Every good product deserves a brilliant logo. Whether you are building an entirely new business, or relaunching and rebranding an existing company, being able to design your own logo is extremely useful.

Below are some things to consider when designing a logo for your business that sticks in the minds of your audience

Clever is as Clever Does

Logos that infer two meanings or have a subtle wit to them get noticed and remembered.

It’s not to say that you can’t call out your brand directly with a logo, but if you think about some of the most recognizable logos (Apple, Nike, Twitter), they are rarely that blatant. It can really come down to knowing how to use icons to your advantage.

This infographic demonstrates how simple it is to arrange icons and shapes when designing your own logos:

logo design and icon design

A great exercise to get to the crux of how to create a powerful logo can be with a simple word association list. Think about your brand and the customers you hope to resonate with: what’s important to them? Where do they hang out? Where will they notice your emblem and what questions do you want them to ask when they do? You can always create a Pinterest board to start.

By drafting these personas and drawing out imagery and associations, the creative juices start flowing and clever connections will emerge right off the page!

Colour Science

Since a logo is your brand’s personality – you want to make sure your colour choices echo that personality. Muted or neutral tones tend to communicate sophistication while bright colours elicit an energetic vibrancy. There is a psychology to colour choices, so it’s best to do your research. This infographic on design trends is a great place to start when trying to understand what works for your brand:

design trends

For example, you will notice a lot of eco friendly companies choose green because it demonstrates earthiness, growth and positivity.

You can use these colour theories to your advantage and play with shades or tints to personalize to your personality. Lime green tells a different story from forrest green etc.

New Ground

Whether you choose Logotype to represent your company or an icon in place of it, you have to be able to acknowledge what works for the most successful brands in the world without copying them. This is the place to be creative and impress your customers!

Fonts are an easy way to generate uniqueness. You can use fonts from libraries like font squirrel or HypeForType or get ambitious and create your own font!

With each design choice you are making you, ask yourself these three important questions:

  • Does this align with the brand message and personality?
  • Is this making the brand memorable at a glance?
  • Will this design withstand the test of time (20 years from now)?

The absolute worst word that someone could use to describe your logo is the G word: generic.

Don’t use obvious symbols like globes for travel or light bulbs for ideas because they are incredibly obvious and boring! Instead, use the first images that come to your mind in your brainstorm as a jump off point and use your experiences and creativity to allow it to evolve into something more nuanced.

Sketch your ideas as they come to you and be okay with trying different versions of your idea. Keep the different iterations, compare and test them out to see what kinds of feelings your final choices evoke in people who are seeing the logo for the first time. If you aren’t familiar with Photoshop or Illustrator, try utilizing other graphic design software when you can.

Keep it simple

When designing a pivotal piece like your logo, it can be easy to get carried away. Your creativity may want to take you down many elaborate paths but please remember that you are designing for the mass public, not your graphic designer friends.

It’s important that it’s practical, relevant and can be transferred via mediums with a degree of ease. At the start of your brainstorm, be sure to think up all the possible places your logo may appear (social media, print ads, billboards, television, etc) to achieve this.

Creating a logo that says something about the inherent goal or intention of your company is key, but don’t try to tell the whole history here or try to embody an abstract ideal in your logo. You want a logo that intrigues thoughtfully but if you have to explain it, you’re missing the boat.