Are you new to logo design? Or, perhaps you’re an experienced designer who wants to branch out and learn more about creating logos? Although designing logos is in some ways similar to other types of design work, there are many, many things you’ll need to keep in mind… Below, we’ve put together some tips that we consider a “must-know” for graphic designers who are new to logo design. Let’s dive right in!
17 Keys to Designing Your First Logo
Before getting started, there are some logo design basics that every newbie designer should know – from the initial planning stages to final delivery to the client. Take a look at the following tips that will help get you started:
- Understand what a logo is – Ask yourself the question – “What is a good logo?” A good logo represents a businesses’ brand while inspiring trust, recognition, and admiration. A logo must:
- Be describable
- Be memorable
- Be effective (with and without color)
- Be scalable
- Study and learn – Learn from others’ mistakes and successes. Look at both good and bad logos so you can better understand what works and what doesn’t.
- Talk with your client – Spend time meeting with your client to ask them about their business, the goals of the company, and their target market. Learn as much as you can – everything will help you get a better vision of what to convey in their logo.
- Learn about the competition – Ask questions about the competition. Find out what they’re doing to market their business – what’s working and what’s not.
- Keep it relevant – Make sure your logo is relevant to the company you’re designing for. For example, if you’re designing for a children’s’ product, avoid anything too serious. Designing for a government agency? Steer clear of a fun, playful approach.
- Think outside the box – A logo doesn’t necessarily need to show what a company does. Here’s what we mean: A doctor’s logo doesn’t need to show a stethoscope, and a moving company doesn’t need to show a truck. Look at logos like Apple, Nike, and Toyota – all are memorable, yet none reveal what their product is.
- Sketch it out – Using paper and a pen is sometimes the best way to start off, instead of going straight to your computer. Many designers find this helps ideas flow faster when you’re not limited to what your design program can do.
- Steer away from trends – The bad thing about trends is that they change over time – often quite quickly. When developing a logo, remember it needs to work for years to come, so avoid using today’s trends.
- Create a design checklist –If you’re like all other designers, you’re going to find yourself stumped at some point in the process. To help with this, create a checklist that can help you generate new ideas. When you’re stuck, go down the list. Include factors and questions like:
- Modify – Can I give it a new angle? Can I change the colors, shape, or motion to make it more effective?
- Magnify – Can I add an element to give it more height, length, or strength? Can it be multiplied or duplicated?
- Minimize – Can anything be taken away? Shortened? Made lighter in color?
- Rearrange – Can any elements be rearranged? Should I alter the layout or pattern?
9 Quick and Dirty Logo Design Tips for Newbies
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to start designing. Keep in mind, even the world’s greatest idea can be ruined if you don’t keep your factors simple. While designing, consider the following:
- Limit your fonts – There are hundreds of fonts to choose from, but using too many in one design will make your logo lose coherence. Most professionals recommend using no more than two fonts.
- Create unity – There should be a sense of unity among all the elements in the logo; the font, shapes, and more – you don’t want it to look like several elements were mashed together.
- Make it scalable – Your design should be created for use in many sizes – from a small business card to a large sign.
- Consider all backgrounds – Make sure your logo can be used on a black background too, in case the client wants to use it on something that’s darker in color.
- Make it work for white and black…AND color – Create the logo in black and white before adding color. When you’re satisfied with the result, then start adding color. This will help you judge the logo based on its shape and lines – because face it, no amount of color or gradient can save a poorly designed logo.
- Avoid photos – Photos are hard to scale and normally can’t be used in all applications. For example, they may be suitable for print materials, but won’t work as well online or in emails.
- Look at it upside down – During the final stages, look at your design upside down. This will give you a new look at the design, its balance, and white space. Ask yourself: Is there anything else that should be changed?
- Ask for specific feedback – The more specific a client can be when giving feedback, the better.
- Be flexible and open-minded – Be open to feedback, even if you don’t agree with it. Instead, give the client what they want, then show them how you believe it can be improved and why.
The above tips can play a key role in helping you design a successful logo. It can help give your client’s business a jump-start and even better, it can help give you the recognition you need to succeed.
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Pat Malloy believes that effective logo design can improve your business ? and a great design doesn?t have to cost a fortune. Pat recommends that entrepreneurs, small business owners and non profit organizations use a free logo design to better communicate their brand.