The K.I.S.S. Guide to Great Logo Design

The K.I.S.S. Guide to Great Logo Design

KISS Method

How do clients and customers come to know your business?  Mostly they see your company logo—on your Web site, in an advertisement—long before they decide to contact you.  Logos are a vital element of that all-important “first impression.”  A good logo can help sell your product or service.  A bad logo can leave that sale still-born.  Good logos convey strength and purpose.  Bad ones suggest confusion and incompetence.

There are several guiding principles behind effective logo design.  The best logo should be memorable, timeless, versatile and, of course, appropriate.  But in our decades of creating strong, effective logos for our clients, we’ve found one over-riding principle that’s best described as K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Your business may be complicated, with many moving parts.  Your logo should be as simple as possible.

What do all of the world’s great logos have in common?

One thing they—and almost all Fortune 500 companies—share is simplicity.

Think about the great logos of the world like Coca-Cola, Nike, IBM.  Their designs never have more
than three colors (one of which will likely be black), and in many cases, no more than two.  The reason is simple.  People (that is, customers and clients) are naturally attracted to something that’s uncluttered and clean.

The Nike “swish” logo is easy to absorb and instantly recognizable.  A logo that’s overly busy or complicated, with too many graphic elements, has the opposite effect.  If people have trouble understanding it, they become distracted and annoyed—the last thing any business wants.

Simplicity = Sophistication

In addition to a limited color palette, we’ve found that the best designs employ as few words as possible.  That can be a thorny issue at some law firms, for example; back in the day, lawyers often insisted on incorporating everyone’s name in the brand.  These days, such an approach invites marketing disaster.  Remember—you want to design a logo that appeals to your clients, not to your partners’ egos.  Just as with a simple color palette, it’s best to adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle when it comes to naming your brand.

Simplicity extends into all aspects of logo design.  Some designs with fancy shadowing and elaborate fonts may look great on a computer screen, but look muddy and indistinct when printed on fine stationery.  Then all the money you’ve spent on design is wasted.  The best logos look good across a wide spectrum of platforms—billboard, letterhead, computer, TV.  Not only does it make sense to keep your design simple, it’s also less expensive  to go to print with.

Think about all the visual stimuli that assault us every day.  It makes sense to design a logo that’s simple and easy to recognize.  And to those customers who worry that a simple design may not reflect a firm’s professionalism, we say, in fact, nothing is more sophisticated than simplicity.

Feel free to email us at to see our portfolio.You’ll see how effective and sophisticated they look, with only a few strong graphic elements.  Our expert design team crafts logos that give our clients a competitive edge.  Last year alone, more than 1,000 firms chose us to build their brand.  Find out more about what we offer at

Remember – less is always more!