When’s the last time you saw a big brand without a logo? Can’t think of one? That’s because there aren’t any…
Your logo has a major impact on how customers perceive your brand, so naturally you want it to be outstanding. But how do you get there?
Don’t worry! This blog post will teach you the fundamentals for designing and creating the perfect logo for your business.
First things first, what is a logo? Well, for starters:
A logo isn’t:
- Your visual identity
You don’t just need a logo, you need a brand identity. Logos are part of the picture, but they’re not the entire thing. They’re just one image within a larger visual system that includes your colours, typography, photography, visuals, layout, etc.
- Your brand
It’s common to think of your logo as your brand, but it isn’t. Your brand is an intangible thing; it’s your reputation – what people think of when they hear your name, and what they tell others about you. Your brand is built from a thousand touchpoints with your customers—not from a logo.
- An indicator of success
Your logo isn’t going to make or break your business. Two Men and a Truck is a billion-dollar company, yet its logo is a stick figure drawing designed on a napkin by the founders’ mother. The best logo in the world can’t save a corrupt business, nor can the worst logo hold back an honest one.
How to design a logo
- Self Discovery
Step 1: Self Discovery
Self discovery isn’t always easy, luckily we aren’t asking you to have an existential crisis but before you even think about what your logo will look like, take some time and ask yourself what the story behind your company is.
When thinking of a beverage like Coca-Cola, we don’t see a brown, carbonated drink, but instead polar bears and thick white script letters.
Take a look from the outside on what your company does and convey why it does it. That “why” is the root of your story, and it should come through in the shape, colour, and typeface of your logo.
Step 2: Research
With so many options for design it can be quite daunting, but start simple and google basic design principles. There’s great research on colour theory which is very helpful for logo design. Different colours evoke different emotions and behaviours, helping you create the desired emotional response with your logo.
Take blue for example, it inspires trust, dependability and authority. Why do you think it’s the most popular choice for banks, credit cards and software?
Green however, evokes feelings of peace, growth and health. Great for companies like BP and Whole Foods which want to communicate a level of care for the planet.
Remember that one of the best forms of research is looking at your competitors. What sorts of things are they doing? Do their logos have something in common? Start looking at your broader industry for further inspiration.
Take notes, what elements stand out to you, both good and bad.
Step 3: Design
Pencil and paper
Sometimes sticking to the basics is the best thing you can do. Sketching some preliminary ideas is a great place to start.
Don’t over complicate this. Design is an iterative process and you will most likely keep refining your work for a while until you’re happy with it. Even if you can’t draw, creating rough sketches of ideas in your head will force you to think creatively which is the mindset you need.
Graphic design software
The industry standard for vector graphics editing software is Adobe Illustrator—but it doesn’t come cheap and isn’t necessarily starter-friendly. However, You could try out similar free tools like Inkscape and Vectr.
Different Logo Ideas
- Word mark : Some brands have no graphic symbol and decide instead to place their company or organization name front and centre.
- Brand mark : Also known as “pictorial marks,” brand marks are the graphic symbol in a logo
- Combination mark : This type of logo combines both a symbol and a wordmark, creating the more traditional logo “lock-up” we’re all familiar with.
- Abstract logo mark: As their name suggests, abstract logo marks are less recognizable and usually more geometric.
- Monogram Logo: Great if your name is long or clunky. You can choose to either abbreviate your name or just use your initials.
Step 4: Refine
Once you’ve got a good logo design it’s time to evaluate your designs. Ask yourself this question:
What makes a great logo?
A great logo is:
Designs change. Trends come and go. But the value of your logo will only get stronger as time goes on. Consider how long you see your logo lasting.
Step 5: Maintain
The two main ingredients to maintaining the integrity of your brand identity are quality and consistency.
With your logo being used in a range of places, and used by a large number of people – it’s important to define a set of rules and guidelines for how to treat it.
To start, consider any guidelines you may have about your logo’s size, colour, layout, treatment, positioning, orientation, etc.
- Can your logo be used on top of photography? If so, can you change the color to help it pop?
- Are there only certain color backgrounds your logo should be placed against?
- If you have a combination logo mark, can the elements be separated in certain contexts?
As we’ve learned, logos are an extremely important part of a business to communicate the companies beliefs and values with their customers.
A good logo grabs attention, makes a strong first impression, is the foundation of your brand identity, is memorable, separates you from competition, fosters brand loyalty, and is expected by your audience.