Designing a logo for your brand and business is TOUGH!
A well designed logo is made up of many factors and if this is your first foray into the process, it can feel overwhelming and you might not know where or how to start. We are all visual creatures with our own natural biases and judgements, so it’s not enough to have a logo that is “fine” or “good enough”. Instead we need to decide on a logo that speaks to our ideal audience and customers and that portrays our brand in the best way. Colour, form, typography, imagery and spacing all come together to make up the perfect logo so there is a lot to consider!
But the good news it that there is a strategy to logo design and it is totally possible to have a logo that makes your heart sing! Yes, there are creative elements that you must keep in mind when designing a logo, but there’s also a method to the madness.
In this article, I’m going to go over the basics of a perfect logo design, and how it contributes to the overall brand identity of your business.
Let’s dive right in!
Designing and choosing a logo for your brand and website
Logos and Branding
Brand identity is made up of many moving parts and without a doubt, the most important and easily identifiable is the logo.
When people think about branding, particularly in the digital space, they think of three things:
These elements make up the core visual identity, and the rest of the brand is usually built out around it. The logo combines a feeling surrounding the brand, as well as how they want to present themselves to the world.
Designing and deciding on a logo doesn’t happen happen overnight either. The design process usually involves several different logo variations and then the final choice is often refined until it is the strongest version possible.
All logos, however, are not created equal. If you want to come up with a logo that really shines for your brand, you must knock it out of the park with these considerations.
The logo you choose shouldn’t be the same as all the other logos (and brands) in your industry or niche. A logo should help you stand out from the crowd and be a distinctive design element that people immediately associate with you and your business. It is often the first design element that people will see in your branding and from there, they will form an understanding of who you are and whether or not they want to explore your business, content and offerings further.
That being said, your logo should still be relevant to your industry and business type. You’re trying to appeal to your ideal audience and customer base, remember, so you don’t want a logo that comes out of nowhere. If you’re designing a logo for a doctor’s office, you wouldn’t choose a random flamingo for your logo, would you? No, probably not.
When deciding on a logo, you must step back and remove your personal biases from influencing your design decisions.
Remember that first and foremost, you are designing a logo that speaks to your ideal client or audience. The strongest logo design might not be your personal favourite but if it’s the right choice for your target audience, then it’s the choice you should go with.
There are a few questions you can use to help guide your logo design decisions, such as Who is the company or brand? What is their ideal audience? Who are their dream clients? What vibe does the business want to present?
The vibe of your brand and business is huge, no matter what industry you’re in. Think about whether you’re building a personal brand around your name, or if you are a larger company? Are you flashy, understated, masculine/feminine, formal, classic, hip or modern? Take a few minutes to come up with adjectives you would use to describe your business and brand (specifically how you want to be perceived, which could be different from how your consider yourself currently) and let these be the starting point for your logo design.
A perfect logo is one that is clear, digestible and easy to read. Whether you are going for an icon or text-based logo, it needs to be readable above all else. Cursive fonts can be tricky when the words or letters are mistaken for others. If you’re going for cursive or handwritten styles, run the logo drafts past a variety of people first to make sure that it isn’t confusing or look like something unexpected.
A strong logo is one that can be used frequently and consistently across different platforms and in various design elements. Think about how your logo will be used on your website, on business cards, on social media pages, on blog post graphics, etc. Since your logo is going to appear in so many places, it must be something that will grow with your brand over time.
Avoid swapping out your logo every few months because this will dilute the value of an easily identifiable logo. Your logo should be designed to last so that in a few years, should still be able to use your logo - perhaps refined, but usually without major changes unless you’re going through major changes, a branding overhaul or a redesign project.
We’ve already touched on the fact that your logo will be used in multiple spots on your website and in design collateral, which means that it must work in different situations and capacities. If you include a tagline in your logo, for example, keep it simple. I also advise against too many colours in a primary logo and instead encourage designs that have a signature colour.
Another consideration is how your logo might appear on digital and printed formats. The logo might need to be resized depending on the space it fills, and a versatile design will make sure that works no problem. For example, will you use your logo as the “profile picture” on your social media channels? If so, it needs to fit and work in those smaller spaces.
Also consider how the logo is used on your website. In 99.9% of all cases, the logo will be at the top of the page, above the fold, usually centered on either side of the menu and navigation. It’s where the eyes are naturally drawn and therefore should be instantly identifiable with enough space and padding that the logo doesn’t feel cramped. This is why it’s often a good idea to plan for a white or transparent background for maximum versatility.
A good logo will support your brand and work hard for you, but it’s not a “one size fits all” situation. There will be times when your primary logo isn’t the right fit in a design element, either because of sizing or aesthetic. In these cases, it’s important to have a really solid alternate logo that you can rely on to cover all your bases.
Alright, now you know what goes into a good logo and how to choose and design the perfect logo for your business/brand, it's time to get one up and running! Shameless plug: I offer custom designed logos as part of my Design & Development package, but you could also work directly with a graphic designer, or even choose a logo template from somewhere like Creative Market if that's a better fit for you.
Having a logo that speaks to your brand, helps attract ideal clients, and is something you can proudly display across your website and social media channels is a MUST. Once you have a logo that you love and that works for your business, you will have a hard time believing you settled for less!
Now it's your turn to tell me, what type of logo do you have? Is it a custom design or are you using a templated logo design? Have you changed your logo since launching your website or brand for the first time? I'd love to know so be sure to leave me a note in the comments below!
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