What Makes a Great Logo

by Joseph Stephen Breese Morse

June 25, 2005

Clean, unique, versatile.

I get it.. 3. Awful.

It's almost unfair that they got such a fundamental design for their logo.

Unique, classic, appropriate.

The square logo is clever, but there is no cohesion.

Script for auto parts? No way.
Bold text is a lot more appropriate for auto parts.

OK form, but this is really bad!

7 Eleven (7/10)

Design: 7, Functionality: 8, Representation: 7, Uniqueness: 7

7 Eleven is a beautiful example of adding color to a logo that works very nicely in two color presentation. 7 Eleven is everywhere with respect to its logo and it required a distinct logo that could translate to awnings and coffee mugs. Notice the rounded trapezoid in the back which is almost enough to identify the company.

Threecon (3/10)

Design: 2, Functionality: 1, Representation: 7, Uniqueness: 3

Threecon Corporation's logo uses space well, but the lines that cut out the contractor images are a dead giveaway that this logo was designed be an amateur. Imagine printing this logo on a hard hat. The designers should have been able to show the three construction workers in a more concise way.

Do YOU have a logo you'd like critiqued?

Mitsubishi (8/10)

Design: 7, Functionality: 9, Representation: 8, Uniqueness: 8

Mitsubishi Motors have themselves one of the most solid icons in design. The three chevrons are simple, identifiable and convey precision and excellence. The font that accompanies the icon is suitable and portrays the company as being modern and precision-oriented.

Revlon (6/10)

Design: 7, Functionality: 10, Representation: 5, Uniqueness: 4

Revlon's logo is strictly typography but represents the company well with a sophisticated and classic typeset. It is unique with the L to O link and stands out in a crowd, though it is nothing shocking.

Sun Microsystems (4/10)

Design: 3, Functionality: 7, Representation: 2, Uniqueness: 7

Sun Microsystems has a memorable icon with the SUN repeating in right angles in its logo, but the consistency within the entire logo is absent besides the uniform color. The logo uses three different fonts. Combined with the other fonts in a letter or a business card, the layout begins to get terribly cluttered and incoherent.

Van's Auto Parts (5/10)

Design: 5, Functionality: 7, Representation: 5, Uniqueness: 3

Van’s Auto Parts is a fictional company developed to demonstrate the appropriateness of fonts with their respective companies. Just as you wouldn’t use a hard, cold font to represent a day spa, you wouldn’t use a script font for an auto parts store.

Arlington Pediatric Center (3/10)

Design: 5, Functionality: 7, Representation: 1, Uniqueness: 2

Arlington Pediatric Center’s logo has been mentioned on the web as being the worst logo ever, and there is good reason. When designing a logo, it may be a good idea to stand back and look at what everyone might see unintentionally.

View the top ten logos of all time.
Have your logo critiqued here.
Have your own logo created here.

For more commentary on logos go to page 1 and page 3.
For commentary on design company logos go to page 4.


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