Building a successful company is no easy task, and there are many different elements that must work seamlessly together. One of those elements is the design of the company logo, and if you do not get this part right you could end up with an expensive and time consuming rebranding effort down the line.

From the iconic red and white Coca-Cola logo to the famous blue and white IBM font, every great visual representation has a few things in common. Here are seven essential elements every winning logo design should include.

1. Simplicity

From the Nike Swoosh to the clean design of the Google home page, winning designs have one thing in common – they are simple. It is easy to overcomplicate the logo design process, but this is definitely a KISS (keep it simple stupid) moment.

2. Originality

If your logo design is too similar to an existing one, your customers will be confused, and you could end up on the losing side of a lawsuit. Above all else, your logo design must be entirely original and completely your own.

3. Timeless appeal

Creating a new logo is a huge hassle, and an equally large expense for your company. If you have to design your logo, you could end up rebranding the entire company, and losing the trust of customers in the process. Creating a logo that eschews trendiness and focuses on timeless design is clearly the best way to go.

4. Appropriately colorful

Colors will play a huge role in the success of your logo design, but the colors you use may not be the same as your competitors. If there were a single color that spells success in logo design, every company would use it, so focus on the color scheme that best fits your firm.

5. Compatibility

it is easy to see the logo as a separate piece of intellectual property, but it would be more appropriate to view it as a small part of a larger whole. As such it is important that your logo design be compatible with all your other branding efforts, from the colors on your homepage to the design on your letterhead.

6. Flexibility

When designing your logo, keep in mind that the same image may appear 100 feet tall on a highway billboard or two inches high on the business cards in your pocket. A flexible design that looks good in all kinds of settings is absolutely essential.

7. Distinctive

The logo you design should serve as a visual representation of your brand, and there should be no doubt which company is being represented. Think about the most iconic logos and you will quickly see that they are both distinctive and totally original.

Whether you are designing a logo for a brand new company or embarking on a top to bottom rebranding effort for an existing firm, the logo you design will play a critical role in your success. Logo design is an art, but it is also a science, and making sure your logo contains the seven critical elements listed above is always a good place to start.