McDonald’s, Nike, Apple, and National Geographic. What is the common thing among these famous brands?
Each one of these famous brands has its simple and unforgettable logo that is well-known, nearly, for every person on the planet.
The logo plays a key role in conveying your brand to the customers. Therefore, it is very understandable that you aspire to make your logo astonishing.
But, how can you achieve this uneasy task?
Don’t be quickly saddened! In this neat article, we will show you what you need to set up the conception, and how to design an attractive and simple logo for your business. We will start by expressing your brand identity and grasping the features which make an unforgettable logo. To make the perfect design decisions and go through the design process, continue to read, to find out how to design a logo or find the best slogan maker.
In the following paragraphs we will review the most essential viewpoints and steps to design a logo from scratch:
- Determine the reasons to have a logo
- Outline your brand character
- Find the muse for your logo
- Survey the competitors
- Define the character of your logo
- Select the type of logo fit to your vision
- The color psychology
- Find the precise typography
- Convey the concept to the designer
- Calculate your logo choices
- Do not do this
- Incorporate logo sketch into your brand
1. Determine the Reasons to Have a Logo
Deep inside, business is actually some kind of a relationship—a businessman tries to invite the suitable customers, and make them attracted to his product or service. So, imagine your logo as if it is the photo on your social media page.
The logo will to draw people to make a positive first impression and try to find more about your product. Therefore, your logo should reflect the best of your business character.
Your logo can bring a deep impact at the first reaction your business will make; it will transmit information to your potential customers about your product and allow them to recognize if it is fitting for them.
You need to reiterate that your logo is well designed, since it plays an essential part in disseminating your product or brand, your logo will appear on all your branding materials the first thing your clients will see at your pamphlets, your website and packaging.
Make it matter. Not only a professionally designed logo has the influence to symbolize the virtues you embrace, it will also help you be noticeable among the competitors.
2. Outline Your Brand Character
This is not a guide to create a logo step by step.
For your logo, in order to communicate your brand character, you have first to comprehend the core essence of your brand. As soon as you build a well-defined notion of what makes your brand unique, and outlines its personality, it will be far easier to select the design that complements this picture.
To reach to the core of your brand character, you should address the following issues:
- The purpose behind your business
- The principles and standards that your company stands for.
- The profession that you outclass the others.
- The skills that make you special.
- Portray your brand in three words.
- Lastly, how do you want your clients to refer to you in three words.
3. Find the Muse for Your Logo
Unlike searching for free logo design templates, searching for logo inspiration, to launch the design process, can be the hardest part. Fortunately, we have prepared some advice for you that will facilitate the process for you.
3.1. Mood board
If you’re a person who is inclined more to graphics, a mood board can be the tool of choice for you to get motivated.
To put it simply, a mood board is very similar to a Collage of different photography textures, color palettes, text or logo examples. These are placed together, as if you are telling the brand story. Then, the designer would send it to the client in the pre-production phase.
Collage: is a form of visual art, it is essentially assembling different materials, or sources, to create a new piece of work. In many cases, it’s a cut-paste process, or putting images and textures together to create a unified piece of art.
It is sort of forming a picture of the direction that a designer wants to go. The designer might do multiple mood boards, to experiment with different directions with the brand’s story.
There are two methods designers prefer to apply mood boards.
- Researching photography, textures, colors, and testing different color palettes. All that reflect the proposed brand story.
- Researching more different examples of branding logos, exploring and including different types of directions, and even putting some specific examples that the designer knows the client might not be interested in.
Designers do this specifically to pick the clients brain to agree on the topic, photos typography and color palette that he is interested in.
By doing so, the designer can continuously refine what the client wants, and exclude the unwanted elements. Just to make the direction a lot clearer, before starting the design process.
The benefit of the mood board is that everybody will be on the same page, without any confusion about what direction we need to go with the concepts.
Because, sometimes it is very hard to explain what you want to see verbally on the phone or email.
This is a great technique the designer employ to catch those words and concepts in the client’s head to bring it to life on paper.
3.1. Collaborative thought process
If you are an abstract person, and like to take off with assembling unwritten concepts; then, a brainstorming hearing could be the precise answer to what you want to pinpoint the form and content you’re striving to accomplish. The three steps below will help you find out better logo ideas:
3.1.1. Go with the brainstorming rules
The process of brainstorming is meant to extract as many ideas as possible (even the impractical ideas) and recording them. Even an awful idea can ignite a discussion that bring about a brilliant answer.
3.1.2. Take the perspective of your audience
Write a short list of phrases or words that best portray your brand, and the message you want to deliver to your potential customers. From the start think of what is it that matters to them, and take the perspective of an individual belongs to your targeted audience.
