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How to Design a Logo for Your Business

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What’s that tiny image in the top left corner of almost every website? Yes, you guessed it right – it’s a logo! Now, have you ever seen a brand without a logo? Probably not, and the reason is simple – because there aren’t any!.

A logo is the best representation of any business. No aspect of branding is more immediately recognizable than a business logo.

It is not just a casual image – a logo is the very symbol that tells people who you are, the kind of business you do and how you can solve their problems. It’s your first salesperson, marketer, customer representative and brand builder all in one.

We live in a world painted with brand logos. You are probably looking at one right now. It is a well-proven fact that human’s visual memory is very powerful. You will tend to retain what you see for longer than what you read or hear.

Going by this scientific logic, you can expand your business if consumers can recognize your brand. Worldwide brands come with worldwide logos. Even kids recognize popular logos and can deduce what a business sells just by looking at its brandmark.

According to Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon), your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.

“I need a logo” is a loaded request creative agencies and designers receive from business owners.

Every business owner wants an outstanding logo for their brand, a logo that will get clients to fall head over heels in love with their brands and want to seal the deal with them. If you are about to embark on a logo design journey or feel like it’s time for your business’ visual identity to undergo a facelift, you are reading the right article.

Your company is probably amazing. You have a dedicated team, a great line of products/services and ambitious goals. But if no one knows about your business, you will never achieve the success you want.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a small business or printing your first run of business cards, a properly-designed logo will put a professional stamp on your business and lay the foundation for all your yet to come branding efforts

People will associate your logo with your business, from your customers to competitors and pretty much everyone else.

So, no pressure, but your logo better stand out in the hearts and minds of your consumers.

What Makes a Great Business Logo Design?

Creating your business’ visual identity is a breeze, correct? Not so fast. There is more to creating an original, on-brand and design-forward logo than just adding a name or image in a box and leaving it at that.

Your logo must be the right size, colour, resolution and shape for it to function appropriately for the places that it’s required to act as the visual representation of the business.

Your logo is the essence of your business – it can make or break your brand. That’s why it’s vital to have a catchy, instantly recognisable logo that shows the world that you mean business. A logo is a business’ initial impression.

You only have 7 seconds to leave a positive first impression! It can affect a person’s perception of your brand and buying choices.

A well-designed logo will communicate your unique value proposition.

Chances are you will find yourself banging your head against the wall trying to brainstorm some solid ideas. Don’t fret. I have compiled a list of helpful tips on how to design a logo for your business. These tips will intrigue your audience, give you the edge over your competition and make you a worthy contender for the logo hall of fame.

Finding Inspiration for Logo Design

Finding inspiration is the hardest part of the design process. If you feel like you’re running out of creative juices or experiencing a hard time brainstorming unique logo ideas, don’t panic. It happens to the best of us. Here are some tips that could help you out.

1. Go Through Design Sites

Business logo design ideas often come from unexpected sources. Just like you would brainstorm an article outline, the logo brainstorming process is similar.

You can get some artistic inspiration from design sites. The more designs you see, the better your chances to jumpstart the creative process. It doesn’t matter if the designs concentrate on logos or not.

Don’t limit yourself to logo sites, try some photography sites too. The pictures can stir some creativity within you, and push you to create something even more fascinating, logo-wise.

2. Compare With Other Businesses in Your Niche

Businesses are established to make money. This may not be the most poetic phrase, but your competitors have already embraced it. Learn from the bigger brands.

Look at who’s absolutely killing it in your field—the kind of company you look up to.

If you are running an online store, look around and check out other online stores, especially those that deal with the same type of products. Look at how different businesses use their logos to represent their brand.

Pay attention to the competitor logos you find boring, attractive or ineffective. It goes without saying that you should NOT copy what another brand has done, as this can lead you to legal trouble. Instead, look at what they haven’t done and improve on that.

3. Figure Out Your Brand Identity

Every logo has a story. A logo may be an image, but it is also an introduction to your brand. Instead of following the masses and using a cliché design, strive to create something that is uniquely recognizable.

