An effective logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message. A logo is there to identify but to do this effectively it must follow a few basic principles of logo design:
A simple logo allows for easy recognition, versatile and memorable. Effective logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn. Simple logos are often easily recognized, incredibly memorable and the most effective in conveying the requirements of the client. A refined and distilled identity will also catch the attention of a viewer zipping by signage at 70 miles per hour, on packaging on the crowded shelves of a store, or in any other vehicle used for advertising, marketing and promotion.
Following closely behind the principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple, yet appropriate logo.
An effective logo should endure the test of time. The logo should be 'future proof', meaning that it should still be effective in 10, 20, 50+ years time. Probably the best example of a timeless logo is the Coca-Cola logo. if you compare it to the Pepsi logo, you can see just how effective creating a timeless logo can be. It has barely changed since 1885 and is a timeless design.
An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications. The logo should be functional. For this reason a logo should be designed in vector format, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size. The logo should be able to work both in horizontal and vertical formats.
How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For example, if you are designing a logo for children’s toys store, it would be appropriate to use a childish font & colour scheme. This would not be so appropriate for a law firm. It is also important to state that that a logo doesn’t need to show what a business sells or offers as a service. ie. Car logos don’t need to show cars, computer logos don’t need to show computers. The Harley Davidson logo isn’t a motorcycle, nor is the Nokia logo a mobile phone. A logo is purely for identification.