6 Steps to a Successful Logo Design
When creating your own logo design, it needs to be well considered. If you need to make a logo for your new business, stick closely to these simple tips and you can’t go too far wrong.
1 – Keep It Simple
When designing a logo, it is easy to get carried away with trying to encompass multiple messages and ideas. Avoid this trap; it almost always leads to a totally over-complicated and ultimately ineffective logo.
Try to narrow down your ideas to the main message you are trying to convey and start there. If you try to use too many colours, images, fonts or words you are going to confuse and inevitably lose your audience.
Once you decide on one main concept, try to reduce it down to its most basic and iconic form. Then, start to work with it in black and white to begin with to get to grips with the layout and shapes; colour schemes can be brought in later on if needs be.
2 – Is It Adaptable?
Now you have your logo, you’ve added all your colours and flourishes…but wait: Are you relying too heavily on those colours and flourishes to convey your message? Have you designed it in such a way that it will only work in a certain medium, or at a certain size?
If so, you will need to revisit your design. You have to ensure that your logo will still work even if it can only be displayed in greyscale? What happens if you need to fax it to somebody?
The best thing to do is to create an entire logo pack which shows how your logo will work on various backgrounds, in other media and at large and small scales. That way, you are less likely to get caught out with a logo that cannot adapt to its surroundings.
3 – Is It Distinctive?
There are millions of logos out there, but how many can you bring to mind right now? The ones you are thinking of are among the most distinctive.
Don’t feel as though you have to cross-examine and re-work the logos of your direct competitors though. By all means have a look, but make sure you focus on what you are about.
Making your logo design a bit different does not necessarily mean it has to be groundbreaking. Try to focus on what sets you apart from the rest and incorporate that into the logo by ways of anything you like, even if it is just a case of using an unusual form of media.
If it’s going to make you stand out and get people talking and thinking about you, it is well worth this extra consideration.
4 – Is It Durable?
Like a good pair of jeans, logos should be able to withstand the passage of time and the constant changes in trends.
If they are designed well, they will still look good no matter what happens. You need to make sure that when designing your logo, you do not base its elements too heavily on a fashionable trend of the time, such as a highly popular font.
There is nothing wrong with adding little touch-ups and updates to your logo to keep it current, so long as you can do this without changing the logo too much. A good example of a durable logo would be Pepsi; their logo design has been updated many times but it is ultimately their loyalty to their colour scheme, which ensured its survival throughout the years.
Decide on a basic factor that you think will last and make that factor the thing that represents you.
5 – Is It Universal?
Your logo is, of course, meant to represent you and/or your company. But it’s no good designing a logo that represents a part of you or your culture that nobody else is aware of, or will understand.
If you want to reach the widest possible audience, then you need to keep in mind the cultural differences in symbolism and language throughout the world.
For example, if your logo design is going to be based on some kind of colloquial image or word relevant only to you then be prepared for it to fall flat elsewhere. This is where the ‘keep it simple’ factor re-appears; if it is simple and iconic then it is far more likely to work on a universal scale.
6 – Is It Memorable?
Finally, will we remember your logo in years to come? Again, this comes down to simplicity.
Think about the logos you could easily bring to mind earlier; they all take very basic forms, don’t they? Nike, McDonalds and The London Underground – they stick in our minds for a reason and are deceptively simple.
However, you can achieve this if you pay attention to the process.
Keep revising your choices of colour and layout, get feedback from your colleagues, friends and family. Ask which ones they remember the most and develop those. You can even use a tagline to help people remember you, but be careful not to overcomplicate it as this can act against what you want to achieve.
If you ticked off these 6 logo design tips whilst creating your logo then odds are you’ve created something that will serve you and your business effectively and loyally.
Inkbot Design is a Freelance Graphic Designer specialising in Logo Design and Brand Identity. Based in Belfast and Los Angeles.