Logo Design Elements

By Shawn M. Tomlinson

  • Overview

    Logo Design Elements
    Good logos are easily and instantly recognizable. Consider the apple on the Apple Macintosh computer. It has no words, no name of the company, no catch phrase. Yet, almost anyone who sees it knows what the item is, whether an iPod or a computer. That apple has evolved since the beginning of the company, but it has remained indelible. That's what a good logo does. It is shorthand for a business identity.
  • History

    Logos at first simply were the initials or the name of the individual making the item. For example, Paul Revere before he made his famous ride, was a silversmith, pewtersmith and goldsmith. He labeled everything he made in his shop. According to the Paul Revere House website, he labeled these with • REVERE or P.REVERE. As time went on and more companies grew up with competition, they started to devise logos that would tell even an illiterate person instantly what company made what product.
  • Contents

    Logos usually consist of letters and images or graphics. Budweiser beer, for example, has a large "B" in a stylized font and a crown above it signifying the "king of beers" along with the full name beneath. The Volkswagen car company has a "VW" in a circle and many people took to calling them "VWs." Apple Computer simply has the white or silver image of an apple without any words. When the Mac first appeared, it had a six-colored rainbow apple with the word "Macintosh" attached.
    The old Apple logo, left, and the newer version.


  • Considerations

    Designing a logo takes a lot more work than at first it might appear. Thought must be put into it because it it will represent any company for years to come, especially if it is a good one. This is the reason so many logo design companies do only that. Logos must be unique, too, because of copyright and trademark infringement laws.
  • Risky Business

    Some logos are abstract, but that means some risk on the part of the business because an abstract design doesn't immediately state what the company is or does. Over time, such logos can come to be instantly recognizable, such as the Nike single paintbrush stroke logo. According to the website dinesh.com, the Nike logo symbolizes the wing of Greek goddess Nike. She was the goddess of strength and triumph.
  • Significance

    The key to designing a good logo is simplicity. While there are some that are elaborate, it is the simplest ones that are recognized most easily by the most people. It should symbolize what the company is about, what it does and what it strives to be.
    This sample logo uses the company name, motto and minimal graphics
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