We want to congratulate you on taking the first steps to turn your business idea into a reality! Now, it’s time to start building the foundation that your brand will stand upon. Up first, is a well-designed logo; and this article details how to design a great logo for your company.
A perfectly crafted logo is a pivotal part of your brand’s identity. It’s meant to represent your business as well as inspire your target audience to take action with your products or services - view it as a bridge of loyalty between your business and your customers.
No matter if you’re a well-established business or you’re just building the foundation for your brand, you should put effort into your logo, since it will be the first impression potential consumers will see.
In this article, we will provide a deeper understanding of what it takes and how to design a great logo for your brand's presence.
Make it memorable
Is your logo ownable to your business? A quick test is swapping your company name out with a competitor’s - can you still understand the difference? Effective branding is able to cut across all the elements of marketing; when a customer sees the color and font of your logo, they should quickly recognize it.
Take the case of the most iconic fast-food restaurant in the world – McDonald’s. There are very few logos that are as iconic as the company’s and it is one of the most recognizable logo on the face on this planet. What makes their logo so beloved and memorable?
First off, the logo itself is very simplistic in nature. There’s no fancy embellishments to make it look complicated. The two arches are reminiscent of the architecture of the first franchised restaurant back in the year 1952. The colours are equally striking as well – yellow and red make for a great eye-catching combination and serve as fitting representation of their history and the food industry.
Although the logo has undergone many revisions in the past, the theme of the logo has remained the same since 1968. So much so, that no other business is referred to as the ‘golden arches’ except McDonald’s!
Don't rush the process
You would be surprised at the number of entrepreneurs that rush the logo process by designing it themselves or outsourcing it to the first freelancer their team agrees on. This can result in a brand image and logo that do not pair well together.
There’s no need to rush deciding on the elements of your logo design. From font to color palette, ensure that you are creating an image for your brand that will last for many years to come.
We've seen many entrepreneurs who come up with very creative logo design ideas and are oddly good with logo concept, however at times they simply rush through the process of 'getting it done' which sooner or later, they'd realize it was a bad decision. Having to overhaul a logo takes time, money and a truckload of efforts, so do it right the first time.
Whether you are looking for bakery design logo inspiration or real estate logo design or whatever industry you belong to, take your time to go through the process of finalising your company's logo. There is NO need to rush.
Take your company value into consideration
Does your logo fortify your business’s core values at just a couple glances? For example, the McAfee logo gives off a feeling of protection in the form of a shield at first glance. However, if you look at it further, you can then see that the shield is made up of the letter “M”, which forms a strong connection between each side of the shield, bolstering their tagline, “Together is Power.”
Another great example is Fedex. We all know that it is a logistic behemoth. Since the company is a courier delivery firm, they have incorporated their core value of “speed” and “dynamism” in their logo. Take a look here:
What do you see? Do you simply see the words ‘Fedex’ or something more? If you are able to recognize negative spaces (which is what makes this logo simply amazing), then you should be able to see an arrow pointing right. If you haven’t figured it out yet, look closely between the letters ‘e’ and ‘x’. Here you go:
Now that you have seen it, it’ll be hard to unsee that!
Great logos incorporate their company’s values into them. They are subliminally neat looking yet so profound. Both the logos – McAfee and Fedex – are simple logos but they retain their core principles of security and speed.
Get a clear understanding what your brand stands for
Before you hire a logo designer, you need to explore the foundation of your business. If you're searching for an answer on how to design a great logo, these questions are absolutely important for you to ask:
- What do you want it to stand for?
- Who is your target audience?
- What words would you like your customers to use to describe your brand?
The logo you choose will clearly be able to express your values and overall personality. You should always think about your ideal audience during the creation process of your logo. This will be a vital piece in how you communicate with all your future customers and you obviously want something that resonates with them to ensure you remain memorable over time.
Lucidity is key
Sit down and jot down these important aspects of all companies, both big and small:
- Who are you as a brand?
