How to Design a Logo for Your Business
In the face of market competition and content overload, all businesses strive to be recognizable. This requires a clearly communicated and memorable message. The first impression your company will make is with its logo, so an awesome logo design is vital! Let’s dive into why you need one and how you can make the best logo for your business.
Why You Need a Professional Logo
Can you think of any respectable, successful brands that don’t have logos? Probably not, and with good reason. Logos are a defining mark of your entire business, its values, its services, and its goals.
Your business is represented every day on business cards, menus, store signage, television advertisements, social media icons and much more. Logo design impacts your brand image because your logo is essentially your business’ signature on every piece of marketing you have. You need a consistent logo not only so viewers know what your business is called, but also to develop an appealing brand identity. Implementing one logo across all platforms is necessary to maintain a cohesive and likeable brand image.
The logo is the first impression a new customer will get of you—if it looks bad, so will your business. Logo design helps in marketing a brand by condensing its personality into one design. In a glance, consumers see not only your brand name, but your brand mood and values as communicated through colors, font and imagery.
Free Logo Makers — Why You Should Avoid them
If you’re pressed for time, you might ask, “What are the best free logo making tools? What are the best websites to make free logos?” Free logo makers raise a few big problems that can’t be ignored when trying to design a professional logo for your business:
- No true originality: You must choose designs from a finite selection, rather than having a professional’s imagination at your disposal in building from scratch. Pre-designed graphics were designed without your brand in mind.
- No creative freedom or ability for detail oriented adjustments: you lack the ability to tweak a design as necessary, including letter spacing and text effects.
- Boring fonts: Out of the box fonts and hand-lettering give your logo an edge and are possible with professional designers, not so much with free logo makers.
- Lack of expert input: would you rather make a decision about the face of your entire business on your own, or consult a professional about the image you’re using to connect with consumers? Plus, graphic designers can help you hone your ideas rather than just plugging in your company name and industry to an online generator.
After this reality check, you’re left with one free option: the best free way to create a logo is to create it yourself. If you’ve made it this far, you’re serious enough about designing a logo to do it the right way. Next, we’ll discuss how you can make it happen.
How to Create a Professional Logo
To create a logo, you’ll need to start with a notepad and your choice of vector graphics software. Vector graphics software are programs capable of producing scalable illustrations and will not result in fuzzy, pixelated, completely unusable images. The most popular professional programs are provided by Adobe (check out our tips on using Adobe programs) and Corel. There are several alternative programs out there that you can look into as well.
There are many possible strategies to design a perfect logo. Follow this boiled-down version of the necessary steps:
The logo design process should begin with a little research. Take this time to peek at what your competition is using. Ask yourself what seems to click with your audience and what they expect. As you’re making observations, you’ll also want to note what makes your company different.
Next, take what you’ve learned to the drawing board: embrace what makes your audience happy, and take some risks to stand out from your competitors. Leave your own personality to the side and focus on what the business is about. Consider making a mind map that shows what values and concepts stem from your brand name. Everything is fair game when brainstorming; write everything down!
Once you have a handful of important ideas, you can begin to thumbnail sketch your concepts. Aim for ten different ideas and try combining concepts for unexpected results.
Periodically discuss the drafts with a designated team within your business, or even ask strangers for their impressions of the design. Tell that you want your logo to answer the question, “What does my brand represent?” Narrow down the ideas and move forward in refining your final design.
Logo Design Rules
Before you sit down to start sketching, mind these basic graphic design rules for making logos.
Use multiple perspectives.
This goes two ways. You need multiple perspectives to look at your design, and you need to look at your design from multiple perspectives. Firstly, this means other pairs of eyes should judge your work and voice their opinions. Secondly, you should approach your logo from different angles. Print it out and stand ten feet away. Turn it upside down. These angles might give you new ideas and will also reveal what isn’t working in your overall design.
Be mindful of your font choice.
Any text should be legible and beautiful. Serif fonts (fonts with “feet” and “caps”) are commonly seen in academic, refined settings. Sans serif fonts (fonts without those ornaments) are considered lively and approachable. Script fonts can create a personal feel, but be careful that your type doesn’t look cliché or unreadable. Don’t use more than two fonts, and make sure the style of your font is harmonious with any imagery you have.
Begin in black and white.
Color is extremely important in your brand identity, but don’t forget that your logo will appear in multiple places. Consider newspapers or theater programs: your logo will be printed in black and white at some point, so your logo should still be powerful without color. Once you have your black and white mockup, carefully choose your colors—different hues and color combinations can really bring your brand to life, as 99designs discusses in their article on the best logo colors for your brand.
Focus on being simple and clear.
An effective logo is clear and not overly complex. Beautiful design can be interesting without being complicated. If your logo is too busy, it will lose its clarity when resized. Don’t waste your time on complex patterns or collages, as complicated designs won’t stick in the viewer’s mind. Keep it simple in communicating your mission and your organization will be taken seriously.
Avoid clichés completely.
Your business should stand out from the competition. You want to be timeless! Notice the logo design trends in your industry, as well as what fads new businesses are following, then stay away from them in your own work. Trends don’t last very long, and clichés risk making you look like a parody of someone else.
Keep things aligned and well-spaced.
A logo will look truly professional if all of its components are properly aligned and have room to breathe. A strong design has invisible paths that keep its structure strong. Use guides and rulers to line up text and evenly divide elements.
Make it adaptable.
Design a few different iterations: an icon that fits in a perfect circle, a completely text-based version, a version that fits in a square. Think about how your logo design will fit in the real world.
When to Turn to the Professionals
If you need a beautiful logo design and you don’t want to waste time attempting your own, it’s time to seek outside help. Truthfully, if you’re looking to design a company logo, your first plan should be an agency—let us do what we do best while you can keep doing what you do best.
Another perk to having a professional execute the graphic design is the fact that they will provide you with the right files for wherever you need your logo. For website or print, you won’t have to troubleshoot how to reproduce it properly.
Of course, your logo design will be completely unique, distinct, and professional. Isn’t that the kind of representation you want for your business?
In this article, we touched upon the importance of logo design as well as tips and tricks for beginning your own design process. The process is intensive, but the reward of an elegant brand is well worth it. We care about creating the best design for your business; reach out to us to start developing your logo today!