Perfection is a high goal to reach for, but a logo is a marketing tool that should not be underestimated in its importance to your product, business, or service. As such, time and effort should be invested in the creation of your logo. It will make the first impression on many of your potential clients and be what fosters brand recognition.
While a larger business or wealthy entrepreneur may have the capital to invest in hiring a graphic designer, this lack of resources doesn’t mean you have to skimp on your logo. Read on to discover what you need to do to create your perfect logo.
Define Your Brand Identity
With that in mind, creating the perfect logo will start with doing the homework of defining your brand identity, which will inform all your design decisions.
The logo is a part of your brand identity, so it would certainly make sense to have an idea of what that is before you attempt to create a logo. Your brand identity is the total summation of all elements used to convey the right message to your target audience. To do this, you will need to consider these things:
- Who are you, and why are you special?
- What are you selling, and why is it unique?
- Who is your target audience?
- What design elements best convey your message?
Define Who You Are
You must have a strong understanding of what you do and what you’re selling because that is what your logo needs to convey: your brand essence. If you have a hard time concisely explaining this, it will be even harder to get the point across in a logo.
What is your mission statement? A mission statement is a concise explanation of your reason for being. Why are you doing what you do? Your mission statement helps focus your intentions for your target audience and you and your employees so that you don’t lose sight of the big picture.
Figure out what your brand’s personality is. Is your organization fun and playful, or is it solemn and serious? Your logo can have a large part in conveying this message to your potential audience, but first, you need to know.
What are your core values? These are the beliefs that your organization stands for; they influence the decisions your organization makes. Why is this important to branding? Consumers and employees alike are more likely to engage in and support an organization whose values align with their own.
Source: Big Commerce; Brandfolder; SHRM
Define Your Product
Your logo may be for an item, a service, a business, or an organization. No matter what the logo is for, you need a clear idea of what you are selling. “But this logo is for a non-profit organization that provides free services,” you may counter. You are trying to attract someone to use your services rather than someone else’s.
In the last section, you defined who you are and why you are doing whatever it is you’re doing; now you need to clarify what it is that you are doing. What makes your product or service better than the competitor’s product or service? How is it unique?
Source: Cultivate Advisors
Consider Your Target Audience
As ideal as it would be to target everyone, this is easier said than done. Different demographics are attracted to different things. There is a reason you see other advertisements when you are watching a television channel that provides programming mostly for children as opposed to one primarily for adults.
So, know who you are selling to. Will you be selling to a particular age group? Are you marketing to one specific gender? Will your product or company appeal to any distinct special interest groups? The answers to these questions will impact the design elements you use for your logo and any other part of your brand identity.
Another reason to consider your audience is to know their culture. For example, Western audiences read from left to right, so the logo’s left side will be seen first and viewed as most important. Many Eastern languages are written from right to left, so they read right to left and first see the logo’s right side.
Know Your Competition
If a successful product or entity you wish to compete with already exists, take a look at what they have done. What design elements work for them? How well do they express who they are? Remember earlier that you determined what makes you and your product different. What design elements of theirs don’t work for your product?
Hopefully, by now you have a clear idea of who you are, your product, and how you want to be perceived. Now you can start brainstorming ways to convey this message as simply as possible. Let all ideas be heard, no matter how bad they are. Let those bad ideas lead to discussions on why they don’t work and what can work better.
Think about images associated with the emotions you want your audience to associate with your product. Think about images related to your service or product.
Find Your Aesthetic/Style
Now that you’ve invested time and energy into defining the message you want to convey to your audience, you will have to decide how to give that message best. It will help to know what aesthetic you are aiming for. Aesthetic choices can be combined as necessary to fit your brand.
