I don’t have to tell you about logos or why they’re important. You had favorite brands and were identifying logos before you were in kindergarten. You know about the power of symbols and how companies use them to make us form emotional connections with their brand. Logos are huge, and a well-designed logo is one of the most important steps towards transforming your hobby into your business. Your logo sends a message about who you are, so it’s important to get it right! It can seem easy, but there’s a lot to consider.
The color of your logo can actually say a lot about your business, and will undoubtedly influence how others perceive you. Science has shown that colors can have a great effect on our mood, and that the feelings we experience when viewing certain hues transcends different cultures. For this reason, you want to make sure that the color you choose to represent your logo is keeping with how you want people to feel about your business. For example, blue invokes feelings of confidence, success and reliability. Because of this, it is often used for tech companies and financial institutions like banks. Green is a color often associated with environmental friendliness, but is also used to appeal to our sense of ruggedness (think Jeep). It’s a pretty cool thing, being able to subtly influence people’s perceptions. Just, uh, don’t go overboard with it.
I think versatility is something that often goes overlooked. You want to make sure that your logo doesn’t rely too much on any particular element, such as color, size, or even text. It is important to use an image that is flexible and can be recognized even if one main element is taken away. When you settle on a design that you like, look at a greyscale version of it. If your logo is ever printed out on a receipt or invoice, it will probably be in a black and white or greyscale format. Be prepared to make changes if the image loses too much or becomes unrecognizable when the color is taken away.
Also, make sure your logo can be read at different sizes. This thing is going to potentially be everywhere, so think about how it will look on a business card versus a billboard. It should work on both. Consider where your viewer may be in relation to your logo as well – even if you made a huge sign or bought space on a billboard, people may be far away when they see it, making the image read as much smaller. Or maybe they’re seeing it very briefly as they’re driving by in a car. You want to keep your imagery clean, simple, and versatile.
And use different file formats, too! You’ll save yourself from some potential logistical nightmares, trust me.
If everything goes according to plan, you’re going to be stuck with your logo for a long time, and while no one knows what future trends will be, you want to try to make your logo as timeless as possible. If you decide down the line that you want to make some changes, that’s okay; but changing too much can leave your customers feeling a lot of things, such as confusion, hatred, or disgust. Several large, well-known companies have kept their logo consistent, making changes over time by means of tiny tweaks over years and years.
One of my old graphic design professors in college had a list of fonts that I were to use in a project I handed in, I would get an F, and Comic Sans was at the top of the list. It's everyone’s favorite font to hate. While I’m not quite as harsh on it (I think there’s a place for every font out there), it’s become so deeply ingrained in designer’s heads as a “bad font” that a sizeable number of people will not take you seriously if you use it. Other overused fonts include Papyrus, Zapfino, Impact, and Copperplate. These were all on the banned list in art school. I won’t say don’t use them, but maybe give your font choice a second thought, or see if there exists font that looks similar, but is just different enough to be more eye-catching (hint: that font definitely exists).
Even though so many logos these days are stripped down and simple, there are a lot of elements at play, and a lot of time and consideration goes into the design process. We’ve talked about some of the major factors to consider, but that’s by no means the end of the discussion.
Do you have any tips or thoughts on logo design? Let us know in the comments below!