What Makes a Successful Logo?

If you’re reading this, then you already understand the significance of logos and identities to businesses. Logos hold intrinsic value for both the brand community and potential buyers. But what exactly makes a logo successful? According to Smashing Magazine, a good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphical, and simple. Let’s dive deeper into these qualities.

Successful Logos Must Work in One Color

Logo designers who have spent enough time in the industry know the importance of creating logos that work effectively in one color. Even if a logo incorporates multiple colors, it should still maintain its impact when printed in one color. Take a look at the following examples:


These logos are instantly recognizable and distinct, even in a single color. They don’t rely on red, blue, or green to make an impact; their silhouette alone conveys the intended message.

The One Inch Rule

One crucial requirement for successful logo design is ensuring that the logo remains legible at around one inch in size. If a logo loses its readability or impact when scaled down, it fails to serve its purpose. Professional designers understand the importance of the one inch rule and its role in creating successful logos.

Is Your Logo Memorable?

Another aspect to consider is the memorability of your logo. Can it leave a lasting impression and stand out from the crowd? For instance, take the millennial swoosh. It’s used by numerous large companies, but it’s neither memorable nor unique. Such logos give off the impression that they were hastily put together. If your logo doesn’t have a memorability factor, keep refining it. Even renowned companies like Universal Studios have updated their logos to remain relevant over time.

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Does it Mean Something to the Company?

A logo should visually represent an organization’s brand, which encompasses various aspects beyond just the logo itself. The brand represents the mission, culture, people, value proposition, and the why and how of the organization. A successful logo should convey these characteristics visually. For instance, take a look at River Road Coffees’ logo:

River Road Coffees Logo

The graphical elements, colors, and words in this logo hold tremendous significance for the company. It symbolizes their commitment to exceeding client expectations, offering handcrafted high-quality products, and their hometown roots near the Mississippi River. Such logos have an iconic feel, resonating with both the company and its customers.

Has Your Logo Been Simplified to the Maximum?

As the saying goes, “continue to remove elements until nothing unnecessary is left to disrupt the perfection hidden within.” The logo for Lucy’s Retired Surfers’ Bar and Restaurant went through a redesign to simplify the original design while retaining its essence. The goal was to eliminate any noise and create a clean and impactful logo.

Lucy's Retired Surfers' Bar and Restaurant Logo

Professional logo designers understand the importance of stripping away unnecessary elements until the logo reaches its simplest form without losing its meaning or function. Once you reach this stage, you’re close to your final product.

Logos and Identity Systems are Serious Business

Creating a logo is a responsibility that clients entrust to design experts. Design the Planet’s logo design team considers several factors when working with clients to ensure successful logos and identity systems. While logo design can be complex, these are the fundamental concepts and ideas that contribute to a good logo. If you need assistance or further guidance, feel free to get in touch with us.

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