10 Tips for Creating an Effective Logo

Why do companies need a logo? In addition to increasing visibility and establishing your brand, a logo conveys a number of different things about your organization. For example, a logo that looks unprofessional can lead potential clients to believe that members of your company may act unprofessionally as well. On the other hand, an attractive logo coupled with polished, consistent materials will make your company more memorable.

 

One of the first things to consider when designing a logo is to understand its role in the larger scheme of your corporate image. Branding is the perceived “personality” of your company or organization when clients look at your mission, values, and the core characteristics that define your organization. Brand is shaped both by how others perceive you, as well as how your company promotes itself. A logo distills your organization’s entire brand in the form of a symbol or icon.  Here are some tips to get you started on creating a great logo:

 

  1. Think about your goals: A logo needs to be instantly recognizable, timeless and visually appealing. Viewers should immediately associate your logo with your brand. Decide what you are trying to convey and how you can translate that into one simple image.
  2. Study effective logos: For initial inspiration, take a look at some successful logos. Think about why they work and how you can use those devices in your own design. But be careful that you don’t inadvertently copy any designs.
  3. Sketch: Try sketching your ideas beforehand. Settle on a solid design before siting down at a computer.
  4. Choose a basic shape: Many successful logos, such as Twitter, are based on a basic shape such as circles, squares, or pentagons. Choosing a shape with which to design your logo can increase design consistency.
  5. Use a grid: Using a specific set of dimensions or a grid as a guide can be helpful and allows you to update the look of your logo at a later date, while staying consistent. However, don’t get bogged down trying to come up with a “perfect” mathematical schema for your logo.
  6. Think about color: Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a logo is the color, or lack thereof. Different colors convey different thoughts and emotions.
  7. Make sure your logo can translate: You should make sure your logo can translate into black and white as well as color. Logos will inevitably be used on a background that makes a color logo very difficult to read. Making a black and white version of your logo will eliminate this problem.
  8. Choose an appropriate typeface: If you choose to make your own font, be mindful of current trends that may go out of date. You may also decide to readapt an already existing font to fit your needs. Font conveys feelings in the same way color does.
  9. Ensure versatility: Make sure your logo incorporates elements that can be changed depending on use. For example, if your company has multiple divisions, you may want to appropriate your logo by changing colors, or fonts, or adding new words.
  10. Simplify: When in doubt, less is more. Simple logos are sometimes the most successful. If you aren’t sure if you’re finished designing your logo, instead of adding a new aspect, try subtracting an element of the design instead.

 

Bonus tip: Make sure you are creating your logo in a vector-based program such as Adobe Illustrator. Unlike normal images, vector graphics are not made up of pixels, but are comprised of mathematical shapes, lines and curves. This quality allows you to scale your image with no loss of resolution.

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