The “swoosh,” the “golden arches,” and let’s not forget Apple’s iconic “bite.” The logos we see around us every day are much more than just a symbol of a company – they are the brand.
Of course it’s easy to look back after billions of dollars in revenue and say that they got it right, but what goes into the logo-creation process prior to years of business success? The short answer would be: endless hours of creative work and evaluation.
In this article, I’ll explain what new brands should be thinking about when trying to come up with a logo that uniquely represents what their business is all about.
1. Color is Key
Before you start sketching out ideas for the design of your logo, you need to determine which colors are going to be included. Hopefully by this point you’ve settled on a rough “brand guide” that includes your business’s exact colors, but if not, the logo design process is a good time to start. Though everyone decides on their color scheme using a slightly different method, there are some guidelines that can help point you in the right direction if you’re having trouble deciding.
First, start with a neutral color. Your choices aren’t limited to just black, white, or grey, but can include beiges, golds as well. Once you’ve made your decision on the neutral color(s), it’s time to find the colors that are going to make your brand “pop.” You can decide how many of these louder colors you want to incorporate, but generally speaking, two is sufficient. Finally, choose another color that won’t necessarily be included on your logo, but will find it’s way into brand materials periodically. This color should also be used for your CTA button on your digital marketing materials.
If you don’t have a background in design, it can be helpful to consult online resources that show which colors play well together. It might seem like a matter of opinion, but there’s a science behind good color combinations and you should use it to your advantage.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to necessarily go with your first color combination. Feel free to play around with different options until you find one that fits your brand.
2. Choose the Right Font
Big, block-like letters might be where your mind goes when thinking about a logo, but there has been a recent trend of creative typography that more closely resembles actual handwriting than a computer font. If you’re running a boutique-type brand, this could be a perfect option as it conveys a sense of fun quirkiness to your potential customers.
“Handwritten” fonts are always going to feel more personal than the traditional alternatives. If you consider a business-consumer connection to be one of your advantages, play around with fancy, cursive fonts. Just make sure they’re clearly legible and not overly complicated. On the other hand, if one of the goals of your business is simplifying the lives of your customers, perhaps a minimalist font would be appropriate.
Ask yourself, “If I had to describe my brand in a font, what would I choose?” It might sound like an abstract exercise, but you’ll find that you can quickly eliminate some font options and add several others to your “this could work” bucket. Then start eliminating those options until you land on the eventual winner.
3. Sometimes Less is More
When you think of “simple” in the context of logo design, the first two brands that pop in your (and everyone else’s) head are going to be Apple and Nike. Now, nobody is suggesting that their logos are the reason for their success, but it’s fair to say that they didn’t hurt. What can we learn from these two iconic brands? There’s value in simplicity.
One takeaway from Apple in particular is the impact of the “bite.” On its own, the apple isn’t necessarily remarkable or memorable. The slight visual adjustment of the bite out of the digital fruit conveys a sense of curiosity, even if it’s subconscious. Why is there a part of the apple missing? Is it a metaphor for a “byte”? (Check out this article for more information on the topic.)
The recipe for the perfect logo may very well be something simple…but with a twist that makes it unique.
4. Create a Few Variations and Ask for Feedback
It’s rare that your first version of anything is the best it’s going to be. With that in mind, try experimenting with different versions of your logo. Ask for feedback from your friends, family, colleagues, and if you have the resources, host a focus group online to get feedback from your target audience.
When trying to come up with different variations, don’t be afraid to mock up at least one or two versions that might be considered unconventional by typical standards. Sometimes the idea that you thought was a little to “out there” is exactly what is going to help you stick in the minds of your customers.
5. The Visual “Double Entendre”
One of the most popular concepts in logo design is the idea of the visual double entendre. What it really means is that you’re combining two images into one. Ideally, each image should be easily understood on its own, and when used together. If you need a visual in order to understand the types of images I’m referring to, this article showcases several examples.
When executed effectively, this type of design shows your customers that your brand is creative and clever. And isn’t that the type of brand most people want to associate with?
If you’re having trouble coming up with a workable logo concept, give the visual double entendre a go and see if it can set you in the right direction. Determine which two images best represent your business, and mash them together to create a 2-in-1 masterpiece.
Your logo and your brand are intertwined. Though it can be a tedious and frustrating process at times, settling on a visual that you believe best represents your company is a critical part of the brand-building process.
If your business needs help in designing a logo that you can be proud of, get in touch today and we’ll work to find a creative solution that fits your needs.