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Paul Rand’s principles for logo design


Paul Rand’s essay, “Logos, Flags, and Escutcheons”, published for the first time in 1991 by AIGA, is probably one of the most accurate writings about the role and significance of the logo.

In this essay, Rand presents seven principles that need to be taken into account when designing a logo. The seven points can also be use as a tool to evaluate the quality of a logo design.


1. Distinctiveness

The logo must embody the unique features and values of the company, product or service that it represents. Must capture the story and emotion of the brand, extract it and communicate it in a concise manner.


2. Visibility

The logo must stand out. It is a mark and in order to accomplish its representation function it has to be noticeable, By any means : color, size, design or concept.


3. Adaptability

The logo needs to work in many size and color variations and on many mediums (prints, outdoor, digital, etc). So it must be versatile and adoptable.


4. Memorability

The logo must have a special ingredient that makes it stay in peoples minds. Going for particular features and staying away form cliches is a must. Memorability helps the user connect to the brand.


5. Universality

The logo must transmit the message that it embodies to large groups of people. It does so by following universally accepted symbols or visual language principles.


6. Timelessness
The logo should be designed with a forward thinking attitude, so that it will represent the business throughout its life-span. It must stand out by its distinctive features and not be a product of ever changing design trends.


7. Simplicity
The design of a logo must be SIMPLE: concise, accurate, balanced. Must be produced by the repeated process of distillation of an idea.


This is the beauty of logo design : capturing in such a simple way, a concept or idea that is so complex. Using the fewest possible elements in the design and being particular, distinctive and recognizable in the same time.


Article written by Concept Machine for Design Driven


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