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Logos have Rules and Rules are made to …..

February 28, 2009

Step back a moment and think about the process of designing a logo. Designers create a logo idea from a business name or a product/service a business sells.  From the inception of the logo idea, it is broken down into smaller parts. It is  researched, sketched, colored, brought into technological format, glued (or should I say pasted) back together, refined and completed.  The final output of the logo may be the Mercedes of all logos but the designer has gone through a series of Rules to create it properly.


For starters, the rule of scalability arises with the initial logo idea.  How will the logo appear on business card vs. a Billboard? This is an important question as it will affect the “aura” of the logo. The “aura” as I like to call it must emit the same feeling whether its size is big or small. Another words it must have a consistent message.


This consistent message is the rule of Recognition.  Will the logo give instant recognition of the product or business every time it is seen? Logos are designed with this purpose in mind. The logo must create a personality or “aura” to tell the viewer who and what is speaking to them. And next time it is seen, the viewer will remember what it represents.


History may have dictated some rules because of technological limitations. For example, the use of Color has a rule. Usually, no more than 2 -3 colors are used in a logo design. Printing has or had its limitations and cost factors as well. Today we can take leaps because of online viewing and advances in printing techniques.  So who says only 2-3 three colors are acceptable now? I say once in a while Break this Rule but only if it works for the design.…


Be sure a logo designed in color also works in Black and White. This allows much more usage of the logo, as well as shows the same integrity the logo in color does. Explore the options of special effects. The options for logo design are really limitless. Maybe, break ALL logo rules and say there are none! Creativity has jumped out of an old box. Logos have rules but rules are made to be broken!


Kristine Sheehan

“Your Stationery in Flight”

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