An essential aspect of a company’s brand identity, a well-designed logo can have a significant impact on a business’s success, for better or for worse.
A logo is often the first thing that customers notice when interacting with a business, so the logo could be an opportunity to make a great first impression. A thoughtfully-designed logo can convey a business’s values, personality, and credibility. A logo can also help a business stand out from competitors, making it easier for customers to recognize and remember the brand.
With today’s tech at our fingertips, it’s easy to find a logo-making app and start having some fun. But, you may be wasting your time (and money) if you don’t consider the importance of your logo. You may regret in a year or two that fancy logo that took you only five minutes to make.
Here’s a helpful guide to logo creation to get started:
Understand the Business You’re In
First, before starting the design process, be able to express the business’ values, target audience, and what sets it apart from competitors (See “The Importance of a Unique Value Position“). This information will help you create a logo that resonates with the business’s identity and that attracts the right audience.
Keep It Simple
Second, a simple logo is more memorable and recognizable. Avoid cluttering the design with too many elements or using complicated fonts that can make the logo difficult to read. A simple, clean design will also look better on various mediums and sizes. That is, think about the logo away from the computer screen. Paper, plastic, and even a t-shirt could be the surface of the logo. (There’s a lot of detail in the zoo logo–there are exceptions to these guidelines.)
Make It Scalable
Next, the logo should look good on all mediums, from social media icons to billboards. Ensure that the design is scalable, so it looks great whether it’s scaled down or enlarged. Mentally picture it on a business card and a billboard, on a durable outdoor sign and a throw-away flyer.
Also, make the logo so that it’s easily recognizable, even when scaled down. Select font types and sizes that are easy to read and make sure the design is not too intricate or cluttered, making it hard to distinguish between individual elements. Can someone glance at it and identify it? That’s the purpose of a logo—instant recognition.
Choose Colors Wisely
Furthermore, colors can evoke specific emotions and associations. Make sure you select colors that align with the business’s brand identity and values. Also, consider how the colors will look on different backgrounds, including digital and print media. And restrain from using gradients and fades, because of the possible mediums and sizes that the logo will be on.
Put It To The Test
Importantly, test the strength of your logo by making a grayscale version and a black-and-white version. Create a reverse version of the logo in which the graphic is white against a black background or another solid color. You may need to use your logo in unanticipated ways beyond a website or glossy brochure. Think of the possible marketing collateral—the barrel of a ballpoint pen or a drawstring bag.
Make It Timeless
Lastly, trends come and go, but a great logo design should stand the test of time. Avoid designing a logo that may look outdated in a few years, unless of course you are going for a retro-look. Instead, focus on creating a design that will remain relevant for years to come.
“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity.Lindo Leader, graphic designer
Great design is born of those two things.”
and creator of the FedEx logo
Once you’ve created a few designs, get feedback from others. Share your designs with colleagues, friends, and potential customers to get their honest opinions. This feedback can help you refine your design and create a logo that resonates with the business’s target audience.
Hire A Graphic Designer
The time and effort it takes for you to go through this process—unless you love it and have a knack for it—may be worth hiring a designer that specializes in logos. Look for recommendations and view their samples on their websites. Hire them if their work samples appear to follow the above steps.
Final Thoughts on Logo Design
In today’s competitive business world, having a unique and recognizable logo is more critical than ever. By following these guidelines, you can create a logo design that captures the essence of the business while also attracting the right audience. A well-designed logo can be a long-lasting, powerful marketing tool that helps small businesses establish their brand identity and attract more customers.