Strohacker Design School

5 Cardinal Rules of Logo Design

If a visual brand was a live entity, the logo would be its heart, mind, and soul. The logo is really that important.

A good logo encompasses everything a brand represents in the clearest way possible and aims to leave a lasting impression on anyone who views it. Logo designers are some of the most respected professionals in the graphic design industry, but what exactly does it take to make a great logo? Read on to discover the five cardinal rules of logo design and how you can incorporate them in your work today.

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Logos are everywhere

From the moment you wake up, you are bombarded with logos. When your phone alarm goes off, chances are there’s either an apple symbol or Samsung logo on the back of your handset. Next, you open your Zanussi fridge to get your Co-op milk out for your Nespresso coffee, and you’ve probably seen three more logos already. Logos are so entrenched in our day-to-day living that we forget they are there. Yet, they are a powerful marketing tool to differentiate between companies and products, and one of the most fundamental examples of graphic design.

Logos are evolving

Companies are constantly adapting to be as competitive as possible. For example, nothing illustrates this point clearer than the 100-year ‘soda war’ between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Looking at the timeline of their logos, we can see that, surprisingly, Pepsi initially used the style of red curly font that Coca-Cola is better known for today. However, in the 1950s Pepsi made a push to differentiate themselves with a modern design that eventually evolved into something completely different. Market statistics show the companies are still neck and neck in terms of market share, so it is up to you to decide which brand came out on top. But let’s face it, these are two of the most iconic and recognisable brand logos – even if you don’t like the product.

7 Types of Logo

Continuing with Pepsi and Coca-Cola as an example, we can see that over the years both brands have experimented with different types of logos. Generally, there are seven types of logo recognised in design: abstract mark, mascot logo, combination logo, emblem logo, lettermark, pictorial mark, and wordmark. 

In the 1950s, Pepsi moved from a wordmark logo to a combination logo and today uses both an abstract and wordmark logo together. However, despite their differences, both Pepsi and Coca-Cola follow the same essential logo design rules.

5 cardinal rules of logo design

You might think that there are no rules in logo design, but it’s only when you see a bad logo that you can understand why the guidelines are so important. The main purpose of a logo is to be recognised instantly whenever it’s seen, and your client won’t be happy if your design falls short of this mark.

Luckily, these 5 cardinal rules of logo design should help create logos that do the work they need and create lasting impressions for brand identity

  1. Ability to invert in black and white
  2. Clearly visible both large or small
  3. Unique to your brand
  4. Visually balanced
  5. Fit both square and rectangle

As a graphic designer, it is your responsibility to ensure the logo is suitable for a wide range of placements from a billboard to television advertisements.  If you haven’t followed the above rules, it’s likely that at some point your logo will be found to be unsuitable for certain uses.

At Strohacker Design school you can learn graphic design in just three months. As part of our graphic design curriculum, you will learn about ‘Self Branding and Identity and you will create your own logo to spearhead YOUR brand throughout your printed and online professional portfolio. You will also learn to use Graphic Design software that will help you create your logo design as well as many other graphic design elements.

95% of our students go on to find long-term creative employment, so what are you waiting for?

Be Job Ready!

Find out more about our online graphic design coursepart-time or full-time courses today.

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