Logo Basics: 3 core principles of logo design

In this post about logo basics, you’ll learn the key design fundamentals that are important for good logo design. This post is part of the logo design guide series.

Simply delegate logo design? No!

The main task of a logo is clear communication between the company and the target group. Ideally, the viewer only takes a quick glance at the logo and immediately knows the company’s values.

A bad logo, on the other hand, makes communication between the company and the target group more difficult. For example, because it cannot be perceived correctly by the viewer due to design deficiencies. Or, because of design deficiencies, the company has decided to replace the old logo with a new one that the target audience will have to get used to again. In both cases, the tight marketing budget cannot fully develop the effect for the company. This results in expensive marketing measures with comparatively little efficiency. 

Good logos, on the other hand, can be used flexibly, work on all common media, and clearly communicate a company’s values and services. 

Because no one knows the company’s values as well as the entrepreneur himself, he should take the time to formulate the logo’s goals and requirements. After all, the point of the logo is to clearly communicate the company’s own values in order to make future marketing efforts as efficient as possible, thus saving valuable entrepreneurial resources. So the time invested will pay off in the long run.

Logo Basics for Design: The quality criteria of good logo design

Logo Basics Overview


Let’s start this section with a small allegory. Let’s imagine that there is another person standing opposite us. We want her to catch a ball that we throw to her. With one ball, this should not be a problem. But what about when we become two, three or more balls at once? It becomes increasingly difficult for our counterparts to cope with the flood of balls.

The same goes for the amount of information we want to communicate in our logo. It is hardly possible to communicate the company’s mission, several corporate values and the company’s unique selling proposition all at once. No logo design can handle this mammoth task and, more importantly, hardly anyone in the target audience can absorb all the information.

Instead, it makes sense to focus on a central statement. It should be relevant for us as entrepreneurs, but also for our target group. This core statement is the basis for the logo design, which can now unfold its full communication power and actually convey the desired information to the target group. Reduction can result in an easily identifiable logo that can clearly and strikingly communicate the information.


A good shipping service provider delivers packages quickly, reliably and safely. Of course, he would like as many attributes as possible to be communicated in the logo. However, it is better to pick out the unique selling point of the company that is most important to the entrepreneur and the target group and include only this in the symbolism of the logo.


An important point is also the originality of the logo. It should be free of clichés. This means that not every security company needs a lock in its logo. Not every pizza delivery service needs to advertise with the Italian flag in its logo. The art of good logo design lies in clearly formulating a company’s information without using boring symbolism.

This does not necessarily mean that a parcel delivery company, for example, has to do without a parcel symbol in its logo. However, it should then at least have an original representation with a first-class design idea. In addition, the symbolic representation of one’s own corporate values or one’s own corporate mission (as described in the first point) can also be a good way to avoid boring logo clichés. Original logos are also easier to protect at the trademark office. In addition to the significantly stronger communication power, trademark protection is another important reason why originality is an important quality criterion for a logo.


Good logos are designed for a long-term communication strategy. For example, a law firm with three attorneys is better off communicating the firm’s values in the logo rather than graphically incorporating the current number of law firm partners into the logo. After all, it can easily happen that new partners join the firm or that partners leave the firm. A logo that symbolically chose three different colored circles to represent the number of partners would then not make as much sense.

Just like the number of partners in a law firm, the target group (B2B<>B2C) or the product portfolio can also change in other companies. Especially founders or start-ups are confronted with this problem. Because their own business model may still need to be researched and adapted. If the own logo does not only consist of a lettering, but should also contain graphic elements, it makes more sense to align the logo design with longer-term company characteristics. What can these be?

Business mission:

An ambitious and long-term mission for one’s company can be a way to serve as symbolism for one’s logo.


An environmental organization has set a goal to fight plastic waste in order to protect the environment. Logo 1 would now communicate the specific approach quite clearly. On the other hand logo 2, shows the long-term mission of the environmental protection organization and is thus flexible enough to be able to depict further measures to protect the environment.

Logo / Icon 1
Logo / Icon 2

Corporate values:

Reliability, loyalty or fairness are just three examples of great corporate values. There are many more. Good corporate values (which are important to the target group and at the same time are lived in one’s own company) exist in the long term and are therefore also suitable to be represented symbolically in the logo.

Logo Basics summary

A good logo is simple, distinctive and timeless. It is not enough to just use a template of a logo. before that you should design a business mission / vision and then choose, create or have created a logo accordingly.Now you know the logo basics. Let’s continue and learn to avoid some typocal mistakes in logo design.

Here you can find logo inspirations and templates:
Adobe Express’ Free Logo Design Templates*

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