Logos are an important part of business marketing. They are a reflection of your business and a way to attract customers. However, logo design can be daunting. If you are not a graphic designer, you may have no idea where to begin.
Think of the big company logos: Nike, McDonald’s, NBC, Apple, etc. Their logos meet all these requirements and are known around the world.Follow these golden rules, and you will be able to design a logo that works for your brand and your business.
Luckily, there are five golden rules of logo design:
- The logo should represent the business
- Make it simple
- Must be easily reproducible in different color schemes
- Should be scalable
- The logo should be artistically balanced
What Are the Golden Rules of Logo Design?
The best way to approach logo design is to create a checklist of the rules to make sure you are following them. Below are more details on each rule to help guide you as you work through the process.
How Do You Make Your Logo Reflect Your Business?
It might seem like an impossible task, to represent your entire business in one graphic. Key things to think about when planning your design are originality, demonstrating who you are as a business, and highlighting the things your company does best.
- It is original: The most important thing you want to make sure of when designing a logo is originality. The last thing you want is for customers to confuse your business with another one because your logos are similar. Standing out in a crowd is the purpose of a well-designed logo.
- It demonstrates who you are: You also want to make sure that your logo reflects the services your business delivers. The United States Postal Service logo features an eagle moving through the air. This demonstrates two things about the USPS: the fact that it is an American institution and that it is fast. These are things that customers expect when using the USPS.
- It highlights what you do best: Think about your business. What do you want prospective customers to know about you? Is it the product you sell? Maybe your speed? How about your attention to detail? There are ways to include these characteristics in your logo and to show the world what you are about.
How Do You Make Your Logo Simple?
Every graphic designer will tell you that the most important thing to remember when designing a logo is to keep it simple. A simple, uncluttered logo will be memorable and easy to recognize. If you try to include too many elements, it can be hard to focus on the message you are trying to convey with your logo. If you need help in this department, try using a logo design template to create your logo.
Simple designs are also easier to reproduce in different sizes and different scales, which is critical when you consider where you will be placing the logo. So remember, don’t put anything in the logo that you feel distracts from the core message that you are trying to convey.
Make a draft of your logo and look at it critically. Does it need all of the elements that are there? Is it too busy? Compare it to logos from other companies and see how it is similar and how it is different and make changes from there.
Does Your Logo Look Good in Color and in Black and White?
Color is a key design element and something you shouldn’t overlook when designing a logo. But you need to consider more than just what colors you like.
- Where is your logo being displayed? You might be imagining your logo in glorious technicolor, printed on flyers, t-shirts, and your website. But you should consider where else you will be printing it. If you are planning to advertise in a newspaper, chances are that your advertisement will be in black and white, not color. You want to make sure that your design is clear and easy to see when it is only in black and white.
- What is your budget? Another thing to consider when planning the colors of your logo is cost. The more colors you print, the more expensive it will be. Do you have rainbow dreams but a two-color budget? Stick to planning around those two colors from the start to avoid having to adjust it at a later point.
Will Your Logo Look Good Big and Small?
As we discussed when talking about making your logo design simple, you must consider if your logo will look good, both big and small, in a variety of mediums. Chances are your logo will be on different materials, and you want to make sure that it will be recognizable, whether it is on the side of a building or on a business card.
How Do You Balance Your Logo Artistically?
Why is balance important? You want your logo to be eye-catching for the right reasons. If one part of the logo overpowers another part, it can distract from your logo’s purpose.
Things to consider when you are designing your logo:
- Symmetry: When something is off balance, from a painting to a building, it can be distracting and off-putting. This is not what you want for your logo. All sections of the logo should work in harmony.
- Color: Some colors are easier to read and see than others. Black on white is good. Yellow on pink, not so much. The point of the logo is to be easily seen. If potential customers can’t read your logo, they are going to pass you by. (Here’s a Guide For Choosing The Best Color For Your Logo.)
- Line Density: If the lines in your logo are too thin, they can fade into the background. If they are too thick, they can blend together. Line density is especially important when thinking about scalability. A thick line might look great on a bag, but when it’s on a business card, it could look like a blob.
- Shape: Just like symmetry, you need to think about what shape works best for your logo. If you are using a business name, you might want to have a rectangle or square. If it is purely graphic, like the Starbucks logo, it could look great as a circle. Remember to stick with the simplicity rule. An odd shape can distract from the actual logo, and you can miss out on clients.
- Trendiness: You want your logo to stand the test of time. Although big companies will, from time to time, evaluate and redesign their logos, you may not have the resources to do that. Take a look at what characteristics other logos have that make them seem timeless and try to mimic them.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
We have just given you the rules for logo design. But what should you avoid doing?
- Making the logo too complex: Too many elements or words can make it hard to focus on the logo and put off customers.
- Choosing the wrong fonts: Some fonts are harder to read than others. You want to make your logo as clear as possible.
- Using too many fonts: Using too many fonts can look childish and unprofessional.
- Copying other companies’ designs: You can be inspired by other logos, but you want customers to know they’re looking at your logo, not another company’s.
- Using stock art: You don’t want to run the risk of another logo using the same image
How Do You Get Started With Your Logo Design?
You’ve read the rules, and you’re ready to begin. But where to start? Here are a few suggestions to get you going:
- Brainstorm what you want include in your logo
- Come up with a story that you want to tell with your logo.
- Take a look at what elements you like about other logos
- Decide what color scheme you want to go with
- Hire a professional or use a logo design template
And remember, logo design is not a race to the finish. You want to take your time and make sure that you fulfill each of the golden rules. Create multiple drafts of your logo and get feedback from your friends and family. If you find yourself stuck at a particular step in the logo design process, go back to the golden rules and see what you can do to make your logo perfect.
Your logo is something that you are going to have for a long time, and you need to make sure that it is exactly what you want. Make it easy for customers to find you. They will notice you because of your logo and stay because of your service. It’s amazing to think that a small graphic can be responsible for that!