For a lot of people, the first thing they think of when they hear the names of big companies is their logo. In truth, the logo is probably the biggest marketing decision you can make.
It might sound simple, but there are quite a few things you need to keep in mind when designing a logo of your own. So without further ado, let’s talk about the basics behind designing your own logo.
Why do you need a logo?
Ideally, you’ll want to hire a professional to create your logo, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring some ideas of your own to the table. In fact, it’s best that you have a pretty good idea of what you want before the big design meeting.
But let’s say that you want to go through most, if not all of this process by yourself. Where do you even begin? You need to start this journey off by understanding why you need the logo.
Your logo is an extension of your brand. It’s important that it represents you. That can be hard to do in a single picture, but that’s why this takes time.
Pick something that scales as a favicon
A favicon is that little image that sits in the address bar when a tab is opened. It’s a small detail, but it’s very crucial.
The reason it’s so crucial is because those big, fancy, and incredibly detailed images will look absolutely terrible as a favicon. This is something that a lot of people don’t think about because they generally regard a big and fancy logo as perfect.
One of my favorite examples of a favicon is that of Mailchimp.
This logo is simple, yes, but it still manages to capture the brand perfectly. Now, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that the main focus of the logo (the chimp) is its own entity. That makes it very easy to scale as a favicon. Just like this:
This is the Mailchimp favicon. They definitely couldn’t have put the entire logo in the address tab, and they knew that. So, they went into the logo design process with that in mind, and came out with this.
Test multiple colors
Speaking of being scalable, you want to make sure the logo looks good on multiple backgrounds in multiple colors. If you don’t you could end up having to redo this entire process when something as simple as a WordPress theme change comes up.
A good example of this would be Slack
As unusual and controversial as the Slack logo has been here lately, we all have to admit that it works well with multiple colors. Of course, the logo itself has a variety of colors in it, but that really only helps it.
The Slack logo can be seen around the world with all sorts of background and font colors. It’s an iconic logo, so it was important that they got all the design elements right.
Be consistent with the brand
A logo means nothing if it doesn’t embody the brand. This is especially important for startups that are looking to get their name out there.
I don’t think I need to go into this too much, but we definitely need to mention it here. Every tiny little detail is crucial. They have to match the brand’s story, their tone of voice, and their mission.
So, for example, the choice of font is a big one. If you run a SaaS company, you probably don’t want to use a script font. Something like that makes much for sense for a small town candle shop.
Something like this classy lemonade stand logo is perfect. It’s simple, it will scale well as a favicon, and it’s on brand. The colors work well and the font stands out, but it’s not over the top.
Make your logo easy to incorporate into your brand
This point sort of goes along to the one above, but it deserves its own mention. That being said, even if your logo is on brand, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to incorporate into the rest of your brand.
What do I mean by that? Well, looks aren’t always everything. Even if you logo looks great and embodies your brand, it might not be easy to use. Yes, there is such a thing as a logo that is too detailed to use.
A logo should not be so complicated that it takes more than a few seconds for someone to recognize what it is. If it’s simple and straightforward, it will be easy to incorporate into your brand anywhere.
Other tips to follow
There are tons of tips to take into consideration here. But, whether you’re designing it yourself or paying someone else to do it, there are some that are pretty fundamental. So, in addition to the ones above, here are some quick tips that you should consider:
- Pick a style and stick to it
Just like a good party, a logo has a theme. This is a combination of all the elements. From the typography to the colors, everything should be perfectly thought out and implemented with a purpose. Each element needs to pay respect to the others.
- Keep constant communication with the designer
If you choose to hire someone, you have to keep constant communication with them. In the design world, you build off of your own ideas. So if the designer gets one tiny detail wrong, then the entire logo can be off in the end.
- Stay inspired
You are designing the face of your company. If you lack inspiration in the project, you should stop and brainstorm a bit. Or, if you really can’t handle it anymore, step away for a bit. Nothing is worse than rushed work in design, so don’t make your logo suffer.
- Get a lot of opinions
You’re not designing this logo for your own personal use. This logo will be seen by a lot of people, so get a lot of opinions. Show it off to colleagues, friends, family, or even random strangers. The more input you can get, the better your logo will come out.
This is probably the most important rule in design, so we’ll end here. Being yourself is what got you to the place where you can design your own logo in the first place. Don’t fall into the norms of the industry that you’re in. Be unique!