Looking to start a business that requires a brand? A lot goes into the endeavor, but one thing is certain: you will want a killer logo. Maybe you’re gearing up to design your own logo or maybe you’re already a hard-working designer helping other businesses create theirs. Either way, it helps to approach the design systematically. Toward that end, here are seven tips—a checklist of sorts—to create the best possible logo.
1. Stick with Simplicity
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If a logo is complicated, it’s difficult to identify and thus cannot engage an audience as well as a simple logo can. Think of the Nike symbol: simple, versatile, recognizable and memorable. Those are the qualities you’re after, but you can’t achieve the latter three without first achieving simplicity.
Keeping the design simple allows for flexibility in size. Ideally, your design should work at a minimum of around one inch without loss of detail. Look at the logos of large corporations like Mitsubishi, Samsung, FedEx, BBC etc. Their logos look simple and are easier to recognise because of it.
2. Make It Memorable
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An effective logo will be clear and distinctive so to stick in people’s minds. This doesn’t mean a logo has to be a symbol, but it does have to be unique and stand out.
Leave your client with just one thing to remember about the design. All strong logos have one single feature to help them stand out.
3. A Logo for the Ages
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You want your business to stand the test of time, right? If so, you’ll want a logo that can last as long as your brand. Effective logos are timeless. They can last 10 years and they can last 50 years. When designing your logo, look beyond whatever is trending now, look for something that will never go out of style.
Trends come and go, and when you’re talking about changing a pair of jeans, or buying a new dress, that’s fine, but where your brand identity is concerned, longevity is key. Don’t follow the pack. Stand out.
4. Versatility Is Key
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Great logo designs work across several platforms and applications. Because of this, you’ll want to design your logo in vector format so it can be scaled to any size.
Is your design still an effective logo if it’s printed? Does it work in black and white as well as color? How does it look when it’s as small as a stamp or as large as a billboard? You will need to ask these questions. A logo design that looks great in only certain instances will not become popular.
5. Start with Black and White
Creating your logo in color can really limit its versatility. So you’ll want to design the logo in black and white. This allows you to focus more on concept and shape. That, in turn, helps ensure that your logo will look good in different colors or without any color.
By leaving colour to the end of the process, you focus on the idea. No amount of gradient or colour will rescue a poorly designed mark.
6. Be Dynamic
Image credit: NRMA Motoring and Services / CC BY 2.0
When designing a logo, you may be inclined to stick with symbols that relate to that company’s particular business. But it’s more important to create a dynamic logo, one that’s flexible and appeals to a diverse audience. Don’t let your desire to make the logo relate to the brand’s market limit you.
Restaurant logos don’t need to show food, dentist logos don’t need to show teeth, furniture store logos don’t need to show furniture. Just because it’s relevant, doesn’t mean you can’t do better. The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an aeroplane. The Apple logo isn’t a computer. Etc. Etc.
7. Keep It Appropriate
Image credit: Ian Muttoo / CC BY-SA 2.0
While your logo does not have to relate directly to a brand’s business, it should be appropriate for the intended audience. That includes logo position, color scheme and even the symbol itself. The logo should reflect the brand and its customers, whether those customers are children and parents or CEOs and businessmen.
Designing for a lawyer? Ditch the fun approach. Designing for a kid’s TV show? Nothing too serious. I could go on, but you get the picture.
To Sum It Up
To create a stellar logo design, look to the basics, developing a logo with a simple, yet dynamic design, one that doesn’t necessarily relate directly to your product. Keep it appropriate for your target audience. Make it memorable and make it timeless. And, in today’s modern times, remember that you’ll need a logo with versatility, one that can work across several platforms, applications, screens, and colors. Follow these steps and you’ll find that you and your business have launched a killer logo.