Creating a successful brand depends a lot on creating a successful logo. It does not matter if you are a small business, a part of a larger conglomerate, or starting a new solopreneurial venture. When you are building a strong brand identity, making a logo is a must.
Why do you even need a logo?
Before we start with how to make a logo, let’s go over the utilities of having a logo.
- It establishes brand identity: The sole purpose of having a logo is to create a brand identity. What does your brand stand for and who does it cater to? Your logo will have a significant impact on the initial perception that customers have of your company because it will inform them about your brand and help them decide if it's suited for them.
- It promotes your company: In a world with thousands of brands, a logo helps you capture the attention of your audience. Because humans are programmed to recognize visuals and assign them meaning and tales, having a distinctive logo makes your brand (and company) simpler to remember. As per Optimal Targeting, our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than words, and people retain 80% of images (compared to 20% of text and 10% of sound).
- It builds trust: Someone who doesn't know anything about your company may begin to develop trust and interest in what you offer if your brand is strong. You only need to consider your favorite coffee shop's logo and how it makes you feel to see it on someone's cup in the morning to understand how it can help build loyalty over time as your business grows and attracts customers.
Creating a logo design can be quite simple — it can be just the name of your brand in a certain color and typeface (like Google, Samsung, Coca-Cola, or Calvin Klein, just to name a few). This type of logo is called wordmarks.
On the other hand, you can create a symbol. Great examples are Apple and Twitter. There are also other variations with a combination of images and text. While the type of logo is completely up to you, it is mandatory to have a logo in the first place.
Here are seven tips on how to design a logo.
1. Start with the brand story
Businesses must turn a profit. Even though that is true, it is not poetic or emotionally engaging enough for your user to interact with you. You must sell your story more than your product if you want to create a truly profitable business.
Over time, both consumers and marketing have undergone significant changes. The customer is more intrigued by your story today than by your product's ten exquisite features. What does this, therefore, mean to you?
Spend some time developing your brand story before you begin creating a logo. The best way to achieve this is to shift your focus from what you do to why you do it. Eventually, these thought processes will get translated into symbols, text, and color choices and will help you build your overall logo.
All famous logos have a story behind them. For example, the three dots on Domino’s represent the first three stores under the founder Tom Monaghan when he first started the franchise. The McDonald’s logo is based on the architecture of the original building. The bitten Apple logo emerged when people confused the Apple symbol with a cherry.
2. Find your inspiration
Don't just limit yourself to looking at other logos when seeking inspiration. While that can be a great place to start, try looking around you and taking in as much inspiration as you can when you want to create a brand logo.
When you actively seek it out, inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places. You can get inspiration from things like a flower's color or the shape of a leaf, for instance. Instead of reading the message, you'll notice the various fonts, and you'll observe how various colors and fonts elicit different emotions.
You won't even need to look for inspiration once you've immersed yourself in the logo design process; it will come to you. You'll notice specific things and experience one or more "Aha!" moments.
A great example is the FedEx logo which uses negative space to symbolize an arrow moving forwards. The Gilette logo has a diagonal cut in the lettering ‘G’ and ‘i’ to symbolize their most popular products – razors for me. The Baskin Robins logo hides the number 31 through colors, which essentially symbolize the 31 flavors they serve.
Some two other ways in which you can find inspiration include:
Brainstorming: Perhaps you prefer to start by gathering verbal ideas because you think conceptually. You might need a good brainstorming session to identify the look and feel you want to go for. Writing down all your ideas while brainstorming is important. Even a terrible concept can start a discussion that results in a brilliant answer.
Consider your target audience. List the words that best describe your brand and the perception you want it to have. Always keep in mind what would matter to your target demographic when thinking like a member of that group. Invite colleagues from all departments or even friends and business associates. More viewpoints are better.
Mood boards: A mood board might be the ideal tool for you to get inspired if you are a visual person. You can make a digital or physical board by cutting out and pasting printed images (Pinterest would be the obvious choice here). Simply gather all images that appeal to you, whether they be other logos, color schemes, illustrations, or graphics. You'll observe that your mood board quickly reflects the types of styles and design elements you prefer.
3. Understand your competition
Studying your rivals who adhere to your brand's values may initially seem strange. However, it might provide you with a fresh perspective on your sector. When you thoroughly research your competitors, you can see how they developed their brands, where you stand in the brand-building process, and what you can do to go above and beyond customer expectations.
Don't get hung up on your to-do list when it comes to researching your competitors. Research a variety of regional, national, and global brands in your industry. Learn about their services and the branding they use.
4. Choose your style and type
When you have an idea of what you are looking for, you can start with creating logos. You need to start converting your brand into design. Colors, shapes, graphics, and typography are just a few of the many different components at play here. To proceed step by step and avoid becoming overwhelmed by the entire design at once, isolate each element and what it can do for your logo.
The first thing you want to do when considering your logo is to choose the appropriate design aesthetic for your company. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. So, go with a style that you think is appropriate for your logo.
You may go for a classic or a minimal look, or you can go for a vintage look. You can even explore handmade designs and doodles that look fun and quirky. When you are picking a type, remember that you do not have to adhere to conventions. When it comes to types, you have letter marks, wordmarks, logo symbols, abstract logo marks, mascots, emblems, and others. Feel free to try out each of them before you settle. One logo can also have multiple variations. Here is an example of logo branding design that spans multiple types.
Here is the Wikipedia logo we all are familiar with. This is the full logo that establishes the brand identity and tells people what "Wikipedia" is about. It has a symbol, a written name, and even a slogan. However, it is not practical to use this logo everywhere. You will see it on their main page when you open an article
In most cases, Wikipedia uses the symbol. Even the Wikipedia home page uses the symbol format (above). When you export an article for printing, Wikipedia uses the wordmark version, as shown below, since it reduces ink consumption.
