The difference between a good and bad logo can mean gaining lucrative business or being ignored by potential customers.
Think of great logos: the Apple, the Nike swoosh, the wry Amazon smile. Though extremely simple, they each convey a strong, striking identity. And that’s exactly what you want for your business – something that will catch a potential customer’s eye while conveying the essence of your brand. While you might like to take a stab at designing your logo yourself, it’s best to enlist the help of a gifted illustrator or marketing strategist to guide you in the process.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when designing your logo:
1. Simplicity is key.
Make your point like a quick punch. No one wants to look at a logo that is so overly complex that it’s almost impossible to see the basic idea or purpose of your business. Meaning often gets lost in overly ornamental details so, in the conception stages, try to boil your message down to a single, pointed aspect of your brand – and stick to it.
2. Evoke your business’ purpose.
Logos often have a subconscious, or near-Freudian element. That is, they evoke the company’s larger premise often without loudly broadcasting it. For instance, Amazon’s arrow slyly shows the movement from “A” to “Z,” indicating the company’s global reach. (The double-duty of the arrow as a smile also projects its proposed emphasis on customer service.) IBM’s logo looks it was printed on a very old printer, indicating both its general market –computers – as well as its historical role in developing early computers. UPS literally embeds the image of a parcel into its logo, but does so with understated lines. Think of the most sellable element of your brand, and begin your logo with this animating principle in mind.
3. Make it flexible.
A logo design should be “versatile,” meaning it can be subtly altered and still be discernible. You should think of different colors or contexts the logo will appear in – and ensure it makes sense in all of them. Opt for a shape, or total structural look, that can be shrunk or enlarged without damaging legibility.
4. Aim for timelessness.
Great designs etch themselves in your brain – that’s why they’re easy to remember. For example, you can probably draw the golden arches of McDonald’s in a half-woken stupor. Maintaining the same logo for a long time benefits your company because, with every redesign, you risk alienating customers. Try to avoid obvious design trends and instead opt for something that ensures longevity and timelessness. This allows you to hold onto a design longer and leave a deeper impression on viewers.
5. Do your homework.
While you don’t want to be overly trendy, you still need to pay attention to your industry. This entails a bit of preliminary homework before beginning the research and execution of your logo. Are you in an industry that favors simplicity and functionality? Or do you need to be eye-catching and a bit more flashy? A little background work on where you land in the market will help you avoid standing out in a bad way –you don’t want to be too garish or too Spartan, even when being true to your brand. When you’re ready to get started, you can find experts in branding, design, and illustration on Fiverr.
What goes into a truly definitive and timeless logo? What are some of your all-time favorites? Tell us in the comments below!