Some inside tips, tricks and must have apps anyone can use for creating professional looking logos.
What have you got so far?
Fantastic business idea? Check! Catchy business name? Check! Cool sounding slogan? Check! A totally radical, professional, eye catching and truly original logo? Oh, er, no.
Many start ups find themselves in this predicament. They have a great idea and have everything in place to hit the button and start their business journey, however they either haven't come up with a logo or the logo they have conjured up just doesn't look professional. Sound like you? Well worry not here's some tips to design the perfect logo for your business.
1) Make the right impression?
In many cases your business' logo is the first impression people will get of your business. You'll need to make sure it makes the right one as you may not get a chance to make a second. Try and personify your business and picture that person in your head. What sort of person are they? Do you see a professional looking person who is straight to the point? Maybe a logo like IBM, Microsoft or Costa Coffee will suffice. Are they colourful, flamboyant and extrovert like Google, MSNBC or Pepsi? Strong and bold like Gillette or sleek and sexy like M&S? Whatever they look like just make sure your logo matches their personality.
2) Research your industry
What are other businesses in your industry doing? How do their logos look? Do you notice a pattern or theme? Sometimes it's good to follow those patterns. For example green is a colour associated with health products, red and yellow with car products and blue and grey with fitness. Be careful not to become just another face in the crowd. Sometimes it pays to go against the grain slightly and stand out.
3) See it from the customer's perspective
When we're starting the creative process, we can often fall into the trap of becoming too personally involved. Now I'm not saying you should cut off all feelings you have for your business, of course not, this is your baby. What I am saying is that you need to aim your logo and branding at your target audience not at what tickles your fancy. For example you're a big burly man who likes manly things (sorry for the gender stereotype but I'm trying to make a point) and you come up with a scented candle business that's aimed predominantly at women (again sorry for the stereotype), would you still design your logo based on what attracts you? The answer is probably, and should be, NO. Try and get another person's opinion on the subject. Even better get a few people's opinion.
4) Keep it simple
Now we're getting down to the nitty gritty. Design. Think of some of the most iconic logos of the last 20 years. Apple, Nike, McDonalds, Mercedes and Audi to name a few. What do they all have in common? Simplicity. They look so effortless, yet make such a huge impact. Simple logos are easier for the brain to process and therefore are recognised easier. I see so many businesses, starting out, get their logo completely wrong by trying too hard! Use graphics that are clean and simple. Try and go for vector images over bevelled or embossed ones. A website like the Noun Project is great for simple vectors. Keep colours and fonts to a minimum. Too many different variants can make the logo look busy and cheap. Use the two for two rule. No more than 2 colours or 2 fonts.
5) Use the right software
Over the years designing your own logo has become more accessible to the "non tech savvy". Back in the day you had to be able to juggle Photoshop, Illustrator and a host of other programmes to create a decent looking end product. Now there are apps you can download on your phone to create a logo in your lunch break. Don't get me wrong Photoshop does still have its place, however Anada Lakra over at 99Designs.co.uk has a list of 8 tools that are really useful too.
6) If in doubt, get your wallet out
Like I said previously, your logo is the first impression your business will make and you may not get a chance at a second, so it makes no sense to be stingy in the logo design process. If you don't think you can do it or have hit a brick wall, don't just settle for a mediocre design. Pay a designer to come up with the type of logo you and your business deserve.