Logo design may be one of the most artistic aspects of Graphic Design as a whole. Creating a truly unique logo that represents your company’s offerings as well as its mission and vision requires a lot of thought. There are guidelines and general design rules that apply to all aspects of design, but logo design is not a science.
Research, First and Foremost
When beginning work on a new logo for your business, your first temptation will be to jump right in and start playing with ideas. You might begin this work based on what typefaces you’re familiar with, what colors you like, or what you’ve heard are the “best practices” for a logo in your industry. You might be tempted to take a shortcut and mock up something similar to another business in your industry.
While playing around with ideas like these can be helpful down the road, you should resist those initial urges.
The first step in logo design is research. Yes, looking at other logos in your industry can be part of that research, but great logo design involves a large amount of insight into your industry, audiences, competition, and location, as well as some deep thought into your own company mission and long-term goals.
You might be a relatively new company and tempted to design a logo following all of the latest and greatest trends and techniques. But, what if you are a new company marketing hearing aids to senior citizens? Your logo style should relate more closely to that audience: don’t for get to do some demographics research.
The longer a logo is used, the more exposure it gets, and the stronger your visual brand will become. That’s why it’s also important to consider how your company might evolve, and what your long-term goals are.
Whatever personal preferences you have in mind for your new logo, your research will likely add a dynamic to your approach that was not there before. Your logo will almost always benefit from those insights.
Choose Your Colors Carefully
There is a lot to be said about the psychology of color. Yes, try to avoid blindly following the “best practices” for logos in your industry in the last section of this article.
Many logo colors work because of the psychological or emotional impact certain colors have in certain applications. We all know blue is “generally” calming, red is stimulating and depending on its use can be associated with love or danger, and orange and yellow are high-energy colors, often used in sports-related products or event promotions.
Colors have an impact on our emotions and psyche relative to the implementation and forms they are combined with, and the hue and saturation of the color itself.
A navy blue can illicit feelings of security and strength and may be useful for a law firm or protective service, while taking it a few shades lighter and adding a mountain to the graphic can change the feeling to peace, tranquility, and an association with nature, like that feeling you got at twilight while camping outdoors as a child.
A fire engine red can bring forth excitement and passion when used with rounded shapes, like a heart, but can also elicit a feeling of danger or thrill when combined with sharper edges and points.
If we take the exciting orange that we might see used for a sports team or an energy drink, and bring it down a few shades to give it a more earthy tone, this can also elicit feelings of security or nature and be used for organic farm products or a natural grocer.
So, though you might want to choose lime-green and black because it is your favorite color combo, it is essential to put a little research and thought into what best suits the message you’re trying to convey to your audience about your business.
Fonts & Form
Selecting fonts for your logo is unlike selecting fonts for a document or design piece. This is where your inner artist really gets to shine. Why is it so different? In a typically designed document, you are only trying to find fonts that go well together, are legible, and help convey a mood or a message.
With logo design, the whole font game changes. Yes, you can still create a logo with straight text and font pairing. But you have so many more options!
You can play with the position, orientation, size, and form of every letter in your logo. If I run a farm, called “Keller Farms,” for example, I could consider laying the “K” down on its front side, giving it legs to represent an animal.
Alternatively, if it’s a vegetable farm, I could lay the “K” down on its back and add leaves to the arms to make it look like a plant. I can find a way to combine the “K” from Keller, and the “F” from Farms to represent a barn. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Maybe our farm is strictly designed for crop share or agricultural trade audiences. We would want to do some additional research on that audience. Eventually, we want our farm to be the number one crop share in Colorado – now we’re looking at possibly incorporating a mountain (location), or a set of hands (“sharing”).
We are strictly organic, but we want to appeal to millennials and Gen Z because of the “crowd-sourcing” aspect of our business. Now we’re doing research into type, form, and color to represent an organic farm that also appeals to these audiences while staying true to our vision.
This is where the research begins to come together to help to build the perfect logo and brand to represent your business.
Back to the Art
Are there certain font combinations that will pair better than others? Yes.
Are there some great examples out there that I can use to guide my decisions? Absolutely. But, this is your logo.
Another common word used in design and marketing for a logo is your “identity.” Your logo is typically your first chance to tell a customer what your business is all about. It’s your elevator pitch, and so much more.
In one concise visual representation, this is your chance to tell your audience(s) who your company is, what you represent, what you offer, and what your vision and mission are in the short-term as well as the long-term. No pressure at all, right?
Yes and no. Yes, logo design is an art and it is the sole representative of your company at a glance. But, because it is an art, you can’t really get “wrong.”
Branding Design at SharedTEAMS: We’ll Work With You to Design the Perfect Logo
Your logo should represent what your company offers and what you represent, and it should attempt to make an impression at an emotional or intellectual level. But, because it is not a hard-and-fast science, you can achieve a logo that is perfect for you and still have some fun with it.
At SharedTEAMS, we offer branding design tailored to your needs. You can learn more about our branding design project here or contact us today with questions and requests!