Logo is a vital part of any brand or identity. People remember your brand much through your logo, so designing a logo should not be taken lightly. In this post I will be pointing out 10 basic but very effective tips for logo designing. I hope these tips will help freelancers who are good with photoshop and illustrator.
I have seen so many young designers trying to accomplish “too much” with a single logo, and the result is almost always “Epic FAIL”. One of the primary rules of thumb of logo designing is that you must keep it simple. Feel free to use bold shapes and designs, but please do not make it complex. Simplicity is the thing that makes a logo memorable, recognizable and elegant. Do not clutter the logo with too many details.
A logo should be close to a square shape or a round shape. Or if it has a rectangle shape, it has to be in such a way that it can be scaled to a square easily. Square or rectangle shapes also help to use the logo in social media sites (no brand can survive without social media now a days).
This point has a close connection with simplicity. A single color logo can be good enough. If you must use multiple colors, try to limit the number of colors to 3. A colored logo should also look good when it is converted into black and white, which is why it is important not to use shades or gradients.
A logo represents a company, brand or an event. So it is important to have a background story for that logo. Logos are not created by random selection! So when you are going to create a logo make sure you have a good story explaining the design you have chosen. But that doesn’t mean you have to literally say or show “everything” in a logo. For example, if you are designing a logo for an outdoor event or program, you should choose vibrant colors and some clever symbols to express the mood of that event. You should avoid using too much graphics or clip-arts (mountains, trees, road, bus all together is a BIG NO) in the logo. But if you must use them, make sure you limit the colors and gradients, pay attention to the scale and keep it as simple as possible. Do not overdo trying to explain the logo. Chances are you will ruin it.
Some examples of logos with mountains (outdoor theme)
Best way to make it memorable is to use a simple yet bold and unique shape, selecting basic colors or their close variations. Also the logo should relate to the brand/event under consideration. If you are using a graphic imagery, make sure that it is appropriate for your business.
Sometimes it might be hard to come up with a unique shape, symbol to add in your logo. Or you might just prefer not to use a graphic or a symbol. So you might consider using a font and maybe customizing it a little. You can achieve a lot with a font. Two of the biggest and most famous brands use just fonts and colors in their logos: Facebook and Google. But personally I do not like the logo of Google. It’s too old school.
It is a good practice to include the tagline text in your logo. But you should also design a version of the logo where it does not have the tagline in it. Because when you will use the logo in social media sites, only a small thumbnail will be visible to the users, and the tagline will be very small and will be hard to read – moreover it will eat up valuable space. That is why it is better to have a version (with no tag lines) ready for social media sites.
If you look at some of the successful brands you will find that their logos are very simple, yet they express so much. If you are just thinking about designing a logo for your business or just starting your journey as a logo designer, I would recommend you to study logos of successful brands (and also unsuccessful brands). You will learn a lot.
Keeping all these basic tips for logo designing in mind, make sure that your logo really looks good. If you are a young freelancer, trying to enter the world of graphic designing, sometimes your friends will misguide you. Even if your logo is not upto the mark, just to keep you happy, your friends will say that “this is the best logo they have even seen”. That is why it is important to get an honest review from a third party.
If the answers to all these questions are YES, then bravo, you have designed a good logo for your brand or event.