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Creating a logo can seem daunting

January 17, 2012

Keep these 5 principles in mind for design


By: Jessica Lambert, ASU-SBDC Training Coordinator


SAN ANGELO, Texas — Starting a new business and need a logo?

A good logo can help market your business with little additional explanation, can easily be put on a variety of mediums, and is unique.

For some people, designing a logo is an exciting task that allows them to tap into their creative side. For others, it can be a dreaded chore with too many options from which to choose.

Where do you begin? Whether you are designing your logo yourself or have decided to hire someone to help, having a clear idea of what you are looking for will help you get to the finish line in no time.

According to a helpful article on justcreative, the five principles of effective logo design are simple, memorable, timeless, versatile and appropriate. Let’s break down these five principles to better understand what they each signify.

Having a simple design will help you accomplish the other four principles as well. If you get too fanciful and complicated with a logo design, it will become difficult to use on a variety of mediums, and the meaning could be lost if it is not identifiable. You do not want people looking at your logo and asking, “Is that a bird or is that some sort of plant?”

Is your logo memorable? A memorable logo means it is doing its job. When you see the Starbucks logo, it is simple but also unique and memorable. You want people to see your logo, notice it, and begin to associate that specific logo with your business.

Trends come and go, but a timeless logo will need little tweaking to adapt to new ages. Have you ever seen an old McDonald’s logo? The “golden arches” of the McDonald’s logo have been a staple of the logo from the beginning. But that golden M has been tweaked in small ways throughout the years. It has changed colors slightly as well as gone from 2D to 3D designs. If you were to see one of the first McDonald’s logos, you would still know it stands for the same McDonald’s you know today.

A versatile logo can be used on a variety of mediums. You might eventually want your logo on a car wrap, billboard, cap, shirt, cups, boxes, etc. Is your logo dependent on a specific shade of green that is difficult to match? That aspect may become more difficult or more costly to replicate on a variety of mediums.

To make an appropriate logo you have to consider the intended audience for your business’s goods or services. If you are marketing to women, consider their tastes and wants. A logo that is attractive, of a designer color palette, and a slightly more ornate font is more likely to attract the attention of a woman. When you use bright colors and fun childish fonts, children know a product is directed at them. Men would typically expect more basic fonts and colors, nothing too decorative.

Now that you understand the five basic principles of good logo design, you are on your way to designing the perfect logo for your business. Let your creativity flow and start by brainstorming many different designs. Try out a few of the final contenders with customers or friends and get their feedback. The perfect logo will proudly represent your business for years to come.

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“Business Tips” was written by Jessica Lambert, business development training coordinator and certified training coordinator of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at

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