5 tips for successful business logo design


Designing a new logo can be a confusing process for business owners. There are many options to consider – colors, font selection, images, size, shape, etc. In this post, we explain the five most important items to make your business logo design successful.

Business logo design process


Keep it simple. That’s pretty solid advice for a lot of things, including business logo design. If you’re looking to capture the attention of potential customers and remind current ones of your reach, a busy or cluttered logo isn’t going to do your business any favors. Some of the most successful logos have been the simplest. We’re talking about clean, bold lines without a lot of elements to distract the eye or detract from the impact of the message. The “gold scallop” of Shell Oil and the red and white “bullseye” of Target retail stores are excellent examples of simple designs that are bold, identifiable, and evocative of the brand they represent.

Shell logo

Target logo


The painter Edouard Manet was unfortunate enough to be a contemporary of the more highly regarded Claude Monet, to the point that Manet was asked to show his work only to learn that the gallery had believed they were contracting with Monet. Ouch! The last thing you want from a company logo is to have it mistaken for that of a competitor. So when considering logo design, it’s important to keep it original. Look at what’s out there and find an opening for something new. When looking to avoid brand confusion, consider the color, shape, symbolism, and flow of your design. The color choices in the Taco Bell logo represent a good example of one way to make a recognizable object stand out as an original brand logo.

Taco Bell logo


What do the “running dog” of Greyhound bus lines and the “bitten apple” of Apple computers have in common? They’re memorable. These days the average consumer is flooded with commercial messages. Everything from TV ads and roadside billboards to web banners and pop-up ads on game apps seems to be screaming at us with a sales message. Eventually, amid the high volume of commercial communication, all but the most memorable messages become noise that the brain learns to filter out. So how do you ensure that your logo gets through that mental filter? Choosing a design that’s bold enough to be both memorable and instantly recognizable is one key to success.

Greyhound logo

Apple logo


When selecting a company logo, know your customer audience—both who they are and what they expect from you. Ask yourself what your company logo says about your business. Does it emphasize power, tradition, speed, flexibility, health, fun, or connectivity? Any of these attributes (and many others) can be the central message of an effective design. Ford Motor Company, for example, has maintained its famous “blue oval” for a century—reinforcing the Ford name as an originator in automotive technology. On the other hand, the famous Nike “swoosh” emphasizes speed and forward motion. Six Flags uses a playfully nostalgic mid-century design to remind its audience that childhood memories are made at amusement parks. In each case, the logo evokes a mood—a positive feeling that is linked to the company’s core message.

Ford logo

Nike logo

Six Flags logo


A logo is your company’s public face, so it must be easily transferable to any medium that bears your brand—whether it’s a fleet of trucks, packaging, web ads, or social media, or all of these. An effective logo is easily recognizable at a glance, both in color and in black and white, and in any size. A good logo works as both a highway billboard and a Twitter avatar. If your logo relies on fine print, you have a problem. Some examples of company logos that demonstrate brandability in any form are the McDonald’s “golden arches” and the Target “bullseye.” Think about all the formats that you use to connect with customers, and be sure that the logo design you select works well with each.

McDonald's logo billboard

McDonald’s billboard | Photo credit Life of Lisa

McDonald's logo tweet

McDonald’s tweet

Target logo billboard

Target digital billboard in NYC | Photo credit Allan Peters

Target logo bus

Target Canada tour bus vehicle wrap | Photo credit Financial Post

Target logo train wrap

Target Chicago CTA train wrap | Photo credit Chicago-L.org Trains Gallery

In order to create a successful logo, be sure to keep it simple, make it original, memorable and clear, and ensure it’s recognizable across various marketing mediums.

Do you have any other examples of logos that meet these criteria? Let us know!


Cecily Kellogg writes about the intersection of family, technology, and social media for Babble Tech and runs her own web content business. Cecily lives in the Philadelphia area, is happily married, is mom to a fierce and amazing daughter, and has occasionally been called a bad ass.

  • modeomedia

    Brilliant post! Those who want to venture in logo designing must know these essentials because your logo is the face of your company. It has to be remarkable and simple. Thanks for sharing!

  • Timothy Hanson

    When someone writes an article he/she retains the idea of a user in his/her mind that how a user can know it.
    Thus that’s why I like this post. i really enjoyed it.

    custom logos

  • Integraphix

    Great post, Cecily. The Target logo is actually one of my favorites, as a logo designer in Chicago . It is simple yet memorable and can be applied to anything. Looks great at any size, too .

  • http://www.bizbellacademy.com/ Bizbell Academy

    I like tako bell, buts its great collection of creative logo designs :) superb

  • http://www.integraphix.com/ Advertising Agency

    I’m not sure I would put Nike under “clarity”. I would put that under “brandability” for sure. As a Chicago graphic design agency, I love the Nike logo, Cecily, but I do just think it’s mislabeled.

  • http://konstantinladwein.com/ Veronika Oster


    I am completely agree with you that Logo
    should be simple and effective. There are such so many examples of logos which are extremely simple and at the same time effective too. In my opinion a logo should be simple and should be like which explains all the things which you want to say to your audience through it.


  • http://www.senserve.com/ James Brown

    In my views a business logo should be describable, memorable and scalable.

  • http://www.integraphix.com/ Advertising Agency

    The 6 Flags logo is one of the most iconic ones you can see. Everybody knows it. It’s a favorite from my Chicago graphic design agency , in that regard.

  • Timothy Hanson

    These tips are really useful for logo designers like me.

  • Kristina Hughes

    A logo is one of the most important aspects of any business organization. These are the most important aspects what makes your company logo appealing .. Without knowing these important aspects we never create any successful logo design for any business.

  • sadiakomal
  • http://www.senserve.com/ SenServe Limited

    yes simplicity and clearity of your message are the most sensitive but important aspects that a logo must poses, designers and companies should considers them keenly. overall study is really a handy thing for designers

  • Rits123

    Great post. Unique and simple logo design is very important aspects while logo designs. these logo designs are very useful for me while designing logos.keep sharing.also I like some unique and simple logo designs here :

  • Mark

    Some great logo design tips. Thanks for reinstalling some of these fundamentals for me :)

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