We live in a fast-paced and visual world. So much so, that we often don’t even bother reading text anymore. We skim. We scan. We glance at the graphics and other visual elements. So you’d better be sure you have a logo for your business, product, or charity. A logo can often be the difference between obscurity, and rising above the condensed masses.
But where to begin? How to do it? And what to consider? A logo shouldn’t be an afterthought, and you shouldn’t just delegate it to someone else. You need to be involved...even if you just can’t create (although, really, everyone is way more creative than they give themselves credit for).
Hire a Professional
You could go the professional route and hire yourself a graphic designer. There are many freelancers and firms that will design a fantastic looking logo. But for a cost. A professional and established designer might change hundreds of dollars, and that’s fine if you can afford it. You’ll definitely end up with someone worth what you pay for it.
But what if you’re a bit low on funds? A startup with limited budget?
Find a more budget-friendly solution by searching online. Two great places to look are Fiverr (and specifically its logo design section), where freelancers advertise their services for $5 per job (with various upgrades available), and Swiftly, graphic design for $19 per job. Swiftly has a stable of 150 designers, has worked with nearly 7000 customers since launching, and boasts an average turnaround of 30 minutes.
Are there others? Sure, but these two come highly recommended (and I’ve used both in the past to great success). Be involved, though, and provide plenty of ideas and feedback to ensure you get something you really want.
If you don’t want to hire someone, you could always try and do it yourself. If you’re a whiz at graphic and digital photo manipulation with Adobe Photoshop or InDesign, then it’ll probably be a snap. Kudos to you.
For the rest of us, there are still options. There are a growing number of design, editing, and collage programs and websites waiting to be discovered. Most are easy to use and fairly intuitive, allowing you to combine text, shapes, colors, and images (many via super simple drag and drop). Many are free or come with a nominal monthly fee.
PicMonkey is one such example. Canva, with its “Amazingly Simple Graphic Design” tagline is an even better choice. It allows you to create designs for social media platforms, blog posts, presentations, posters, Pinterest, and business cards, among others. If you have a decent idea in mind, and feel adventurous and tech savvy, this should be an option for your logo design needs. Try it and see. Experiment and play...and if you hate what you come up with, no worries. Look to Fiverr and Swiftly with ready-made ideas of what you like and dislike to pass on to the designer you hire. Win-win. Sketch some ideas. Play with the design.
The Other Considerations
Of course, the design part isn’t everything. How to design your logo needs consideration. It needs thought, effort, and time put into it.
The colors. Color theory is a thing. And you need to explore it. Picking a color for your logo isn’t as simple as choosing your favorite one. Read What does the color of your logo say about your business? and Color and Your Company to understand a bit more about the theory and ideas behind it. We tend to trust and feel secure with blue. Orange is energetic and warm. Purple is powerful and glamorous. Black is bold and serious. What feelings do you want associated with your business?
Most designers recommend no more than TWO colors for your logo - a background color, and a design color. You may disagree, and that’s fine, but try and limit the number as much as you can. Pick colors that complement each other (no idea what that means? Check out the color wheel).
Less is (Often) More. The most memorable (and therefore best) logos are simple and uncomplicated. The Nike checkmark. The Golden Arches.
Is your logo design adaptable? Does it still look great in black and white (should it ever be photocopied replicated without the use of the colors you so carefully selected)? Is it easily scalable (can you shrink or enlarge it without distortion)? If not, go back to the drawing board. Your logo will appear in many places and in many ways. Make sure it always looks great.
Speaking of which...consider social media. Your logo will appear on your Facebook page, Twitter profile, Google+ page, and many others. They all have different size and scale requirements. Does your logo work with all of them?
Is it unique (make sure it doesn’t too closely resemble a more famous logo)? Is it visually appealing (that’s the whole point, right?)?
If you have some text (keep it short and simple) try a few different fonts to find one that really pops and works with the overall design, while still being clear and legible.
Your logo should reflect your business. Fun or serious? Authoritative or rebellious? It should say something through its various parts that demonstrates you and your business. Easier said than done, of course, but that’s the goal. Aesthetically stunning. Memorable. And a visual representation of your business. That’s what you want...now, go get it.