3.1.3 Assemble all available manpower
Brainstorming can be carried out by one person; however, if you want to flesh out magnificent solutions, you have to resort to group brainstorming. Assemble a team from different sectors or friends, if possible. More brains, means higher score.
When you launch your logo brainstorming, don’t hesitate to think differently and to channel your own ideas.
Look at the iconic logo of Apple, the bitten apple. How many ideas were embedded in this simple logo? The apple itself is supposed to relate to the famous urban legend, Newton and the fallen apple, which then changed the history of knowledge and mankind.
The rainbow colors, was meant to represent the power of Apple II to process and display colors. But, why the bite? Because, the apple bite, in human’s subconscious, is highly connected to the curiosity and lust for knowledge.
Creators of Apple, successfully employed popular notions to express their new brand’s identity, in a simple memorable logo.
4. Survey Your Competitors
When you want to “borrow” ideas, resort to your competitors. Yes, explore what’s already out there, anything that resonates well with your targeted audience, and what doesn’t support your identity. While surveying the other brands, consider the feature(s) that makes them out of the ordinary and how to highlight your distinctive characteristics in your coming logo design.
Affirm that your logo will be utterly distinguishable from your competitors. If all the other brands in your field are choosing monochromatic, you ought to go for colored design to be noticeable. If everyone else is traditional, perhaps a pleasant and trendy logo will be more eye-catching.
5. Select Your Design
Having figured out the characteristics of your logo, you must now commence translating everything into design. There are tons of multiple elements that can be utilized here, colors, shapes, graphics, and typography. Study each component and what it can add to your brand. This, definitely, can help you build the project step by step, instead of getting inundated with the whole design all of a sudden.
While pondering your logo, the first step you need to take is to focus on the right esthetic aspects in your brand design. Obviously, there isn’t a universal style that can be suitable for everyone, choose only what is beneficial for your logo.
In my opinion, we should not go with the trend, when creating a logo. Although trendy logos can be exciting and humorous, with time they may look old-fashioned. The traditional design has higher stability in terms of time, and gives you the ability to reach a wide-ranging audience and age groups. This artistic style tends to be simple, and doesn’t risk into outrageous color palettes and graphics. A traditional style says to the community that you are practical and reliable.
Example: Alec Baldwin’s “Here’s the Thing” and “This American Life” podcasts , are good examples for this logo.
Vintage Inspired Design
History inspired designs have been popular for long time, even in the age of Informatics. They directly remind us of the good old ages and stir up romantic vibes of nostalgia. An antique logo tells clients that to you, history is not dead, and everything you sell is well-crafted.
Example: Newell’s botanical – skin care natural products.
Brands often choose a clean and simplistic art to convey their freshness and modernity. This design utilizes a lot of white or black space, minimum particulars and simple lines usually result in streamlined, and scaled down logos. The minimalist and modern design tells your clients that your brand is “à la mode”, trendy and discerns what is acceptable today.
Example: Colarno’s logo – by Monika Pernavaite
Often, but not necessarily, made as a mascot. Children love mascots. So, this is a popular option for brands when the target client is young (or young spirited). Fun and quirky design is usually colorful and cute. Often make use of symbols or drawings to create a friendly and positive ambiance. Choose a fanciful mascot or a sweet design to let your brand’s character stand out through.
Example: Gorilla Headphones and Planters Peanut Man logos
Handcrafted art transmits a distinct message: this brand is original and represents the handmade quality. This design particularly effective when combined with other aesthetics, especially vintage, to convey the message right forward. Though, it can also be mixed with minimalist and comic art to add a modest and youthful appearance.
Example: Cypress Creek Lodge and Nomad logos
Certainly, the above designs aren’t independently exclusive. anyone may carry out trial and error to reach the in-mind logo. For example, your brand can be both traditional and comic at the same time.
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6. Choose the Exact Style of Your Logo
The above are ways to inspire your logo. The coming paragraphs are ways to create a logo for your business.
Wordmark, as the name suggests, means that the name of the company is the actual logo. Such in Coca-cola, Google, Calvin Klein, etc. The actual name becomes the logo.
So, these names out there the reason why you may want to consider a wordmark logos. Because, you’re a startup, and you want everybody that does business with you to constantly read the name of your company, until you’re established, then probably you can, if you want to, modify the design.
Disney, just used cursive handwriting for their wordmark logo.
This type of logo is an illustrated symbol of recognizable thing(s). When choosing this type of logo, the major decision to be made is the image to choose. you want to think long term here, you don’t want to choose an image that won’t reflect your brand in few years to come.
Simply, pictorial logo is to make logo from image. When you look at Twitter, you see the bird. Look at Apple, you see actual Apple. Although, for you to be able to do this, you need to be more established, so people know who you are. Still, a pictorial logo can work as your business grow and expand through.
