Logos are a visual representation of your company but so often people think you can just slap one together on your computer and be done with it.
There is more to designing a logo then meets the eye. When designed correctly, your logo conveys a message through the choice of colors, fonts and shapes.
There are 5 types of logos
- Brand mark – Easy remember, iconic and simple. Examples, include the Target Bullseye, The Apple Icon and the Nike Swoosh.
- Word mark – Basically the name of the company spelled out. Popular with tech companies this type of logo is considered sophisticated. Examples include Virgin, Google, Sharpie and Dell.
- Letter mark – Company initials used in cases where spelling the name just doesn’t work such as CNN, ck, or CN.
- Combo mark – When a brand mark and a letter mark are combined. Each one is strong enough to stand on their own. Examples include Blackberry, Walmart and Sprint.
- Emblem – The company name is integrated into the logo. This is a popular with auto manufacturers including Ford, Lamborghini and Volkswagen.
What makes a good logo?
Simple – Easy to read when big or small, not overly ornate, clean
Timeless – Logos need to stand the test of time, not be tied to specific year.
Memorable – If they can’t remember your logo, will they remember your company? Also don’t be memorable for the wrong reasons.
Versatile – Your logo needs to work for a variety of media, not just on a full color business card.
Appropriate – Know your audience. You wouldn’t use pink & gray for a corporate consulting gig or rainbow colors for a doctor’s office.
- Define and research your audience – Know who you’re trying to reach.
- Be different – Don’t just go with plain vanilla or do what everyone else is doing
- Keep it simple – Simple is better when it comes to legibilty
- Be mindful of Space & Composition – There is a reason why there is a space button the keyboard, use it.
- Keep it legible – Smooshed text or over ornate typefaces are difficult to read.
- Alter a typeface – Add some movement with swashes.
- Create variations – Sometimes you may need an icon for social media or a black version for an imprint.
- Design the original in Black and White – Don’t get too caught up on the perfect color. Make the design work in black and white first then worry about color.
- Get Feedback – Sometimes you don’t see what others see in your design. Always get feedback from others because of legibility, color psychology, poor typography or bad image placement.
- Pay Attention to colors, shapes and fonts – They convey meaning and should be used in a way to express your company’s values, personality and message.
- Add too much detail – It interferes with the legibility and scaling of the logo.
- Follow trends – It can make your logo look dated or unrecognizable.
- Switch it up every other year – You will lose the consistency and recognition.
- Imitate – What I really mean is steal a logo. It’s not legal and you’re not helping your brand if your logo is confused with someone else.
- Be too literal – There is no reason to have a lawnmower in your logo just because you’re a landscaper.
- Go crazy with the number of fonts – Again legibility.
- Use too many colors – Overwhelming to the eye and it interferes with your message.
When to hire a Designer
Hire a designer if…
- If you don’t have skills, software or ideas
- If you can’t get your ideas to work on paper
- If your logo is hard to read, not in vector or looks dated
- You can’t commit the time necessary to do it right
- Your logo doesn’t work with your vision
- The feedback you’re receiving from others isn’t good
How to hire a designer
- Look at their portfolio – Do you like their style? Did they design something you LOVE?
- Talk to them – What’s their methodology? Do they research your industry? Do they know the psychology behind their choices?
- Is it custom? Do you get revisions and choices?
- What will they be providing? Is it print ready? Is it vector? Will they provide it in multiple formats so you can use it on the web and in print or embroidered shirt?
- Ask colleagues and friends who they use (only if you like their logo)
Obviously there is so much more to logo design then a flashy icon. It takes a lot of thought to get it right. If your interest in learning more about our methodology or how we can help you design a logo for your company, non-profit or small business, give us a call at 425-243-4176.