If you want your company to stand out from the crowd, starting with a template or mimicking someone else’s logo design just won’t do. Your logo needs to be as unique as your company is, otherwise, why work with you? Behind every great logo is a great Idea.
Where do you start, then? With style.
Creating your mark
The most important part of designing your logo is understanding, “simplicity is king.”
Your logo needs to be recognizable from far away, and in a teeny tiny send-off on the bottom of a black and white printout. Using thin lines, gradients, or photo-realistic images are absolute no-nos. Instead, you want an immediately recognizable mark that represents your brand and might even have a bit of visual wit involved.
What is visual wit, you say? Think Baskin Robbins, FedEx, Apple, LG. What these logos have in common is a bit of the unexpected.
Baskin Robbins has a 31 hidden inside the logo design to represent its original 31 flavors. The FedEx logo uses the whitespace between the E and the x to hide a right-facing arrow, meant to be a subliminal symbol for speed and precision. Apple has a “byte” taken out of their logo, much to every tech-nerds’ delight. And, as LG stands for “Life’s Good,” what better way to use its “L” and “G” than to create a smiley face? In other words, great marks start with an idea.
Your first task, then, is to ask yourself what your company stands for, and why you need a logo design. The answer to these questions will give you a good idea for what kind of image you should choose.
What’s your type?
Onward! Once you’ve figured out your brand story and settled on an image, you need to pick a typeface. While there may be times you only use a symbol to represent your company (cue Apple), there will always be a future need to incorporate your name as well. Here are some typeface options:
- Serif fonts: With little serifs, or “feet,” at the end of the letters, this font can give a sophisticated, classic or old-fashioned feel to your logo design.
- Sans serif fonts: Without feet on the letters, this typeface feels more modern and sleek.
- Script fonts: A variety of script typefaces mimic handwriting, with everything from elegant calligraphy to an eight-year-old’s doodling
- Display fonts: These highly stylized and variable fonts include block type, retro, typewriter, decorative, and distorted, just to name a few.
Once you pick your typeface, however, your job isn’t over. Now, you need to modify the type to fit your brand’s identity. That’s right, from this moment on, the type you picked is no longer typeface. They are graphics to be manipulated, and manipulate them you must. The look and feel of your company’s name should not be an afterthought.
Color Me Yours – But Not Yet
Once you’ve settled on your symbol and type marks, it’s time to put them together and make your logo design sing.
Begin in black and white.
That might sound strange to you, particularly if you know you want to use color in your logo design. However, every logo ever made eventually finds itself printed out on a black and white printer. Not only that, but in black and white, it is much easier to concentrate on using negative space, on foreground vs. background, on gestalt (the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts). Only when you’ve put all the pieces into harmony should you begin to consider color.
Don’t forget to test your logo out vertically and horizontally.
Color has meaning as well, so when you finally reach this point in your designing process, choose wisely. Are you opening up a spa? Blue is a calming color. Do you own a paving and construction company? Yellow and red are strong and bold. Pastels are feminine. Green relates to nature. Look through some ideas on color theory as you decide what color to paint your logo.
One final bit of color advice: don’t use more than three colors. Less is more.
Designing a logo that’s memorable, readable, and represents your brand perfectly, is no easy task. Check out your competition. Study the logo designs you love and ask yourself why. Try something, and then try something completely different just in case. Eventually, you’ll find the perfect mark for your unique brand.
Get a Logo You Love Designed by Experts
Designing your own logo may seem like an overwhelming task. Fortunately, the graphic design experts at Gauge Digital Media can help! From helping you choose colors to incorporating your logo into your website and marketing materials, we can help. Call us today at (410) 376-7709 to learn more!