Unlike pictorial types of logos, abstract gives you the freedom and make you more creative with symbols. it consists of abstract geometric form that represents your brand.
The perfect examples for this, Nike, the swoosh sign, and National Geographic, a very simple yellow rectangle, and unique. When you decide to design an abstract logo, we highly recommend that you hire a professional designer to help you do it.
This is when a person, animal, or object that is assumed to bring luck is used represent a brand. Most brands use it to create their spokesperson, it is mostly in a colorful cartoon that looks funny.
Commonly used in food, beverages, and sport industry.
A mascot usually works fine if your audience are young. For kids, for example, mascots are attractive. One of the positive things about mascots is that everybody likes taking selfies with mascots. Nowadays, a mascot could be all over the social media, you can have a name for the mascot and people see the mascot, and there is a hashtag for the mascot. So, there is a community to react with; but you have to make sure it matches the targeted demographics.
A combination mark is exactly what the name says; it is simply a combination of the above logos to create an easily identifiable logo. The brand name can be either situated nearby the symbol, or merged within the pictorial element. People will correlate your brand name with both elements, which lets you to employ them separately or jointly.
Example: Burger King and Lacoste.
These are the traditional logos. They are fonts inside a shield, like Harvard shield Logo, or symbol of an icon, like Superman Shield logo.
It is a good type of logo to use to stand out among your competitors and get noticed by your audience as they make striking impacts. they are badges seals and crests.
Emblem type of logo is very suitable for public universities, banks, insurance companies etc. Emblems work fine when you are talking about those kinds of industry; but it may not work for everything. Therefore, you have to ask yourself, whichever industry you are part of? which logo style would work for? what you are trying to design?
7. The Color Psychology
Colors can carry many different meanings. Therefore, the color psychology is complex. For the purpose of this article, we will refer to the simplest ideas and feelings related to colors.
Red is a color that we, as humans, strongly react to, both psychologically and physiologically. Red is known to stimulate our appetite and pulse rate. We are hardwired to act, or react to red. We, generally perceive red as intense passionate powerful and, exciting it is a color of love, danger, anger and sensuality.
Orange is known to encourage social interaction it makes us feel content, it boosts oxygen supply to the brain and calls our attention. Usually, we perceive orange as friendly, warm playful and energetic. It is the color of creativity, wisdom, happiness and friendship.
Yellow is known to trigger spontaneous action and it can make us feel hungry. Perhaps, because it reminds us of comfort foods, like mac and cheese, french fries and mashed potatoes. Normally, we perceive yellow as bright, positive joyful and energizing. It is the color of joy, hope enlightenment and, sunshine.
Green is known to make us feel calm and safe. It promotes freshness, inner peace and tranquility. Commonly, we perceive green as peaceful, youthful, harmonious and relaxing. It is the color of nature balance, harmony and fertility.
Blue is known as a dependable and soothing color. It is extremely popular and widely used in all types of branding. Humans perceive blue as serene, inspiring, trustworthy and innovative. It is also perceived as gloomy sad and melancholic. It is the color of freshness, freedom, sincerity and authority.
Purple is known as a mysterious and elegant. Purple dye, used to be so expensive and difficult to make, that only royalty or the extremely wealthy could afford it. This is how it became known as a royal color.
Mostly, we perceive purple as spiritual, dignified, magical and majestic. It is the color of imagination, mysticism, intuition, and integrity.
We, as a rule, perceive white as pure, clean, calm and light. It is the color of peace, virtue, and minimalism. In color mixing, adding white to a color will make it lighter, softer and understated.
Pastel colors, are created by adding large amounts of white. These colors, are generally perceived as sweet, gentle, intimate and childlike. They are the colors of candy, babies, and innocence.
Black is known to have an imposing solid, serious, and permanent presence. We, generally perceive black as dark, cynical, modern, sleek, and confident. It is a color of deceit, elegance, piety, mystery and sophistication. In color mixing, black can be added to a color to make it darker, bolder, or deeper.
Most of the time, we perceive deep dark colors as luxurious, regal, indulgent, or sinister. They are the colors of villains, drama, horror, and, nobility.
Bright colors, especially the primary colors, are generally perceived as intense, energetic, lively, outgoing and sometimes overwhelming. They are the colors of youth celebrations joy and, playfulness.
For sure, you are not obliged to adhere to a monochromatic logo. Actually, you can mix several logo colors to convey a brand color message.
Typography, is the visual arrangement of design letters, or type, in space.
The impact of typography on the quality of your design, can be great, or can be disastrous.
There are four main categories of typefaces to choose from those with serifs those without serifs scripts and display styles. There are many other subcategories but we’ll focus on the main ones for this article
Serif typefaces are called that because of the small lines attached to the end of a stroke in a letter. Most traditional publications like books, newspapers, and magazines use serif typefaces for body text.
