Your logo is just as important as your brand name. It’s one of the first things people will notice about your store or company, and many will remember it even if they can’t remember the exact name of your business. It showcases who you are, what you do, and who you cater to; what’s more, it generates brand loyalty as people can easily recognize your logo no matter where or how it’s used.
Today you have a variety of ways to create your unique logo – from hiring a graphic designer, or branding agency, to using high-tech logo generators. However, without a firm understanding of what makes a great logo, how would you know your design is unique.
Given the fact that there are more than 32.5 million businesses in the United States, it can be challenging to create a logo that is 100% unique. However, it’s not impossible. Following are five key tips to help you the insights to know if your logo is unique enough to stand out from the competition.
Many new business owners use the internet to come up with logo creation ideas. Doing so isn’t necessarily a bad idea; after all, sites such as Pinterest and Instagram can provide great ideas if creativity isn’t your strong point. Furthermore, looking at logos designed by successful competitors can help you see which designs and colour schemes would appeal to your target audience.
The downside of looking online for logo ideas is that doing so fills your mind with existing logo designs, making it hard to come up with an original design. Limit your time spent looking at other companies’ logos; instead, think about the nature of your business, your core values, your target audience, and the vibe you want your business to convey. Then think about the images and colours that would best represent your new company.
Once you have a few ideas, draw them on paper and ask other people you trust for their honest opinion. You may also want to talk with a freelance designer or design company about your ideas to ensure your new logo is both unique and attractive to the people you want to reach.
Use colours smartly
Each colour conveys a unique message. Pink conveys warmth and kindness. Black denotes professionalism. Green has a natural vibe. Yellow denotes warmth. Purple has a luxurious feel and vibe. Blue is calm, strong, and reliable.
Additionally, pairing colours together can change the message they send. Red and blue, for instance, denote reliability and strength. On the other hand, red paired with green makes people think of Christmas and red and yellow is a colour combination typically used by fast-food restaurants.
Consider which colour or colours would best represent your business. Combine them together to see what your first reaction is when you see the colours used in a design or as part of a wordmark logo. Ask yourself if your target audience would find your colour choice appealing; pink, for instance, doesn’t appeal to most men, and blue isn’t the colour of choice if your business sells products solely for women. You’ll also want to ask yourself if your chosen colour combination will accurately represent your company in the future if you expand to other cities and/or offer new products/services.
Bear in mind you don’t need to use a lot of colours to grab attention. In fact, monochrome logos designed by highly successful companies such as Twitter and Apple are incredibly effective because they are easy to remember.
Choose the Right Font
What type of lettering best represents your business? Casual cursive may be ideal for a boutique or a company selling art supplies, as it has a friendly vibe. Luxury firms, on the other hand, often opt for ornate cursive lettering as it denotes class, tradition, and luxury. Block letters work well for construction companies that want to convey strength but could be offensive if used by a restaurant, as capital letters can come across as if you are shouting.
Try out a number of fonts when designing your business name, and don’t be afraid to go against industry “traditions” if doing so would help your company stand out. For instance, many firms offering professional services use a modern-style font for the business name, but you may want an ornate cursive font if you are targeting women or offering high-end services. Multicoloured block letters can scream life and fun and could be ideal for companies offering fun activities, services, and/or products for kids.
On the practical side, make sure your chosen lettering looks good when paired with your logo (unless the business name is the logo, in which case you can skip this step). It’s also wise to check that your font will be readable on a range of online and offline platforms and backgrounds.
Don’t be corny
It’s all too easy to choose the first image you think of when considering your company’s name. If you specialize in cooking great spaghetti, for instance, you could use a plate of spaghetti as your logo. If you sell sports shoes, why not have one as your company logo?
The problem with such logos is that they come across as corny. The Cleveland Browns made this mistake when they used a brown vector helmet as their logo. The image looks like something available on any public domain image site comes across as cheap, and conveys zero feelings to those who see it, a huge mistake for a sports team that wants to inspire feelings of passion and loyalty in fans.
Another mistake many companies make is using a design that looks “pretty” but conflicts with the company’s industry and nature. For instance, using a flower as part of your design is a bad idea if you run a tech firm. Alternatively, you don’t want an abstract geometric image if your company is designed to appeal to kids.
To avoid creating a corny logo that will be the butt of jokes for years to come, create a unique image of the design you have in mind. Avoid adding unnecessary features and make sure the logo is balanced. Ask a designer for help, and then run a few design options by trusted friends and/or people on your team.
Keep it simple
Using complex swirls and geometric lines to convey sophistication without considering how the image looks in its entirety is never a good idea. It’s also unwise to use a complex, detailed image that is hard to remember unless you are creating handcrafted goods or your business is meant to have a traditional, rural, or rustic vibe.
Some of the simplest designs are the best ones. Twitter’s logo, for instance, could not be simpler but it matches the company name and sticks in your mind. Microsoft’s logo exudes class and modernity. Nike’s iconic swish mark has an active, lively vibe, which is perfect for a sports company. What’s more, it doesn’t lock Nike into providing only a single type of product.
If you are worried your simple design would closely resemble another company’s logo, make a few small adaptations or use an out-of-the-ordinary colour or colour scheme to help you stand out from the pack. For instance, using the image of a sprouting plant, on its own, could seem commonplace and even corny if you run a plant nursery; however, making the sprouting plant part of your business name (i.e.; using it in place of a letter or having it “grow out of” a letter) could be a classy and unique logo design.
Designing a logo can be daunting but it’s worth the time, effort, and research. Your chosen design can work wonders for your business by making it easy for people to see what you do at a glance, attracting new customers to your firm, and generating brand loyalty. A logo also sets you apart from the competition and enables you to introduce new products/services with ease, as people who recognise your logo will immediately recognize your new offerings. If you are creating a logo for a new business or tweaking a logo for an existing company, consider the tips outlined above to design a logo that you can be proud of long-term.