planet to another via their phones, email, and other communication devices. A relevant logo should also be relevant to the day and time. If you owned a cell phone or communications store, you wouldn’t use a pager from the 1990’s in your logo. Nor would you use a rotary phone – unless your business specifically deals with rotary phones. A good logo should relate to the work that you or your business does.

Memorable – Not Generic

Harley Davidson LogoYour logo shouldn’t also be so simplistic that it spells out exactly what you do. For example, take the McDonalds logo–it’s a brightly colored yellow “M”, not a hamburger. The Harley Davidson logo isn’t a motorcycle, it’s a badge. The industry that you’re in should also be reflected in your logo. For example, if you own a funeral home, you wouldn’t have a bunch of balloons or other festive colors/graphics in the design of your logo. Alternatively, if you own a business that caters parties for children, then you would want balloons or other festive items. If you’re a professional (such as an attorney, CPA, or other) then you’d want something that would instill trust and a sense of professionalism in your clients.

Effective Without Color

Chevrolet logoA good logo should be just as effective in black and white as it is in color. If you work in black first, you will find yourself focusing on the shape of the logo. Color should be secondary to design. You don’t design a house around the color blue – you design the house first, then you decide to paint it blue. The Same principle applies to logo design. The reason for this design principle is because if the color isn’t as strong a factor, then the overall idea or concept behind the logo will stand out more and be that much stronger. If the logo itself won’t work in black, then it won’t work in any color. Take the Chevrolet logo for example. If you were to take a black marker and color it in, you would still be able to tell it’s the Chevrolet logo by the design alone.

Logo Design in Raleigh

If after reading the above logo design tips and realizing that graphic design is probably best left to the professionals, give AlphaGraphics a call and let us show you how we can design a logo that will encapsulate the heart and soul of your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can produce and design your next project, you may email us, request a quote or call us at (919) 832-2828.

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