So many factors play into the good logo design, it’s hard to keep track of them all. As you start to put your design together, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the plethora of colors, shapes, styles, graphics, fonts, and other choices that must be made.
Any good designer will tell you to take it slow and concentrate on one decision at a time.
But professional graphic designers will also advise you of the following:
- Keep it simple
- Know your competition
- Color is more important than you think
- Choose a unique font
- Use a border
- Ensure adaptability
- Try different versions of your design
Let’s talk about these tips and why each of them is an important part of effective design.
Keep It Simple
Whether you’re looking for logo design inspiration on Behance, Pinterest, or other logo design sites like you’ll probably notice a recurring theme: the most popular, enduring logos in existence are all very simple and straightforward.
Many logo designers advise this approach. Moreover, Zaheer Dodhia, CEO and Founder of Logo Design, emphasizes simplicity and says, “If you can get a memorable, unique and identifiable logo design for your startup then you have taken the first step towards building a brand for the long term.”
The simpler your design, the more effective and memorable it will be.
Know Your Competition
Market research and investigating the competitors are both valuable uses of time and effort for any aspect of branding a new company. It’s important to know what the competition is doing for a few reasons:
- So you can do it better
- So you can avoid looking too much like other companies
Designing a logo takes research and money, and your competition has already gone through that process. Take the time to analyze whether the results are all they should be; do the other logos in your market work well for their brand? Are they memorable? Do they represent the company and the niche well?
Kenneth Burke at Text Requests advises, “Use your competitors’ decisions as a set of checks and balances to help you make better decisions.”
Analyzing the competition can save you money in development, can save you from making the same mistakes they did, and can save you from looking like a copycat.
Color Choice Is About More Than Color
Choosing colors for a business logo may seem like a fun exercise, but there’s far more to it than that. Even setting aside the psychology of color (which you shouldn’t because it’s important), statistics indicate that a signature color can increase brand recognition by up to 80 percent.
Choose a color that isn’t being used by the competition, something that stands out, and you boost the effectiveness and memorability of your logo.
Choose A Unique Font
Font choice is another sticky subject when it comes to creating a stand-out logo design. It’s just as important to avoid generic or overused fonts as it is to avoid colors that are in use by the competition.
Graphic designer Erik Pitzer says, “If I had to provide a single most important tip in designing a logo, it would be to avoid common typefaces…Unique typography in logo design is an extremely simple way to look professional.”
On the other hand, user-friendliness and legibility should be major factors in font choice, as well.
Use A Border
Your logo will be used on a variety of surfaces, products, and backgrounds. Ensuring that it is not only legible but immediately noticeable can be a challenge.
Professional designers advise using a border, even if only a thin one, at the edges of the logo. Regardless of the shape, a narrow or wide line border can set your logo apart from the background, helping it to be more effective.
Along with different backgrounds, your logo is going to be used in different sizes and color variations, as well. This is where the more practical considerations enter into the design process.
Think ahead to any possible applications that your logo may be used for. And plan for the future by designing it right the first time, from a technical point of view.
The creative director at Paperfish Creative, Jennifer Andos, says simply that logos should be designed as a “vector file for scalability, be legible even at a very small size, and use Pantone colors for consistency.”
Ensuring adaptability and versatility lets your logo go everywhere that you want your business to be advertised.
Test Different Versions
A final piece of advice: don’t settle on your first design without exploring different variations.
“Iterate!” says Rob Cohen at Penguin Strategies. “Keep creating, changing, and tweaking until you have it right — you’ll know it when you see it.”
It’s very rare to get a piece of creativity perfect right out of the gate — but there’s nothing wrong with that. Designing a logo isn’t a “one and done” situation, any more than any piece of graphic design can be dashed off and forgotten about. It takes time and effort to create an effective, memorable business logo — but with these seven professional tips, you’re well on your way.
About the Contributor: Greg Shane
Ghostwriter, designer, and videographer. I channel my creative vibes through these mediums, and if in the process my clients are happy then I have been successful in achieving their goals.