Do's and Don'ts of Logo Design
Creating a successful logo design is not impossible. If you follow a few guidelines, specifically the dos and don’ts of logo design, then you’re off to a right start. Every serious company knows how important logos are for successful branding. A logo is the face of the company and is the first thing customers notice and remember. It should reflect the nature of business and convey the brand message effectively to your target audience.
It puts your brand in front of your customers in logo placements. You can add your logo on promotional items, signages, business cards, or presentations. Whether it's digital marketing or traditional marketing, a logo is one thing a business can never do without.
So clearly, a good logo design is instrumental in the growth of your business. With that said, it is important to know some logo design guidelines, especially the dos and don'ts.
1. Do research and define your target audience.
When you consider a logo design, it is not enough to make it look pretty or eye-catching. It has to capture your intended audience or target market. One effective way of going about it is by creating a buyer persona to represent your target audience. What your persona like and who they follow are good questions to start with to give you an idea of what might catch their eyes.
In the design process, graphic designers will require basic information about your target market to develop an initial design concept.
2. Do explore a conceptual icon.
One major misconception is believing an effective logo must show a picture of a product or service to tell customers what the company does. This is not always the case. Professional logo designers go beyond the obvious and explore design concepts from icons to lettermarks to emphasize what the business is about.
Browse famous logo designs in your industry and see what they have in common. You can take inspiration from them, but don't copy. Copying a logo is the most surefire way to fail in branding.
3. Do make your logo simple and clear.
A simple logo is memorable and plays a big part in brand recognition. In fact, simplicity is one of the basic principles of effective logo design that graphic designers follow. A complex logo with too many design elements often loses its scalability.
But achieving simplicity is hard. This entails smart choice in shapes, graphics, typography, and, most especially the use of white space.
The effective use of white space will give your logo room to breathe. For companies that opt to include a tagline or their brand name, using white space is crucial for consistency. White space also provides designers room for creativity, such as using it to incorporate hidden symbols in a wordmark.
When having a logo designed, make sure to ask your designer for a design proposal. You can show it to a few people and see if they find it appealing.
4. Do make your logo legible.
Choosing between using caps and lowercases can be tricky. It's simple details such as these that make a huge difference between a successful brand identity and a poor one.
Although uppercase often indicates authority, while lowercase gives a more casual vibe, this does not mean you have to choose one over the other. You can simply play around with caps and lowercases. It's all a matter of striking a balance so you can clearly and effectively get your message across.
The most important thing is to make sure it's readable and easy on the eyes. It will hurt your brand if people read and remember your brand name differently.
5. Do balance your tagline.
When talking about balance, designers will experiment with placement and sizing. A simple rule of thumb when it comes to taglines is to make it smaller than the brand name. It should also be clear and legible. Taglines can be witty, but not so much that it overpowers the brand name or the logo. It should also be no more than 25 to 30 characters. When using a thicker font for the brand name, use a thinner font for the tagline to balance it out.
The most common placement for a tagline in a logo is with the brand name large on top and a smaller tagline below. You can experiment with placements as long as the focus is still on the brand name.
6. Don't add gradients to a logo that makes it difficult to read.
There are only a few designers that would add gradients to a logo. Gradients are used to enhance a logo. But if not used correctly, it can dominate the design. Intense gradients can make the logo look unpleasant and difficult to print. If you want to optimize a gradient logo before printing, you can first test it on black and white backgrounds before committing to the final design.
7. Don't use too many colors in a logo.
You may think having a colorful logo is eye-catching, but adding many colors without meaning may hurt your brand. Three colors are acceptable as long as it fits the design concept, but two is the recommended maximum.
Choosing the right color is crucial in conditioning the mind and emotions of your potential customers. Colors are important for visibility and evoking the right emotions. Research the meaning of each color before deciding on what to use. Designers refer to color psychology or the color theory to guide them during the design process.
Now you know which brand colors to use. How about adding a background color? When playing around with background colors, always go for contrast. Simply put, when the color of your text is dark, then opt for a lighter color and vice versa; otherwise, it will be hard to see it.
8. Don't use pre-made logos.
We understand that for a small business creating a unique logo is not a top priority. They often go for online logo maker tools with pre-made logos that only require a few changes. There is a huge chance that your logo will end up looking like any other when you use pre-made logo templates.
Although it might cost you a bit more, having a professionally designed logo is a worthy investment if you consider what a solid brand identity can do for your business.
9. Don't constantly change your logo.
It is important to be consistent when it comes to your company logo. A well-designed logo is timeless. It means it will stand the test of time and still be effective in twenty years.
Brands such as McDonald's, Nike, and Coca Cola are great examples of classic logos that are still well-loved by many. People love the things that are familiar to them, so constantly revamping your logo for the sake of following a design trend will negatively affect your brand identity.
10. Don't copy other brands.
This is a design rule worth repeating. Copying the logo of other brands is not only meaningless but can also land you a copyright lawsuit and negative publicity. The purpose of branding is to create a unique visual identity for your company. It is enough to take inspiration from a brand you like or even from a competitor to build your design style that is truly your own.
Lastly, don't forget to make sure your graphic designer creates your logo in a vector format for scalability. With vector graphics, the logo can be scaled to any size for different branding materials.
Designing a logo is hard work. If you want a logo that can clearly define your business, the best way to go is hire professional designers. Your logo will ultimately represent your brand and will evoke the emotions you want from your target customers that can take your business to a whole new level.
Remember that successful logos are ones that many people, even a child, can easily recognize and remember.