How to Design a Logo – Tips for 2023Visual Media Factory
It is nearly impossible to find a business that is even marginally popular without a well-designed logo and overall brand image. Brand logos have become the most popular feature of a company in recent years. So, why does a brand or company require a logo? Businesses use their logos to promote the essence of their brand in addition to being the most iconic way to identify themselves. Some logos have become status symbols, increasing the brand’s worth. However, not everyone gets their logos right the first time around. Even the largest names have had their logos change over time. So, how do you go about designing a fantastic logo?
Do you want to learn how to make a logo? Here is what you should know before starting a brand identity project!
There is a lot to consider and keep in mind while deciding how to design a good logo. Logo design requires ability, expertise, and understanding, and you will need to practice working with a variety of different brands with varying messages. All of this is supported by design theory and the golden laws that logo designers must be aware of.
Aligning the perfect logo with the proper product results in a precious asset, such as the Nike Swoosh, McDonald’s golden arches, and Michelin guy. But how did these logo designs become legendary and instantly recognizable? Most successful logo designs share certain characteristics, which you can emulate. Fortunately, there are some guidelines worth remembering. Our tutorial condenses them into the most important points, concentrating on how to design a logo and how to include a logo design into a larger and better visual marketing strategy.
Why learn how to design a logo?
First and foremost, let us recall why logo design is so crucial. A logo is often the first piece of branding that a potential customer notices. It’s also the item that usually leaves the most impression on us and remains with us the longest (if it’s successful). A logo can reveal a lot about a brand, including (in certain cases) what the brand does and stands for. When customers identify with a logo design, they are more likely to invest time or money in the firm or product.
Logo design is not the only component of good branding, but it is one that must be perfected from the start because it is frequently at the heart of the whole brand strategy. While most designers can produce a passable logo, it requires a unique combination of design abilities, creative theory, and deft execution to create a logo that is genuinely unique, appealing, and memorable.
Because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies fighting for our attention, brands must differentiate themselves visually. This differentiation is done through brand identity design, which is a collection of features that work together to create a distinct mental image of the company. Everything from uniforms, vehicle graphics, business cards, product packaging, billboard advertising, coffee mugs, and other collaterals to photography style and typeface selection can be included in brand identity design.
When you think about someone who has had an impact on your life, you undoubtedly have an image of what they look like. The same is true for brands. A logo, on the other hand, serves as a brand’s face, allowing people to connect with and remember it. The goal of logo design should thus be to create something that people can easily visualize when they recall their interactions with a product, company, or service.
We don’t read before we look at something. We observe shape and color before anything else, and if that’s enough to keep our interest, we’ll read. We see shape and color before we read when we look at something. Only if that holds our interest do we begin to read. Designers’ duty is to distill the spirit of a brand into the shape and color that will last the longest.
1. Do the groundwork
One of the most exciting aspects of being a designer is the opportunity to learn new skills with each job. Every client is unique, and even within the same profession, people do their duties in a variety of ways. The logo design should start with some research. Knowing the customer and their product thoroughly can help you choose the best design direction and make it easier to reach an agreement on your logo design later on.
Make certain that you question your client why they exist. What are they doing and how are they doing it? What distinguishes them from other brands? Who are they there for, and what do they value the most? Some of these inquiries may appear to be needless, but they can be difficult to answer and will lead to more questions about your clients’ company. What you learn in the early stages of a project can really help ensure that you don’t miss out on a market when you begin building your logo design.
2. Start with a logo sketch
With so many digital tools accessible nowadays, you could contemplate creating a logo design on your computer, but using a sketchpad allows you to rest your eyes from the glare of brightly illuminated pixels and, more significantly, record creative ideas far more rapidly and freely. You have complete freedom to explore with no computer interface in the way, and if you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea you don’t want to lose, a pen and paper by your bedside is still the ideal method to write it down.
Sketching allows you to place shapes precisely where you want them; there will always be time to digitise your marks afterwards (see our sketching tips for more advice). When presenting design concepts to clients prior to digitising a mark, it can also be good to give some sketches. This allows them to visualize the end outcome without being distracted by typefaces and colors, which can sometimes cause clients to discard an entire idea. But don’t disclose too much; simply your best ideas.
3. Start in black and white
As previously stated, color is a crucial aspect of branding, but it can also be a distraction, making it difficult for a client to examine the main concept of the logo. Leaving color until later in the process allows you to concentrate on the concept of your logo design rather than an element that is usually much easier to adjust. It is hard to save a bad idea with an appealing palette, while a good idea will remain good regardless of color. When you think of a well-known sign, you usually think of the form before the palette. It’s the lines, shapes, and idea that matter, whether it’s an apple bite, three parallel stripes, four linked circles in a horizontal line, or anything else.
4. Your logo design needs to be relevant
A logo design must be appropriate for the concepts, values, and activities it symbolizes. An attractive typeface will look better in a high-end restaurant than in a children’s nursery. Similarly, a color scheme of brilliant pink and yellow is unlikely to help your message connect with male retirees. And, regardless of the sector, creating a mark that resembles a swastika isn’t going to succeed.
