Whether you are looking to start a company or simply want to change its image, creating a logo serves as an important business symbol that customers will immediately associate with you. But if you do not know how to design a logo, you will not be able to make much of an impact. This article provides you with logo design tips that can help you attract clients and boost sales. Let us take a look at the process of designing logos in detail.
The Importance of Designing a Logo that Makes a Big Impression
As you design your own logo for your business, you must understand that the end result is what makes the first impression in the eyes of the customer. After all, before potential clients know anything about your company or organization, they will see the logo. You want to project the idea that your business is trustworthy and will fulfill their needs.
If you want any credibility, the key is to create a logo that looks professional rather than something thrown together using MS Word. Keep in mind that the logo marks, color scheme, and words will end up on all of your branding materials and even merchandise, depending on what you are selling. It needs to stand out and really communicate your mission as a company.
Inspiration is the Key to a Good Design
As you think about how to design a logo for your company, it is essential that you find sources of inspiration. This is easier said than done, but if you take these tips for logo design to heart, you will find yourself on the right path.
Begin by Brainstorming
Before you think about the actual design itself, it is important to conceptualize your logo. If your brain is wired to understand things better verbally, you can gather ideas through a brainstorming session. Brainstorming is the most effective way to generate ideas that bring you closer to creating the look and feel that is right for your logo. Here are three “brainstorming for a logo design” tips:
- No matter the brainstorming idea, write it down:
- Put yourself in the mind of the audience:
- This does not need to be a solo project:
At the brainstorming stage, you have no clear direction…and that is the entire point. Do not limit your ideas, write everything down even if some of your thoughts are a bit out there. You might find that an unusual idea ultimately leads to a breakthrough solution.
Imagine that you are the potential customer being targeted. What words might you use to describe your brand in a way that would appeal to this customer? Focus on what the audience is looking for as it relates to your offerings.
Depending on the size of your organization, you should encourage other staff members to brainstorm for ideas as well. If the entire organization consists of just you, there is nothing wrong with asking friends and family for their input. Several heads are better than one.
Create a Mood Board
If you are somebody who generates ideas more effectively through visuals than words, creating a mood board is a more appropriate strategy. There are two ways you can approach this: through an actual, physical board that you pin printed images onto, or a digital board (we recommend Pinterest). Look around at other logos, color schemes, images, and any other visuals that appeal to you. You will soon gravitate towards the right style and design for your organization!
Examine the Logos of Other Organizations Related to Your Industry
If you want to know, what logos work best, check out what your competitors are using and create something similar. McDonalds uses a yellow and red scheme in their logo design. So do other chief competitors Burger King, Wendy’s, In-N-Out Burger, Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. Checkers… The list goes on and on. Are these coincidences? As the old expression goes, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” On the other hand, you may seek out a logo that differentiates yourself from the rest. In this case, you would look at the logos that are out there and design something that looks the complete opposite. Are those logos traditional? Go modern! Do they lack color? Create something colorful!
Pick Your Design Style
At this stage, you have plenty of sources of inspiration. Now it is time to take what you have gathered and create the design. Settle on the colors, shapes, graphics and font style. Deal with each of these elements individually rather than putting them all together at once. Think about what is most appropriate in terms of aesthetics, taking into account what it is your organization offers. Here are some approaches:
The classic approach is fairly conservative and might not generate a lot of buzz, but it is something that you can rely on in the long-term and is effective if your goal is to cast a net around a wide audience. Rather than using unusual patterns, colors or fonts, you will choose something that is immediately recognizable to the customer, and therefore a safe choice.
Modern and Minimalist
On the other hand, if your product is something relatively new and dynamic, it might make more sense to select a simple, modern style. In this case, your logo will contain a lot of whitespace and just a few basic details and lines. You want to give potential customers the idea that your company has a pulse on what the modern consumer needs.
Retro or Vintage
On the other hand, nostalgia is a strong emotion, and one that you can use to your advantage as you think about your logo if the product that you are selling is steeped in tradition. Vintage and retro designs harken back to another time and demonstrates to prospective customers that you respect the past. Look around at some “old-timey” logos to help generate ideas. Make note of the colors and font types.
Fun and Quirky
When you are looking to appeal to a younger demographic, opting for something cute and even a slight off-the-wall is a good call. Bright, pastel colors along with illustrations or symbols advertise that you want to create good feelings. Rainbows, butterflies and unicorns are always winners among tween and teenage girls.
Handmade and Handcrafted
If your selling something that is handmade or handcrafted, you want customers to see that your brand is one-of-a-kind and of the highest quality. Choosing natural, earthy green or brown tones are perfect for driving home this message. You can even include elements of vintage, fun and minimal all at once.
It Is Time to Pick the Right Logo
Now that we have addressed the different broader styles, you should be aware of the 7 major types of logos to choose from. As with the style, you should feel free to choose combinations of logo types in order to create something truly original.
Pictorial Marks (or Logo Symbols)
This type is pretty obvious. When you think “logo” what comes to mind are pictures or symbols. An iconic image that customers can immediately recognize can do wonders for your company. You can opt for images or symbols that are basic or complex, but either way it should be something that builds a strong connection with what you provide. For instance, animals like the lion symbolize toughness while birds often have sweet, pleasant cogitations.
