Designing your own logo doesn’t have to be too hard as long as you have some guidelines to stick to, some decent software, a huge portion of creativity and a few hours to spare. In this article I’ll try provide you with the guideline part and give a couple of tips on how to get the rest.
Logo-design is an art form, there’s no doubt about that. There are own websites, forums and communities dedicated to the logo creation process.
This article is for those who aren’t necessarily experts of logo design but want to learn a bit about the basics of the process. Maybe you’re a new freelancer or want to design a logo as part of a bigger project. Either way this article is for you.
A logo is supposed to be something that sticks to the minds of everyone your business is in contact with. It’s in many ways a part of your face outwards and should not be underrated in any way.
A logo can and should be used actively in your marketing.
First, let’s have a look at some common questions.
Picture by Svilen Milev
What is a logo ?
A logo is a graphic mark/emblem used to promote your company or brand towards the public. It can be a symbol only, a symbol combined with text or text written in a certain way (font, color etc). This leaves you with an extreme amount of creative freedom.
Where can and should I use my logo?
- Business cards
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter + +)
- Business signs and stickers
- Fax forms
Basically you can and should use your logo everywhere you represent your firm/brand. This means everywhere from online to car stickers and t-shirts + all kinds of print.
What software do I need?
Picture by Jeff Vergara
Technically Id say use vector software if you know any. This could be for instance Adobe Illustrator(quite expensive but very good) or Inkscape (also good, but free). If you are a huge fan of Photoshop you can also use vector shapes in there even though you don’t have the same versatility as you do in a full-blooded vector drawing software. And if you for some reason are unable to make it vector based, at least make sure to create the logo in a pretty big size to begin with, as rasterized/bitmap images don’t scale well the way vectors do.
Common Logo Mistakes
Many people seem to underestimate the power of a good logo. Because of this they sometimes end up with pretty bad ones that aren’t given the time needed for a good result. Here are some common mistakes that you should try to steer clear of
- using fonts that are “everywhere” else
- colors don’t fit at all together
- the logo is too busy (too much detail, color and so on)
- it has no personality
- it looks too much like another logo
My top tips:
Picture by Ivan Prole
1. Use Vector
This sounds so logical for some and is completely Greek for others. Kept short vectors can be resized as big as you’d ever want without quality loss, while those jpegs loose quality pretty quickly.
2. Don’t use more than a couple of colors and fonts
Unless you have a very good reason, try not to use too many colors. You want the logo to be simple and not too busy or tacky. Same goes for fonts. Two fonts can be really cool, but remember to keep it simple!
3. Make it easy to read/see
Picture by Kevin Lockheed
If your logo has text, make sure people can see what it says right away. If it has a drawing of something specific – make sure people can see that too. A logo with unreadable text accompanied by a horrible drawing is a huge turn off.
4. Spend time on it!
Don’t expect to make a complete logo in an hour. Make several different versions, try out various fonts and colors. Have others give you feedback and give it some days to grow on you. If you choose something too fast that you’ve spent too little time on you will have to go through the process again eventually. And the whole point of people recognizing your logo won’t be any point if you have to change it over and over.
5. DONT use photos
Picture by Colin Brough
Most people seem to understand by now that adding photos to a logo never is a good plan. One thing is that a photo can’t be vectorized (without tracing it somehow and then it wont be a photo anymore), another thing is that it’ll lead you into a lot of problems.
You always should make sure that your logo can look good on both dark and light backgrounds. Another thing you could do, is making a black and white version. It might come in handy.
7. Browse other logos to get inspiration
You should never get too stuck in what the current trends are but make a logo that you think you can be happy with for years to come.
8. LIKE your logo
Picture by Svilen Milev
If you don’t like the logo yourself, don’t expect others to like it. Choose fonts and colors you think look good and try to use these colors in other designs related to your business, like for example your website. Spend the extra hours required to get a result you like.
9. Don’t use too much detail
You’d want your logo to be easy to see and recognize, also at smaller sizes.
10. Get feedback
Share your logo suggestions with a few people who you know can give some valuable feedback. Maybe something that looks cool to you isn’t necessarily as good an idea as you think. One example can be shapes that can be seen differently, where you see it as something related to your business while it for other people look as something else. Just make sure to get some feedback. It can also confirm that you’re on the right track.
Picture by Ali Taylor
I hope these tips will help you on getting a great logo together for your business/product/website.
Finally, go have a look at our previous article 30 Best Written And Explained Logo Design for some of the best tutorials that can help you with the creative process of designing a logo.
Thanks for reading, and remember that we would love to hear your comments!