Next to the name of your company, one of the most important things you’ll do for your brand is creating your logo. A logo is often the first impression of your brand and something returning customers will identify with.
Think of some of the most famous companies around: you know the Apple symbol, the Target logo, the McDonald’s arches, the Nike swoosh. Studies even show that preschoolers can identify brands by their logos.
They’re easy to recognize, memorable, and if you do it right will create a lasting impression in a customer’s mind. This guide will walk you through the basics of creating your logo, what you need to keep in mind, how to create one that works for your brand, and what to do if you want to change your logo.
You want your logo to stand for what your company represents. That means the colors, design, size, and overall look are all factors you’ll have to take into consideration.
While you slowly gather ideas for what you want your logo to look like, there are a few simple basics you need to know and keep in mind.
How would you describe your company and the experience of working with your company
You’ll want to spend some time outlining what your company is like and what it’s like to work with you. You don’t want your logo to give a customer the wrong impression, so trying to convey what your company is like using a logo is no easy task.
If your company prides itself on being fast-paced and competitive, you don’t want bright colors or soft edges. You want a logo that accurately portrays your company and your mission.
You’ll also want to keep your customers in mind when you start creating your logo. If you’re targeting new moms, you don’t want an aggressive logo. You’d want something warm and welcoming.
Don’t speed through this part. Everything else including the colors, shapes, and fonts are just a refinement of your logo. If you don’t get the basics down, no fancy logo editing will convey the right message.
Factors to consider: colors
Next to the overall design of your logo, picking the main colors an important decision to make and can have an impact on your logo’s impression. It might seem like a simple thing, but different colors can convey different ideas. Research looked into the impact colors have on marketing and logos and found that while color is not always guaranteed to convey a particular feeling for a customer, it still has a huge impact.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about each of the colors and their general influence on our emotions:
Black/white: Monochromatic type of tones convey a serious or minimalistic feel. It’s the color of luxury brands and museums. Some brands that use this include Nike, The New York Times, and Apple.
Red: Red is the color of passion and excitement. It can also convey playfulness and youth. Some brands that use red include Target, Coca Cola, and Nintendo.
Orange: Orange naturally stands out, but it isn’t as loud as red. It is naturally energetic. Some that include orange are Nickelodeon, Fanta, and Amazon.
Yellow: Yellow is one of the friendliest colors you could pick for a logo. It conveys happiness and cheer. Some brands that include yellow are McDonalds, Nikon, and Best Buy.
Green: Green is closely linked to the outdoors and money. This is why brands like Tropicana, Whole Foods, and John Deere all use green in their logos.
Blue: Blue is a warm, trustworthy, and friendly color which is the most common color for logos. Some brands that use it include Walmart, Facebook, and Oreo.
Purple: When it comes to logos, purple is not often a popular color due to it giving a cutting-edge and unique feeling. Some brands that use purple include Taco Bell, Cadury, and Syfy.
Brown: Brown is another color that isn’t used often for brands. It conveys a masculine, serious tone. Some of the brands that use brown include M&M’s, UPS, and Godiva.
Pink: Pink is often associated with femininity, giving off a softer, friendly feel. Brands that use pink include Brabie, Roxy, and Lyft.
Of course, most logos have a mix of colors, but knowing what colors you want to mix that will also fit in the theme of your business can help you make the perfect logo.
Factors to consider: shapes
Along with colors, shapes can have just as much of an impact on a potential customer.
Triangles / sharp edges: Usually, triangles and sharp edges in a logo give a feel of both speed and sharpness. You see these in technology companies, media companies, and athletic companies. Some examples include Nike, Twitter, and Monster Energy.
Smooth / round edges: Softer edges in a logo usually provide a sense of comfort. These are family-friendly brands that are welcoming. Some examples include McDonalds, Target, and HP.
Squares / straight edges: Squares represent something solid, so you see traditional brands fall within this realm. Some examples include Nikon, Hallmark, and Netflix.
Factors to consider: fonts
If you plan to use text in your logo, there are thousands of fonts to choose from.
While there are too many to cover every individual font, there are some basics about each to keep in mind.
Cursive: Cursive fonts give a classy, elegant look. Cursive can blend together when the font is too small, so be sure to keep an eye on that if you decide to use it.
Classic: There are some classic, traditional fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica. If you have a traditional, classic brand it might fit in well. If you have a cutting-edge company where you focus on growth constantly, you might not want something so traditional.
Modern: Some fonts are more modern than others, such as Futura or Century Gothic, which can give an impression of your brand being strong, chic, and progressive.
Display: Display fonts include ones such as Cooper and Valencia, which gives your brand a unique but friendly feel.
Pulling it all together to create a logo
Your logo is often the first thing your customers will see, long before they interact with your company. Think of your logo as your opening “hello” to a potential customer. With this in mind, you’ll want to take the designing process seriously.
Before you start putting yours together, it can help to look around the internet and start bookmarking logos you like. Ideally, you’d want to also be clear on why you like each of these designs so you can bring those elements into your logo.
Although there are a lot of people out there who can create a logo for a few dollars, logo making is a serious endeavor. You should know what you’re getting into before you hire someone on the internet. Having a good outline and idea will also help anyone you hire to do the logo, too.
It can be tempting for a lot of companies to simply hire the cheapest person to slap a simple design together, but sometimes logos you see from cheap freelancers are stolen from various places online. Save yourself a potential lawsuit down the line by making sure you’re getting a unique logo right off the bat.
If you have an in-house designer, that’s even better. Whether you outsource or have help, you’ll want to compile a file of logos you like. The more specific you can be about what you want to use and why in your logo will save you hours down the line of editing your logo.
If you’re still stuck for ideas, ask your customers what they think about your brand and what attracted them in the first place. This can give you a ton of ideas for elements to highlight.
Changing your logo
One thing to keep in mind through this process is that you can always change your logo. You might currently be at this stage, depending on how long you’ve been in business. Switching it up can be a great thing for your brand, especially if you’re going through internal company changes to give your company a fresh start.
Also, the last thing you’d want to do is have an old, outdated logo that makes your company look behind.
While rebranding can be expensive, for some companies the process is worth it. Go through this whole article, start from the beginning. Gather new ideas and write out exactly why the current logo isn’t working for your company.
When you look at famous brands, most of them have changed their logos through the years. As times progress, company missions change, which give companies a reason to give the brand a fresh, new look.
You don’t have to be a giant company to do the same thing, especially if your company image has been stale.
Take a look at the Burger King logo from 1957 and the one today:
If anything, not changing your logo as the times go on might say to the world that your company is too old fashioned to keep up with the modern world. If you run something like a marketing or branding company, that can hurt your image with potential clients.
A unique logo is something you shouldn’t rush through and instead should take your time with. Test out different ideas and see how the different pieces work with each other. By combining all these elements together, you’ll be able to create a logo that truly represents your brand.