|Aesthetic/Style||Characteristics||Message Conveyed||Combines Well With|
|Abstract||A vague representation of a concept or object||Invites individual interpretation||Minimalist, Fun/Playful, Geometric, Organic/Natural, Corporate/ Professional|
|Minimalist||Spare and simple; uses a small number of colors and utilizes whitespace and simple lines.||Lets consumers know that your company is sleek, modern, and focused on what counts the most.||Abstract, Geometric, Corporate/ Professional, Feminine|
|Feminine||Cursive, fluid fonts; pastel colors and colors and shades analogous to red||You are targeting a more feminine audience. Beauty. Love.||Minimalist, Organic/Natural|
|Geometric||Heavy use of straight lines and shapes||Stability, reliability, strength, and order.||Abstract, Minimalist, Corporate|
|Fun/Playful||Tends to be colorful, may feature illustrated/caricatured people or animals||Positivity, friendliness, and informality||Abstract, Illustrated, Organic/ Natural, Vintage/Retro|
|Vintage/Retro||Rustic, nostalgic elements. Often worn and hand-illustrated with brown and beige color palettes||Invokes romantic feelings of nostalgia and reminiscence about the past.||Fun/Playful, Masculine, Organic/Natural|
|Organic/Natural||Shapes and elements that occur in nature||Soothing and relaxing. Rustic||Abstract, Feminine, Fun/Playful, Vintage/Retro|
|Masculine||Hard edges, thick-stroke fonts, rugged and gritty images, blue and dark colors||You are targeting a more masculine audience. Classic. Modern. Rugged.||Corporate/ Professional, Vintage/ Retro|
|Corporate/ Professional||Straight, classic fonts, simple shapes, negative space, and line art||Reliable and down to earth. Formal. Classic. Simple||Abstract, Minimalist, Geometric, Masculine|
Choose Your Typography
Typography is the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters in your design. The fonts used in your design should complement your logo. Four font-types have a varying psychological impact upon their viewers.
|Serif||An anchor or “feet” at the end of each letter.||Trustworthy, Traditional, old-fashioned, Formal||Times New Roman|
|San-serif||Smooth edges that lack the anchor or “feet” of Serif fonts||Progressive, Informal, Sleek, Modern||Helvetica|
|Script||Fonts meant to emulate handwritten or cursive letters||This is as varied as the amounts of script fonts available. Can be used to appear luxurious, feminine, relaxed, fun, creative, fun, romantic, or down-to-earth.||Allura, Pacifico, Seldoms|
|Display||Highly stylized with elements such as unusual letter shape, outlines, shadowing, or unusual edges. Not intended to be read at small font sizes.||Bold, Individual, Adaptable, Novel||Ca Negroni, Addison|
Choose Your Shapes
The shapes you incorporate into your logo will send a particular message.
- Squares and Rectangles – Boldness, stability, balance, professionalism, efficiency.
- Triangle – On its base, the triangle projects power, strength, stability, professionalism, efficiency, and energy. On a tilt, a triangle can project tension, dynamism, and instability.
- Round shapes (circles, ovals, ellipses) – Positive emotional messages such as community, unity, love, and friendship. Curves tend to be viewed as feminine in nature.
- Vertical lines – Masculinity, strength, aggression
- Horizontal lines – Tranquility, stability, calm, femininity
Source: Creative Bloq; TailorBrands
Choose Your Colors with Purpose
The psychology of color plays a crucial role in marketing and advertising. Make sure the color palette you choose sends the message you want your audience to receive. First, the color palettes will be:
|Color||Associations||Use to Appear|
|Red||Passion, love, sexuality, heat, fire, action, danger, violence||Loud, youthful, exciting,|
|Orange||Happiness, fun, friendship, youth, Autumn||friendly and playful|
|Yellow||Sunshine and happiness, youth, optimism, caution||Fun, friendly, accessible, and/or affordable|
|Green||Money or Nature||Connected to nature, secure|
|Blue||Nature, cleanliness, coldness, sterility, serenity, security, stability, authority||Professional, loyal, trustworthy. Clean and refreshing|
|Purple||Royalty, nobility, creativity, magic, flamboyance||Luxurious, flamboyant, wealthy, creative|
|Pink||Feminity, love, LGBT culture, youth||Soft or luxurious|
|Brown||Nature, practicality, simplicity, decadence, comfort, sensuality||Rugged, masculine, natural.|
|Black||Darkness, mystery, elegance, formality, luxury, simplicity||Cool, modern, sophisticated|
Color Palettes and Their Psychological Implications
So while each color has its own associations and psychological implications, you can fine-tune the message you wish to send even more by paying attention to the color palette you use. Here are a few examples of what message your palette may be sending.
- Bright color palettes – Youthful, childlike, and full of energy
- Monochromatic palettes – Embraces vibrant colors while presenting a unified feel.
