Branding is an important part of developing your business and making your company more visible. The best brands have become icons of popular culture – you can spot a McDonald’s a mile away, and identify a Nike advert without any words. So it goes without saying that the aesthetic of your brand is crucially important.
Designing a logo should be a top priority – if you get it right customers will be able to recognise your company with just a glance. Just as a great, eye catching logo will boost your brand, a poorly designed or outdated logo will reflect badly on your business. If you’re new to branding check out the following tips and tricks to get your perfect logo.
If you think about the most iconic logos of our times – Nike, Apple, McDonald’s, Mercedes to name but a few – one of the things you’ll notice is how simple they are. A logo that is too busy or cluttered reflects badly on your brand – if you even get remembered. Space, bold lines and shapes and originality will take your logo to the next level. If you can incorporate the name of your company (or a representation like Apple) then all the better. Remember this too – a busy logo will look progressively worse as it appears smaller – if your logo will work on a giant billboard but not a smartphone screen, it’s time for a rethink.
The starting point to establish a design aesthetic for your brand is to understand the personalities of your company and your target audience – cartoonish branding for a law firm would undermine the serious nature of the business, whereas an overly formal logo would be lost in the crowd for an entertainment service. Market research is key for establishing the basics of your logo – you want to stand out in the crowd, so check out your competitors’ branding and make sure yours is distinctive. Unique, original, and memorable are the watchwords here.
Many companies turn to professional graphic designers for help with their branding. Whether you go down this route or not the process remains the same. First, sketch out some ideas. Many use software to do this, but you’d be surprised how many top designers start off with a pen and a pad of paper. Get all your ideas down, no matter how messy or improvised – you’ll sift through them all later.
The chances are that if you’re designing a logo, you’re probably designing the rest of your branding at the same time. If this is the case, or if you are just adding a logo later on, you have to make sure that your aesthetics are consistent. This means matching the font, the colour scheme, and the general mood. Fonts are another important factor in branding decisions, and are often designed in tandem with logos. There are some resources online to help you choose a great, stand-out font for your business, so you don’t have to sift through the sheer quantity out there. While the font should look great, make sure it is simple enough not to miss the name of your company – this is a common mistake for beginners.
Now it’s time to go through the results of that brainstorm and select a few ideas that may be good to develop. This is where you, or your designer, starts to use the advanced software tools that are out there. Try not to get attached to any one draft, as you’ll lose sight of it objectively as it gets tweaked. At the same time, it’s important to go with your instincts – overworking a design that had you initially excited can sap the life out of it. Fine tuning a design is a balancing act.
An adaptable design
Your logo should be adaptable for different circumstances, both on and offline. The way we view online content varies, so it’s important for the logo to look great on websites, social media platforms and mobile devices. It should also be adaptable for offline uses – trade shows and events, printed materials – billboards, leaflets, basically any format, big or small. Professional products with your logo – freebies – such as pens, mugs, mouse mats and USB keys should also be considered.
There are lots of factors for beginners to think about when designing a logo, so bear some of these things in mind – they will help your brand to stand out.
John Wilson is a branding and website design expert. He boasts over 10 years of digital marketing experience. He loves to share his expertise and insights on all things digital marketing by keeping this blog up to date.