Principles of Quality Logo Design

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posted by Danh Vo
on Aug 05, 2015

Designers can find it difficult to design a logo, especially when you don’t know where to start or get the initial idea from. Here are some steps to get you on the right track on your next logo design project.

There are 3 basic types of logo:

  • Iconic/Symbolic
  • Logotype/Wordmark
  • Combination Marks

There are also basic principles of quality logo design:

  • Metaphor
  • General and containing meanings
  • Unique
  • Impressive
  • Easy to recognize
  • Expressive


The first step in creating a logo for your clients is to simply ask them what they want – their vision for their brand, product, company, and so forth. Some clients will vaguely describe their idea, while some will tell you exactly how the logo should be done. As a designer, it is my job to work with the clients’ vision and employ design-thinking process to the logo design, not just do what I was told because the clients said so.




Our job as designers is to work alongside the client to figure out the right concept for the company/brand/product; so brainstorming with the client is always a good idea. Throughout this brainstorming you can discover the specific requirements, so there is a clear vision when you execute the design. This clarity will decrease the likelihood of rejection from client.


As an example: ask the client what type of logo they want and give them examples for easy visualization. Then determine the range of creative freedom allowed. With this agreed, you can begin to explore the actual logo construction and design by exploring shape, scale, typography and application of color.


Presentation of your logo design must also consider how your creation will look on the screen, in print, embroidered, in greyscale, etc. If a logo is too detailed, it can become difficult to distinguish at small sizes or in different mediums. This can cause people to not recognize, interpret or understand what you are trying to visually communicate.


Most often, simplicity is best.


The easiest way to get an idea for a logo is to search for inspiration on websites, in books, outdoors – anything that exists has been designed and therefore can give you ideas. Collect these inspirations and keep them in your minds (though beware of copying another logo too closely!).


Here is some samples of my logo design work to date, with some explanation of my design-thinking:



YES stands for Young Entrepreneurs of Saigon. This is a Combination Mark logo type. A serif font suggests a more professional and elegant tone. I used the white-space to suggest a tie, to promote the impression of an business developer/entrepreneur.



NIFTIT Football Club is an interesting task. Based on the shape of current logo, spending few time for sketching the ball and some stuffs, then try to present them into a logo. You might want to do a research for Football or any sports logo type and apply the presentation to the logo.



My Little Co-Working is also involved to NIFTIT, so the hexagon shape might be good for cohering to NIFTIT logo. Give it some sketches and ready to review to the client. The gradient gives fresh and modern for the logo.



Woohoo Saigon combined 3 location icons, the idea I put into these ones is “shuffle”, the users might be not just satisfied right the 1st one try, so maybe twice or third times. And since the color is match to the website. The star is the symbol of vietnam or something special that we bookmark it.



CocoBar is the beach bar with a vintage homemade interior design and uniquely flavoured homemade rums! I decided that a rustic logo would be the perfect match for CocoBar. This logo design brings together a picture of an island, a palm tree, rocks and sea waves. The “C” and “R” characters in “CocoBar” have been modified with additional flair to ensure the name stands out and also communicates some of the fun personality of the bar, staff and products.


logo-octopusThese are two logos for my studying progress. Combination Mark logo type. A whale in “W” and an octopus in “O”.


For me, it’s never easy to get a perfect logo that can satisfy the client, especially if you have to revise the same idea so many times. My advice is not to give up! Everything comes with practice and patience. You will eventually be happy what your creations, and above all this, the client will highly appreciative of your work.


I hope you found this post to be a good introduction to the principles of logo design. Please leave me any comments you might have in the comment box below.