How to Design A Logo: The Ultimate Guide
Design by: Lukasz Drozdz
In a survey conducted in the Netherlands, 100% of 8-year-olds were able to put together the most recognizable logos with their representative brands. Imagine how much more efficiently adults must be able to do so.
From the trillions of brands with their respective logos, what makes some logos so memorable? Why do people recognize some brands by their logos while not others?
What feature of a logo decides such a thing?
There are great online logo designing services that let you create and then customize your logo, such as Canva, Freelogodesign, Logocrisp, and Tailorbrands etc. But creating a logo yourself holds more worth; it communicates to your audience deeply.
Why Do I Need A Logo So Badly Anyway?
It’s the most effective brand builder
Think of your brand’s logo as the face people will remember your brand by. It’s a true reflection of your brand’s message, values, principles and everything in between. Without a logo, your brand would be a faceless face, one without any facial elements and features.
RELATED: What are the Benefits of Branding?
It’s the first thing that makes your brand memorable
Research showed that the human brain processes images 60, 000 times faster than processing words. Visuals are retained in memory longer than words. In fact, audio-visual learners are known to remember even words by how they look on paper.
It’s a very powerful marketing tool
Once you buy a product, the brand name and logo stays in your mind based on the sort of experience you have had using that product. You walk into a supermarket and your companion sees that product on the first shelf and asks “What’s this? Let’s go see.”
You instantly see the brand’s logo from afar and start telling about your own experience using that product, accordingly suggesting (or not) your companion to buy it (or not).
So what did you notice first? The logo, of course. Once it’s out there, your brand’s logo remains an icon for a very long time. It can create big bucks selling your product or do the entire opposite.
It increases your client conversion rate
You have a certain action in mind – an action that customers are likely to undertake in relation to your brand – and the percentages of customers undertaking this specific action is what is meant by a client conversation rate.
Some common client conversation rates companies track include the number of visitors filling out a certain form on a website, customer complaints being received in a day, purchases being made on a certain product in a week and so on.
When customers open your social media account or your website, the first thing their eyes fall on is your brand’s name and logo. From there on out, they will engage and communicate with your brand.
…or won’t, based on the kind of feelings your brand’s name and logo evokes in them).
First impressions do matter…a lot
So that first impression your brand’s logo gives off will determine how long the general public will take to recognize your brand’s logo when they see it the next time.
You NEED a logo, or rather, your brand NEEDS one to survive. It all begins and ends with the name, the logo and the rest just kind of falls into place. As a designer, it’s your job to create and put it out there, after which your buyers will do the rest.
You might only be fully controlling these first few stages of your brand, logo design and brand name taking the top spots. But remember, these are the factors that will drive your business in a certain direction.
So if you wish to know which direction that is headed, you need to first come to terms with the fact that indeed, you need to design a logo alongside your brand’s name.
Before Designing Your Logo, You Need To…
Now that we have established that when it comes to designing a logo, it isn’t a matter of should or shouldn’t but of have to, the next step would be to start the designing process itself.
However, before you jump right into things, there are some pointers you should keep in mind about designing an effective logo for your company/brand:
Determine Your Brand Personality
Design by: Ricky Bottiglier
As mentioned above, your overall brand logo reflects what your brand essentially stands for. So before designing a logo, determine what your brand personality exactly is and then mirror this in a logo accordingly. Begin by asking yourself:
- Why is my brand different than others and how?
- If my brand were a person, which 3 words would describe it best?
- What message does my brand convey?
- What is my brand’s specialty?
- Which words and phrases etc do I want my customers to describe my brand?
And remember, your brand’s logo will, in a way, tell your story by focusing on your why rather than the what.
RELATED: How to Brand Yourself
Do Your Research
Design by: Multiple Owners
Familiarize yourself as much as you can with the basic, 101 design principles, the whats, and hows of logos, the creative options you have at your disposal to create your own logo and so forth.
Gaining such perspectives will not only help you give a better perspective about what kind of logo suits your brand, but will also prepare you for any common pitfalls that might appear along the way.
Find Your Inspiration
Design by: Mats-Peter Forss
Even the strangest things from your environment can serve as a source of inspiration…if only you know where to look. Pay attention to your competitors. What elements of their brand have they chosen to be represented in their logo?
Check out some books written on the subject. Interact with like-minded individuals and ask them about their experiences related to designing a logo. Get in touch with customers. What do they see in a logo that attracts them?
You never know what, among such sources, might end up inspiring you.
Create a Mood Board
Design by: Adele Mawhinney
If the Pinterest boards came to your mind right now, you’re still with us. Because you’re right. Those boards are an effective way to get an idea about what kind of logo you should design.
