We’ve all done it.
Taken one look at a logo and made assumptions about the brand behind it.
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we use branding to build up a picture of businesses and the quality of their services. Which is exactly why getting your logo right is so important.
Your logo is a visual representation of who you are as a business and is often the first thing a customer will see of you. A good logo can turn heads, make a positive first impression and help you increase awareness of your brand. But a bad logo, on the other hand, can leave you looking amateurish, second-rate and forgettable.
But don’t worry. Every business is capable of creating their ideal logo. You just have to set aside some time and money to do it properly. Read on to discover the do’s and don’ts of designing an effective logo for your business.
Whether you’re interested in how your branding looks or not doesn’t matter. Because it’s your customers that will judge it, not you. And ignoring this fact implies that you simply don’t care or are completely out of touch with your audience – neither of which is a message you want to send.
The modern customer is discerning and understands what makes a strong brand. Trying to cut corners and avoiding spending time or money on a proper logo design will only succeed in making you look cheap and small-time to the outside world.
Which leads us nicely on to point two…
Don’t use a logo generator
This might seem like an affordable option, but your logo should be unique to your business. After all, it’s the face of your company and should represent what you’re about. Achieving this within one design takes skill, insight and patience – not just the click of a button!
Falling into the trap of using a free online logo generator will leave you with a weak, generic, off-the-shelf logo. This not only looks unprofessional, but you run the risk of hundreds of other companies (possibly competitors) ending up with the same logo as you. Awkward!
Don’t overcomplicate it – Keep it simple
A logo should be instantly recognisable and making sure it’s clear and simple is the best way to achieve this. A complicated or artistic design might look great, but it won’t deliver the same instantaneous visual impact.
It’s worth remembering that logos are often seen in small sizes; in the footer of a brochure or email, or on a business card or name badge, for instance. Something with too much intricate detail or wording can become illegible. Instead, choose a simple, eye-catching design that’s more likely to resonate with people and be better remembered.
If your company has a long or formal name, consider using a lettermark or monogram logo. This is straightforward and easily recognisable, while still allowing you the creative freedom to play around with font, colour and style to make it unique.
Do your research
It can be tempting to go for something that looks exciting or is simply pleasing to your eye. But your logo needs to represent your company and be suited to the industry your business operates within.
Think about your company’s mission, its products and services, or why it was set up in the first place. What makes the company different? Why do customers choose you? Look at competitors and research the wider industry – all this information will give you a better understanding of what you need from your own logo.
And find examples…
Looking at other companies’ branding can help you build up a picture of the look and feel you’d like to go for. For instance, is your business suited to a typographical logo, or a symbolic design? Shortlist some examples of the styles you like and make a list of the logos you don’t want to look like in order to rule out the styles to avoid.
Do make your logo responsive
Your logo will appear in hundreds of places, both online and physical, so it’s important to think about (and plan for) these different settings. For instance, a rectangle logo may look great on a sign or letterhead, but will it also lend itself nicely to a square? If not, you could be left with a lot of white space that makes it less impactful.
A good example of this is your social media avatar, which appears as a tiny icon alongside all your posts and comments. An effective logo design will take this into consideration. There will be unique elements that can be used to create a scalable icon which is immediately recognisable as a part of your brand.
Do ask the opinion of others – Colleagues, customers or external proffesionals
What you think represents your brand may not look the same to an outsider who didn’t have anything to do with the design process. Logos are visual and everybody interprets them in a slightly different way.
Canvassing the opinion and feedback of others is vital for refining the design and ironing out any points of confusion. The people you ask may even pick up on something you didn’t think about initially, which could be fundamental to reaching the final design.
For instance, many people have pointed out that the Pepsi logo resembles a rotund character who might have consumed a few too many of their sugary beverages! Had the designers of this logo sought outside opinion, perhaps they would have been alerted to ‘Pepsi guy’ earlier…
Do hire a designer
An effective logo is the foundations of a strong, recognisable brand. Its value shouldn’t be underestimated. Give your logo the time and budget it deserves by commissioning a professional to design it. This way, you’ll end up with something original that truly reflects your business – and stands the test of time.