Think of your brand as a person. No one knows the story behind your brand more than you do. Your logo must reach your target audience, and you must keep this in mind when designing it. Jot down what you think about your brand.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • What inspired you to start your business?
  • What inspired you to start your business?
  • What values and beliefs are important to you as a business?
  • What do you do better than your competition?
  • If you could describe your brand with 3 words, what would the words be?
  • What makes you special?

It can be easy to be inspired by aesthetics instead of deeper meaning. Avoid taking inspirations too literally. Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but this is not the case with logo design. Your design works needs to be original and map back to your unique brand attributes.

4. Make Drafts

You don’t have to be an expert in logo design or spend an arm and a leg to design a logo for your business. I’m guessing you don’t have pockets as deep as Twitter or Nike.

Write down every single idea you come up with, even if you think it’s silly or ridiculous. You will be amazed by how much you can do on your own. In addition, the more logo design you do yourself, the more control you gain over your brand’s appearance.

Play your favourite music, bust out your sketching book and get to work! Draw as many sketches and drafts as you can. Come up with different versions and let each version have a unique style and story.

Game-changing ideas don’t happen in a vacuum, get everyone involved. You can ask your friends or colleagues whose design opinions you respect to give you an honest opinion.

Elements of a Business Logo Design

Before we dive headfirst into how to design a logo for your business, let’s get some basics out of the way.

Colour

Every colour has a unique implication and can bring nuance to your message. Pick a colour that resonates with your target audience. Most businesses keep it simple by using white or black with one accent colour.

95% of the world’s top brands use 1 or 2 colours in their logos according to DesignBuddy. You can emulate them or go for a colour that differs from your closest competitors.

Every colour elicits human emotion. Here’s a quick breakdown of the psychology of colours in logo design:

  • Black: powerful and credible.
  • White: clean, pure and simple.
  • Grey: mature and classic.
  • Yellow: optimism, sunny and inventive.
  • Orange: youthful, friendly and creative.
  • Red: sexy, bold and energetic.
  • Purple: evocative, spiritual and wise.
  • Blue: medical, trustworthy, tranquil and professional.
  • Green: instructional, organic and growth.
  • Brown: steady, historical and rural.
  • Pink: flirty and fun.

Typography

Typography is a vital element of design. It not only communicates the name of your business but also its personality. Typography helps to balance simplicity and intricacy in logo design.

Serif fonts like Times New Roman are classic. If you opt for a professional, traditional vibe, then I advise you to go for serif fonts.

The internet loves Sans serifs, so if you have a lifestyle blog or a tech startup, you may want to consider this font.

Most business logos have title case or bold uppercase typefaces to represent trust and reliability. Choose a typeface that best reflects your target audience.

Layout

When picking layout, consider areas where you will use your logo most. It is advisable to pick a clean layout that looks appealing on business cards and websites.

You can opt for multiple logo variations to adapt to various mediums. Make sure it grabs consumers’ attention for all the right reasons.

Symbol

A logo usually consists of 2 elements: a symbol and a wordmark.

A symbol gives consumers a glimpse into your brand’s spirit and triggers emotional connectivity. If you go the symbol route, ensure you’re using it to help get your message across visually. You must do a lot of advertising if you want to solely represent your brand with a symbol (read Mercedes and Starbucks).

Some brands like IBM, Coca-Cola and Ray-Ban choose to stick to Logotype entirely. Unless your company has a unique name, it can be difficult to get away with a logotype.

Top Factors to Consider When Designing a Logo

Now that you know how and where to get inspiration, let’s have a look at the business logo best practices that will make your logo stand out from the crowds.

1. Keep It Simple and Flexible

Simple is the name of the game. From Apple’s bitten apple to Nike’s swoosh symbol, simplicity can be very effective.

When you include too many ideas in a logo, it becomes confusing. It is vital to have a balanced blend of simple and quirky.

