I remember at design school many years ago, that a lot of lectures and tutoring sessions were about the psychology of a good logo design, and how to go about designing logos correctly. Looking back after all these years, the information they shared with us was invaluable. I still apply this knowledge to every logo design I create.

Of the many, many things we were taught, I share the following three things with clients whom I design logos for:

1/ For a logo to be a ‘quality logo’ it must pass the ‘paint it in black silhouette’ test. If you were to paint it in black, would it still be instantly recognisable at a glance, or not? If it is, it is on the right track to being a ‘quality logo’. (See the below example)

2/ It needs to instantly represent how you want your business to be perceived.

3/ A logo can be made up of:

  • Logo graphic, logo text and a tagline
  • Logo graphic and logo text
  • or just ‘Logo as text’
  • There are also some instances where you can get away with ‘Logo as text’ and a tagline.
Dead Puppy Logo

I designed this logo for a computer game company back in 2002.

Dead Puppy logo - painted black

Painted in black. Note the deliberate white space between the dogs legs.

A logo that will serve a business well, allows people to understand quickly what the logo graphic is, what the text says and what the logo design is meant to convey.

People will make a judgment about your logo very quickly; sometimes sub-consciously but in certain instances, very consciously.  A good logo attracts people and therefore attracts business. A bad logo repels. A good logo also has the ability to potentially become highly memorable and instantly recognisable, even only if the ‘logo graphic’ is present. Think of the McDonalds ‘M’ and the Nike ‘Swish’.

Your logo plays a BIG large part in forming the first impression of your business. There is an old saying, “Perception equals reality”. You could have the best products, services, customer service, etc but you still may not be generating anywhere near the number of enquiries, leads, walk-ins (if you run a brick and mortar shop) and sales that you are hoping for, if your logo is not helping people form the ‘perception’ of your business that you want them to. Same too for your website, your social media, your print design, signage, etc.

PS. Quick side note: There are many other rules to follow in order to have a quality logo. They are all based on what will psychologically best activate your ideal customers. Some of these rules involve:

  • No more than 3 colours
  • No more than 3 fonts. Usually only 1 or 2 font families
  • Must employ Colour Psychology
  • How does it make people feel when they see it?
  • It needs to work at different sizes: large for building fascia signs (if you have a retail shop building), small for your website, and really small for avatar icons on your Facebook Business Page Profile, LinkedIn, etc.


Jay Daniells

About the Author: Jay Daniells

Jay Daniells has been doing advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work for clients since 2010. He is an SEO specialist. He first started doing SEO work in 2005. He has also been creating websites full-time since 2003. Amongst things Jay is also a graphic designer, digital marketing consultant and creative person. His focus is helping businesses, community groups, clubs, charities, organisations and other entities achieve their goals. He is the owner of Green Valley Digital.