How to Create a Killer Logo: Tips and Mistakes to Avoid
There’s so much to be said about logo design – something so simple and miniature holds so much power. We can see in the examples of famous brands how their logos strengthen their identity. The images imprint into consumers’ minds and very often become more identifiable than the brand’s name. When you think of Nike, for example, you’re likely to instantly envision the big swoosh.
So what’s the secret to killer logo design and how can you use it to establish a strong identity for your brand? To help make your logo a roaring success, we’ve put together some useful tips and most common mistakes to avoid.
Define your brand first
Your logo will be the first thing that grasps your potential customers’ attention – and that’s why it’s important that you convey the core values of your brand through this visual. Think of it as showing the feel of your brand to your audience. What do you want your audience to identify your logo with? Maybe you want them to think “clean and organic” or “high-tech” or “creative” or “family-oriented”, and so on.
Don’t try to be a million things at once – just focus on that first visual impression. Define your goals clearly first so that you can communicate them effectively to the professional graphic designer you choose to work with.
Strive for simplicity
Expert graphic designers know all too well why simplicity is key, but too often they have to “fight” their clients on it and spend hours convincing them to get rid of all the excess visuals. Always keep this in mind: a logo is an emblem. Emblems are visually simple because simplicity has the power to engage the audience and to settle itself in their memory. The Nike or Apple logos, for example, are a perfect example of making a statement with simplicity.
So get rid of all the excess symbols, colors, experimentation with typography, and unnecessary details and embrace a minimalist approach. Just like flat web design, good logo design doesn’t rely on visual realism and excessive depth in images to convey its message.
Make your logo versatile
Tying your logo exclusively to one specific color scheme, format, media etc. will only bring you difficulties in the future when you have to readjust it over and over again. If you take a look into the work of some of the best branding and logo design agencies you’ll be able to pinpoint right away how all their designs are highly adaptable. It really sets the pros apart from those who’re just trying to keep up.
Make sure your logo achieves great presentation in any format: its original color scheme as well as an altered one, black and white, flipped vertically or horizontally, scaled to its smallest version, digital or in print. That’s why simplicity is important, as it makes it possible for the logo to achieve versatility – especially because a simple logo is easy to identify no matter how scaled it gets. A good tip is to turn to responsive logo design and make different versions of your logo to suit different device resolutions.
Present a story
The best tip for achieving originality is to have your logo tell a simple story in a simple way. Otherwise, you’ll just have some unmemorable lines, swirls, and dots that maybe look pretty but don’t really encourage engagement from potential consumers.
Take the Apple logo for example – the logo starts as a simple fruit, but then a bite is taken out of it. This tiny change masterfully transforms an otherwise uninteresting object and kicks off a story. You’re enticed to think why the bite is there and what it represents. There’s been much talk about the story behind Apple’s logo – theories went way beyond what the creators had in mind, and that just makes it all the more interesting and memorable.
…but don’t overdo it
Again, you don’t want to tell a long tale here and go into some deep, mystical logo design escapades. Presenting your audience with a story is meant to entice them and give more identity to your brand. Just a little is enough to create something unique, as we’ve seen in the example of Apple’s logo. Don’t obsess over being innovative in your logo design – it usually results in being counterintuitive.
Creating a killer logo design requires an open and honest dialogue with your employed graphic designer. But to truly be able to communicate, it’s crucial that you know what you want and understand some basic principles of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to logos. So refer to these tips while you’re brainstorming, and keep these words in mind: identity, simplicity, versatility, story, and moderation.
Meaghan is a web designer who is also quite passionate about digital marketing. These days she is all about researching various IT related topics and collaborating with other bloggers. When she is not working she enjoys dancing classical ballet.