- Black and White – Elegance, maturity, and sophistication
- Neutrals pair with accent colors – Takes advantage of the emotional associations of the colors listed above without the childlike association of palettes consisting of only bright colors
Use a Logo Creator
As mentioned before, you could hire a freelance graphic designer or a design agency to create a logo for you if you have the financial means to do so. But if you had the resources for this, you likely wouldn’t be looking up how to create a logo.
There are multiple online logo creators available with varying degrees of user-friendliness, customization, and cost. One option is the Placeit logo maker by Envato. Another benefit of using a service like Placeit is that you can make branding assets with your logos such as business cards, posters, and social media posts.
How To Create A Logo With Placeit
The first step of the Placeit logo maker is to enter your Brand Name. If you don’t have a Brand Name, you can skip this step by selecting the “See all our templates” link. At this point, you will see all available logo templates. You can choose one to customize from their current selection of over templates, or you can narrow your search by industry.
Once you’ve selected the template that you like best, you can customize it by changing the provided text, colors, fonts, or graphics. You can also add additional graphics or text boxes. If there are no graphics supplied that suit you, you can upload a custom PNG or JPEG file. This will be the best option to ensure that your logo is unique to you.
Once you have customized your logo to your desired specifications, click on the download button. At this point, if you do not already have a membership, you will be given two methods of payment.
- Single Logo Purchase – you pay for the single logo and receive a high-resolution PNG file with no watermark.
- Get The Unlimited Subscription – pay for either a monthly or annual subscription and get unlimited logos, mockups, designs, and videos during the life of your subscription as well as the ability to download your design as a PDF file.
Run A Logo Design Contest
With websites like 99designs, you can run an online contest where professional graphic designers enter submissions based on your vision. Starting at $299.00, this option is more expensive than using a logo maker but much less expensive than hiring a design agency, which will cost upwards of $2500.00.
This option is for someone who wants a more polished product closer to your vision that has more time than money to spend. You will still need to communicate your brand identity, but you will be working with designers more knowledgeable in the design process.
Complete the Brief
When completing the interactive brief, first you will select your industry, the name for your logo, and what type of logo you would like. Next, you’ll select up to ten premade designs to give the designers an idea of your preferred styles. Based on the selections you made, the program will calculate your brand’s style and provide adjustable sliding scales between the following options:
- Classic and Modern
- Mature and Youthful
- Feminine and Masculine
- Playful and Sophisticated
- Economical and Luxurious
- Geometric and Organic
- Abstract and Literal
Once this is complete, you can either choose up to three colors for the designers to explore, let them make color suggestions, or select specific colors you would like them to use.
The last part of the brief lets you enter any slogans you’d like incorporated as well as information about your organization, product, and target audience. This last section also allows you to enter any other pertinent information to the designers and upload any images, sketches, or documents you think would be helpful. The contest packages start at $299.00.
Qualifying Round of the Logo Design Competition
During the first four days of the competition, designers will submit concepts to the contest. You can communicate with the competitors and give feedback to help them get closure to your vision at this point.
You can comment or message the designers publicly or privately, depending on if you want to communicate something specific to one or all designers. You can also make notes or drawn directions on the design to give specific guidance to the designers.
Select Finalists For the Logo Design Competition
After the first four days are complete, you have up to four days to select up to six designers to move into the final round. Until you have selected your finalists, you are entitled to 100% of your money back if you are not satisfied and confident with any of the designs. Once you choose the finalists, the contest is guaranteed and you cannot get your money back.
In the final round, you have three days to collaborate with the finalists to help them complete the final draft of your design. After the final round, you have up to 14 days to select a winner. Once the winner has been chosen, the designer has five days to finalize the design and transfer them along with the full copyright.
The most important part of making the perfect logo is knowing what exactly you want to communicate with your target audience. After that, you need to know how to design your product to best communicate that message.
There are multiple options online for making the logo for your product or organization. These products do run the risk of looking generic unless you upload graphics that you’ve created yourself. The advantage is that the premade templates take care of some of lining up your elements in a pleasing way and making it simple to adjust colors.
Another option is to hold the design competition, which allows you to see your vision coming to life by several designers before deciding which design you will buy.