Logo Design Tips
The value of a logo when starting out is priceless. If your name is forgettable (for whatever reason) then your logo is what customers will remember. If your logo is clear, suitable, and original then your brand awareness and recognition will be maintained or increase.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad examples of logos and also logo generators (we could name a few). We can’t stress enough that spending time on your branding is time well spent. To help you out, we’ve put together some thoughts, tips, and tools to get those creative juices flowing.
Build big & scale down
We realise this sounds counter-intuitive, however, for the purposes of graphics, building bigger is better. The last thing you want is to have your logo on the side of a building or a hot air balloon and finding that the image is all grainy (eurgh!).
Start your logo - read ‘any design’ - much larger than you need it and then adjust it up and down as you need to. It also helps you to ensure that, when scaled down, everything is obvious and that none of the features are blurred or muddled up together.
Don’t copy the latest ‘trend’
Taking inspiration from logos that you like is, of course, a good idea. However, manage your own expectations and:
1) don’t copy them directly – no one likes a trademark battle;
2) don’t take too much stock in trends. Using an archaic ‘dot globe logos’ or a Word Art style 3D font is not going to help your brand’s authenticity and credibility.
As a counter-point to this, some of the best logos are ‘timeless’; a word that inspires all kinds of vague connotations. Think about VW’s badge, Nike’s tick, FedEx with their hidden arrow or McDonalds’ arches. Yes, they’ve had subtle changes through the years but their brand is instantly recognisable just from their logo. A tough one to get right, but if you do…
Start in B&W then add colour later
How many times do you think that you’ll have to print your logo on a mug, or stress ball in black and white rather than the 24 colours you originally imagined? We’ll give you a hint, quite a few! Printing technology is getting better but it’s got some way to catch up with a designers or business owners ambitious creativity.
Check what your logo looks like in black and white and negative image then add your brand colours into the mix.
Black & White
Branded Colour version
We started these as 1024x1024 pixels and saved them as PNG files with transparent backgrounds – resize ‘til your hearts content.
Font – no Comic Sans (please!)
We’re not sure if we need to say anything more about Comic Sans. We think this speaks for itself. It might, however, be worth a quick mention about the number of fonts you use. It’s best to keep to a single font, and definitely no more than 2.
There’s also a myriad of fonts out there now. Before you decide on one you like it’s worth checking:
1) If you can download your font so you can keep it (and how much it’ll cost!);
2) if it’s a Web Safe font e.g. Google fonts; and
3) if other people can actually read it.
Design, tweak, check, tweak, show, tweak
Even if this is your first foray into graphic design or logo design, it’s advisable to come up with several options for your logo. Change the font, the icon, the placement, the colours. Then lay them all out on the kitchen table and shortlist them and tweak the winners again. Get opinions, ask your family, your friends, the random guy on the street who you nod to on occasion. Find out from them what they think the logo represents, how it makes them feel and whether they can work out what your company does/sells. Then tweak it and finalise it. Remember this logo will follow you for a long time, it has to be as good as you can get it.
As a team we’ve used a vast array of tools to design everything from social media posts, to infographics, to eBooks and logos. We’ve listed a couple of them below that we think are good places to start:
This is a ‘niched-down’ tool that focuses on social media and marketing imagery production, rather than a solely graphic design focussed tool. As such, it’s great for your various feeds and blog pictures/graphics as well as starting point for your logo. The interface is super simple to use and has a wide variety of copyright free imagery, icons and quotes.
Stencil has a free plan but if you really want to get the most out of it and get access to their templates, then the $9 per month plan is a really good option.
Check out Stencil for yourself here:
Desygner is the Tesla to the Stencil’s Prius; it’s so packed full of features and templates that it’s a luxury to use. Design everything from price lists, to logos, to certificates and wanted posters (yes, really) the options are vast. Add the social media templates in there with a very clear separation of ‘free’ and ‘paid’ content, and it’s clear that Desygner know what they’re doing. The UI is smooth and clear, and the rulers are a godly addition - are you listening Canva?
There are two paid plans available from Desygner; unless you’re running an advertising agency or you’re a Marketing Manager then the Premium plan at $6.95 per month should suffice. At which point Desygner’s available assets expand exponentially.
Check it out for yourself here:
Update: The amazing people at Desygner have given us a link which gives you a discount of $2.00 per month on their monthly plan!
Spark is a bit more ‘full on’ than the ones above, but it’s also around the same price for an individual plan at $9.99 per month. Unless you've been living under a rock we all know that Adobe know what they’re doing when it comes to all things design; graphic or otherwise. That does mean that the tool itself takes a bit of getting used to, although not as much as Illustrator or Photoshop.
You can check out Adobe Spark here:
Now go forth and conquer
Unless you've already perfected your logo some inspiration, and warning, is always useful. Here’s a blog post by Emma McGwoan on StartUps' blog where they list some good, some bad, and some plain ugly logo choices. There's nothing wrong with learning from someone else's questionable quest for the perfect logo.
As always, if you have any queries then don’t hesitate to contact the team on our Live Chat or email.