For space-constrained applications, Wikipedia simply uses the "W" letterform variation of their logo. You will see the logo on the browser tab, also known as the favicon. You will also see this when you install the Wikipedia app on your phone.
Therefore, when you are building a logo, you do not need to stick to a single variant of your logo, you can have a set of types. This makes your logo more versatile and scalable.
#5. Pick your color palette and fonts
Colors speak volumes. Be careful when it comes to colors as they have certain emotions attached to them. You need to understand them in depth before you use any on your logo. Furthermore, you also need to know how to combine colors. Combinations can be complementary, analogous, or triadic.
Here’s a short list of the most used colors and the meaning behind them:
- Red: Red represents fervor, anger, and excitement. If your brand wants to stand out and is loud, young, and energetic, this is a great option. Red is also often associated with appetite, which is why a lot of food brands use red.
- Orange: Although it is much less common than red, orange is just as energizing. This color is vivacious, energizing, and fun.
- Yellow: If you want to appear approachable and friendly, yellow is the best color to use. It radiates a happy, inexpensive, and youthful energy.
- Green: Considering how adaptable it is, green can be used for any brand. It's ideal for anyone who wants to develop a connection with nature.
- Blue: A very traditional and popular option is blue. It represents maturity and trustworthiness while being soothing and cool.
- Purple: Your ticket to looking opulent may be purple. The interpretation of purple can vary depending on its hue – it can either be mysterious or feminine.
- Pink: Pink is the best color to use if you're going for a feminine look. But there's more! Pink can give your logo a mature and cool, yet still youthful and feminine look with hues like pastel rose, millennial pink, or neon magenta.
- Brown: Although at first glance brown may seem like a strange color choice, it is ideal for tough and manly vintage logos. It can give your company's image an aged, handmade appearance.
- Black: Black is a great color choice if you want to project a sleek, contemporary, and opulent appearance. If you want to keep it simple, a minimalist black-and-white logo is the way to go.
- White: Do you want your logo to appear streamlined, contemporary, and minimal? Create a logo with a lot of white. Because it is a neutral color, it goes well with all other colors while still adding a fresh, modern, and affordable touch.
- Gray: If you want to look mature, classy, and serious, gray is the color to use. Lighter shades are easier to access while darker shades appear more enigmatic.
Like colors, typefaces are equally important. Here’s a brief primer on how to pick the right font.
- Serif Fonts: Serif fonts can give your logo a timeless, upmarket appearance. A couple of examples are Rolex, Seiko, and Prada. Serifs are the tiny "feet" at the end of letters that give them a slightly more vintage appearance. They blend in beautifully with any style of design and are particularly attractive when used with vintage, elegant, or classic styles. Wikipedia is another noteworthy example.
- Sans Serif Fonts: Sans Serif fonts are ideal for a contemporary, uncluttered appearance. They look very sleek and elegant because they lack the tiny feet that serif fonts have. This is ideal for contemporary tech brands like Google, Apple, or Microsoft.
- Display Fonts: Display fonts are decorative fonts that have a distinctive style and are particularly eye-catching. Examples include Fanta or Lego.
- Script Fonts: Script fonts have a handwritten feel to them. There is a huge variety available, ranging from refined calligraphic fonts to easygoing and natural scripts. Instagram, Coca-Cola, and Kellogg's are famous examples.
When you have all the components of your logo, you need to put them together in a way that they work together. To do this effectively, you need a design team to help you out.
#6. Communicate with the design team
You are now prepared to begin designing since you have considered all the important style factors. There are numerous ways to obtain a logo, so think about which one is best for you. You can work with a company, hold a logo competition, work on a one-on-one project, or even use a logo maker. All options have their advantages and disadvantages, and logos come in a variety of prices and quality levels.
Although it may occasionally be necessary to have some faith in your designer, try to keep an open mind. Keep in mind that your designer is an expert with a keen sense of what makes a great logo. Designers can learn what you like by receiving a significant amount of in-depth and comprehensible feedback. Using an artwork management solution can help speed up the design cycles and improve the quality of feedback.
#7. Refine your logo
Finally, when you have your logo or your set of logos, it's time to pick the right one. It can be challenging weighing your logo options, so seek input from close friends, prospective clients, and coworkers to guide your choice.
As Milton Glaser, the creator of the renowned I Love New York graphic/logo is quoted as having said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”
To create a logo that will benefit the company and contribute to the development of a strong brand, consider the following three factors:
Your logo will appear on numerous platforms, including email signatures and both online and offline media. As a result, you must design it so that it will translate properly into all your marketing campaigns and stand out from the competition. When assessing your logo options, consider the following general questions:
- Can you recognize it in two seconds? Will people understand what your company does right away?
- Is it easy to remember? Will it stick in the minds of your clients?
- Is it adaptable and scalable? Can it be used for all your brand's requirements?
- Would you need to redesign it in a few years or is it timeless?
- Is it distinct? Does it distinguish you from your rivals?
- Does it appeal to the people you want to reach?
A simple logo that can be stitched onto fabric is much more appropriate for a brand that sells children's clothing than one that produces high-end wine with intricate labels or a cutting-edge app that runs on peoples' smartphones. So, when creating your logo, don't forget to step back and think about the big picture. This is about what works best for your brand, not about personal preference.
We hope these logo design tips help you with your next logo design venture. You can speed up collaborative design processes using artwork management solutions like Artwork Flow. It comes with an online color extractor, online measurement scale and font finder to ensure consistency. Try it for free today or talk to our experts to see how your business could use Artwork Flow for logo designs, managing brand assets, and more.