Collect and gather different visuals – images, infographics, videos, other logos, illustrations etc – in one board and see the common pattern all those visuals contain, the pattern you’re drawn to. That can serve as a good starting point.
Or you can also go for manual work. Collect such visuals, cut them up, paste them up on any board and draw your mind map from there.
If working with visuals from a mood board sounds like too much work for you, you can always opt for the traditional yet efficient method of brainstorming. Write down all your ideas and others that might grow root from these.
Which idea would look good in the form of a logo?
Place Yourself in Your Audience’s Shoes
It doesn’t matter which niche it is, but you will get a clear mental picture of your target audience’s demands when you place yourself in their shoes and think like them.
Start by asking yourself things like:
- If I were a customer of this brand, what would be my initial expectations from it?
- Would I suggest this brand to a friend or a family member?
- This brand could do with some improvements, such as…
Your logo needs to fulfill all such consumer demands.
Get Others Involved
If you still have a hard time collecting all the pieces to this puzzle, brainstorm with others. Bring in friends and/or family members for they play the role of customers, too. You can also brainstorm with other designers and/or entrepreneurs to get know-how.
Lay Out Your Design Process
At this point, you probably have some, if not all, the elements necessary to start designing your logo. Use these elements to lay out an unambiguous and straightforward creative design process.
Are you going to draw a rough sketch of your logo and use an online/offline software to design it graphically? Which software are you going to use to create this vector? Are you going to use online, customizable templates? Are you going to hire a professional designer?
Once you finalize the actual process you are going to follow, the designing stage itself will be less time-consuming and unpredictable.
To Bring Your Logo To Life…
You need to decide on:
The Style of Your Logo’s Design
There is no such thing as a good style or bad style. There is the only style, but how relevant that style is for your brand is what matters. Your logo has to be designed such that from its style, your buyers will get an idea of YOUR style and your brand’s style.
There is a multitude of style to choose from. Here are some common ones used for logo designing:
- Classic – this is the most common style logos come in today. It keeps the color scheme on a down low, gives off a highly sophisticated and professional look, feels down-to-earth and is simple enough to work with, too.
Design by: Md. Muhiuddin Chowdhury
- Vintage – this style has the power to transport you back into old times with its selection of colors and graphics. It also gives off that aesthetic-y vibe and is a simple style to customize for your logo.
Design by: Gökçe Düzgün
- Modern – it’s clean, it’s fresh and it’s brightly lit. This logo style also uses a lot of white space. The bright colors against a plain, white background give off a very cool and collected vibe.
Design by: Imran H Sardar
- Quirky– you can use hand-made doodles and other sorts of illustrations if you want a quirky, upbeat logo. Find those business colors boring? Then this is the style for you. It’s fresh, trendy and is memorable.
Design by: Brandon Sady
- Grunge – if the above-mentioned styles seem dull for your brand’s niche, you can choose something more on the boho-indie-hipster side. Remember, your logo should be memorable. The more unique it is, the more memorable it will be.
Design by: Ian Hepburn
- Hand-made – what better way to display your brand’s commitment than to choose a logo style that incorporates hand-made graphics? It uses a very minimal color palette but gives the message loud and clear.
Design by: Anastasiia Shinkareva
- If you cannot pick just one, you can always mix and match. Just bear in mind that the resulting style is not too loud and is relevant to your brand image.
The Type of Logo
- Emblems/combined marks – this is a very catchy type of logo design. It is a combination of text with pictures, and it gives off a very neat and classy look. Logos of brands falling in the niches of interior design and textiles etc. are usually of this type.
Design by: Azrin Izwan Azmi
- Mascots – logos that incorporate brightly coloured cartoons and other vectors in them fall in this category. They give off a welcoming and friendly look. Children’s brands mostly create such types of logos.
Design by: Paul Malusay
- Abstract marks – if you want your logo to evoke certain feelings in your audience, go for this type. It doesn’t generate the image in viewers’ minds right away, and this way, leaves a lasting impression on customers. Talk about being unique!
Design by: Adil Mohamed
- Graphic marks/logo symbols – these kinds of logos are exactly what the word “logo” stands for – icons. They are graphics relevant to your brand, can consist of one or more colours and look very simplistic but neat.
Design by: Rising Innovation
- Wordmarks/logotypes – if working with all the above-mentioned types of logos seems like too much of a hassle to you, you can always opt for logotypes: logos that are your brand’s name itself.
Design by: OZ hoang
- Lettermarks/monogram logos – if your brand name is very long or hard to remember, this is the type for you. Monograms are logos containing the initial(s) of your brand’s name, such as CNN. However, they aren’t very effective at conveying your brand’s message.
