We’re looking at how to design logos. You maybe want to design a logo for your company yourself. You may be a designer starting out. It could be you’ve been thinking of rebranding your company.
Logo design is amongst the most important part of your company. Why? Because the logo is the first thing people see when they come to your website. It’s probably the first thing a leaflet or brochure shows to identify you. Your business card, or if you are a high street business the shop front will show your logo. So the design of your logo is by far the most important identity of your branding and your company.
People tend to think of a logo design as a basic design. Because a good logo is kept simple, they assume simplicity means quick to design – wrong! A good logo doesn’t work that way. In fact the process to get to a good logo that has the type of simplicity required to make it a great logo may take many creations and variations.
One of my top tips for designing logos, is do not get caught up in the idea; “simplicity means it must be quick and simple to design” To make an awesome logo, it takes time. There are so many variations to go into a logo design before it reaches a presentable design. Then with a logo that ticks every box, it can be agreed upon between the client and the designer as the final version. The final version is then locked in as the final logo. All other versions should be archived away.
Below is an example where the Hydenlyne and SVL are both involved in services related to the Seismic industry. The business owner wanted to bring together two old logos as a family of logos. The challenge was to find a way of adding some consistency while respecting the previous logo. This was achieved by shape and colour.
Employing a design agency to design your logo would be incredibly expensive. So I just provide you with an incredibly cost effective package. You just choose the amount of hours you want me to spend on your log design.This is by far the most affordable way to get great results for a few hundred pounds!
Absolutely. I want you to love your logo. To do this, we work together on the design. You select your favorite from some of my creativity. From that we redesign some new variants until we clearly have a logo design that works for you.
Vector works out your logo through mathematics and never loses quality as you enlarge it, whereas bitmap condenses specific pixels and loses quality as you enlarge it.
I have 20 plus years experience in design. I have managed the design department of a large marketing company in the past. I work well with people and can communicate easily. I’ve helped local business since 1999. I have a track record of honesty and reliability. I’m a web design specialist and worked with Photoshop for 20 years. I have an outstanding track record. Need I say anymore?
I want to consider two things with you before I dig into the actual detail. Firstly I will provide my top tips to help you understand the process of how to design a logo. Secondly, if you are a business owner, I will give you an understanding of the requirements and preparation needed from you. For example, you will need to have in mind what type of ideas are associated with your business, what other branding is being used by your competitors and what is considered correct in your industry. Here preparation is key.
So you want to have a new logo. What about going down the free logo route? There are many that perhaps look at free logo design software on the web and think to themselves due to their limited budget it will suffice. They reason it will just have to be good enough.
Well let me burst your bubble. If you intend to future proof your business, grow it, or even sell it in the future, a free logo design or just grabbing a logo from a website and then putting your name on it will not help. It’s immediately starting off in the wrong direction. Prospective customers will look at your clipart branding and immediately frown or be put off.
So here is one of my biggest tips. “If you plant an acorn randomly in the garden, it’s a lot more work moving an oak tree 20 years on. So plant your acorn correctly from the start, where you want the oak tree to grow!” Similarly, grow your business with a professional logo from the start and it will build loyalty and pay dividends over and over again for the coming 20 years, you won’t need to spend another penny thereafter.
A clip art logo is actually going to suppress any new business. So you think let’s start with this basic logo. Then when I’ve earned good money I can readdress it. This isn’t good logic as its pretty much the acorn oak syndrome above. Most of your potential customers and visitors will see it for what it is early on. In effect its a lack of professionalism in the design. Even worse, maybe they’ll notice your clip-art or free logo is seen in several other places. Bespoke unique logo design will always be best. so don’t have the same logo have a bespoke one and you’ll stand out. It will show you had a proper designer. It will last you for many years if not the whole lifetime of your business.
I want to share some of my 20 years’ experience with you. Let’s look at some details and run through some of my logo design tips to help you design a better logo.
So I mentioned here at the beginning, that colors, fonts and the shapes chosen make or break a logo. In effect the combination of those 3 things is what makes the majority of logos out there. The shapes chosen on a logo are essential. Why did I put this as one of my first tips? Above all branding and colour are one of the most important parts of your design. Logos and colours are used to help people think a certain way. Colours are associated with feelings and emotions. Your visitors, customers or clients will see your logo and subconsciously form an emotion or feeling.
For example the McDonald’s logo is known for its bright yellow and red letter M. The yellow and red are vibrant colours that have a psychological effect on customers. The red suggests speed and fast and the yellow is more to do with food and hunger so you can be fed in a fast way! The colours used at McDonald’s are deliberate. In other words you subconsciously think about the colours being used, and then make a decision. So when we look at the shape, it’s a very simple capital M. The fonts are consistent too. So when it comes down to my first tips of colours, fonts and shapes, McDonald’s makes the point well.
You can see there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye of having SVG logo design basically it means it’s an image of the scale of the size of your logo will always look clean and professional. now if you have designed in bitmap which is like a Photoshop image a JPEG, Bitmap, GIF, PNG, PNG24. They all work really well for the web because it works in bitmap. Other things you need to consider. Do you have a vector version of your logo? If you haven’t had one from your designer then you may want to consider having it designed in Adobe Illustrator.
