Designing a Logo for Your Business that Stands Out
Designing a great logo for your business is a big step: this is a visual representation of everything your company stands for. It needs to stand out from the crowd, be instantly recognisable and convey to potential customers who you are and what you do. A good logo helps build customer loyalty, establishes your brand identity and gives your business a more professional edge.
Top logos can work wonders. The Nike swoosh, Apple's apple and the golden arches of McDonald's are so successful, those companies no longer need to add their name to them – they are instantly recognisable and synonymous with their individual business.
Designing a logo might sound easy, but it's not. Here are some tips to create the best logo you can for your business.
What do you want to communicate about your company? Which ones are successful? How can you create a logo that stands out from the competition? Try writing down words and phrases that encapsulate your company’s mission and look at the logos of other businesses in your industry. Paring everything down to simple words and images is a great starting point.
Keep it simple
Ideally, your logo should catch people's attention and let them know who you are and what you do in the blink of an eye. Logos generally have two elements: logotype and a symbol. Some companies represent themselves solely by a symbol, such as Nike and its "swoosh", but this is as a result of long, sustained marketing worth billions of dollars. Others, like Coca-cola and IBM, use only logotype but again, their brand is so well known, they don't need to use an image to show what their business is all about. If you're starting out, you'll need both elements.
Make sure it's versatile
Make your logo clean and functional. It will be used on a variety of mediums – from business cards and signage to delivery bags, advertisements and email signatures. It should work as well on a loyalty card as it does on the front of your premises. A good logo should be easy to reproduce in colour and in black and white like Apple's iconic image which has been used successfully in every colour of the rainbow. It needs to be scalable, memorable and distinctive but it also needs to stand the test of time. Steer away from anything gimmicky or time-tied. Experts reckon a good logo should last you about 10 years and then be slightly altered, like Adidas.
Be careful with colours
Colours are associated with personality traits and professions, and so when you are thinking about your logo, you need to take a bit of colour psychology into account. The Logo Company, for example, recommends red, orange and yellow hues for hospitality, while blue is better suited to lawyers, medical companies and tradesmen.
Two colours are generally ideal for a logo, with three the maximum. Any more than that and printing costs will become very expensive and it becomes harder to accurately reproduce your logo. Have a look at your logo in one, two and three colour variations before making a decision.
Add value to your logo
There are some neat little tricks in design that can add that bit extra to your logo, such as using negative space to create an additional message. FedEx, for example, does this really well by creating an arrow with negative space, indicating that it is fast and direct. You can add value in other ways too. The Amazon logo has a double-sided arrow pointing from the A to the Z in the name, inferring that it has a huge range of products available.
Hire a designer
While it's important to brainstorm some ideas yourself, hiring a designer to create your business logo and branding is well worth the cost. Having original artwork differentiates you from the competition and ensures someone else won't use the same image or graphic in their own branding. Hiring a designer will help you translate your ideas and business ethos into a great brand. Your logo is so important – it tells the customer who you are and what you do, so you want it to stand out, attract custom and recognition. Hiring a professional to help you bring this to fruition is the best idea and between you, you can create a logo that hits the mark.