A logo is arguably one of the most powerful identifiers of any business. In fact, logos are so effective that most of us are able to identify many of the brands we come across in our day to day life simply by the logo they use. This is possible because they have created great logos that stick in our minds are as easy to recall within just a few seconds.
If your business doesn’t have a logo yet, getting one sorted should be a priority. But where do you start? What makes a killer logo? Here’s what you need to know about the steps needed to design the perfect logo for your brand.
Why is a logo important?
A logo is often the very first thing that prospective customers see and is crucial to the impression that your brand makes. Visual communication is one of the most effective tools any business has, so getting it right is essential. Not only can your logo help you to stand out from the competition and let people know what your business stands for, but if you create branded swag, it can remind people who you are.
What makes a good logo?
One of the most important things to be aware of is the characteristics that define a great logo. This will be hugely valuable in the creation process. An effective logo is:
- Versatile and can be used in any size and location
- Reflects your brand identity
- Timeless and will not need to be altered unless you rebrand the business in the future
These elements should form your checklist when it comes to designing your logo.
Decide on your brand identity
A brand identity is a lot like a personal identity and to discover it, you need to ask yourself a range of questions. These can include:
What is your brand’s core personality?
What is the reason you started your business?
What are your key company values?
What do you want people’s impression of your brand to be?
Answering these questions will help to develop your brand identity, which in turn will make it easier to make design choices that portray your message to the masses.
Seek inspiration for your design
Putting pen to paper and coming up with the initial concept for your logo is often the hardest part of the process. Brainstorming ideas with your team can really help as often, the best concepts are born out of conversations with others. Other people who prefer to work visually will create a brainstorming board or mood board. There are also some great resources online where you can check out unique designs that could inspire you. These include:
Evaluate your competition
Your competitors may have some great ideas in their logos, and this can certainly help inspire you. Nevertheless, you want your logo to set you apart from the competition and that means that you need to make sure it’s completely different. For example, if your major competitor is using black and white, make your logo stand out by using a splash of color. Check out the logos that are working for them and make yours better!
If you have decided for a color logo, the colors that you choose will be of vital importance. This is because certain colors evoke particular psychological responses. For example:
RED is a very vibrant, loud colour that evokes passion and drive. It is also considered youthful.
ORANGE is bright, cheerful and energetic.
YELLOW is often thought of as youthful too, as well being seen as accessible, friendly and open.
GREEN is perfect for brands that have some connection to nature, sustainability or the environment. It is considered very versatile and neutral.
BLUE is often thought of as a safe and classic choice. For many people it evokes security, stability and trust.
PURPLE is associated with luxury, high-end products and services.
PINK tends to be thought of as feminine, youthful and excited.
BROWN logos are often used for masculine, vintage or natural brands.
BLACK is the most direct logo colour, implying that you take your business very seriously. Greys and whites also tend to invoke the same senses of a calm, cool, balanced brand.
Obviously, you may not want to stick to purely one colour. If this is the case, you will need to be conscious of what colours you use together. Fortunately, there are some great online tools that you can use to help you visualize your proposed color scheme, including paletton and coolors.
Typography – the font/typeface that you use for letters or words in your logo, is equally as important. You need to choose a font that is easy to read at various distances – not much is more awkward than a logo that reads like something it shouldn’t. There are several basic typographies that are most commonly used. These are:
Often considered the oldest style, these are most commonly used in printed copy, luxury brands and classic logos. However, within the serif style, there are some types that are more vintage and others that are more modern. Common serif style typography choices include:
- Goudy old style
- Time New Roman
These fonts are most commonly used in text on computer screens, but in print, they are popular as headlines. They are associated with modernity and minimalism and work particularly well in the simplest logos. They include:
- Gill Sans
Derived from handwriting, these fluid styles are considered to help ‘humanize’ text and have lots of personality. Their design means that they are best suited to short-form, but large font sizing is usually needed to ensure their legibility. Styles include:
- Brush Script
- Lucida Calligraphy
Now you have all of the tools in place, it is time to get designing your new logo. Some brands choose to outsource this process, giving all of their ideas and goals to a professional designer who will create them some options to choose between. However, many businesses prefer to keep the process in-house if they have someone with the skills to create the logo.
Your logo will be a key identifying feature of your business, so you need to be sure that it stands out. The tips and tools above will help you to build a logo and brand that you can feel confident in.