Designing your logo can be intimidating, but it’s a critical step for building brand recognition. A great logo represents who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. It’s your silent ambassador in social media posts, presentations, marketing materials, business cards, and even everyday communications.
What Is a Great Logo?
A truly inspired logo has these characteristics:
It works well in large and small representations
It embodies your brand “vibe”
Defining Your Brand’s Vibe
Your brand’s vibe is how you want customers to feel when they think of your brand. Explain it clearly in your brand guidelines and ensure it’s consistent across the brand. Jot down four or five words that express how you want customers to feel encountering your brand. This will make logo design – and the rest of your branding efforts – significantly easier. Customers trust brands that are upfront about who they are and what they do and express that in their logo design.
Logo Design Tips
1. A Picture Really Is Worth a Thousand Words
Use simple icons to communicate who you are and what you do. Make sure you have a good representation of what you do. Ensure the look is consistent with your brand vibe. Remember the effectiveness of visual “puns,” like an ice cream shop logo that looks like someone took a bite out of it.
2. Keep Your Design Clean by Making Strategic Use of Blank Space
This makes it easier to incorporate your logo in different marketing efforts – T-shirts, business cards, signage, presentations, and more. Be sure to consider different uses in determining your logo design.
3. Use Shapes to Communicate
Use interesting shapes with gradients or textures to make your design more interesting. If a number or shape is particularly relevant to your brand, find a way to include it. (Examples include the forward arrow in the FedEx® logo and the “31” built into Baskin Robbins® logo.)
4. Use Color Strategically to Convey More
Use color wisely and purposefully. What emotions do your color choices evoke? You may choose one, two, or multiple colors, but always consider what those colors mean to viewers. Remember, too, that you can have a lovely monochromatic scheme without being limited to black and white. If your brand name includes a “thing,” include that thing in your logo. (Apple® has had great success with this!)
5. Be Literal and Authoritative
Be literal – as long as that fits your business and vibe. Consider the psychology of fonts and try several alternative fonts in your logo design. Ask yourself if the logo you’ve designed gives you a feeling of trust. Try inserting a pop of color if you feel your logo needs a bit more energy. (Amazon® makes great use of a splash of color in its famous logo.)
6. Don’t Overcomplicate It
The best logos (and logo redesigns) are pretty straightforward. Play around with your top three ideas to see what works for you. Get feedback from trusted friends and prospective customers. It’s also important to research your competitors so you don’t lead viewers to confuse your company with theirs.
You can – and perhaps should – be bold and try new designs. Be creative in your use of patterns, shapes, textures, and colors. Try overlapping letters or using contrasting colors. Build in a sense of motion or a sense of urgency. Mix graphic elements if you like. The goal is to express your brand identity in this one multi-use logo.
For help with logo design, research, and all things marketing, contact the team at The Profit Link, a small business support team based in Memphis, TN.