The recipe for a perfect logo

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While there is no exact formula for the perfect logo, there are certain “ingredients” that can be explored and utilized in the creative process. This article looks at several successful examples and talks about how these “ingredients” are represented within.

1. It reads like a logo

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Logo Design: Saul Bass

Certain logos just simply look like logos. They don’t look like shapes. They don’t look like symbols. They don’t look like marks. They have the “it” factor that just makes them read like a logo. This Saul Bass United Airlines logo has just that. A combination of unique shapes, aesthetic taste, thoughtfulness, and bold colors brings it together into a concise, recognizable logo.

2. One of a kind

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Logo Design: Pentagram

Any perfect logo should be one and to its own. There might be copy cats or derivatives but the original should stand out as being one of a kind. This restaurant logo by Pentagram has achieved that uniqueness in its subtle yet detail oriented custom typography and its solid brand color choice. In trying to create a perfect logo, be a trailblazer!

3. You can feel the words

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Logo Design: designers anonymous

Another potential aspect of a perfect logo is a union between the feeling or atmosphere of the aesthetics and the brand name itself. In this “fresh point” logo, the feeling of “fresh” is created through a crisp two-tone color palette while “point” is created through shape. The design brings the words to life.

4. Instantaneous understanding

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Logo Design: Pentagram

In a world where hundreds of logos are continuously being perceived at a glance, the perfect logo should be instantaneously understandable and comprehended. The logo featured above was made for the New York City High Line; a walking/bike path that has been made from a previously unused raised rail road through the city. Many of the elements of the High Line are captured in this Pentagram logo: The idea of “raised” plays into the height/proportion of the “H” character, the railroad is spoken to in the double crossbar, and the style could be said to have a New York modern feel. Furthermore all of these elements are understood (to New Yorkers at least) instantly.

5. Visceral understanding

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Logo Design: Stockholm Design Lab

A perfect logo is able to draw from a client or company and express their values in visceral ways. The tag line for Hemtex is “A passion for textile softens the hard times”. Stockholm Design Lab took the concept of hard and soft and created a visceral representation of those adjectives. The soft is represented by a flat light blue while the rough is represented by a textured/sharp red. This ability to speak in a visceral language is a potential aspect of any perfect logo.

6. It makes you think

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Logo Design: Karoshi

A perfect logo can be one that makes you stop and think for a minute. In this Newscope Films logo, the concept of film in combination with a long stretching 3D effect makes your mind start to put together the pieces. Is it a movie theatre? Does it speak to both the figurative and literal (3D) depth in film? Is it a projector/projection? When a viewer is engaged in thought with a logo, they are spending time with the brand, which is something any perfect logo should inspire.

7. Self evidence

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Logo Design: Karoshi

A perfect logo is one that should explain itself without any addition or supplement. This Team Karoshi logo unfolds itself through the exploration of symbols, using the carrot and plus symbols to reinforce “above” and the greater than symbol to represent “beyond”.

Conclusion

A perfect logo doesn’t have to include all of these elements, and in fact it may not include any. These are just some possible “ingredients” to work with. In the process towards creating a perfect logo these concepts can be kept in mind and utilized when neccessary!

Have any tips to add? Comment below!

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