Your logo is the visual identity for your brand. To design a logo takes creativity, critical thinking, and efficient planning. Relying on a free logo designer can harm your businesses success in the long run. Your logo needs to grab the attention of your potential customers. Think of your logo as your profile picture on a social media website. You will want to use something that is attractive and attracts attention, not something dull and forgettable. Iconic logos such as McDonald’s golden arches, Coca-Cola’s unique script, or Nike’s “swoosh” symbol activates instant associations with that company’s products. Admittedly, these companies spent millions of dollars developing their logos.
The good news is that you do not need a million-dollar budget and a graphic design consultant. You can learn how to design a logo that is distinctive and memorable; one that will serve you for years to come.
When you are ready to begin the design process for your logo, you can start anywhere to gain inspiration. One place to look would be graphic designer websites. Look for any designs that get your creative juices flowing. Anything that makes you happy about your business, could potentially make a customer happy. Next, start looking at the world around you. The same feelings should inspire you; however, you are more apt to be seeing the same designs and colors as your customers would be in their everyday life.
Effective Logo Design
Another critical aspect is how to design an effective logo. It is vital to know what makes a logo stand out, what becomes memorable when consumers glance at a logo and can remember it later. Learn what successful business had to do to their logo before it became a success. This logo is your brand identity; therefore, your end result should be a simplistic, memorable design.
Your Creative Process
You will quickly learn that your design process may not match up with any other designer. However, when you are not sure where to start, the following will help you get started on setting your own process and goals.
- Brief – Make sure you know exactly what is expected from the company, whether it is your own company, or you are designing the logo for someone else. Speak with other employees and get ideas from them on what stands out about the company.
- Research – Learn as much as you can about the industry the business is in. This research should include the direct competitors and what makes the competitor successful.
- Reference – Check out the design trends currently in your industry.
- Conceptualization – Now start the rough draft of the logo, taking into consideration all the research and ideas you have gathered.
- Reflection – Take a break from the logo. This break should refresh your mind, and so you can look at the logo and see anything that needs to be fixed or enhanced.
- Presentation – Present your logo design choices to your client or staff, gather feedback and make any necessary changes.
How to Design Your Logo
After you have completed your research and gathered all your ideas, now it is time to begin your design. First, you must choose your design style. You must select a style that fits your brand.
Classic Design Style
The classic design keeps the logo simple while standing out. You may be tempted to use a trendy logo design with bright colors, however, keep in mind trends fade quickly.
Vintage Design Style
With its worn-out color palette, the vintage design style has been successful for many businesses. This style reminds customers of history, and they will relate that to your business and how long you have been around.
Modern Design Style
Modern logos use the minimum colors and lines while standing out against whitespace. Customers will get the feeling that your business is not outdated, you are modern and trendy.
Fun Design Style
When your target audience is of the younger generation, the fun design styles with attractive colors is the way to go. You are looking for a friendly logo design that will capture attention and give the idea of your business being fun and trendy.
Handmade Design Style
When you want to portray the idea that your business is handmade and crafty, this is the best design style to choose. You can also mix the design with another design to make it trendier.
Finding the Right Logo Type
After choosing the design style to go with, the logotype is the next step.
Letter mark Logo
While letter marks cannot express your business concept, it is good for businesses with long, hard to remember names. This logotype keeps it simple, but memorable.
This works best when your company name displays your brand as well. You can add a simple design and keep it memorable.
This is choosing an image that directly correlates with your brand. When customers see your image, they will know it is your business. However, until you have established a foot in the market, it may be a good idea to mix this with a wordmark.
Abstract Logo Marks
Using a geometric shape to define your business can create a personality for your logo. It may not explain your business, but it can still be attractive and gain the success you are looking for.
When you use colorful characters to define your business, it is an attractive symbol reaching a fun and friendly target audience.
When necessary, any of these logotypes can be mixed to portray the message you are trying to send. Do your research on colors and fonts as well. See what works for successful businesses in your industry and what does not work and why. Your colors and font choices are very powerful in determining success.
Some Things to Consider
- Slogans associated with your product, service, or company.
- Colors and images that epitomize your ideas.
- The mood you would like to set. (For instance, if you are designing a logo for a children’s game, you would want to create a fun and whimsical mood.)
- Think about how to make a logo that will set your product, service, or company apart from the thousands of others in the world.
Components of Good Logo Design
All logos contain color and image and/or text. The simplicity of these core components can be deceiving because the range of possibilities and combinations are endless. It is the combinations and nuances of these components that determine how you design a unique logo for your project.
Images can be taken from your personal or corporate photo gallery, purchased from photo compilers, drawn free-hand and converted to a digital image, or created on a graphic design program. Once you have selected your logo image, you can bend it, stretch it, curl it, or distort it to fit the project’s vision.
The logo color is your next main consideration. In a logo design, color can be applied to the background, the text fonts, and the image itself. Choose colors that help convey the mood and intention of your project. Purple, for instance, suggests sensuality, while red conveys energy, and yellow stimulates the imagination. Your use of color and shading determines how to make a logo color fit your intention.
The text is not only informative, but it is also a graphic element. As such, the font you choose, the color and the placement of the text are as important as the actual words.
Software for Creating Your Logo
Logos can be created on software you already own such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. If you do not have any of these programs, there are a number of online sites offering free tutorials that show you how to make logos. For the best results in the shortest amount of time, choose a software program that you are familiar with.
Designing a great logo is worth the time you invest in it. Your logo brands you for instant recognition by your target audience. Do not get tempted to use a free logo maker. Your custom logo is worth the extra time and investment to gain success.
For more information on logo design, visit the Logo and Branding Services FAQ section of Flying Cow Design. Or, contact us today for more information.
CEO, Flying Cow Design
Attended University of Auckland
Lives in San Francisco Bay Area