What Makes A Great Logo?

Let’s start by being clear on what a logo is. I like how Paul Rand defined a logo. Rand, one of the world’s greatest designers says “a logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies.”

So, your logo doesn’t need to show what you sell or offer as a service. Think Harley Davidson. The Harley Davidson logo isn’t a motorcycle, nor is the new Dunkin’ logo a doughnut. Think Apple. The Apple logo isn’t a computer or phone. But each of these examples is a memorable, distinctive flag or signature or street sign.


Below are five characteristics of a great logo with some examples:


Simple logos are the ones people can recognize as soon as they see them. The simplest logos are the ones people remember the most. Don’t overcomplicate your design. Focus on one message or one core value, like the Amazon logo. The message in Amazon’s logo is that Amazon has it all from A to Z. The arrow also delivers a smile.


Scalable & Versatile

A great logo should look good whether you make it small or large. On a highway billboard or on a cell phone screen, the logo should work well.


Memorable & Impactful

A great logo should impress. You want to capture your prospects and clients’ attention and leave a positive and lasting impression. All of us are bombarded daily with thousands of advertising messages. If your logo is memorable, it’s more easily recognized — improving your brand presence and recognition. The logo for the restaurant reservation software, Open Table is memorable.



A great logo has to have meaning that relates to the work you are doing. Create a logo that speaks to your audience. You wouldn’t use a playful logo full of colors (Like the Google logo) if your audience is lawyers or CPAs. Look how well the new Rowing Canada Aviron (the national sport federation for rowing in Canada) logo relates to both the country’s flag and the sport.



Don’t follow the latest trend when creating a new logo. No business owner wants to have to rebrand after only a few years. That’s painful and costly. You want your logo to work for your business until you change your focus or target audience. Create something that can stand the test of time. Think Coca-Cola. That logo’s been tweaked a bit but has lasted more than 130 years.


We’ll end as we began, with a quote from Paul Rand. He once said, “Ultimately, the only mandate in the design of logos, it seems, is that they be distinctive, memorable, and clear.”

See some of DJP Design LLC’s own logo design work here.


Coming Up:

How is logo design changing? Watch for the upcoming blog post from DJP Design LLC that will answer that question.


For More Insights:

Attributes of a Good Logo

Vital Tips for Effective Logo Design

What Makes a Good Logo?


DJP Design LLC | Logo Design Orange CT

My 20+ year journey has allowed me to lead critical graphic design projects, serve major corporations at small design agencies, and build my own successful freelance graphic design business in Fairfield County, CT. From large corporations to single person shops, I work with all types of businesses and nonprofits. I’ve won many graphic design awards but prefer winning more visibility or sales for a client.  Our capabilities include: Logo Design, Graphic Design and Consulting Services. If you think you might want to work with us call us at 203.675.0430, or email us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

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