Try walking down the street in a city, metropolitan area, or shopping district. Take a look around you; what are some things that you might see on billboards, shop windows, or shopping bags? Logos! There are some logos that, without even looking at them, you will know what company they are for, what they represent, and the types of products that they make available. Take the Apple logo for example. Weird, right? Who thought thousands – maybe even millions – of people would associate a piece of fruit with one of the most powerful computer and technology device-making companies in the world?
Apple’s logo, however, did not start with the simple fruit. Originally, the logo featured Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. This was back in 1976, and that same year, the logo evolved into a simple shape of an apple (with an evident bite mark) and rainbow stripes. How do people come up with logos? It is doubtful that another tech company will use another solitary piece of fruit as their mascot, so how does the design process take place? We are going to let you in on how companies, business, and individuals use images and words to tell a story about their product or brand. Let’s get started!
We are going to split up the design process into three stages: initial planning, creating the design, and finalizing and fine tuning your design. Let’s begin by going over some things you will need to keep in mind when brainstorming the design of your logo.
Function: Determine the purpose that your logo is going to serve. You should be able to come up with a clear idea of what you are going to want your audience to get from your logo. With most companies, they are going to want to focus on creating a brand that is going to leave a stamp in people’s minds. Focus on incorporating these functions into your logo:
- Memorable: Make a logo that will help customers create associations with your product and your logo.
- Trust: People will be more likely to spend their money on a reputable brand than on a lesser-known one.
- Creativity: Having a creative logo is going to get people to admire your brand and create a good and thoughtful impression.
Audience: Who is your logo targeting? Consider the market that you are going into. Are you targeting the fashion industry, cars, or food? Determining the people you are getting at will help you figure out things such as which color scheme would work best for your logo.
Images or Words: Your logo can incorporate images, words, or both into your design. It is up to you to decide what would be the best fit for your logo. Here are some things to consider:
- Do you need to build name recognition? If you do not yet have the funds to spend a lot of time on designing, a name logo might be the way to go. However, if your name is too long or generic, go ahead and leave it out.
- Consider where you plan to put your logo and if an image or name would be better for readability.
Color: With color, you probably will not get to be too creative. If the company already has a color scheme, it is important to follow it, as color schemes are very familiar to the eye. If the company does not yet have a color scheme, do some research on colors pertaining to the type of product you are selling for some helpful tips for your market.
Browse: If you are feeling stuck on ideas, take a quick look through some popular logos and determine what makes them successful and eye-catching. Try to use those same qualities — without copying the design — and incorporate them into your logo. Also, take a look at other logos within your same market to see what other companies use.
Keep it Simple: Remember that a logo is just that — a logo. Logos are generally on the small side and to the point. Keep this in mind as you are designing your own. Avoid a lot of colors, words, or multiple patterns or layers. A simple logo is much cheaper, easier to create, and practical.
Now onto the fun part!
Draw: Even if you are planning on designing your logo on a computer, make sure you do some initial classic pencil sketches first. This is a simple way to get all of your ideas out there before you commit to one design. Do not be worried about making your drafts perfect, just draw. Who knows, in the end you might like something you previous didn’t.
Feedback: Although you might be tempted to go through with a design you really like, it is important to get feedback from a few groups of people, namely people who would be interested in buying the company’s products. Ask them questions, such as: what message does it convey? Is it recognizable? And, does it make them want to make a purchase?
Function: After you have some feedback, be sure that your logo will be a good fit for all the places it is needed. Your logo might have to go on: newspapers, a website, a certain product, or a small sticker. Determine that it will look okay in all of these places. Also, make sure that it is scalable if need be.
Final Draft: Your final draft will likely be digitized for easier access. This will be done either by you or a graphic design professional who is familiar with design programs.
Testing: Once your logo is done, test it out. The internet is a great and easy way to get a large amount of feedback quickly. Use social media or the company’s website to get some responses. Remember that you can always go back and tweak your logo.
- Consider symmetry
- Passive or active? Having an active logo can help your logo make a statement or create a sense of activity that your customers will want to follow suit in.
- Create a logo that can withstand through time. Even though you may change your logo in the future, create a logo that will look good a few years from now.
- Read up on the psychology associated with certain color schemes and shapes. Not only is this interesting, but it can be extremely useful to your design process as well!
Just a reminder: here are a few things to keep in mind to not do when you are designing a logo.
- Try not to use clichés in your logo.
- Do not be too predictable. Being too predictable will take out the creativity from your design.
- Use a unique typeface. Custom lettering will help make your logo identifiable.
Put it Out There!
Creating a successful and well-received logo is a long, but rewarding process. Do not get discouraged if you have to go back and make a few tweaks here and there (Pepi’s logo has been changed 9 times!). Create a logo that is meaningful, unique, and has a purpose. If you find yourself in a design stitch, check out Udemy.com for some helpful courses on designing a logo, and you will be on your way to taking a big bite out of your target market!