What Makes a Good Logo: A Guide for Small Business Owners

Your logo is the face of your business. So, having an aligned and recognizable logo design is critical to standing out and building trust. But what makes a good logo design? What does it take to create a design that resonates with people and stands the test of time?

We’ll explore the key elements of what makes a good logo, with logo design tips from branding agencies and logo designers.

Why do you need a logo?

Your business needs a brand as much as it needs its product or service. Here’s why:

  • Recognition and memorability: A logo helps customers recognize and remember your brand identity.
  • Differentiation: It sets you apart from the competition.
  • Trust-building: A logo helps establish trust with consumers.
  • Customer loyalty: Over time, a logo can build customer loyalty as they become more familiar with your brand and offerings.
  • Consistency: A logo helps ensure brand consistency across all marketing materials and channels. This is pivotal to building trust.

After all, what’s the point of having an incredible product if people aren’t sold on the brand?

Principles of iconic logo design

All iconic logos share common elements, utilized uniquely according to the brand’s vision and idea. Here are the key elements found in great logo design:

  • Memorability: An iconic logo is easily remembered by consumers. Memorable logos offer a unique design, feeling, and message.
  • Versatility: These logos adapt well across all platforms and sizes, maintaining their impact and legibility.
  • Relevance: Good logo design aligns with the brand’s industry, target audience, and identity, enhancing its connection with the consumers.
  • Timelessness: Despite changing design trends, good logo remains effective and relevant, demonstrating its timeless appeal.
  • Uniqueness and originality: These logos are distinct and original, setting the brand apart from competitors.
“The designer of the famed Twitter bird icon once told me: ‘Only do one trick.’ It forces you to prioritize simplicity and not over-design. The smartest businesses are those with the simplest solution to solving a problem, and this philosophy carries through to branding.” – Leif Abraham, CEO & Co-Founder, AND CO

Above all – a logo should be simple. Every element should be carefully chosen to represent your visual branding. So, now that you’ve got the elements down, how do you go about designing a good logo?

Looka does this for you. Try it out below!

What makes a good logo design?


Let’s get into the practical aspects of what makes a good logo. We’ll outline the main design elements along with examples and pro tips.

1. Color in logo design

importance of color infographic

Color is critical in logo design. Colors can evoke emotions and convey a brand’s message instantly. The colors you choose for your logo should align with the brand’s personality and capture attention without overpowering the design.

“Color is one of the most identifiable components of a visual identity, so if no competitors are using a specific color, it’s a color you can own as a business, which immediately allows you to stand out from the crowd with little effort.” – Ian Paget, Founder, Logo Geek

Examples of color in logo design

mastercard logo

  • Tiffany & Co: The logo’s “Tiffany Blue” is a prime example of the power of color in logo design. This distinct shade of light blue exudes a sense of elegance, sophistication, and exclusivity that aligns with the brand’s luxury image. It’s so iconic that the color is instantly recognizable!
  • MasterCard: The red signifies boldness and dynamism, while the yellow stands for optimism and prosperity. The vibrant colors interconnect to echo MasterCard’s vision of connecting consumers and businesses worldwide.
  • Airbnb: The use of a warm pink color suggests a sense of passion, love, and hospitality, aligning with Airbnb’s mission to create a sense of belonging wherever you travel.
Learn more about choosing brand colors that resonate with your brand, industry, and audience.

2. The importance of shape in logo design

importance of shape in logo design infographic

Shapes in logo design are powerful enough to create an emotional association with your brand. Whether it’s a circle implying unity or a square symbolizing stability, the shape of your logo has a substantial impact on how it’s perceived.

The world’s top brands choose specific shapes to further their messaging.

Slack’s logo design concept conveys connectivity and interaction. The logo symbol features overlapping rectangles and circles, forming a unique hashtag-like symbol that represents the brand’s core values of communication, community, and collaboration.

slack logo

Below, the circle shape in the Spotify logo represents unity and community, important for their music platform. The triangle shape in the Adidas logo represents progress – perfectly fitting for a fitness and sports brand!

Learn more about logo shapes and how to choose the right one for your brand.

3. Typography and logo design

what makes a good logo typography infographic

Typography is an essential element in logo design. The font and typeface chosen can communicate a lot about a brand’s character – whether it’s serious, fun, traditional, or modern. The key is ensuring legibility and coherence with the brand’s overall aesthetic.

“If I had to provide a single most important tip in designing a logo, it would be to avoid common typefaces. Unique typography in logo design is an extremely simple way to look professional.” – Erik Pitzer, Graphic Designer, Illumine8 Marketing & PR

Most wordmark logos rely on a thoughtful logo font choice that reflects their brand and industry and works seamlessly with their brand colors. Think of Pinterest, Lyft, or Sony – the deliberate use of typography is sometimes the only trick you need to make a good logo design.