What serifs are? They are these like great little feet that exist on the bottom of letter forms. like you can see on the Century F. sans serif type, “sans” from a French word meaning “without”, doesn’t have these little wings or feet. Thus, they appear a bit like table legs.
They often appear more modern than serifs. Sans serifs used to be the preferred choice for web design because they render better on low resolution screens. modern screens have highly improved in resolution, and serif fonts appear as good as sans serif.
Script typefaces, which is made to look like cursive. Therefore, when you design the letter forms, you have to add this cool little tail on to your design, so that they can connect with each other and read like cursive and look like handwriting. It can be very fluid in formal scripts and look elegant. Think of wedding invitations, and modern ones can be more casual.
Decorative, or display typefaces, are best suited for headlines in short copy but not for body text they can make your designs to stand out but they can also make it look cheesy so use carefully for logo design.
Assemble your design components
By now, you have formed an idea of the various components that constitutes your logo. you need to ensure that they complete each other. You must combine them in a consonant way to create the message you are trying to deliver.
9. Convey the Concept to the Designer
As you have studied all of the required design elements, you are ready to commence the design process.
There are many methods to make a logo, so you must ponder which one is suitable for you. Logo designer, one-to-one project, agency, or logo contest, ? Each price comes with different qualities, and each option has its ups and downs.
I could be rather biased; but, in my opinion, I think the best means to get your logo design, is a logo design contest. To ensure your design will be furnished flawlessly, make certain that your designer is getting the idea clearly. Begin with writing a clear comprehensive brief, to aid your designer understand your business and your needs. Take care to give them all possible information about your firm and style, so they can figure out something distinctive for you.
Generally, you should have some trust in your designer; though, don’t hesitate to add suggestions, whenever needed.
Remember, your designer is an expert and has a great feel for what makes a good logo. providing the designers with lots of details and feedback affords them the required perception of what you want. It may seem so cliched, but it’s true. The best design comes out when you work with your designer as a team.
10. Evaluate Your Options
Calculating your logo choices can be tough; therefore, you should look for second opinion from friends, potential customers and colleagues to assist you reach a decision.
Factors that make a good logo
A creative logo can be immediately recognized, reflects your brand’s identity, and makes you distinguishable. A well-worked logo looks professional and smoothly relates to a brand’s personality.
An effective logo should have the following features:
- Unique and distinguishable
- Conveys your brand identity
But how to produce a creative logo?
You may ask yourself some questions to evaluate your logo selections:
- Would the public immediately understand what your business is?
- Can your clients remember it?
- Can it fit with all your brand’s requirements?
- would you have to redesign it after few years?
- Does it make you stand out among the competitors?
- Do your targeted group like it?
Understandably, your brand’s expectations and requisites for a logo will be greatly different if you sell juveniles’ garments, and need a simple logo that can be sewn onto textile, than if you produce high-quality vintage wine with a sophisticated label, or an IT app that will be installed on peoples’ mobile devices. Thus, keep in mind to take a moment and consider from a wider perspective while your logo is in the design process. This is not a one-time project venture, it’s a life-time project.
11. Do not Do This
By now, you have a good idea how to design a logo yourself. Thus, while you are in the design process. Please avoid these common traps that await you.
- Don’t concede to the clichés spread in your industry. A tooth, surely, is not the only logo for a dentist.
- Avoid complexity. Simplicity is on your side to create a memorable logo.
- Avoid being too trendy. Trend is cool, but also avoid making your logo looks outdated in few years.
- Don’t fall for low-quality work. Your logo, your identity; it is not the proper place to save few Shillings.
12. Incorporate Logo Sketch into Your Brand
When you get your logo sketch, you have established the backbone for all your branding material for business; be it web design, business cards, or packaging design.
By agreeing on the style, color palette, font and the general form, and convinced that your logo is the commencing point for your brand collateral, and your designer will be able to create a perfect design for you. Finally, your business is all set to reveal for the world its brand-new identity.
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In a Nutshell
In the forefront of this article, when I asked: how can you achieve this uneasy task? I wasn’t exaggerating. As you have seen, steps to designing a logo for a brand with identity are not an easy task.
Your logo will be the first welcoming, or repelling, message to the visitors, audience, and customers. It will create and convey a long-term visual link between your name and the people’s perception.
Perhaps the above paragraphs are not the fastest way to design a logo. You can simply ignore all what has been said above, and go for free slogan maker websites, create a logo online, or resort to crowdsourcing, of course.
In either case, my last advice to you: choose wisely, and take your time. And don’t forget, it is not a one-time project venture, it’s a life-time project.