You are aware of these things, and they may appear to be self-evident, yet appropriateness extends beyond this. The more appropriate your rationale for a specific design, the easier it will be to sell the idea to a customer (which can be the most difficult portion of a project). Remember that designers do more than simply design, they also sell.
5. Create a memorable logo design
A good logo design is memorable, helping a company to remain in the mind of a potential buyer despite competition from other brands for their attention. How can that be achieved? Simplicity is the watchword here. A basic logo may often be remembered after only a brief glance, which is not possible with a highly detailed design.
A trademark must be focused on a single concept; on a single “story.” In most cases, this implies it should have a simple form that can be used at various sizes and in a variety of applications, such as a website icon in a browser bar or signage on a building.
6. Try to be different
If a company’s competitors are all utilizing the same typographic style, color palette, or symbol to the left of the brand name, this is an excellent opportunity to differentiate your client rather than blend in. Trying something new can help your logo design stand out.
However, the fact that there is so much similarity in the marketplace does not necessarily imply that your job has become easier. It typically takes a courageous client to deviate from a trend that they perceive all around them. However, exhibiting your creativity in your design portfolio is one good strategy to attract the type of client you desire, and demonstrating the suitability of your concept will help dispel any reservations.
7. Keep your brand identity in mind
We rarely see a logo in complete isolation. It is typically displayed in the context of a website, a poster, a business card, an app icon, or a variety of other supports and applications. A client presentation should include relevant touchpoints that demonstrate how the logo appears to potential customers. When you’re caught in a rut, it can help to take a step back and look at the broad picture, to see where you are and what you’re surrounded by.
The wider picture in design terms is every possible item on which your logo design could appear. Always consider how the identity operates without the logo. While crucial, a sign can only take an identity so far. Creating a custom typeface for your brand is one method to generate coherent aesthetics. That typeface can then be utilized in marketing headlines as well.
8. Don’t be too literal
A logo does not have to depict what a firm does; in fact, it is generally preferable if it does not. More abstract marks are frequently more durable. Historically, you’d display your factory or a heraldic crest if it was a family-run business, but symbols don’t convey what you do. Instead, they make it abundantly plain who you are. When associations can be created between what the firm does and the shape and color of its mark, the meaning of the mark in the eyes of the public is added later.
9. Remember, symbols aren’t crucial
A symbol is not necessarily required for a logo. A custom wordmark can often work well, especially when the firm name is unique – like Google, Mobil, or Pirelli. Don’t be tempted to go overboard with the design because the emphasis is on the lettering. With every wordmark, legibility is essential, and your presentations should show how your designs operate at all sizes, large and tiny.
Of course, words may not always work in extremely small applications, thus adjustments may be required. This might be as simple as removing a letter from the logomark and replacing it with the same color, or it could include a symbol that can be utilized as a secondary design element (wordmark first, symbol second) rather than as a logo lockup in which both components are exhibited alongside one another.
10. Make people smile
Finally, incorporating some wit into your logo design not only makes your job more enjoyable, but it can also help your customer become more successful. It is not appropriate for every brand or business (obviously not for weapons manufacturers or tobacco companies, but whether you wish to collaborate with such companies is another matter). However, organizations in the less contentious legal and financial areas are distinguished by stuffy and antiseptic branding. Including a sense of humour in such customers’ identities can help them stand out.
There must be a balance struck. If you push it too far, you risk alienating potential customers. People do business with people, regardless of the organization, thus a human, emotional element to your work will always be relevant.
11. Get a second opinion
Don’t underestimate the significance of a second (or third) set of eyes to spot issues that you may have overlooked throughout the design stage. It’s amazing how easily cultural misunderstandings, bad shapes, unintended innuendos, words and meanings can be overlooked (see our logo design fails for examples).
Once you’ve created your logo design concept, always take the time to get feedback from others. To allow for constant peer assessment, several design studios suggest pinning work-in-progress up on the walls. On paper, it’s sometimes easier to notice something pinner up on a wall than it is on a screen. If you’re a lone freelancer, try to find some trusted colleagues to look through your work – and, of course, return the favor. Remember to inspect it from every aspect and on various shaped supports.
12. Bring your logo design to life
In today’s branding marketplace, a static logo that rests quietly in the corner of a finished piece of design is frequently insufficient. Consider how your logo design might come to life in motion for digital applications. To fully realize its potential, it may be necessary to work with animation or motion graphics experts.
In the age of social media, everyone and their dog has an opinion about every logo design that appears on the internet. Criticism is thus no longer a nuisance or something that can only come from specialists. It’s something that anyone working on a high-profile rebranding project should be prepared for.
A powerful brand scheme is about much more than just a logo design, yet on sites like Twitter, where a freshly released product is often summarized with a single image, the logo is often the first (and only) thing the audience jumps on. This is something you must take as a given.