Fundamental Elements of a Strong Logo |

Fundamental Elements of a Strong Logo

The permeation of media in today’s households makes it more important than ever before for companies to have strong branding. However, with literally thousands of companies trying to stand out, clamoring for attention, it’s harder than ever before to successfully stand out. The combination of availability, accessibility, and over-saturation make it a difficult environment to compete in. So many are now competing that without strong branding it’s easier than ever before to be forgotten. The easiest way to strengthen your visibility and remembrance is to create a strong logo.

Making a strong logo isn’t simple. Although it seems an easy thing, it is in truth fiendishly complex, as the simplest things often are. Slews of companies struggle with to create the next great logo, especially small businesses with lower spending budgets. With that in mind, here’s what typically makes a logo strong.


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The first element of any strong logo is simplicity. A logo should be understandable in a single glance. It’s perfectly alright if there are deeper elements to the logo, but the core should be completely and immediately understandable. This is extremely important, as over complexity is perhaps the worst way a logo can be sabotaged. If it’s not simple, it is likely losing a lot of recognition and can be considerably less memorable. When thinking simplicity think Nike. With a simple swoosh they’ve made one of the strongest and most immediately recognizable logos of all time.


Color also follows the simplicity rule. Strong logos use colors that are simple, attention grabbing, and easy on the eyes. There is a whole gamut of psychological effects behind the colors of logos, so make sure you have a strong grip on which color has which effects. A quick guide is that bright colors are called ‘warm’ colors, and incite action or strong feelings, while darker are considered ‘cool’, and inspire calmness and confidence. Color is another extremely important piece of the logo, and can really set it apart. Think McDonalds on this one. With their famous yellow arches on a field of red they’re the perfect example of color in a strong logo.

Don’t forget that many businesses will have to advertise in black in white, often with some regularity. So, strong logos should still retain their visibility and recognizability when in black and white. Try not to use more than two or three colors in your logo, as this will keep them from losing recognition when they make the switch to black and white. Also a word of caution, make sure the logo makes sense at any size. It needs to be scalable since logo placement can range from a giant billboard to the side of a pen.


Not all strong logos are representative of the product they’re pushing. Despite this, anyone attempting to create a strong logo should give serious consideration to keeping the logo representative. Logos are typically much more powerful if they can be immediately linked to an exact product. Toward this end, it greatly helps if the logo immediately strikes a spark of recognition or realization concerning the product they’re representing (especially for new or smaller businesses). A great example of a representative logo would be the World Wildlife Fund. They have the letters WWF below a black and white panda. It is simple, distinct, and representative, all of which make it an extremely strong logo with instant recognition.


All strong logos are extremely distinctive. Logos need to be not only unique, but striking as well. This is where many logos struggle. Combining different elements of a logo is perhaps the best way to go about making a distinctive logo. Use a simple image, striking colors, and representative letters to combine all the elements into a distinctive design. Sports leagues are famous for doing this, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball League, and the National Football League.


The last aspect virtually all powerful logos share is consistency. It is tempting to try and upgrade over time, or make minor adjustments, but more often than not it is best to leave the logo untouched for as long as possible. The more consistent the logo stays the more memorable it becomes in people’s minds. Again, Nike is the king of consistency, keeping their simple swoosh around since day one.

Creating a strong logo isn’t an easy task. It is a fine balancing act to create a simple, striking, distinct and representative logo. Strong and powerful logos should be respected for the innovation and amazing pieces of art they are. It takes time, dedication, and very real adherence to design rules to make a strong logo. There are always those who can seemingly make their own rules, but when it comes to logos, simplicity, color, distinction, consistence, and direct representation are king.

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Fred Richards

Fred Richards

Fred Richards is a custom designer and online publisher for He enjoys blogging about web, graphic, and logo design.

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