Every credible business has a logo that forms the basis of its visual identity. The graphical representation serves as your company’s intangible mascot and distinguishes you from the competitors. A robust design can foster brand loyalty, imprints on the memory and moulds the perception of your target consumers about your business. Since it is a crucial part of your branding, it needs to fit your brand’s identity seamlessly.
Consequently, you need to invest hours of brainstorming and strategizing to come up with an influential logo. While we suggest leaving the main designing part to the professionals, you need to be part of the development process and do a lot of decision-making.
Navigating through the steps to an exceptional logo design can be daunting and overwhelming. Thus, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to ease your journey to a great logo design:
- Evaluate the brand
Every startup has a distinct personality, which is emulated by its logo. Gaining a solid understanding of the business attributes is the first step towards designing a logo. To create a logo that best represents your brand, you need to familiarize the designer with your core identity. Help them answer the following questions:
- What are your business values?
- What is your origin story?
- How do you wish to portray your company?
- Who is your target audience?
- What do you plan to achieve in the future?
The answers to these questions will help the designers curate the best logo that defines your business perfectly.
- Define your inspiration
Next, brainstorm and look for inspirations that can form the basis of your design. Put your ideas, thoughts and wishes on the table to provide a general impression of your expectations to the designers.
Create a mood board with all the illustrations, colour palettes, and images that you found attractive. If you are inspired by any logos or have a vision about the final product, share it with your designers as well.
All this information, along with a tentative timeline and budget, becomes the design brief that helps you evaluate your progress at each step.
- Research the industry
While you want to set yourself apart from the competition, you must conform to the industry standards and not deviate too much from your niche.
Therefore, look into your competitors’ logos to determine the styles you like and those you do not like. Then, consider the general colour scheme, typography, graphics, and other elements that work in their logos. This also helps you figure out the shapes, illustrations and design techniques that are too common or overused, causing them to lose their potency so that you can avoid them.
The exercise will help you understand what works amongst your target audience, forming the basis for your professional logo design.
- Choose the type of logo
Before you can embark on the designing quest, you need to know the basic types of logos. Each type imparts a unique feel to your design and can help you narrow down your choices or even form a conclusive opinion. The kinds of the logo include:
- Wordmarks: These logos have the company’s name as the logo without any graphic symbols. Thus, pay special attention to the typography to ensure its legible.
Examples include Coca Cola, Google, FedEx and Visa.
- Pictorial marks: In sharp contrast to wordmarks, these logos only have graphic symbols and no text. A single image can make your brand immediately recognizable if done right.
Examples include Twitter, Nike, Apple, and Target.
- Combination marks: These types of logos combine wordmark with a symbol for a traditional look. The perfect placement of each element against the other can play a monumental role in the outcome.
Examples include Burger King, Doritos, and Dunkin’ Donuts.
- Lettermarks or Monograms: These logos consist of the brand’s abbreviated form or initials when the business name is too long. It is also a typography-based logo.
Examples include HBO, IBM, and CNN.
- Emblems: These logos have text inside a symbol or an icon. Since these types of logos have been around for a long time, they communicate prestige and traditionalism.
Examples include Starbucks, Harley-Davidson, and Warner Bros.
- Abstract logo marks: As the name suggests, these are not recognizable images but unique geometric forms. Creative designing can provide your brand with a distinctive identity.
Examples include Pepsi, Adidas, and Audi.
- Mascots: Such logos include an illustrated character. Depending on your brand’s personality, these can be fun and colourful.
Examples include KFC’s Colonel and Planter’s Mr Peanut.
- Commence the designing process
The next step is to translate all your accumulated knowledge, ideas, and inspirations into a concrete design. Most logos usually comprise of three elements that are symbols, colours, and typography.
Symbols can have a lasting impression on the brain, making your logo memorable. If you decide to include a sign in your logo, you will have to draw inspiration from your brand’s personality and render it traditional or abstract artwork.
Choose a symbol that narrates the company’s products or services at a single glance or is synonymous with your business name. Whether you opt for quirky graphics, modern abstract designs or vintage illustrations, making sure the font and colours compliment the logo.
The psychology of colours can be complex, as each shade can have a different connotation. For example, dark blue portrays trust, while light blue is calming. Therefore, use a hue according to your niche and the emotions you wish to evoke amongst the consumers.
Ideally, logos should not have more than two to three colors to retain a sense of harmony. You can use two complementary colors opposite each other on the color wheel or three colors that fall close to each other.
Like colors, typographies can also elicit a particular reaction from your customers and should be relevant to the business image. The perfect font can round up your logo splendidly and incur all the advantages of a good logo.
There are numerous fonts, but they can be neatly divided into four broad categories, Serif, Sans Serif, Script, and Display.
Serif looks traditional and classic, imparting sophistication and timelessness to your design, while Sans Serif has a crisp, clean and modern look, which is most legible. Script mimics cursive handwriting, ranging from elegant calligraphy to modest typography. Finally, Display encompasses all the out-of-ordinary fonts that are highly stylized. They can be fun and quirky or futuristic and edge.
Before coming to any conclusion, make sure to go through several iterations with your designers. This allows you to refine your logo for a highly converting design.
- Evaluate your design
Before you can finalize your logo, evaluate the design to ensure that it fulfils the inherent qualities of a good logo:
- Scalable: It delivers regardless of the size
- Timeless: It should remain relevant even after many years
- Distinctive: It sets you apart from the competition
- Memorable: It commands attention and imprints on the memory
- Versatile: It looks appealing on every branding material, even without any colour
Moreover, seek out feedback from your friends, colleagues, and even a test audience. Listen to their constructive criticism and ask your designers to incorporate the new ideas into the design if appropriate. Since the logo is created to attract your target consumer base, it should be appealing and captivating.
- Create master artwork
The logo appears on numerous platforms, varying in sizes and colours. Therefore, ask your designers to create multiple artworks for print and digital media. Obtain logos in coloured and black-and-white format. Make sure you have covered all the bases, so you can consistently reproduce the design without compromising its potency and effectiveness.
Since logos form the foundation of your branding and are usually created only once in the beginning, do not rush the process. Invest a lot of time, hard work, and brainstorming sessions to create the perfect logo that denotes your brand image and attracts customers.
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.
Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1