So ideally your logo should be in vector and not just bitmap version to future-proof it. Vector is ideal for large signs and banners for conventions. If you want to take your logo outside of web and small print, then you will want to scale the logo via vector. Now with complicated logos that very hard to make in a format that scales well. So that’s one of the reasons why simplicity is important when it comes to logo design.
One of my top tips:
logo design with simplicity is essential.
Let’s take an example of a simple logo. My own Zanet Design Logo. What was the thinking behind the design of my logo? Let me take you through my thought process when I designed it several years ago.
The idea is just a standard circle is easy enough to draw. As you can see, this isn’t a standard circle though. The logo is a circle that has been divided into 4 sections or quarters.
Just when you think that it’s predictable, something different happens. Now that’s the way I like to design. A designer who makes his designs stand out. The logo is not accused of being regular. So this case of course we have one quarter of the circle pointing in an opposite direction.
The circle is regular and then has a section pointing in the opposite way. This should provoke reaction to my clients, help me stand out for good reasons. As mentioned before, your logo needs to stand out. This helps lift your branding above the competition. A different logo furnishes you with an important advantage.
One of my biggest clients produced his logo with me literally on a tissue in a pub. It was a simple sketch which ended up becoming a beautiful logo. This should be kept in mind throughout the design process. Keeping it simple is reversible. Can you draw it on paper from memory? A well designed logo will be so memorable that you could walk out of the room and sketch it.
Taking my Zanet Design logo as an example. Is it easy enough to draw? If I asked you to go away after seeing this logo and draw it, could you draw it from your memory? You probably could draw it, knowing its a circle and you need to remember one quarter circle on the top left is turned in the opposite direction to the other 3.
What about the Zanet Design logo colours? This colour pallet is pretty much consistent with everything I do. Sometimes I use a white version of the logo to stand out on a colourful background. Either way the logo stands out as being something different.
Now notice the 2 shapes within the circle. The circle forms a capital “Z” and a capital “D”. Can you see this within the logo pattern? Topologically speaking, you have a “Z” for Zanet and “D” for Design.
See illustration of ZD below
So a lot of thought has gone into the process of building a logo. Logo design takes various reiterations and creations before you get to a final version. Taking my Zanet Design logo, here I can reveal some of the versions I went through before finalizing it.
Example of various stages to get to my final logo design
I eventually came to this logo version because it was clever but not too complex.
So a logo shouldn’t be complex. Just bear in mind that the time it takes to produce a logo can vary. Now that’s what you’re paying the designer for, time on the design itself. It takes time to produce design variations. Communicating feedback and understanding your thoughts, also takes time. Above all you want to enable the designer to inspire further ideas and creativity.
At this stage the logo is probably digitally designed. Efforts to getting the logo printed off will be a top tip. Having it on paper makes it a lot easier for you to look at. Next you will want to review the ideas with your designer. When you go through your designs together, you can understand why elements are added or disregarded. A reminder for new designers reading this, don’t just decide to do something which is too obvious, take time to think outside the box with the client. It looks really amateurish if you go down the predictable route with logo design.
For example if your company was called “Looking” an imaginary name for clothing design company. It would be extremely predictable to use the company lettering “looking” and simply and predictably take the two letter O’s in and to put them as two eyeballs.
You won’t get any marks at all when it comes to logo design. Worse still it will damage your reputation. So keep avoiding the obvious traps when it comes to logo design. The traps are often suggested by well-meaning owners of the company. It’s up to you as the designer to be strong enough to steer there brief into the right direction. On the other hand, sometimes you can take the obvious and do something really special with it.
Take a shape or an idea, or even look at other logos in the same industry. Many will have similar ideas. Now take that idea or thought and do something special with it. Add minus or missing space to it and allow your brain to fill the gaps. Take something that’s obvious and do something very special with it. Use space and blank areas to your advantage. The space around the logo can work for you not against you.
One of the biggest mistakes of course, is not to test a logo. Take your printed out logo and pass it around for feedback. Allow a few friends to see it. Ask what do they see, what do they think of when they see your new logo. What it suggests to them may well be what it suggests to your new clients. As difficult as it might be, listen to their feedback because their feedback is very much what your visitors will be saying when they see your logo for the first time.
Consistency with logos is also a big must. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen for small businesses and entrepreneurs is they produce a logo, then they get a different version made for a new print job. Now the consistency is lost, the branding integrity disappears. The result, trust also disappears. Consistency creates trust. I’ve seen it so often. They ask a design to produce a logo. The log is finalised. They then take a different version of the logo. They change it slightly without involving the original designer. Now they have two final versions floating around. Now one goes on Facebook. Another version of the logo goes on LinkedIn. You have another version on the shop sign outside the business. This is damaging the company’s brand.
Logo consistency should be 100% the same everywhere you go. Just think of the company’s like Mercedes, McDonald’s or Boots. Think of some of the largest companies in the world like IBM. Their letters their fonts the colours are consistent. This lesson is there for you too. Your logo, fonts colours should be exactly the same for your company. Once you’ve made a decision, be happy with the logo. If its well-designed, simple, yet could be drawn from your memory, you know you have a good balanced logo.
Of course these are just a few tips on how to design a logo. If you are a designer, I hope this has been able to give you the confidence to know that a lot of what you are doing is absolutely correct. If you still don’t feel that you can do this, or if you’re not a designer. Then of course, I can offer my skills and my design experience to produce a logo for you. Just contact me on my website or in the comments below.