Your logo is the face of your business and will create instant recognition. Regardless of what stage your business is at (idea, side hustle, MVP or capital raise) a well-executed logo will help your business appear professional, sharp, and interesting to customers, new hires and investors. It’ll be used everywhere – on your website, on your blog, on your Facebook page, on company swag, on digital or print documents, on advertisements, and any other property in the public eye, making it an important business decision.
If you’ve defined what your company stands for, researched the market and identified customer segments for testing, then you’ve already got the data you need to start building a brand. You then need to know where to get a logo and learn a few logo design basics to get it just right.
Where to get a logo
Hiring a traditional design agency is just doesn’t offer a lot of value if you’re a 1-person show, startup or small business. The whole process can be slow, frustrating and expensive. After you’ve invested time and money you don’t want to be stuck with a logo you don’t love.
You could try a logo maker. A tool like BrandCrowd’s logo maker generates logo designs on the spot powered by a massive library of original logos created by graphic designers. Enter your business name, choose a logo and then use the editor to change colours and fonts to your liking. If you plan to trademark your logo, avoid logo makers with ‘free’ clipart libraries that generate low quality logos that will damage your brand. Choose a quality logo maker that provides a license that grants full copyright.
Outsource to design experts. Try crowdsourcing your logo through DesignCrowd (like Sydney Startups did) where you can hire one talented designer or hire a crowd of freelance logo designers to generate hundreds of unique logo designs to choose from in a few days. Platforms like these are basically graphic design outsourcing on steroids.
Whether you get your logo ideas from a logo maker, crowdsource your logo or hire an agency. here are the 10 things that need most attention when you design your logo.
This practical consideration cannot be stressed enough. A logo has to work on every surface and size. It should look good online, mobile devices, in animations and in print on a business card or a billboard. Whatever the context, it needs to look great at any scale.
Shape affects how a logo occupies space and how it interacts with other elements in a design, so it must be flexible across formats. How the logo locks up with the type and different lockups for different contexts is an important consideration. If you have a wide logo, it might be less successful as a social media profile pic but can occupy a space better than a narrow logo without totally overshadowing the other elements. Circles, triangles and square logos are some of the most versatile and flexible shapes.
Typefaces matter a lot in a logo design, especially for wordmark logos. Different typefaces convey different emotions. Compare “Facebook” written in Klavika Bold (logo version) to the one written in Helvetica Bold. They both say the same thing, but one feels exciting, inviting and friendly, while the other seems like a static, corporate mark with no character.
A logo should be effective in a black and white colour scheme, but the actual colour of the logo is still important. Constant use of the same colour in a brand’s identity goes a long way in imprinting a brand into a customer’s mind; logos are supposed to create a consistent look and image for a brand. Colour also sets a brand apart from its competitors as in the example of Coca-Cola (red) and Pepsi (blue) or PlayStation (blue) and Xbox (green).
Complex logos are costly to reproduce, and they don’t easily scale and cannot be transferred to different visual context. A simple logo is timeless, memorable and doesn’t need to be updated every few years. Look for an uncluttered logo design that scales effortlessly across digital and physical mediums and surfaces.
A logo is more than a bunch of shapes put together, it should tell a story about your company. For example, the German car maker Mercedes-Benz has a traditional logo featuring a three-point star that stands for dominance over land, sea, and air. Symbols influence how a logo is interpreted by an audience, conveying the company’s values. Be careful to avoid clichés or overused concepts.
A good logo is memorable. Simplicity ties in with this because it gives the customer only one detail to focus on, and they remember that one unique detail forever. Take the Grey Advertising logo designed by Ivan Chermayeff. You expect a logo for a company called “Grey” to feature the colour grey, but Chermayeff took a completely different approach and used red for the logotype.
A logo helps you stand apart from the competition. You don’t want to end up with a generic logo that looks like every other logo on the internet. Airbnb’s logo has evolved with the brand, from the days of the cute blue bubble logo (and ‘travel like a human’ tagline) to today’s flat minimalist logo where customers can ‘belong anywhere’. The point is keep focused on your business and the brand you want to build. Keep an eye on logo trends but don’t be a slave to them. Your logo should be focused on the brand itself, not a style.
Just imagine if the above image was the logo for Target Corporation. It’s fair to assume this would change your impression of what products you could buy in their stores, so would you still shop there? If you’ve defined your target audience and done your research, you won’t make that mistake.
You want your logo to hang together coherently and be implemented consistently. Colour, shape and font choice affect the outcome. A bad looking logo can never be a good logo. But, a good bad-looking logo can still work. The Capital One logo combines an italic bold modern sans type with a thin serif type and a random red arrow or gratuitous swoosh (or boomerang) which seems dated and unsuitable for a trusted financial institution. You don’t have to play it safe but you want your logo to stand out for the right reasons.
Armed with these 10 insights into designing your own logo and where to get one, it’s time to get cracking and get your business an amazing new logo!
This post is bought to you by Fishburners alumni DesignCrowd – check them out here: https://www.designcrowd.com.au/