Designing a logo that makes your mark!

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You’ve done the work to define your branding. But now you need an extraordinary logo!

If designing your company logo has you feeling stuck, you’re in the right place! We’re going to talk about what exactly a logo is, why you need one, and how to choose the perfect design for your business.

What is a logo?

Your logo is a visual representation of your brand. It’s usually a symbol and words that identify your business and connects to your larger branding.

There are three main types of logos you might think about using. An ideograph is an abstract image used to represent a company. Think the Nike swoosh, or Pepsi’s blue, white, and red design. When you see these symbols, their marketing has trained you to think of their company.

A pictograph-style logo is also an image but will be more specific to the traits and values of the company. For example, Target uses a pictograph that is, in fact, a target! They are giving an image of their desire to keep good deals and quality products in the sights of their customers.

A third option when deciding on a logo is to use a wordmark. Using your company name in a specific font and style is a logo in itself! If you are just starting your business, or even if you’re not, your name is uniquely yours and can be the design that stands out.

Big companies, like Target and Apple, can use their pictograph as their logo mark. They are so large and well-marketed that the words Target and Apple do not need to appear with the logo. Shoppers instinctively know whose store or product they are looking at.

But maybe you aren’t a big company. (Yet! Think positive!) How important is a logo when you’re getting started?

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Why do you need a logo?

Your logo is your mark that identifies your brand. It forms the center of your visual identity. So even if you are in the beginning stages of your business, you need a logo! You will use it on your website, in your social media, on your marketing, in emails. Everywhere you appear online, your logo will go with you. Your consistency will allow your potential clients to see and recognize you for the value you bring.

So now that you’re on board with how crucial your logo is, let’s get down to the business of creating one!

Designing a logo to define your business.

The process of designing your logo doesn’t come down to a list of hard and fast rules. You already know what your potential customers are looking for and how they think. You’ve done the research! And last month we talked about branding. If you have all that nailed down, you are ready to boil it all down to a perfect logo.

First, what style of logo do you want?

Scroll back up to the top of this article and think about the best way to connect with your audience.

Assuming you are not as big as Nike or Apple (yet!), you will likely want a logo that tells a bit about you. That might be through an image, or by using your company name. Or both! Plenty of successful logos combine a pictograph with the name of the business to create an aesthetically pleasing image.

If your company name is simply your name, a monogram-style logo can be an elegant option!

Second, consider your font, or fonts.

Script fonts can look beautiful but are sometimes hard to read. They work well in the case of a monogram, but not as well for a longer business name. Keep your logo legible so people can find and remember you!

If you plan to have your business name and a short tag line, contrasting fonts can be a great pairing! A bolder display font with a finer serif font, for example. Or your name in script above with narrower typeface below.

Whatever you choose, keep your name, image, and other text visually balanced. But more on that in a minute!

Third, add some color.

A large part of developing your visual branding was choosing colors that would resonate with your customers. Your logo is an important place to get those colors, and your brand, front and center with potential customers!

Like with the fonts you choose, contrasting colors can be very eye-catching. Consider using a light font if your logo will be on a dark background, and vice versa.

Having both a light and dark logo design in your portfolio can also come in handy depending on where you intend to use it! If you plan to print t-shirts, for example, and your colors are pale pink and forest green, you might want some pink t-shirts with a green logo and some green with a pink logo. Both colors get represented, with maximum appeal to different tastes. Win-win!

Finally, balance!

This is where you will want to try several designs and get the opinions of your inner circle. And what do I mean by balance? So many things!

If you use all three, are your tagline, business name, and pictograph balanced within the logo space? Or does your tagline extend beyond your name? Play with fonts and sizes until all parts fit in the space.

Is there a balance of text, image, and white space? Like the rest of your visual branding, you don’t want your logo to feel cramped. Let it breathe!

Align the elements of your logo. Left, center, or right, keep it clear and chaos-free by aligning your text and image to the same point.

Also, think about how your logo will look on different platforms and devices. Too much text can appear small and hard to read when your potential customer comes across your products or services on their phone.

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