Whether you’re starting a new business or growing an established one, creating an eye-catching and successful logo is key to building a brand that customers will remember.
However, if you don’t have the budget to spend a lot of money hiring professionals to design your logo, it can be daunting to try doing it yourself. So, how can you make your own logo a great one? Here are 5 tips for any business.
Find Your Message
Before you begin designing, sit down and write out on paper what you want to convey with your logo. If you’re an accounting business, for example, you may want to send a message of accuracy, stability, or precision. A document delivery service, on the other hand, probably wants a logo that reflects speed and motion.
In addition to knowing the feeling you want a logo to evoke, you should consider your business’s main product or service. If you produce one type of item — like a special coffee blend — this step will be easy. If you offer several related services — like different medicinal products — it can be more difficult to isolate your business identity into one image.
Understanding what you want to accomplish and how you want customers to remember your business will save you time and energy as you take the next step in creating a logo.
Decide on a Symbol or Word
There are basically two types of logos — those featuring words and those whose focus is a symbol. A logo spelling out your business name or initials is going to be easier than coming up with a visual representation of yourself. However, a symbol can be more universal and convey your theme or style much easier than letters will.
Even if you end up with a logo that includes a bit of both words and symbols, make a plan as to which one you want to be the focus of attention, and then focus on it.
Keep it Simple
Don’t try to get overly complicated with your first logo. The fancier the design, the more confusing your overall messaging can be. Plus, it may be difficult to scale up complex logos to fit on larger marketing materials like buildings or to scale them down for business cards and mobile sites.
Once you create a test design or two, have them printed in hardcopy on a few different types of marketing items to see how they appear in different sizes and formats.
Be Careful With Color
Transferring a logo to different media can be difficult if you don’t understand the impact of colors. Using five different colors may look great, but it can make printed advertising costs rise more than you can afford. You may even be limited to a few color options in some mediums, so plan ahead.
Conversely, consider black and white options as a simplifier and cost-saver. Plus, you’ll never have to try to match unusual color choices.
A simple, clean logo may look great in a single color or in black and white and be much more costeffective. Talk with a professional printing service about costs and how colors transfer to commonly used advertising materials — everything from tri-fold brochures and banners to refrigerator magnets.
Look at what other companies in your industry are using for logos, but don’t be quick to follow the crowd. You want a logo that stands out in a group, not one that blends in too easily. If everyone else is using a dollar sign to sell their tax preparation businesses, you may want to buck the trend and focus on another symbol instead.
In addition to avoiding looking like everyone else, beware of attempts to be too hip or trendy. Companies with clean and classic logos can avoid spending valuable time and money altering their logos when trends die out.
As you plan your logo, keeping in mind these few tips will help you zero in on a design that represents your company well . . . and, better yet, that leaves a good impression in the mind of everyone who sees it.