- Who are you going to serve?
- What do you plan to represent with your business?
- What are at least five core values?
- What is the one feeling you want every customer to feel when they hear or see your brand’s name?
Why do you need to write all this down? Simple; the more clear you are about who you are, the easier it will be to design your logo, especially if you hire a professional to craft it. This will help them to come up with ideas that are both creative and reflective of the vision in your mind of what you want your logo to be.
Colour is a science
Did you know that the first impression of products and services is 90% based on color? This means that while designing your logo, you need to ensure that the color scheme elicits the feelings you want your customers to feel and that make your logo authentic.
Red exudes playfulness, youth and a ton of energy. No wonder then the clothing brand Supreme has a logo that is red as most of their customers are young people and thus make a great brand fit. The same is the case with everybody’s favourite – YouTube.
Yellow is an attention grabbing colour and it radiates a very friendly cheerful vibe that instantly makes you feel good. A lot of brands cash in on these emotions as it makes a person feel welcomed and a part of the larger community. Some notable mentions here are: McDonald’s, Nikon and Ferrari.
Pink is usually associated with femininity, romance and usually all-things-girlie. It is a colour that is soothing and calms you, thus putting you in a spot where you can wildly visualize your dream fantasies making it a great storybook colour. Barbie, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation sport a vibrant pink colour.
Black and silver are for brands who want to display a sense of exclusivity and modernity. Looking for a luxurious vibe to your logo, then black or silver will do the job above and beyond. These colours instantly make a brand feel “out of reach” and “not for all”. Take a look at some of these logos incorporating the rich black or silver colour in their logos: Mercedes, Nike, WWF.
Who knew that science could help you optimize your logo to initiate quicker buying and consistency across your entire business?
Tailor your colour palette
If one of your priorities is to showcase your brand’s creativity, it’s important to allow enough flexibility for varying color schemes within the same design. This will ensure that your design will remain attractive to most of your target audience.
Logos that stand the test of times are often so simple that they look great no matter what colours they are in (or the lack thereof). For instance, a lot of great logo designers make logos in grayscale with the idea being that a logo that looks great in black and white will look great in whatever the final colour it’ll be rendered in. Take a look at some of these examples and you will notice that there isn’t much of a difference in the message the company wants to convey through their logos (whether in colour or grayscale):
Take the opportunity to tell your story
If you need one key takeaway on how to design a great logo, let this be it. To stand out among your competitors, you need to have a logo that gets people’s attention. A balance between creative and classy is a good route to go.
- Why did you start your business?
- Think about your target audience - what issues do they have that your product/service can solve?
- How can you incorporate your story creatively into your logo?
Take the case of Northwest Airlines. It is pretty obvious as to why they started off – being in the travel business, the company wants to move people from one point to another. Their audiences are travelers and this provides a great opportunity to include their story creatively in their logo as seen below.
The logo, as mentioned by pilot Patrick Smith, “quite simply, a work of genius. It was an N; it was a W; it was a compass pointing toward the northwest.”
It really is an outstanding logo as it captures beautifully the story as well as the emotions of a traveler, all in one logo!
The key is to not rush the process of crafting your logo. In our world today, social media is a vital part of success in all brands, big and small! Remember that you logo will be the first aspect of your business that all potential customers will see. So, if you don’t love it, try again until you do!
Hire a professional
Would you let your second cousin twice removed manage your taxes? Probably not. You should hold whoever designs your logo to the same standard. If you want your brand to be taken seriously, you should hire a professional designer with logo experience, preferably in your niche if you can.
This is where startups screw up these days, since they think they can shortcut the process. But a trained designer knows what questions to ask, knows how to research your competitors, and is able to create crisp files that will work on your website, social media platforms, and other branding materials.
If you keep the previous elements of a great logo design in mind, you now have a good foundation to create a logo that helps you stand out from your competition, evokes your target audience, and lasts for years of successful business to come!
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