No matter what industry you’re in, logos matter. In fact, a 2020 study found that up to 60% of consumers will actively avoid a brand with an outdated or unappealing logo. Likewise, logos remain the single most recognizable brand identifier in today’s competitive market.
At the same time, designing a great logo may be easier said than done. Whether your company’s logo needs a refresher or you’re starting from scratch with a logo for your new business, there’s a lot to consider during the design process. Feeling overwhelmed? By having a better understanding of the essential elements that go into a great logo design, you’ll be well on your way to an appealing and memorable logo in no time.
So, what are some things that all successful logos have in common? Let’s dive in.
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When you think about some of the most easily recognizable logos in the world, they all have one thing in common: their design is simple and not busy. Some examples of simple logo design include those for Apple, Target, and McDonald’s. These designs are not overly complex, yet they stand out enough to be memorable.
Simplicity in logo design works because it helps to improve recall. When a design is too complex, it’s understandably more difficult to remember. Busy designs can also be confusing for consumers, sending their eyes all over the place without any real sense of focus. Likewise, simple designs are much easier to reproduce in both print and digital contexts.
When aiming to design a simple logo, it can be helpful to start with your current logo (if you have one) and decide what can be pared back. If there are any elements of your logo that aren’t contributing to the overall message you want to communicate, get rid of them. From there, you can focus on the details of your design that matter the most.
Another design element to keep in mind when creating a logo for your business is that of versatility. After all, your logo isn’t just going to live in one place. The whole point of a logo is to be used as a brand symbol on letterheads, signage, business cards, website banners, social media, and just about anywhere else you can imagine. With this in mind, having a logo that’s versatile is a must.
A flexible logo should look great not just in one context, but in a variety of sizes and formats as well. This way, it will be just as effective on a small business card as it will be on a massive billboard. Likewise, your logo should be easily distinguishable whether it’s printed in color or black-and-white.
Designing a flexible logo can be easier said than done. However, many brands find success by “testing” their designs out in a variety of contexts and mediums—including the ones used most often (website banners, business cards, signage). If your logo works in these important situations, it will probably be flexible enough to work in other contexts as your business grows and scales.
With literally thousands of fonts to choose from, selecting the right typeface is incredibly important when it comes to your logo design. Ultimately, readability is the most important factor in selecting a font for your logo design. If your audience can’t read your text, you’re not going to get very far. With this in mind, it’s best to stick with a clean and easily readable font if you’ll be using any text in your logo design.
Likewise, avoid using too many fonts in your design. Ideally, you’ll want to stick to one or two different fonts (though one is highly preferred). Otherwise, your logo will probably look too busy. You’ll also want to avoid any fonts that are overly trendy, as these will only date your logo as time wears on.
Ultimately, make sure that the font you select is one that will properly reflect your brand identity (or the identity you’re working to create). A playful font might be appealing, but likely won’t work well for a law office’s logo.
Never underestimate the use of color in your logo design. Even though a great logo design should be successful even in black-and-white, the reality is that color will really help your design pop. Consider, for example, the concept of color theory and the different emotions that your logo can evoke with the appropriate use of color.
Some examples of different colors and the emotions/ideas they can evoke include:
- Red – Confidence, power, and passion.
- Orange – Energy, optimism, and trust.
- Yellow – Cheer, fun, and happiness.
- Green – Nature, harmony, and peace.
- Blue – Calm, trust, and intelligent.
- Black – Sophistication, strength, and power.
As you design your logo, think about the colors that best represent the identity your brand is striving for. From there, you can use color theory to your advantage. When using color in your logo design, don’t forget the important element of simplicity. Using too many colors can complicate things unnecessarily; instead, most brands find the most success with just one or two main colors.
Last but not least, make sure to use Pantone color codes when choosing your logo colors; this way, you can ensure that your logo colors always look the same regardless of whether they’re being used in digital graphics, in print, or in any other context.
As you can see, there’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to business logo design. And while this may not be a completely exhaustive list of logo elements, it does cover the most important ones to get you started. Now, it’s time to think about your options for actually creating your brand logo from the early design phases until the final product.
If you have a little experience with graphic design or already have an in-house design team, then DIY-ing your business logo may make the most sense. Going this route will save you a lot of money because you won’t have to hire an outside designer or service—but you should only DIY your logo if you have the experience and tools to knock it out of the park. Remember that a bad logo can actually drive business away from your brand, so if there’s any doubt in your abilities here, then it’s probably better to outsource your logo design.
Many brands will turn to hiring a professional graphic designer to assist with their logo—and there’s nothing wrong with this. After all, a professional will have the experience and resources needed to get the job done correctly. A graphic designer, for example, will be familiar with how to use popular design software (such as Adobe Photoshop) to create a vector logo graphic that will look great in any context. A professional will also be well-versed in the use of Pantone color codes and all the other technical knowledge that goes into creating a successful logo.
Of course, hiring a graphic designer can be costly and may not be in every company’s budget. If your business is just starting out, your budget for creating a logo may be limited—and it may be challenging to find a great logo designer at an affordable price.
Another alternative to consider when it comes to designing a logo for your business is that of using a logo maker or generator tool. These tools tend to be much more affordable than working one-on-one with a designer, and they’re extremely easy to use. In most cases, you simply provide some details about your company and the message your brand wants to convey. From there, you’ll receive a number of generated logos from which you can choose.
Using a logo maker can be a great way to get a professional and one-of-a-kind logo design without the hassle of DIY-ing it or the expense of hiring a graphic designer, so it’s definitely an option to consider for your brand. Just be sure to shop around for the best logo makers that will deliver a quality graphic in a timely manner.
A successful logo isn’t something that manifests itself overnight. Instead, a great deal of thought and consideration must go into the design of a great logo that your brand will be able to use for years to come. Still, by focusing your design on the key elements outlined here, you’ll be in a better place moving forward. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the idea of designing your own company logo, there are alternatives to consider. From working directly with a graphic designer to using a logo creation tool, you have options to suit your needs and budget. From there, you’ll be able to create an eye-catching logo that successfully conveys your brand identity and improves recall of your business.