Every company worth its salt should have a logo.
A logo serves as a graphic representation of the company name and business, and is designed for consumer recognition which drives sales. It’s a calling card, if you will, that can be left in any medium to remind consumers of your business, and can be placed anywhere: from greeting visitors to your website, social media accounts, and digital ad campaigns to branding your product packaging, company stationary, uniforms, and yes, even the front door – the landing page of your brick-and-mortar location!
Designing an effective logo is more complicated than it looks. There is a host of things to consider when you try to distill your brand to one small symbol.
Here are some tips for great logo design:
- Think It through
- From ideas to graphics
- What logo type is your type?
- The sway of colours and fonts
- Creating the overall impression – be simple, unique and memorable
Whether you are designing your logo yourself or hiring a professional designer, the first step is to think about what your core business is, and what impression you want to make on consumers that will ultimately drive up your sales. What do you think is important to let the consumers know about your company? In other words, what are the products/services and values of your company? What key points do you want to convey through your logo? How is your company different from all the other companies in the same industry? What differentiates your company? Jot all of these ideas down – they will help you create and shape your logo.
To help conceptualize your ideas and message, it’s often useful to look at examples of other great logo design. For instance, the missing “byte” in the Apple tells consumers of the company’s tech orientation, the bullseye for Target suggests that at Target customers get exactly what they need, and the smile-like arrow below Amazon’s name implies a friendly customer service, while its “A” to “Z” direction says the company has everything – from a to z. There are plenty of sites you can visit to check out and study other effective logos for inspiration. Try Logo Gala and Logo Moose to start!
There are basically four types of logos. Wordmarks, composed of words or groupings of letters (IBM, CNN, Kleenx); letterform which, are basically single-word letterform logos (H for Honda, U for Uber); illustrated symbols of things that convey the meaning of what a company stands for (a bird for Twitter, a siren for Starbucks), and abstract compositions (such as the swoosh on the Nike logo).
What type of logo is best for you depends on the name of your company and the nature of your business. If the name of your company is short, for instance, a wordmark logo will work well. Wordmarks and letterforms tend to make consumers remember the company name better. Illustrated symbols can be tricky because they should be things that are meaningful to your business and relevant to your message but also understandable by consumers (such as the panda in the WWF’s logo).
The choice of colours and fonts are crucial in a logo. Both elements evoke particular tonality of impression, and differentiate you from your competitors. Colour is the dominant feature of a logo, so it should never be the same as those of your competitors’ – it will create confusion in the marketplace and kibosh your effort to stand out from the crowd.
Different colours evoke different emotions and attitudes. As a rule of thumb, red conveys intensity, boldness and energy; yellow invokes happy, sunny and optimism; blue suggests reliability, professionalism and confidence; while white conveys simplicity and purity.
Fonts also elicit certain emotional affects and associations in people’s minds. Sans-serif, straightforward fonts convey strength and solidity while whimsical fonts project youthfulness and fun. There are many standard fonts to choose from, but you should also consider custom lettering which will help to ensure your logo is unique and memorable.
Simplicity works best in a logo. When the image is simple it is more recognizable and memorable. Don’t cram too much into it. Think, the single swoosh in a Nike logo, and just the letter M for McDonalds. And stay away from the cliché and the hackneyed — the design should avoid the generic and the commonplace. You are, after all, trying to distinguish yourself from the crowd!