What to Know About Logos
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
A logo is more than just a shape with your company name in the center. A great logo should be eye catching and should share a bit about your brand. Are you edgy, conservative, innovative, or reliable? It should stand out and make your business stand out, too.
Even though anyone can design a logo, a lot of care must go into crafting the perfect logo for your brand. Because it can be a bit tricky, here are 10 tips to create a better logo design.
1. Understand Logo 101
What makes an effective logo? Typically, the greatest logos consist of the following five characteristics: simple, memorable, timeless, versatile and appropriate.
Simple logos, such as the Nike Swoosh or Apple, are easily recognizable.
Memorable logos are simple, clear, and distinctive, like the McDonald’s Golden Arch.
Does your logo have the ability to stand the test of time? Coca-Cola, for example, has kept the same logo since 1887.
Versatile logos should appear great in different colors, sizes, and mediums. The World Wildlife Fund logo accomplishes this.
Finally, your logo should be appropriate for it’s audience. The bright colors work Toys ‘R’ Us, but wouldn’t be appropriate for a law firm.
Once you understand the 5 Principles of Effective Logo Design, you should be well on your way in designing the perfect logo for you brand.
2. Do Your Research
Just like any other part of your marketing strategy, you’ll need to conduct some research when designing your logo. You need to figure out who’s going to see your logo - remember, it has to be appropriate for your audience.
You should also look into the industry that you’re involved with. What’s the history of your industry? Who is the competition? What logos have been used in the past? What are the current trends?
This research should be used to assist in the design of your logo.
3. Be The Brand
As Lindsay Rothfeld notes on Mashable, “a logo is an image, but it’s also an introduction to a brand.” Because of this, it’s important to understand the personality of your brand. That means your logo needs to represent your brand and provide your customers with an experience. If you haven’t yet discovered the personality of your brand, then you should take this short little quiz - it won’t even eat up 10 minutes of your day.
4. Own It
Your logo should be instantly recognizable and unique to your brand. Even if you use something familiar, you can make it your own. Evernote is a perfect example of this. Despite the logo being an elephant head, Evernote utilized a page-fold in the ears and curled-in trunk to make the logo an original design.
5. Select the Right Colors
For the uninitiated, color plays a major role in graphic design because each color evokes different emotions. Paying attention to the science behind colors, can help you create a logo that will resonate with your audience. When designing your logo, keep the following in mind:
Black = strong, credible, professional
Red = exciting, sexy, urgent
Green = natural, adventurous, calming
Blue = clean, focused, powerful
Orange = creative, youthful, energetic
Yellow = positive, bright, inventive
Purple = mysterious, spiritual, wise
Brown = earthly, traditional, reliable
White = pure, easy, clean
Sometimes your logo can just be your company name in a unique font. Coca-Cola and Disney are just two examples of companies who have used a creative typeface as their logos. Not only does an original typeface set you apart from other brands, it proves you’ve put some thought and consideration into your logo.
7. Keep Your Sketches
There’s a good chance that you’re going to come up with numerous logo ideas and designs. Even if these early sketches don’t work out, you shouldn’t throw them out as they might be valuable someday. You may go back through your early sketches and discover you were actually onto something.
8. Avoid Cliches
Your logo is essentially the “face of your brand” and you want it to stand out. However, you’ve probably noticed a fair share of logos all seem too familiar. With it’s using a typeface like Helvetica, colored dots, arches, or the double letter overlap, you want to design a logo that’s more than just a cliché. Be original and not just another replicated logo.
9. You Can Be Literal
While you want to avoid clichés, some of the most iconic logos are literal and straightforward - think Apple, Shell, Red Cross, Greyhound, Puma. Literal logos are instantly recognizable and can lend meaning to your brand’s name. So if you have a furniture store, for example, your logo could contain a piece of furniture like a rocking chair. However, your logo could also be symbolic. Target uses a bullseye to remind customers that it’s the right store for them to shop.
10. Double Entendres
Even if you want your logo to be literal, you can still have a lot of fun with it. For example, the Wine Place uses a thumbtack (for location) that also resembles an upside down wine glass.
Spartan Golf Club is another example of a really interesting logo. This design cleverly features a golfer swinging, but it also has the profile of Spartan.
Other inspiring logos that have creatively used double entendres are Iron Duck Clothing, CFO Cycling Team, Mister Cutts, and Goodduck.