10 Tips for Designing the Perfect Logo
Designing a logo is nowhere near as easy as some people think. Indeed, there are many aspects to good logo design of which most people are unaware. A logo must convey a brand’s identity and appeal to the target audience, for example. A logo must also stand the test of time and be suitable for use on all media types.
Of course, anyone can create an elementary logo using standard typefaces, a few blocks of color, and a bit of imagination. However, designing a logo that becomes the very identity of a brand is not so easy. So, how do you take logo design from mediocre to excellent? Here are ten tips for designing the very best corporate logos.
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Don’t Settle for a Cliché
Logos should have meaning and tell a story. However, it is usually best to avoid the logo cliches whenever you can. Or, if you must use a well-worn representation of a business in a logo, it would be best to find a new take on the old, familiar design. For example, a loaf of bread and sheaves of wheat are standard elements of logos for bakeries. However, many bakeries will already have logos using these elements. So, it would be best to avoid using these standards altogether or find a novel way to use these recognizable motifs.
Avoid Following Trends
There are trends in logo design, just as there are in most aspects of marketing. However, trends are short-lived, whereas a logo must be timeless. So, it is best to avoid attempting to follow the latest trends when designing a logo. Furthermore, when there is a trend in a given industry sector, following the crowd will also dilute the uniqueness of the logo you create. So, it is best to ignore trends and design logos that will stand out from the rest.
Appeal to Targeted but Broad Audience
A logo must appeal to the people that the brand is targeting. So, you must know your target audience when designing a logo. However, a logo must also resonate with a broad spectrum of people. So, while a logo must be appropriate for a particular audience, it must also be adaptable to many different campaigns. For example, a logo for an outdoor clothing manufacturer would probably need to appeal to hikers and campers. Still, it would be wise to bear in mind that outdoor clothing is bought by both young and old campers and hikers. And don’t forget that the apparel might also appeal to hunters and anglers too.
Tell a Story
The best logos are not merely clever pieces of design work. Instead, the best designs have meanings that relate to the brand they represent. Indeed, the best logos have two or more messages within them, and some of the hidden meanings take a little uncovering. The Amazon logo, for example, has an arrow that links A to Z representing the wide range of products the company sells. And, the arrow looks like a smile, which indicates how customers feel about Amazon products.
Color Choice is Crucial
Colors have meanings, so it would be unwise to be too hasty when choosing colors for a logo. And, although single-color logos may look clean and striking, a lot can be achieved with color transitions and multiple colors and shades. When selecting a color palette for a logo, it is best also to consider the demographics of the audience and the brand’s personality. However, a good logo must also be versatile. So, it is advisable to consider how a design will look in grayscale as well as color.
Use Custom Typography
Using standard fonts in a logo will diminish the uniqueness of the design. So, for a truly unique brand logo, use custom typefaces instead. A custom typeface helps create an identity for the brand and can become as recognizable as a motif. The Coca-Cola script, for example, is instantly associated with the cola drink regardless of the words. So, it is always better to create a custom typeface than taking the easy option of using one of the standard fonts.
Consider Symmetry and Proportion
Even though a logo is a relatively small piece of design work, the image must still be pleasing to the eye. And, one thing that will undoubtedly detract from the message of a logo is an out of proportion or unbalanced image. For example, look closely at apparently simple logos like Apple’s. You will see that every element of the design is well-balanced. So, consider using consistent curves, arcs, and other shapes when designing logos
Use Negative Space and Double Meaning Images
Some of the most brilliant logos tell you more about the brand the closer you look at the logo. This extra dimension can be achieved by the clever use of negative space or images that can be viewed in more than one way. The most famous use of negative space is the FedEx logo, which has a negative space arrow between the E and X. An excellent example of a double-meaning in a logo is the Spartan Golf Club logo, which combines a golf player and a spartan soldier in the same image.
Don’t Be Predictable
The best logos are not always the most obvious. So, it can be helpful sometimes to think outside of the box. This approach can be advantageous when dealing with a brand name that does not immediately conjure up the nature of the business. A tech company, for example, does not always have to be represented by a computer or associated images. The logo could, instead, infer reliability, worldwide reach, or innovation.
Keep It Simple
There are a lot of design concepts to consider when designing a brand logo. However, it is best even when incorporating a lot of meaning into a symbol to keep the finished design simple. Simple logos are easier for consumers to remember and more versatile for the company. Take the Nike Swoosh, for example. The Nike logo signifies motion and speed and is one of the most recognizable brand logs. Yet, the Nike logo also one of the most uncomplicated logos imaginable.
As you can see from the above, there is a lot to consider when designing a logo. And, logo design is not something that comes naturally to everyone.
The best way to improve your logo design skills is to study some well-known companies’ brand logos. And then, you will see how the above ideas have been incorporated into the design.