Design by: Hania Mukaty
The Colour Scheme
Design by: Chrisb Marquez
Colors play a pivotal role in brand recognition. A logo’s color can potentially increase brand recognition by 80%, according to one survey. But what is so catchy about colors anyway?
There are multiple psychological factors associated with colors. They evoke certain feelings and/or moods. Colors can be catalysts to recall a memory. They can even remind you of a certain thing, place, person and time etc.
That is why it is imperative to use such intense psychology associated with colors to your advantage while designing your logo.
Bright colors will invoke a fresh, upbeat and friendly sensation in your audience, whereas dark colors will give off a feeling of trust, sympathy, warmth, and care. On the other end of the color, the spectrum is the light shades which scream relaxation, calmness, and joy.
Similarly, red, orange, yellow, brown and grey have all been observed to excite positive vibes in consumers.
If you feel one color is not enough to truly reflect your brand’s identity, you can choose from 3 other color combining schemes:
- Triadic – this color scheme consists of 3 equally spaced colors on the color wheel that you see when you open the color palette in designing software, including Paint. This scheme is used for a bold logo.
- Analogous – if you want your logo’s colors to be on the minimal side, analogous will work best for you because, in this scheme, the 3 colors lie next to each other on the color wheel.
- Complimentary – most common when designing business logos, this color scheme involves 2 colors that lie exactly opposite to each other on the color wheel. They give a stark, dynamic look to a logo.
Design by: They Make Design
Choosing the right font can be very tricky. But if selected rightly, can make your logo very difficult to forget. Just as people can sometimes remember you by your handwriting, they will remember your brand by its typography, too.
The common fonts to choose from for your logo include serif, sans serif script and display (bold, decorative) fonts. Before you finalize one font for your logo, try different ones.
How to Bring All The Above Elements Together
At this stage, you probably have a rough draft prepared of what your possible future logo looks like. Do the colors look good with the graphics? Does your brand name stand out? Is there enough white space for all the visuals to breathe? Is it reflective of your brand’s persona?
While Designing Your Logo, Avoid Common Pitfalls like…
We hope that at this point, you have successfully designed a logo you are satisfied with, and one that is completely relevant to your brand, a logo that will stay in ingrained in consumers’ minds for quite some time.
But as you go about the designing process, make sure you don’t go too overboard with the whole process and stay on the realistic side of things by making sure you have not:
- Overlooked the color scheme and whether it is “right” for your particular type of logo.
- Created a logo that is only flashy in looks but does not voice your brand’s message.
- Undervalued custom, hand-drawn typography since such a kind of typography can look more unique than the millions of typographic content available online. 78% of consumers find companies focused on custom content more trustworthy than those replicating cliche content.
- Designed a logo that is too easily predictable by your target audience, but one that looks unique that what already exists out there.
- Gone over the top about your designing genius, for even though believing in yourself is very important, considering your design “unparalleled” might not serve you well in the end.
After Designing Your Logo, Evaluate Whether…
Sit back and take a breath. Look at what you have accomplished, and reward yourself in some way for the hard work you have pulled off. However, it is impossible to identify every kind of customer out there, his/her demand and expectations.
There will always be loopholes in every piece of creation. So last but not the least, make yourself a checklist and determine whether you have covered all the necessary ground(s). Before you wrap things up:
- Did you research your audience?
- Did you practice your design enough times before finalizing its design? Will the untrained eye of customers be able to detect glitches here and there in your design?
- Did you keep up with design trends, in general?
- Did you try out different tones of color, such as black and white, before choosing the final one(s)?
- Would it look better if your logo were to be designed as an active logo?
- Is your design simple, versatile, memorable and professional?
- Did you give enough consideration to the white space around your logo?
- Does your logo tell your brand’s story?
- Did you avoid highly flashy typefaces?
- Will the color and typography of your logo look good if it were to be imposed on different colored items, such as cans, t-shirts etc?
- Is your logo scalable? Can it be enlarged enough while keeping it visible on a billboard? If it were to be shrunken to the size of a pinhead, will it be visible even then?
- Does your logo tell instantly what your brand stands for?
- Is it timeless? Will you need to polish it or redesign it after some time?
- Does your logo differentiate your brand from your competitors?
Ready to design a logo for your company?
Now you have all the information about how to design a logo and necessary things to consider before designing a logo. Now you can either choose from online logo designing services or you can hire a professional logo designing company like Print Peppermint. We will guide you through the whole procedure and make a logo that matches with the personality of your brand.