What to Consider Before Designing Your Logo
A logo is an important part of any business because it represents your company and mission. There are many different types of logos, from DIY logos to professionally designed ones. Some have only an icon or image, like Nike. Others have a combination of an image and text, like Adidas. Some logos are text only, like Coca-Cola and Facebook. All of these companies are very popular and have extremely successful and iconic logos, so it’s safe to say there isn’t a set rule that says which type is the best when it comes to logo design.
Deciding on your logo is a process, and it should be part of your branding strategy. Don’t just choose something on a whim with the thought of changing it in the future. Think it through, plan it out, and take your time until you feel comfortable with the final logo design and how it represents your company. Here are a few things to consider before jumping right into the logo design stage.
Decide what you want to convey
Before you start thinking about colors and shapes, take a step back and think about what your business offers to your target audience. In the end, you want people to look at the logo and get the right idea about your company. Start by answering these three questions:
- What is my business’s best quality? Examples: Trustworthiness, creativity, caring, etc.
- In what area does my business excel? Examples: Technology, fashion, biotech, beauty, etc.
- What problem does my business solve? Examples: Broken computers, online viruses, etc.
Next, think about what you want people to remember the most about you. Nike, for example, focuses on sports and movement. Their logo embodies everything they represent in a simple yet memorable way. Once you have answered the above questions, you can go to the next step and start making decisions about the actual logo design.
Colors and style
Choose your colors and style wisely, and remember that they have to represent your brand and the feeling you want to leave with your target audience when they see them. You’ll notice a lot of tech companies use the color blue in their logo. That’s because blue is non-threatening (unlike red), and yet still instills confidence. It’s linked to intellect and trust, something many tech companies want to convey. Before choosing your colors, consider:
- What colors represent your brand and the feeling you want to convey most accurately?
- How many colors will you have? Usually, companies choose 1-2 colors.
- Do the colors you want work well together?
Once you’ve got the colors down, you need to decide on the style. This is very much like deciding what tone to use in your web content. Is it fun, professional, or serious?
Text, image, or both?
It’s recommended never to have an image-only logo when starting out. Many popular companies began with an image-based logo, such as Nike, McDonald’s, and Mercedes-Benz. When they gained significant popularity, the text was removed since the logo’s iconic image could stand alone. How do you decide if you should have a text-only logo like Facebook, or something a bit more involved, like Pepsi?
The advantage to text logos is that they are easily understood and remembered. When someone sees your logo, they see your company name and know who the logo represents. You can still get a bit sophisticated like FedEx did with their arrow, but the main focus is your brand name. Some even add the tagline to the logo, as the name is not always enough to tell your audience what you do.
The advantage of image logos is that they are more appealing (if the design is successful), and represent a more creative side to your brand. They can convey more than just your name, but also a feeling and style. An icon can tell your audience if you are a fun or serious company, for example. It catches the attention more than text, and if done right, will intrigue viewers enough to want to learn more about what the company does.
Logo design method
How will you design your logo? Will you do it yourself with a logo generator or hire a professional designer? A professional designer is highly recommended, since this is a crucial part of your business and you want to make sure it’s done right. When hiring a designer, make sure to provide them with a full brief that includes the following:
- What your company does, the benefits and services, and who your target audience is.
- Examples of logos that you liked and connected to.
- The colors and style you decided on in the previous step.
- Additional ideas for the logo design, if you have any.
It’s very important to communicate all of this information and be clear about exactly what you want. Make sure to set expectations and deadlines so you know what you’re getting. Don’t expect the perfect logo the first time around. A designer will usually create a few draft ideas and then work from there based on your feedback. When you start reviewing your logo options, here are a few things you should consider:
Is it easily recognizable?
If it’s an icon, can you quickly tell what the icon is? If it’s text, is it easy to read? Make sure to run these by other people for more objective feedback.
How does it look when it’s resized?
When marketing online, you’ll have to resize the logo to many different sizes and you want to make sure it still looks good. Same goes for print: if you’re going to a show and need a roll-up or want to print it on business cards or brochures, you need to make sure it looks good on each of these sizes. If you sell physical products, test out the logo on your products to make sure it still looks good.
Is it simple and memorable?
Can you easily draw it again if you needed to? Think about logos like Apple, Chanel, and Target, or if you’re looking at text logos, look at Lego, Coca-Cola, and Virgin.
Is it timeless?
Aim for something that won’t have to change in a couple of years because of trends or technology advancements. Coca-Cola’s logo has barely changed in 130 years, an example of a timeless logo!
Is it unique and does it stand out?
You don’t want to just blend in with your competitors. You want something unique, memorable, and different while still conveying your brand message.
Is it appealing to your target audience?
Ideally, get opinions from people in your target audience so you have real feedback. Ask if they like it and why, and what it makes them feel or what it makes them think about the brand. Not only will this help you get a better logo, but it will give you more insights into your audience.
To create the right logo for your brand, it will probably take some time. Don’t be discouraged by what will likely be a long logo design process; it’s worth it! A great logo will lead to faster brand awareness and can directly influence your bottom line. Take the time to get it done right, and you won’t regret it.