How to Make an Effective Logo Design
A well-designed logo is essential for businesses trying to create a brand. A logo is more than just a graphic, it’s the first thing consumers think about when they think of your business.
It’s your brand image and identity. Making sure your logo is suitable for your business is critical.
The aim of this article is to lay down the groundwork for anyone who is looking to design a logo for their brand. Without further ado, here are some tips to help you make a killer logo.
What to Avoid While Making A Logo
Let’s start with what not to do. When in the process of designing a logo, some don’ts are:
- Having too many words.
- Having too many colors
- Adding more than two fonts
Steps for Making an Effective Logo Design
There’s a science to making logos that not everyone is aware of. That’s why companies pay thousands of dollars to graphic designers for it. So a good place to start your design process is by looking up famous logos.
While doing so, ask yourself these questions:
- What makes them effective?
- What do they make you think about and feel?
- How do they reflect the brand they represent?
Look up Similar Brands
You should also look up logos of brands in the same market as yours to see their approach. This will help you get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t for your specific field.
Ask yourself this when doing research:
- What are successful brands doing with their logos?
- How are they reflecting the nature of what they’re selling?
It’s always good to do a little research on the competition.
If all this research hasn’t made your creative gears turn yet, there are plenty of places where you can find design inspiration.
Social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Behance are overflowing with creative content. A little browsing could yield a lot of ideas.
You can also find inspiration the old-fashioned way. There are many graphic design publications that feature some of the best artwork being made in the world. These include:
- Eye Magazine
- Printed Pages
Always Think about Brand Identity
An important thing to keep in mind when designing your logo is your brand’s identity.
A brand identity is how you want your viewers to perceive your brand. Brand identity is defined by the grammar you use, the type of service you provide, and yes, your logo.
Are you a fun brand? A serious brand? A high-class brand? Make sure you define your brand’s identity before going forward with the logo design process.
What is the Nature of Your Brand?
Always make sure your logo has the appropriate elements for your business. If you’re selling toys you don’t want your logo to be black and intense.
If you’re selling tech you don’t want your logo to be old-fashioned. The color, image, and text of your logo should match the nature of your brand.
Keep Your Target Audience in Mind
Your target audience is just as important to keep in mind. The question “Who are you selling to?” should be at the forefront of every design decision you make.
Different audiences react differently to different designs, never forget that the way you see something might not be the way other people see it. Here’s a video that will help you identify your target audience:
Feeling stuck or overwhelmed with your design project?
Pick a Style
Once you have an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish, you can start finding the perfect style for your logo. Make sure to pick in accordance with your brand identity and audience.
These types of logos are also called letter marks because they consist of only letters. It’s a good idea to consider this type of logo if your company has a long name, as these use initials normally.
Wordmarks are like lettermarks but use the whole name instead of just the initials. They can be very effective with a good type.
Emblems are a traditional type of logo. Starbucks and car brands like Cadillac use this style. It portrays seriousness, age, and prestige, although there are modern versions of this style that are quite effective too.
This type of logo depicts something simple. It’s a symbol that is easily identifiable and tells you something about the brand. Think of Apple, Domino’s, and Twitter.
Abstract Logo Marks
Abstract logos rely on shapes. These shapes by themselves would be abstract, but in the logos, they create the brand. If you decide to go with this style and you’re lucky you could get a shape that represents your brand and only yours.
Mascot logos use a character to portray the brand. This type of logo evokes friendliness and approachability. Think of the KFC logo or most sports teams’ logos.
Different colors elicit different emotional reactions in people. For example:
- Red= energy, romance, warmth, love
- Yellow= friendliness, happiness, brightness
- Green= nature, money, health
- Grey= sleekness, efficiency, intelligence
The colors you use in your logo are a big part of the brand image you’re trying to create. Make sure they align with your brand identity and target audience.
Type and Font
Like with color, the type and font you use for your logo will be highly influential to how audiences view your brand.
There are so many types out there that it’s sometimes complicated to even know where to start. To understand what fits your brand best, research how to find the perfect type.
The next step for most people would be to start sketching. Play around with ideas, and start seeing what works and what doesn’t. You will always revise so don’t be afraid to be as daring as possible.
Start in Monochrome
It’s a good idea to begin with sketches and roughs in black and white. This will help you eliminate the added distraction of colors and see the skeleton of your design. Even if you already have colors in mind, start in monochrome and see how it looks.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a good sketcher or not. Sketches aren’t made to be beautiful, they’re meant to serve as guidelines for the design process as well as brainstorming tools.
You’re going to want your logo to appear in all kinds of places. Be it on a billboard or on someone’s phone, you want your logo to be recognizable no matter the size. It’s crucial to take this into account when working on a design.
Keeping it Simple
What do the Nike, McDonald’s, Apple, Windows, and Ikea logos have in common? If you guessed simplicity you would be very right. Sometimes having too many elements can spoil a design. When it comes to logos, the simpler the better.
Revise, Revise, Revise
The creative process is a real thing. Almost every single piece of art ever made was completed through a process of steps. This process involves multiple stages of revision. Being familiar with the creative process will be of massive help.
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When creating your logo, it’s important to approach things from an aesthetic standpoint. This means that how your logo looks and the elements of design are the most important. You can do this by following these standards:
Logos that don’t have elements aligned together look unbalanced and aren’t as aesthetically pleasing. Make sure that all elements of your logo are aligned together. You can misalign elements as long as it’s serving a purpose, but don’t do so just for the sake of it.
Balance is a very important element of graphic design, especially when it comes to logos. You want to make sure you’re utilizing the space as best as possible.
Always ask yourself:
- Is the slogan too overpowering?
- Is the design too small?
- Does my logo look like a cohesive piece?
Finding a balance between graphics, types, and white space can be tricky, but it can make a logo design look so much better.
The most famous logos all have designs that have been able to stand the test of time.
Even though these brands tweak their logos sometimes, the essence of the design remains the same. For an exercise, look at famous logos and write down what makes them timeless.
It’s very hard to be original in a world overcrowded with brands and designs. But it’s also a fact that it has been done many times in the past. Try playing with patterns, textures, imagery, etc. Again, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
It’s not the worst thing in the world to have a derivative logo but the smarter you are with your design the better image you give to your brand.
Feeling stuck or overwhelmed with your design project?
Get Outside Opinions
Sometimes it’s hard to look at your own creative work from a different angle. It’s always a good idea to run by your ideas, sketches, and designs with someone else.
Think of them as your test audience and ask them questions about their reaction to your ideas.
Sharing this with people who know about design is even more helpful. They might notice little details or have suggestions that could benefit your process.
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With these tips at hand, you are ready to go and design the perfect logo. Whether you’re working with a designer or doing it by yourself, these guidelines should help you stay focused on the goal.
Logos might seem easy to come up with, but there’s a whole science (and art) behind the logo design. It’s not something you can just come up with on the spot, and if you do you’re probably not putting enough thought into it.
Remember that a logo is the visual representation of your brand, and never underestimate its importance.