What to Consider When Designing a Logo

What to Consider When Designing a Logo

Let’s dive in…

 

Ok so picture this. You’re going downtown to meet up with a friend for lunch. While you’re waiting outside for them you notice them walking down the street. They have on some fly-as-hell brand new Nikes that you have never seen before. You give them props on their kicks and head inside.

Here’s the question: In this imaginary scenario, how did you know they were Nikes? You’ve never seen them before, so it’s not the design that you recognized. Just because they look good doesn’t automatically attribute them to being made by any particular manufacturer. So how did you know? It’s the logo. 

It doesn’t matter what item it is, if you see it with a swish you automatically associate it with Nike and all that they have built their brand identity to be. That is the power of a logo that people love. But how does one create a logo that is that recognizable and beloved? That is what we’re going to be discussing today, and that is what I hope you can learn by the end of this blog. 

 

 

Creating a new logo can be a daunting task but the process isn’t as bad as it seems. The logo creation process can be broken into two basic stages: research and design, or more simply put planning and execution. 

Planning

The planning stage of this process is where you gather up all of the useful information you might need in designing your logo. The first step in planning is to do a full inventory of what you’re looking for in your logo. This step is essentially a journey in asking questions to understand what the goal of your logo is. Examples of these questions include:

-Why do you want or need a new logo?

-What do you want people to think of when they think of your company?

-Which brands do you look to as being similar to yours?

-Which brands do you want to avoid being associated with?

-How will the success of your new logo be measured?/ What is the goal of your logo?

-Who is your target audience and what do they respond to?  

The key here is to actually write out your answers. This is important for two reasons. One, it allows you to more easily compile your research when you’re done. But two, it also gives you insight into your brand that you had never fully thought through before, and it can be a kind of self-discovery experience about your brand. Once you have completed your inventory of questions you will want to summarize them into a strategy that gives an overview of your business and brand. You can then move to the next step of researching which is an investigation.

The investigation is where you dive into the basics of design to educate yourself on the different ways that fonts colors and shapes can affect people. For example, the color red is associated with passion, danger, joy, and love. The passion and danger is exhibited in logo’s like Red Bull and Supreme while brands like Nintendo and Lego play off of the joyful aspect of Red. Red isn’t the only color with associated emotions though, all colors have them and the same is true for fonts and shapes. The investigation step is where you explore what colors, fonts, and shapes resonate with your brand identity. Once you have an understanding of what design can do to the human psyche and emotion you can begin to compile brand inspiration. This step is called the gathering process.

In the gathering process, you simply search for brands and logos that interest or resonate with you and begin to compile them. It is important to put thought into this part but don’t overthink it. The gathering is similar to a Pinterest board. Go in knowing what you’re looking for but don’t overthink the selection process. The whole point here is to simply amass a collection of logos that resemble your goals. Once you have gathered these logos, you need to do some analysis on what stood out about the individual logos and see where you find similarities.  If for example, you resonated with both the Airbnb logo and the Adidas logo that could be a sign that triangular logos are your thing. Whatever it is, the overarching qualities from your compiled logos are probably attributes that you either purposefully or subconsciously chose because they fit into your brand’s identity.

After you have finished all three of these steps all you have to do is put all of your research into one central folder and you will have guidelines for the design of your logo. This is the second part of creating your logo: the execution. 

Execution 

When you’re designing your logo there are some tenets of all great logos that are important to remember. All great logos are simple, unique, and versatile. 

 

 

Simple is huge. Often people looking to design logos want to say so much about their company and their brand that they overcomplicate something that should be simple and legible. Less is more with logos, so when you’re designing your logo always ask yourself, “can this be simpler?” By keeping your logo simple it is more recognizable at first glance. Busy logos are hard to read and most of the time your consumer base only has a glance to see, recognize, and associate your logo with your brand and ultimately your company. 

The next tenet is uniqueness. While it is nearly impossible not to have an influence on your logo making it one of a kind is hugely important. If your logo can be easily conflated with another it doesn’t matter how great your design is. The whole point of your logo is to be a symbol of your company, if it reminds people of another company you won’t have any financial gain from your logo design.

The third and final tenet is versatility. This is the easiest tenet to forget when designing your logo. Versatility essentially means that your logo looks good no matter how it is applied. A good logo can be on a 1×1 inch design in the corner of an advertisement or on a giant billboard. Think about the ABC logo, it can be displayed on a light background with its usual dark circle light lettering, but it could also be displayed on a dark background with a light circle and dark lettering. If your logo only works in certain circumstances it is a limited logo. 

These are the three biggest principles of logos that will help you in killing your logo design. 

With all the knowledge you have the green light to start designing your logo. Some useful tools to get you started in this process are a sketchpad and pencil or in the digital space, there are tons of helpful resources. One tool Lokal Media loves to use is the Canva Logo Maker. It’s free and is useful in getting you started with your logo. Vectr and Adobe illustrator are alternatives though Illustrator isn’t cheap. It is important here to treat your logo like a paper. Your first logo will likely not be “the one.” It is more like a rough draft to be edited so keep an open mind. 

Once you have completed your logo design ask yourself “how could it be better?” “Is it timeless?” and “how is this logo best used?” Take the answers to these questions and go back and tinker. Run a comb through the entire design until it is a logo that you absolutely love. Once you love your logo, it is time to set up guidelines for using it.

A misused logo is a useless logo so know your logo’s strengths and weaknesses. If your logo doesn’t have thick bold and dark lines, it probably cannot be used over photography. Ask yourself “How is my logo best used?” and write it down. Once you have these guidelines you are ready to implement your logo. 

Creating a logo people love is not an easy task. However, it doesn’t have to be something that you put off or that gets neglected because “it’s too difficult”. Creating your logo is a process and it can be a fun and rewarding process. Here are a few parting tips to get you through the process. 

Be persistent. It can be hard at times getting a logo that you feel exactly personifies your company. If you’re struggling, don’t give up you will hit a breakthrough. Bring in others. A team of creatives is ultimately more creative than the best of designers, so be sure to include others and ask for outside opinions. Have fun. Ultimately, you are creating a logo that people will associate with your brand forever, and there is a lot of pressure in that. Don’t let that pressure get to you, have fun, and enjoy the process. 

 

Get in touch with us here at Lokal Media House. Our team of expert designers has years of experience and knows how to set you apart with a logo that fits!

 

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