A logo seems like a small enough thing to be able to design on your own, right? It’s a small symbol, but it’s an important one. A great logo sticks in the minds of your clients. It’s the thing our brains use to instantaneously recognize what a company is all about. But in order to accomplish all of that, it has to have the right design elements. That’s why so many companies are willing to pay a pretty premium for professional designers to come up with such a small graphic. If you want to take it on yourself, these tips can help.
The Right Platform
You can choose from several different platforms to design a logo. If you’re an aficionado of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, those are great artistic tools. More and more online tools exist to help designers come up with creative graphics. However, if you’re just designing a logo, maybe you don’t want to buy expensive software or pay a subscription price for an online account. There are free design tools out there as well. You can spend a lot of time trying out different tools on your own, or you can go straight to a web design expert who offers clients a free logo maker. That way, you’re sure to get a tool that’s approved by professional designers.
Utilizing the Company Name
Many logos have the company name, or at least some form thereof, worked into the logo. The Target store logo for example, is recognizable with or without the name “Target” printed below the picture of the ringed target. The logo for the New York Yankees is simply the initials “NY” worked in a creative font, overlaying each other in a shape that even non-fans recognize immediately. If your company is pretty widely known or has multiple franchise locations, you might consider making the name of your company itself iconic by simplifying the name into an abbreviated or acronymic logo. Otherwise, keep your company name as simple and short as you can.
The Right Colors
Choose colors carefully and play around with them. You want to have the right number of colors as well as the right hues. This is where it helps to have some artistic background or at least an understanding of the color wheel. What feelings do colors like red and yellow evoke? Together, do they make you think of a big, friendly yellow “M” against a red background? The colors in the McDonalds logo mimic the colors of the physical store in a simple, primary-colored symbol that evokes the family-friendliness of the restaurant.
You can use colors the same way. Monochromatic colors can look elegant or boring, and too many colors can be either overwhelming or exciting, depending on how well you choose colors that work together. In fact, you should check out color combinations that will bring inspiration to your work.
The Right Font
The font of your logo and your company name on the logo can make all the difference. Simple, easily readable fonts are usually best, but if the nature of your business is more unique or eccentric, play around with “handwritten” or cursive fonts. The logo for Disney, for example, was based on Walt Disney’s signature. Decide which font best represents your business.
Be Aware of Design Clichés
Some people will tell you to avoid clichés, others will swear by them since they only became clichés because they worked in the first place. Be aware of them, and then you can decide if a design cliché is right for your logo or not. For example, a circle with the company logo or initial encased within is a cliché. For some companies, it really works, such as with Beats by Dre or Burger King. If you’re tempted to place your company name within a simple circle of color, be careful, because it can also be utterly forgettable unless you add a twist that is unique to your company.
The Right White Space
When you’re putting fonts and colors together, also consider the white space in your logo. White space makes the actual “meat” of the logo more interesting and easy on the reader’s eye. Also, it can create its own picture. Think of the Pepsi circle with the splice of white through the middle of the red and blue. Or take the bite in Apple’s logo. That little bit of white space adds personality, originality, and instant recognition. Also, you can create subtle symbols in the white space, such as the head of the bird in NBC’s peacock logo. White space “rests” the eye and makes any graphic more visually appealing.
The Right Symmetry and Proportion
Here’s another quick art lesson in proportioning. Just be aware of it. You can use symmetry to your advantage just as well as asymmetry. Some would say that the bite in Apple’s logo makes it asymmetrical, right? But then the leaf at the top is also leaning to the side of the bite, replacing that white space in an indirect sort of symmetry.
Be aware of the proportion of shapes within your graphic. Decide if your company fits best with a curvy, circular theme like the Twitter bird, an angular theme like Domino’s Pizza, or a linear theme like Amazon. You can also combine circles with angles, such as in Volkswagen’s iconic logo if it’s done effectively.
Simpler is Better
You can’t go wrong by starting out super simple. Some of the most famous logos are also the simplest. The Nike swoosh. The Apple apple. Coca Cola. Google. Facebook. The Olympic Rings. It never hurts to start with a really simple graphic and then decide if it’s recognizable and original enough as is. If not, then go ahead and tweak the design. But don’t make the mistake of trying to start with too much and creating a logo that’s beautiful and complex, but so busy and overwhelming that a customer won’t know which company the logo represents with just a glance.
Finally, just get designing with our free logo generator and let your creative genius loose. If you don’t have fun with it or think the logo is brilliant, then chances are no one else will.