Letter Marks (or Monogram Logos)
If your company or brand has a name that is lengthy or difficult to remember, you might consider going by your initials, as ESPN, KFC and IBM do. Typically minimalistic, it is an effective way to streamline your logo. The downside is that it can be difficult for the customer to figure out what you are selling, which is why a lot of companies (such as the aforementioned KFC) wait until they have become a popularly recognized brand before they opt for initials.
Word Marks (or Logotypes)
When you are looking for the most straightforward logo, the word mark is a great solution. In essence, you are just using your organization or business’s name as your logo. However, you still need to find a way to make it really show off who you are, which is why the style of your letters is important. Of course, choosing a really catchy, memorable brand name is also essential if you want this type of logo to be effective.
Abstract Logo Marks
If you are looking to think outside the box for your logo, choosing something abstract that does not seem directly connected to the produce or services you provide is an option. Geometric shapes, forms and lines are commonly used for this type of logo. It goes a long way towards identifying your brand as something truly different. For instance, Nike and Adidas use abstract symbols that are immediately recognizable to the consumer.
If your product is meant to appeal to children, aims to demonstrate that your company has a sense of humor, or shows that your organization is approachable, picking a mascot as a logo can help you establish an identity. In many circumstances they can be depicted in a cartoonish way, with bright colors.
This entails combining a symbol with a word to create a logo that the customer will be able to recognize. The name of your company is placed either inside the symbol or next to it. As customers will eventually recognize both elements as your brand, which means you can use the symbol even without having to include the name of your company, as Pepsi does.
A combination mark does exactly what it says on the tin: it combines a symbol with a word mark to create an easily recognizable logo. The brand name is either placed next to the symbol. People will associate both elements with your brand, which allows you to use them both alone or together.
Emblems are not all that different from combination marks in that they also contain words and images. The difference is that the words in this case are incorporated into seals, crests, badges and the like.
Pick Appropriate Colors
You should put a lot of thought into the colors that you choose for your brand, especially since people attach strong psychological meanings to each color. Here are the ways in which individual colors bring out emotions:
This is an extremely popular color because it conveys a sense of calmness. It is also a good choice if you want to highlight the purity of your product.
This is a color that works very well in almost any situation. This is especially true if you want to convey that your product is natural and fresh.
This is another color that can be appropriate for a wide variety of brands regardless of what they offer. It is a loud, noticeable color that will get a lot of attention.
This is a color that goes well with other combinations, especially red or blue. If you want to create something that indicates youthfulness and positivity, this is the perfect color.
This is very effective if you offer a unique, high end product. It can also send the message that your product is exotic, wide-ranging or feminine.
On the contrary, brown is a good color for expressing masculinity. Earthy tones of brown are also appropriate for natural, handmade products.
This is the color to choose if you want to advertise classy, modern and luxurious. If you are choosing a minimalist style, pairing it up with white is the way to go.
As mentioned, a lot of whitespace helps you craft a logo that is minimalistic. It also obviously works with every other color, as it is neutral.
While not used as often a red, this is nonetheless a popular color. It is fun and full of energy.
This is definitely the choice if your product or service is aimed towards girls and women alike. There is a variety of different shades, and they can demonstrate everything from youthfulness to maturity, and even flirtatious and fashionable.
Choosing Сolor Сombinations
While choosing a single color can be the right move, incorporating multiple colors into the logo can indicate a full, complex brand. Make sure to go with colors that make logical sense, especially those that compliment each other.
Pick the Font
The choice of font also makes a big difference in terms of the message your logo intends to send. There are four general types to pick:
- Script Fonts:
This type of font mimics handwriting. You can choose one that is sophisticated or go with one that is laidback. Either way, you will show off your brand’s sense of individualism.
- Serif Fonts:
When you are looking to make a logo that indicates a fancy product, this is what to go for. At the same time, it has a vintage, elegant look about it.
- Sans Serif Fonts:
When your goal is modern, this font does the trick since it lacks those little “feet” that you will find in serif fonts.
- Display Fonts:
When you are looking to earn style points, display fonts are a sound choice.
Bring All of the Elements Together
Having discussed the design style, color and font, the last step is ensuring that your choices truly work together in harmony.
This is undoubtedly the most challenging step of them all, so make sure to ask friends, staff, and even prospective customers what they think about your logo idea. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Is it basic but something people will remember?
- Is it timeless, or you would have to design a new one a few years from now?
- Is it original? Does it stick out from others in your industry?
- Is it appropriate for the audience you are targeting?
- Can this logo be used across your various products/services?
Ultimately, the design of your logo should be determined by how you plan to apply it to your goods/services. For instance, if you are in the business of making craft beer, your logo will be placed on a highly decorative label in printed form, whereas if you are designing clothes, you will need to factor in the need to stitch the logo onto the material. Make sure to take all of this into consideration since it is not just about how lovely you find the logo but rather the practicality of it.
Nobody is going to remember a logo that comes off as cliché. The logo for a shoe store does not need to contain a shoe in order for people to understand you are selling shoes.
You want something original, but at the same time, you do not want to overwhelm customers with a logo that is too busy. Keep it simple, to the point, and easy to print.
Avoid creating a logo that will feel dated in a couple of years. Make the right investment. Your logo literally determines the success of your company or organization. Hire real professionals to design your concept, do not ask your neighbor just to save a few bucks.
It Is Time to Apply Your Logo!
Now that you have your logo, make sure it gets out there. Put it on merchandise: magnets, pencils, business cards, packaging and web design. Now that everything is decked out in your logo, you are ready to make a major impact in your industry!