Many people are under the false assumption, because of what they heard, that creating a logo is one of the easiest things you can do. However, you can’t just throw a shape or two together and call it a logo. There’s much more to logo designing than this. So, ignore what people say about how easy it is. It’s anything, but…
There’s a plethora of things that you need to do to ensure a logo for a business actually speaks for the business. After all, that’s what a logo is – it represents the company and brand. Business logos must express values, identity and so much more.
Never think of a logo design job as a small job. It is, by far, the most important thing a company will ever need. It will help the company to come up with more designs and branding choices in the future.
Do you need a logo for your business? Or, do you need to develop a logo for a client? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
What Are The Qualities Of An Effective Logo?
An effective logo is going to be powerful. It doesn’t matter if it’s text or imagery, effective logos have the power to make things “pop.” What are the qualities of an effective logo?
– It’s a unique logo – It doesn’t get confused for another logo or competitor
– It’s recognizable – People can associate the logo with a particular business
– It’s timeless – It needs to stay fresh decades from now.
– It speaks volumes – It speaks volumes about your company’s message (its qualities, values and skills)
3 Key Kinds Of Logos You Should Consider For Your Company
There are three kinds of logos:
– Literal logos
– Abstract logos
A Look At Logotypes
The most commonly seen logos are logotypes and include an adaptation of a previous font or typeface. These kinds of logos are valuable for differentiated companies with multiple businesses.
For instance, the Sky Production logo is a wonderful example of this kind of logo that brings imagery and lettering together. The “S” is comprised of cloud shapes with side borders that appear like film edges. The Sky Production logo is a wonderful example of boundary pushing.
A Look At Literal Imagery
This is another common kind of logo, and brings meaning to a business’ name should it not be explicitly clear. Small, local companies are usually the ones that use this logotype. They’re recognizable and don’t leave much to the imagination (although a number of them will use hidden imagery and double meanings).
For example, a bike chain is a literal image for a bike-related business.
A Look At Abstract Imagery
These logos are useful for businesses that focus on an array of things – they express tone and mood better than a certain business type. A logo doesn’t always need to express what the business is or does.
For instance, the Ease logo uses an abstract logo that expresses the right mood.
What Are The Steps To Creating A Logo?
Develop A Design Brief
The first thing you need to do is draft a design brief. Your client should provide you with as much background information as possible about their business. This includes information about prior logos. Make sure you get as much information as possible – not just from them but research things for yourself.
Ask Questions If You’re Unclear About Something
To ensure there are no misunderstandings, you want to ask your client-specific questions. Attain clarification on anything you’re not sure about. Don’t spend hours on a project, only to find that you didn’t get the design just the way the client wanted it. You certainly don’t want to have to do revisions nor lose your client because of the “mess.”
Just because they were unclear doesn’t mean anything. You’re the one responsible.
Do Research On Your Audience
Be sure you do research on the audience. Who will see the logo? What kind of customers does your client have? Where will the logo be used? What kind of format will it be used in? You need to know what your design limitations are – will it be better in black and white or color.
What Are Some Valuable Tools and Resources That You Can Use
The majority of designers will use Adobe Illustrator or some other vector graphics program to develop a logo. There are free programs and tools that will let you design logos, but not all are created equal. Therefore, some will do your logo justice while others won’t. What are some of the best logo apps you can use?
Logaster – This logo design app is very easy to use. All you need to do is type in the business name and type, pick the logo concept you what, do some editing and download the design.
GraphicSprings – Make your logo in five easy steps, using their exhaustive collection of stock images to help you out.
LogoGenie – In just three steps, you can design a logo to be proud of. Just choose the industry you’re designing for, as well as the icon. Pick the font, add in your effects and that’s it!
SquarespaceLogo – This is a rather new tool from Squarespace. It offers more modern design and is a rather simple design tool compared to others.
What Are Some Resources To Use For Inspiration
When you need some ideas for logos, you want logos from competitors and different companies. Do your research, looking at various galleries to get some inspiration. Do a Google search for logos to come up with some ideas.
When looking at the various logos, don’t imitate them. While imitation is a sincere form of flattery, it’s not a good thing for your clients or you. Remember, you want a unique logo. This is something to keep in mind when trying to find inspiration. There are all kinds of galleries that will inspire you to create a logo that you’d be proud of including but not limited to:
It’s Time To Sketch Your Designs
At this point, you should have an understanding of the brand. Know your clients like you know yourself. This will let you design the right sketches for the first designs. Come up with several different designs, using various logos and symbology that may be good for your client.
For instance, you can develop a series of logotype ideas, based on pictograms that are linked back to the industry of the company. Develop several small sketches using this format so that you can see them all quickly. You may find ways to combine your different ideas.
Always keep your sketches, as you may be onto something later on from them. If you throw them away, you may not be able to remember what you sketched.
You may decide not to include or use meanings or secondary images, but there are always hidden images, words and meanings to keep in mind. Words can often escape you when you’re designing a sketch, but the client and their customers may see it after the logo has gone public. This can either work for or hinder your client.
Do some experimentation with your sketches. Think outside the box. If something crazy pops into your head, go ahead and try it. Humor all your ideas because you never know what will and will not work. And, you may find that you can combine two of the ideas to develop an amazing logo. Be sure you take the time to sketch out even the crazy things because you just never know.
Settling On A Logo
By this time, you’ve probably got several logos that are near the completion. Make sure you present them to the client to get the final okay. And, even though you have multiple sketches, it doesn’t mean you need to present them all at one time. Instead, choose the logo you like best and present them. What’s their reaction?
This is extremely useful approach if the client hasn’t been quite helpful in the design process. You may be worried that what you have won’t be good enough. If you get some feedback on the design, you could make some adjustments or present them additional designs that your client may like.
Another reason to present one at a time is not to overload your client with so many designs to choose from. You may find they’re having a hard time coming up with a decision. Or, they could ask you to forgo all of them and do another one and another one and so on. Of course, if you can sketch out three designs quickly, coming up with more shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Be sure you come up with an opinion for every logo, explaining to them why you think it works for your client. The best clients are going to ask you for help in deciding the right logo for their company. It provides them with some insight into what logo will work and reaffirms your experience as a logo designer.
What You Need To Do With The Completed Design
After the client has chosen their design, you have to develop the deliverables to them. You want the design you’ve created to be responsive. You want it to look good in both small and large formats. After all, customers are going to see them on both the big screen and little screen. They will also see it in print.
You’ve come up with the logo using a vector graphics program and the vector files to give to your client, but don’t forget to provide them with other user-friendly files as well. You also want to do proper hinting for the non-vector files, as you want them to be polished and clean. If a vector file is opened in Photoshop or a similar graphics program, there will be an array of pixelation on the edges. These will need to be removed for a clear picture.
Logo creation sounds easy, but it’s anything but. If you want to design a logo that people will remember and will stand up throughout the years and the ever-changing business sector. Take your time to develop a logo you’d be proud.
If you create a logo that’s not designed properly, it won’t accurately represent the brand and doesn’t convey the client’s business in a positive light to the public. This can damage, not only their reputation but also yours. You definitely don’t want to lose clients over a bad design.
And, with the above advice, you can avoid all of it. Design logos that clients will be pleased with and will lead to a positive reputation for yourself. What do you really have to lose?