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What Makes Great Logo Design?

logo design, watermark

Your company’s logo design speaks volumes to who you are, what you do, and whom you are relating to. That’s why it’s so important to design a professional, memorable and unique logo that transcends your competition.

Logo design can cost upwards of a few thousand dollars, or can be born from a sketch on a napkin while sipping a latté. The logo for your company is an integral element of everything you want your company to convey about itself, and there are a lot of things to take into consideration beyond color and shape. It’s best to let a professional designer help you come up with the perfect visual representation.


Keep it simple, silly. The most successful logos have simple, clean lines and are not cluttered with a lot of “noise.” Logo design goes through trends, much like fashion, but the best logos stick to the basics and can stand the test of time.

Head Games

Designers who are worth their salt take into consideration the psychological aspects of a logo when creating your brand.


Different colors evoke different emotions, so careful consideration must be taken when applying color(s) to your logo. An obvious example of what not to do with color would be to use pink and neon green for a serious, conservative law firm. Drastic example, I know, but some very strange things happen in the world of logo design when the creator is not savvy to your audience or your company culture!

A few examples of the psychology behind different colors are:

  • Black—conveys power and simplicity; but also can be interpreted as “cold and
  • Blue—a favorite color for engineering and healthcare industry logos, conveys
                integrity and trustworthiness.
  • Red—For retail company, red can convey warm and love; for a financial
                institution, on the other hand, can suggest poor performance and danger.


Squares and sharp-edged symbols and fonts are best used in high-tech and engineering industry logos. Successful retail and business-to-consumer companies use a lot of circles and rounded that make consumers think of (even though they probably don’t realize it!) a “softer,” more approachable entity when they see the logo.


Choice of font also has a psychological element when it comes to logo design. Serif (with little “tails” on the letters) typefaces appear as classic, formal, sophisticated and established for professional services, such as law firms or insurance companies, but can be viewed as “stuffy” and “old-fashioned” for a contemporary life coach.

San Serif fonts, on the other hand, are associated with feelings of friendly, direct, clean and precise. The characters’ edges in san serif typefaces can either be sharp or rounded. If a logo contains a symbol with soft, rounded elements, oftentimes a clean, crisp san serif font with sharp-edged characters to convey "simple and approachable, yet direct and concise" accompanies it. (Think Target).

They’re Everywhere

When designing a logo in this day and age, it is critical to consider all the applications that logo may be used in. Back to the concept of KISS—too many colors, patterns, textures, intricate detail or lots of “parts and pieces” to a logo means trouble when it is trying to be embroidered onto a ball cap, digitally enhanced in a multimedia presentation, or reversed out on a dark background. “Form follows function” needs to be taken into consideration for a successful logo to be represented clearly on both a coffee mug as well as a billboard.

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the “art” of logo design and the psychological implications it can (and should) have on the audience you’re most concerned about—your customers!