An ineffective logo can lead to some serious headaches down the road. Especially as your beautiful business begins to grow. Luckily, there are a few rules and guidelines that can help you create an effective logo design.
It may seem simple on the surface, but your logo is an essential part of your brand’s story. It is just as responsible for communicating what you are about as your website, photography, copy, and other brand elements. But there’s no need to stress about it. You can avoid some common logo mistakes by following these simple rules.
Your logo is a visual representation of your business so you want it to be relevant to your industry, your brand’s personality, and the audience you’re targeting.
This is number one because it requires research and some brand discovery work before you even get started sketching ideas. Doing the research beforehand may seem like a pain in the butt, but trust me, it is so worth it! It’s so much easier and more effective to start a brand design when you have set clear goals and intentions. If you need some help digging into the personality of your brand, download my Ultimate Brand Clarity Workbook.
There’s no need for obvious clichés in your logo design. Just because we want it to be relevant to your industry doesn’t mean if you sew you need a sewing machine, or if you paint you need a paintbrush. It is okay, and sometimes very compelling, to let your audience use their imagination a little.
The goal is to create something timeless. If you spend your time chasing trends, your logo is going to wind up vapid and flavorless.
Sure it will look pretty, but pretty doesn’t bring life and personality to your brand. Just because your logo is pretty doesn’t mean it helps you tell your story and speak to your target audience.
Focus on relevance and personality, and try to ignore what is or is not on trend. This will keep you from spending your time and hard-earned money on a design that will look dated in a few months. Or worse, like something your audience has seen a thousand times before.
Let me be clear, I am in no way saying that your brand colors don’t really matter. I am a huge color theory nerd and I thoroughly believe that your color palette is the most emotionally charged tool your brand has.
What I am saying is that when it comes to your logo, shape is king. Shape is what makes your mark stand out. If your logo has a solid, distinguished shape, it will not only be versatile, it will be easy to remember!
To make sure you are focusing on shape and layout first, start your design in solid black. Keep colors in mind as you design, but make sure the form is there first. Designing in black will keep you from getting distracted by colors to ensure that your logo has a recognizable shape and is functional in a solid color!
Less is more, especially in the world of logo design. Keeping your logo simple will help you meet most of the other requirements of a strong and effective design, like timelessness and versatility.
When you think of your brand, you might have several images come to mind. You have to try to reign that in. Ideally, you should try to narrow the focus of your design down to just one really cool, distinguishing thing.
Just don’t go thinking that logos are only effective if they follow the confines of minimalism. The key is to learn the rules well, so that you can break them effectively.
This one builds off of the other “rules”. Your logo is the face of your brand. Have you ever met someone who has a face that looks great in every hat and every pair of sunglasses? That’s the goal for your logo.
You want to be able to scale your logo billboard-big, and business-card-small and still have it look amazing. You want to be able to use it in black, white, color, and still have it be easily recognized.
Focusing on shape first, and keeping things simple will help you achieve this. It’s also incredibly helpful to have logo variations (or alternate logos) that compliment your main design but give you some extra flexibility. Related Post: Why Alternate Logos are Necessary.
& Always remember:
Did I miss anything? Got any questions? Leave a comment! I love to hear from you and I love to help in whatever way I can!
I help bold creatives design brands and websites that magnetically attract their target audience.
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