A logo is not just a mark – a logo reflects a business’s commercial brand via the use of shape, fonts, colour, and / or images. It inspires trust, recognition and admiration for a company or product and it is our job as designers to create a logo that will do this. It is helpful if you know what makes a great logo so you understand our process and can help point us in the right direction for your design. Here are some basic guidelines for logo design and some common mistakes that are made.
1. A logo must be simple
A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile & memorable. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn.
Knowing how your logo is going to be used, both in size and media, can help your designer create a logo that’s appropriate in terms of complexity. When the size of a complex design is reduced it loses detail and can be difficult to reproduce and may look like a mistake.
It is a common mistake to use too many fonts in a design. This creates confusion as does a poor choice of font. It is important to find the right balance between the icon and the font so they are not competing for attention and it is standard practice to use a maximum of 2 fonts of different weights.
A complex logo can be difficult to remember as too much detail takes viewers longer to process. A memorable logo is a simple logo as can be seen by the famous examples of Nike, Apple and McDonald’s.
2. A logo must be unique
While it can be helpful to look at logos that your competitors or industry are using, this should never be used as a guide to creating your logo. The idea is to stand out in a cluttered marketplace and to be different than your competitors or better still to have a logo that’s better than theirs.
A common mistake is to cut corners and try to save time and money by using ‘cookie-cutter’ options. While it is tempting to use stock art, free logo templates, and clip art this means that your design will not be unique.
It is also important to avoid any legal copyright issues by plagiarising other logos.
3. A logo must be timeless
An effective logo should be timeless – that is, it will stand the test of time. Will the logo still be effective in 10, 20, 50 years?
It’s important to not rely on trends as these become overused clichés and they should be avoided. You can learn off the success or failure of other logos to see what works and what doesn’t.
4. A logo must be versatile
An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of applications. For this reason a logo should be designed using vector graphics software, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size without pixelation. It is also much easier to edit vector format and it can easily be adapted to any media. It is useful to think about what applications you would like to use your logo on, for example, stationery, store signage, car signage, embroidered uniforms, promotional materials, website, and billboards.
While it is useful to consider the colours in your logo and we will take all colour selections into consideration, it is advisable that the logo doesn’t rely on colour for effect. It should look good if presented in just one colour.
5. A logo must be appropriate
It is natural to want to like your logo, however it is important to keep in mind that your logo needs to be appropriately positioned within your industry and be designed to appeal to your customers. For example, if you are designing a logo for children’s party service, it would be appropriate to use a childish font and colour scheme. This would not be so appropriate for a law firm. Consider the essence of your company, is it serious or whimsical, and remember to design for the client, not yourself.
As you can see, there is a lot to take into consideration when designing a logo for your business and it is easy to make an ineffective logo. When you are in the market to have a new logo developed there is always the temptation to take some shortcuts, usually to save time, money or a combination of both. Amateur options include using instant websites, bidding wars/ design contests, logo templates, friends of friends and DIY home design using clipart. The trouble is, most of these ‘cookie cutter’ solutions turn out to be neither inexpensive nor fast and may cause a ton of headaches down the road, especially when your company starts to become more high profile. There is only one valuable way to design an original and effective logo and that is to work with an experienced professional. Burleigh Print is able to offer you a design solution.
What to come to us with:
When you are ready to design a logo for your business it would be helpful to our designers if you could bring the following along with you:
- A description of your business
- A description of your customers
- An idea of where you need to use the logo
- Examples of what you do and don’t like – fonts, colours, images