Examples of typography in logo design


  • Coca-Cola: The script lettering of Coca-Cola’s timeless logo is one of the most recognizable in the world. The flowing and rounded letters are a great example of a typeface that reflects the brand’s inviting and friendly image.
  • Google: The Google logo is a master class in simplicity and color. The sans-serif typeface is modern, approachable, and playful, mirroring the company’s innovative and user-friendly ethos.
  • Vogue: The bold, tall letters of Vogue’s logo evoke sophistication, glamour, and style, perfectly aligning with the high-fashion magazine’s brand identity.
Learn more about logo fonts and how to choose the right one.

4. Symbolism in memorable logo design

what makes a good logo symbolism infographic

Symbolism in logos can convey a deeper meaning or story. Using logo symbols that resonate with your target audience can enhance brand recognition and recall.

“[A logo] must respond to the most basic of needs like recognizability, and the interpretation of the simple idea attached to the product, or venture, it represents. But there’s another level…here has to be visual poetry. It must spark conversations and stories.”– Pablo Juncadella, Design Director at Mucho

Examples of symbolism in logo design

  • Mailchimp: The platform’s name itself suggests a “mail chimp,” and that’s exactly their logo– a friendly and approachable chimp’s face. This makes the brand recognizable and memorable while alluding to its fun and friendly brand personality.
  • Starbucks Siren: The Starbucks siren, is a two-tailed mermaid derived from Greek mythology. This symbol conveys a sense of allure and mystery and speaks to the maritime history of coffee and the city of Seattle, where Starbucks was founded.
  • Twitter Bird: The bird, aptly named “Larry,” (RIP) symbolizes freedom of expression and free-form chatter. The use of a bird also mirrors Twitter’s functions of tweeting and following, creating a strong resonance with users.
  • Apple logo: The bitten apple logo symbolizes knowledge (from the story of Adam and Eve), innovation, and of the fruit that led to the discovery of gravity. It’s a loaded symbol!

5. Balance and proportion in logo design

what makes a good logo balance proportion infographic

A balanced design is pleasing to the eye and tends to be more effective. Whether it’s symmetry or asymmetry, a well-proportioned logo can create a sense of harmony and cohesion.

There are two types of balance in logo design: symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Symmetrical balance: This means balance when elements of the logo are mirrored along a central axis. This creates a sense of stability and formality. An excellent example of this is the McDonald’s golden arches logo, where the ‘M’ is perfectly balanced on both sides. Chanel’s interlocking “C” is also a great example of symmetry.

Asymmetrical balance: Involves different elements that have equal visual weight. The design still feels balanced, despite not being mirrored. This type of balance can make a logo more dynamic and interesting. In the Nike ‘Swoosh’ logo; the weight of the ‘Swoosh’ balances perfectly with the weight of the brand name.

nike logo

Proportion: This refers to the size relationship between elements in a design. It’s crucial to maintain consistent proportions to ensure visual harmony. Be mindful of the size of each element’s visual hierarchy in relation to others. This includes the logo’s text and any shapes or symbols.

6. Scalability in logo design

what makes a good logo scalability infographic

Start your own logo design process by asking yourself: Where will you place your logo?

A good logo should retain its legibility and aesthetic appeal at any size – whether it’s on a business card, a billboard, or a digital banner. This ensures your brand is recognizable across all mediums and platforms.

logo scaling example

Here’s what to avoid when considering scalability:

  • Avoid intricate details or delicate patterns that may become unclear when the logo is scaled down.
  • Complex or elaborate designs can lose their definition when miniaturized.
  • Use text that remains legible in all sizes.
  • Avoid relying on color to distinguish different elements of your logo as it may be lost in grayscale or monochrome settings.
  • Prioritize simplicity, clarity, and high contrast for perfect scalability.

The cost of good logo design

how much does a logo cost infographic

Logo design costs can vary widely based on:

  • Designer’s expertise
  • The complexity of the design
  • Specific brand requirements

A freelance logo designer may charge between $100 to $1,500 for a logo.

Design agencies charge more, and require more of your time. Prices can range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more.

Pre-made logo templates can be obtained for less than $100, but they lack uniqueness and tailor-made design.

If you’re looking for the middle ground between these options, Looka’s logo maker has you covered. Our logo maker applies these logo design principles for you so that you can focus on creating the perfect logo.

A well-designed, professional logo is an investment that can significantly contribute to your brand’s success over time. Start by creating your logo on Looka!

Get started today!

Use Looka's AI-powered platform to create a logo, design a website, and build a brand you love.