Your corporate logo says a lot about your company, often before the market has any contact with you themselves. A good design could connect with customers for decades or even centuries. The Stella Artois logo, for example, can be traced back more than six centuries, to the year 1366.
When you consider your logo could be representing your company for that long, it helps put its importance into perspective. Make sure you give it the attention it deserves and doesn’t cut corners when coming up with a design.
What Makes a Good Corporate Logo
A lot of company logos are created with little thought to their longevity or the message that they’re sending out. This is especially true for new businesses. With the myriad of things that have to be done when starting a new company, the logo can get the short end of the stick.
It’s an important part of your brand, however, and should reflect your company’s identity. For example, if your company sells fun products that appeal to a younger market, don’t use a stodgy-looking logo. And if you’re selling high-end products to an older market, a trendy logo might not send the right message.
Make It Unique and Memorable
Your logo should be both unique and memorable. When someone sees the logo, they should be able to recognize it immediately and not think “Is that the logo for Company X or Company Y?”
Think of logos for companies like Coca-Cola and Nike. You would likely recognize them immediately, in some cases even without the company name. Most people recognize the “swoosh” logo whether the name Nike is beside it or not.
Your Logo Should Be Timeless
The best logos stand the test of time. They don’t follow trends too closely and end up looking dated within a couple of years of being launched.
Think about those logos we just mentioned for Coca-Cola and Nike. They haven’t changed significantly for decades but they don’t look like they’re out-of-date.
Being timeless doesn’t mean your logo should never change though. You may want to make some updates to the design as time goes by but a timeless logo will let you update it without changing the core design.
Think of the Apple logo, for example. In the early days of Apple, the logo was an apple with a bite out of it, the same as it is today. The early logo used a rainbow design, with a range of colors. Over the years, the colors switched to a gradient, then to the monochrome version of today’s Apple. The core design hasn’t changed in nearly 40 years, however.
Let’s look at 5 tips for making a logo that will help ensure it represents your company properly.
1. How to Find Inspiration for a Logo
If you’re designing a logo from scratch, it’s a good idea to look for inspiration. This can be done by looking at your company as well as your competition.
The first thing to determine is your brand identity. What is your company’s target market and what sort of attitude do you want your logo to project? Are you a fun-loving company or a more conservative brand? What are the demographics of your target audience?
Your logo should present an image that’s consistent with what your audience expects. If there’s a disconnect between the two, it won’t matter how good your products are. You’ll likely lose the attention of some customers before they have a chance to find out.
Look at your competition to see what kind of logos they’ve created. Especially companies that have been around for a while. Have they made a lot of changes to their logos or have they been consistent over a long period of time?
Don’t copy your competition but you can use their logos to get ideas for your own. If you see any common aspects of their designs, that likely means it’s a good fit for the market. Try to work those same factors into your own logo, in a unique way.
2. Designing a Responsive Logo
Most logos are going to be seen online in today’s world and on various sizes of screens. Your logo should use a “responsive” design that lets it be reformatted for different situations.
For example, if you have an image above text, the logo should still work if the image is placed to the side of the text. It should also work with just the text and no image at all.
This also means you shouldn’t use details that are so fine that they’re not readable at smaller sizes. Or if you do, create a less complex version that can be used in those situations.
3. Create a Minimalist Design
Minimalist design has been trending for several years but it’s not necessarily a “trendy” design technique. Minimalism means stripping out any unnecessary complexity so your logo is as simple as possible while still projecting your brand.
Color is an important part of your logo’s message but keeping it to a minimum can help your logo be more impactful. This could mean a monochromatic, black and white design, or it could mean using a small number of colors to their biggest effect.
Thin lines are another common cue in minimalist designs. Be careful with thin lines or typefaces though. If they’re too thin, they may not scale well to smaller sizes.
4. Show Stability in Your Logo Design
If you’re redesigning an existing company logo, go for stability over wholesale change. Try to update your existing design without losing the core recognizability with your target market.
Think of the Apple logo again. The color scheme has changed over the years but the basic template of an apple with a bite taken out of it has been consistent. There’s little doubt what company the logo represents, no matter which version you’re looking at.
5. Components of a Good Logo Design
When designing your logo, there are some basic design principles that you should always consider.
Keep your logo balanced. You want the logo to look balanced to the eye of anyone seeing it unless you intentionally choose to give it a different feeling. Keep text aligned and if there are images included in the logo, those should also be aligned with the text and one another.
Look at the proximity of different components of the logo as well. The spacing between letters in text and the gaps between text and/or images all plays a part in both the feeling of the logo and how well it will scale to different sizes.
Use Negative Space Wisely
The empty space in your logo can also play a part in the overall design. You can even use this negative space to create design components in the logo by creating shapes with that space.
Your logo can also incorporate “hidden” messages for your market. For example, at first glance, the arrow in Amazon’s logo looks like it’s underlining the name. But if you look closely, it’s pointing from the A to the Z, indicating they provide products from A to Z.
What to Avoid When Designing a Logo
There are a few important things to avoid when designing a logo as well.
First, avoid clichés and stereotypes as much as possible. A logo for a doctor’s office, for example, doesn’t have to include a stethoscope. And a garage doesn’t have to include a car or engine in the logo. Look past the typical images used in your industry to find something unique.
Logos shouldn’t be too complicated either. If the logo is too busy, it’s not going to be as easy to identify or as memorable for your market. Busy logos will also be harder to resize and scale for different uses.
It’s not usually a good idea to get too trendy with your designs. Something that looks current today is most likely going to look outdated in a couple of years. The exception to this rule is if you’re intentionally trying to create a certain feeling but if that’s the case, it’s more likely to be a retro design that calls back to past trends, not something that’s trending today.
And finally, don’t cut corners by using an amateur designer. Your logo is going to represent your business for years to come, hopefully, so spending the money on a professional design is a good investment.
What Does Your Logo Say About Your Company?
Your corporate logo is going to be one of the first things many people see about your company. It needs to present a good first impression and be unique and memorable enough for people to recognize the next time they see it.
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