Logos should be minimized to small sizes, especially when they’re used on materials and merchandise like promotional materials, letterheads, invoices, business cards and keychains. Fitting all those details in such small spaces can be challenging.

Also, complicated design elements can lead to printing problems. In this situation, remember these 5 powerful words: keep it simple and flexible!

We live in a digital age, and your logo will appear on multiple devices. This means that your logo design should transcend paper. It must be appealing on various backgrounds, and work for print, avatars, icons and apps.

Take Adidas for instance. The brand incorporates the same motif in all of its designs, but the visual slightly changes depending on where you view it. At the end of the day, you will always see similar components – 3 parallel bars.

2. Keep It Relevant

Keeping all elements of your logo relevant is vital. It is important to create a logo you believe is different from anything already out there but the logo design needs to be consistent with what you’re selling. You want something that can still be relevant through the ages.

Ask yourself these questions: Is my business utility-driven or more focused on evoking emotion? Is it quirky or contemporary?

More than anything, you should understand what your logo means to keep it relevant. You shouldn’t expect instant success, even if you’ve created the most beautiful combination of vectors.

3. Don’t Shy From Experimenting

A logo is what helps differentiate a brand from its competitors. Experimenting with a logo template can be a good initial step if you are looking for a quick start with logo design. It is crucial that your image stands out from the rest.

This is something that many businesses struggle with. Just because other gyms in your area use power lifts in their logo doesn’t mean you should follow suit. Get out of your comfort zone, explore and experiment even if your idea goes against the norm.

4. Utilize Online Resources and Tools

There is a vast sea of information online if you need some assistance, inspiration or collaboration when designing a logo for your business.

You’ll come across many logo generation tools you can use to design an eye-catching, professional logo in minutes. They will make the process easier for you and still give you great results. Besides logo ideas, you will be able to edit different aspects of your logo including style, colour, icon and positioning.

If you want to design on your own, sites like LogoYes and Logomaker have free and easy to use interfaces you can use. You may be required to pay a small fee to download higher quality versions for print.

Avoid using cheap logo designers from freelancing companies like Fiverr.

5. Hire a Graphic Designer

Designing a logo from scratch can be time-consuming and tedious. If creating a business logo design through an online logo generator is not your cup of tea, hire a professional designer to incorporate your fresh ideas into a professional presentation. Spending a little more on a designer now pays off later.

Designers have mastered the art of combining design elements to provide awe-inspiring and functional designs. An online logo generator may understand your style preferences, but a designer will offer something more tailored to your brand’s personality.

If you are working on a shoestring budget, opt for independent designers instead of a professional logo design firm to cut costs. Don’t hire a designer for his or her bargain price, but instead go for one who is familiar with your field.

Once you settle for a designer, have complete trust them and let them do their job. Their job is to translate your concepts into imagery. They might offer you something you never expected. And it might be breath taking! That’s the beauty of art.

PRO TIP: Consider obtaining a trademark to protect your new business logo. A trademark will protect the logo from being appropriated by your competitors or companies outside your industry.

When Should I Change My Business Logo?

You may want to consider changing your logo under the following circumstances:

  • Companies are merging.
  • Your logo’s style is outdated.
  • You want to remove or minimize negative associations with the brand.
  • Your business is expanding its product line or the brand has globalised.

PRO TIP: Change doesn’t always mean progress. If people are attached to your current logo, a logo redesign could backfire and affect sales. 

Some common mistakes to avoid when designing a logo for your business:

  • Giving in to clichés of your industry.
  • Designing too complicated logos.
  • Trying to be too trendy.
  • Hiring amateur designers.
  • Logo looking inconsistent across devices.

Conclusion

I hope you’re now cognisant with fresh ideas after going through this article. Starting a new project or business involves figuring lots of things out as you go.

Let no one lie to you, there’s no blueprint to the perfect logo design but by creating a logo, you’re a step closer to achieving your goal of sharing your idea to the world.