At the centre of every company’s brand identity is its logo. It represents what the business stands for, what they believe and what they hope to achieve. Now, that may seem like a lot to ask from a symbol, but great brands know full well the importance and impact of a carefully-designed logo.
So, if you’re planning to start your own business and need a bit of help designing your first logo, then here are a few useful tips we’ve curated that will hopefully get you going.
1. Find Out What Your Brand Stands For
Don’t start by sketching furiously on your pad in the hopes that you’ll come up with something revolutionary. Almost all great logos are a product of careful thinking and proper reflection. If you find this exercise difficult, start by listing down questions you’d normally ask someone you just met: what do you do? What are your interests? What’s your favourite colour? What are your greatest hopes and dreams?
Okay, so maybe not someone you just met, but you get the idea. To figure out what your brand is about, you have to start with the right questions. They might be a bit challenging to answer but doing so will successfully lay out the proper groundwork for creating your logo.
2. Integrate Your Vision
While it’s absolutely unnecessary for every logo to include a tagline, it would be helpful to visualise your design if you can describe the vision of your organisation in just a few words. For example, you can easily spot Amazon’s slogan – delivering smiles to customers’ doorsteps – simply by looking at their logo. It’s a clever and insightful way to show what their brand aims to achieve.
There are instances, of course, when you don’t have to try so hard at being clever. After all, some of the most recognisable logos in the world are very obvious. Brands like Apple and Penguin have effective logos that don’t literally tell what the company does. Apple doesn’t sell apples nor is Penguin a zoo.
To apply this same technique to your own business, think of a symbol that has a personal meaning to your brand. Whether it’s a family crest, the initials of a loved one or an emblem of the city you grew up in, how you choose to integrate your vision is entirely up to you.
3. Grab That Sketchpad
When you’re able to satisfactorily do Steps One and Two, go out of your work zone and get some fresh air. Go to the library, listen to your favourite tunes and, most importantly, avoid looking at other logos. Instead, find inspiration from your surroundings. Then, grab a notebook or pad and sketch the first few ideas and images that come to mind.
This method is simple but effective, especially if you have no graphic design background. But even when you know a little (or a lot) about designing, sketching out your initial thoughts can be helpful because it will give you more options to choose from when you start digitising them.
Also, ideas and inspirations can come any time of the day. It’s a lot easier to note them down in a sketchpad than, say, fumbling in the middle of the night to open your computer and waiting for Photoshop to load. However, if you’re a digital native and feel comfortable using today’s tools, two apps you may want to try out are Paper and Tayasui Sketches.
4. Bring Your Design to Life
Once you’ve chosen your top sketches, it’s time to add character and give more depth to your logo.
First, think about what kind of image, symbol and font best represent your brand. Make sure that they also appeal to the market you’re trying to attract. For instance, if you hope to attract the young male demographic, then maybe going for an elegant typeface and a pastel palette is not the best way to go.
Second, decide if you want the logo to be your brand name such as Google, or if you’d rather have it as a symbol like the golden arches of McDonalds. Whatever you decide, make sure that it’s memorable and easily recognisable. Remember: the human mind recognises visual cues like shape and colour first.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to play with letters! You’ll never know what kind of unique designs you’ll come up with just by using the alphabet!
5. Collaborate with a Graphic Designer
Once you’ve decided on a logo, it’s time to go online and start digitising. If you have experience designing, then great! You’re all set to experiment with your new logo. But if you’re like most new business owners, chances are you’ll need a little help to bring your design to life. One option is to hire a professional graphic designer.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a full-blown media agency, there are thousands of freelancers who offer their services online for very reasonable prices. But don’t haphazardly pick the cheapest one and hope for the best. Remember: you always get what you pay for. So, if you’re allotting $10 to your logo, then that’s exactly the value you’ll get.
The best way to go about hiring a freelancer is to research extensively. Read reviews online, do a background check and make sure to visit their portfolio. The more you know, the more you’ll be confident about who to trust and hire.
6. Check out Online Logo Makers
If you don’t have the budget to hire a graphic designer, there’s also a multitude of logo creators available online, some of which offer their most basic designs for free. While they don’t provide the same level of detail and quality that a professional designer would, these services can get the job done quickly and at a fair price.
Depending on your overall theme and design aesthetic, you can pick which logo maker appeals to you most by quickly scrolling through their available templates. Graphic design tool Canva offers an easy-to-use logo maker, while eCommerce platform Shopify lets you create logos in seconds with Hatchful. Another cool tool worth a try is Logaster, a free logo creator that helps you craft an impressive business identity with little effort.
7. Don’t Overdo It
Once you have a working logo, you’ll be tempted to tinker with it whenever you come across another typeface or a new colour. Don’t fall into this trap and remember that every detail has already been carefully chosen – and by you, no less!
But if you’re still in the revision phase of your design process and you’re not satisfied with how it turned out, then feel free to ask for the opinion of a trusted friend, preferably someone who has a design background. However, if your logo is already complete, don’t muddle it up by getting distracted with flashy new designs and templates.
At the end of the day, while having your own logo is very important, there are other key elements to running a business that still need your attention. So, slap that logo on your company T-shirt, print it on your business card and move on.
Designing your business logo is a fun but challenging process that requires a lot of introspection, creativity and patience. By following this simple guide, you’re sure to come up with a few unique ideas you’re sure to love.
What is your favourite brand logo and why? Drop us a line in the comments section below.