Best Logo Design: How to Create a Visual Identity for Your Company

shutterstock_68619022A logo says a lot about your company. It’s a visual identity that can signal to clients that a company is familiar and trustworthy, while also setting an organization apart from the competition. Those reasons are enough to justify the high prices that graphic designers can charge, but there is an argument in favor of doing at least some of the design work yourself: a graphic designer who just has a short-term association with your company may have a harder time creating a brand or an identity for your organization, at least compared to someone who lives and breathes every part of the business. For long-lived companies, like Coca-Cola, having internal design teams has proven crucial in maintaining an established look while modernizing it over a century.

Learning how to design a logo, along with the other materials your company needs to develop a recognizable brand, can help you better communicate with your customers. You can add a whole new element to your visual identity.

Choose Designs That Mean Something to Your Company

FedEx_Corporation_logoThe best logo designs for your company are those that communicate something about what you do, so that prospective customers can tell what sort of organization they’re dealing with at a glance. You don’t have to offer a game of charades to signal your specialty, but loading up on geometric shapes may not help your visual brand as much as clearer icons can. Consider FedEx’s logo: there’s an arrow hidden in the design (formed in the space between the ‘E’ and the ‘x’), signifying the movement that embodies FedEx.

200px-Black_&_Decker_logoYou can add in emotional factors, as well: are there any colors or images that you identify with? These personal connections can help you tie your brand together with a story. Communicating those emotional factors with design is very possible: consider Black & Decker’s logo. The tool company wants to be known for strength and utility, and has therefore strengthened — or, rather, thickened — the font in its logo. Apple_logo_blackJust explaining that level of relationship between your design and the way you do business can help your visual identity stick in a customer’s mind — he may see it a few years down the road, but still remember working with you because of the connection between your story and your logo. Don’t be afraid to diverge from what may seem like obvious colors: it might seem like a company like Apple should be tied to the color red, but the current iteration of its logo is black. Previous versions included a rainbow-hued piece of fruit.

Look for Unique Designs, Wherever Possible

Southwest_Airlines_Logo

It can be difficult to come up with an entirely original logo design: between the constraints on logo designs and the millions of businesses out there all looking for their own visual brands, it’s not unusual to see hints of similarity between your logo and others’. But it is crucial to diverge as much as you can, particularly from other companies in your area. Consider the overlap between many airlines’ logos: while Southwest Airlines incorporates wings, which are common in its industry, the company stands apart with the addition of a heart.

Creating your own logo may seem like a difficult project, especially when you consider that some companies can buy a logo online and slap their name on to it. However, those companies are running a risk. Since such logos are often sold over and over again, especially if they’re available for unbelivabley low prices, it’s not out of the question for such a company to find out that someone else is using the exact same logo — sometimes even in the same industry or the same city! There’s nothing to be done to stop this sort of duplication, except to either hire a graphic designer to create a unique logo for you or to design one yourself.

The Right Tools Make a Difference

The tools you use can make a major difference in the type of logos you can design. There’s a reason that professional designers are willing to invest in the right software, like Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as in classes to learn how to use design software.

Similarly, you need to know how to implement your logo designs within the bigger projects that you’ll use them for, like your website. Turning a logo into a header image for a blog isn’t that difficult of a prospect once you’ve created a logo, but it’s a necessary step for actually using your design.