How To Make Sure You Design and Deliver A Great Logo
It might seem easy to make a logo, but the truth is that it’s a surprisingly challenging test of graphic design skill. A good logo design requires more than just pleasant colors, fancy font, and clever graphic manipulation.
A logo is an important part of a brand’s visual identity. Logo creation should be calculated, and it should rely on basic fundamentals of good graphic design. It’s not something you should do when distracted or half-heartedly.
So, what are some basics of designing a logo? How can you make an iconic logo that will work for your product, your website, and any swag you might end up handing out? Here’s a quick guide to some basics of how to design a logo.
Research Everything You Can about Logos
What goes into an effective, creative logo is complex. Look at what makes successful logos work. What is it about the McDonald’s Golden Arches or the Nike Swoosh that makes them enticing and easily identifiable?
What’s the reasoning behind certain color choices? At the end of your logo design process, you want to have a unique logo that encapsulates your brand’s identity.
Understanding how others have achieved this in the past can help you avoid a lot of exhausting trial and error.
Develop a Creative Process
Every designer has a unique creative process tailored to the way he or she works. It’s rarely totally linear and leaves a lot of room for edits or corrections at almost every stage. A majority of these design processes follow this general flow:
- Design brief. This is the stage where the client interviewed. You need to be sure that you get all the information you need to start on your design.
- Research. At this stage, you should try to learn more about the product or company’s niche. Take a look at your client’s history and competition. Also, look at logo inspiration. It makes a difference.
- Reference. Here you should start checking out design inspiration based on what the client needs. Take a look at the most recent design trends.
- Conceptualization. At this point, you get to start being truly creative. Start sketching and developing the logo based on everything you’ve learned from your client and your research.
- Reflection. Take this chance to allow your idea to mature following a short break.
- Presentation. In this last step, choose a few of your design options to show to your client. You’ll get feedback to help you refine the design until it is finished.
Set Your Prices Up Intelligently
During your briefing process and during the presentation, you will probably be asked how much your work will cost. It can be a hard question to answer, especially at the beginning of a project.
Every client and project have different needs. You may end up having to put more time and work into a project than you originally thought.
It’s important to learn good business skills, especially if you’re working as a freelancer. When deciding what price you will choose, think about all the factors that go into designing a logo, from the number of ideas to present, how many edits you need to make, and how much research you to do.
Learn About Your Target Audience
What your client wants and the market trends are only a fraction of what you need to research. You want to build a brand, and for that you need customers.
At the end of the day, the logo is meant to communicate with customers.
Take a look at the market research. See what the niche’s target audience is looking for. Take a look at logos that the research shows resonate with them.
Color Has Meaning
Color has a lot of meaning to people. It’s an important consideration when you’re designing a logo. You want your logo to convey the brand’s personality and/or the product’s benefits.
Bright colors are eye-catching, but they can also seem cheap or obnoxious. Muted colors can seem sophisticated, but they can also get lost when they’re on the shelf with other items.
Remember, all colors have meanings. It’s an almost subconscious association. Here are some colors and their common associated emotional meanings.
- Black: credible, powerful
- Blue: professional, medical, tranquil, trustworthy
- Brown: rural, historical, steady
- Green: growth, organic, instructional
- Orange: creative, friendly, youthful
- Pink: fun, flirty
- Purple: spiritual, wise, evocative
- Red: energetic, sexy, bold
- White: simple, clean, pure
- Yellow: sunny, inventive, optimism
Remember that sometimes color combinations are considered symbolic of certain holidays.
Your Logo Design Should Be Flexible
These logos both use the company’s name, but with clever use of negative space that offers a positive connotation. They can be placed on trucks, on boxes, on websites, and products. They’re instantly recognizable. That is what you should be striving for with your logo design.
Keep It Timeless
While studying trends is important, you also want a logo that will last for a long time. Sticking with the trends too closely will make your logo look like a lot of other logos.
It will also become dated very quickly. Modern minimalism and retro vintage styles can look good and last a long time, but they need to be designed smartly. Don’t use stock images or use the very newest fonts.
Tell a Story with your Logo Design
Your logo design is ultimately one of the key ways to tell the story of the brand. It will often be the identifying mark the company uses on anything and everything, from boxes to trucks.
Good logo design tells customers the purpose and values of the company, some of which will be obvious and some of which won’t.
Learn the brand’s story before you start on the design. It will be key to successfully designing a good logo.
Good logo design is a challenge that requires a lot of consideration and work. Experiment with ideas. Don’t be afraid to go off on wild tangents, or make minor edits based on feedback or client needs.
Stick with the fundamentals of design and you might find yourself designing the next Nike swoosh.
About the Author!
Bogdan is a designer and editor at DesignYourWay. He’s reading design books the same way a hamster eats carrots, and talks all the time about trends, best practices and design principles.