Five Hallmarks of a Powerful Brand Identity

By June 10, 2019 logo design

What do powerful brand identities have in common with diamonds?

Much like a diamond, the most successful logos behind some of the World’s most powerful brands have 5 common characteristics:  Clarity, color, cut, authenticity and simplicity. Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these characteristics and what brands have used them successfully.

1. Clarity

Above all, a company’s logo should be clear, simple and easy to read. When you begin digging around for great logo brand identity design, you’ll probably find that the most powerful and memorable brands tend to have very simple logos.

Nike logo

The Nike logo is a great example of a logo that is simple, clear and easy to read.



2. Color

Color is a very important tool for any brand.  It’s important that your logo work in black and white as well as color.  However, the power of color should never be overlooked. Colors are emotive. I’d even go so far as to argue that logos have a subliminal effect on human psychology.   Many successful brands used color effectively or is it working in opposition to your brand message?

“I have some free time on my hands so I think I’ll just gaze up at the blue sky and … Play on the internet.”

It’s no accident that these brands in the image above all share similar colors.  Sky blue tones convey lightness, playfulness, imagination, and creativity while darker blues convey a serious, “get down to business” sort of message.

Bull Logo

The dark navy blue of the Merrill Lynch bull says, “You can seriously trust us with your money.”

3. Cut (or Symmetry)

The cut of a diamond affects how it refracts light. This has everything to do with symmetry and balance.  Let’s take a look at how one logo designer used balance, symmetry and proportionality to create the success story we know today as Apple® Computers.

The Apple® logo adheres to the “golden ratio” 1/1.5 perfectly.


4. Authenticity

Is your logo unique while remaining reflective of your businessality?   A successful logo should be completely unique and unlike any other.  While it’s OK to look for inspiration and look for new ways to re-imagine other ideas, you should never seek to directly copy another logo.  However, it’s entirely possible to use commonly recognized symbology in unique, creative ways. In 1968, Target corporation laid claim to the iconic bullseye.  Since then, it has enjoyed a timeless in its clarity and authenticity.  It’s so fused to their brand identity that it’s almost impossible to see a bulls eye image without thinking of the mega retailer.

The iconic bullseye is a perfect example of clarity, simplicity and authenticity in logo design.


A good logo should be, above all, simple!  As designers, we should always ask “What else can I take away?  How else can I boil this down basics?”  Logos will rarely be used in the same media all the time.  Therefore, they need to work in variety of different usages, sizes in colors.  A logo should not rely on color to convey it’s style.  It work well in both full color and black and white.  The more complexity you add to the design, the more you limit your usage of the logo.

When it comes to logo design, the overall quality of your design has a direct connection to the effectiveness of your brand identity. Is your logo simple and easy to read?  Can it be used effectively both in color and in straight black?  How does your logo score on the diamond scale? Submit your logo here to receive a free evaluation!