7 Tips to Design a Logo That Doesn’t Suck

Designing a logo is simple, right? Think again. There's more to crafting a brand's visual identity than just placing a name in a square and calling it a day. 

Logo design can be intimidating. From conducting competitive research to selecting colors, fonts, and shapes, there’s a lot to decide.

To help you through the process — and create a standout identity for your business — we present to you 7 Tips to Design a Logo That Doesn’t Suck

Read on for inspiration!

1) Avoid the Cliche

Every few years or so, some new fads come along in logo design. It’s almost impossible to create something truly unique, but with any logo you should check it against others to make sure you have that your logo isn’t too similar or accidentally infringing on other trademarks, or this could destroy your brand before it even becomes official.

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2) Know the Psychology of Color

One of the most important considerations for logo design is the color palette. Color is what catches the eye. Significant studies have been conducted into the psychology of color and the effect it has on the human mind. It’s a fact that certain colors lead to certain reactions. For example, if you use red as a main color in your logo, it will send the message of the brand being aggressive, passionate, and energetic. This means that your brand intends to target young customers. If blue is the chief color, it will evoke the feelings of intelligence and togetherness. This is the reason that most social channels,  like Facebook, have logos in blue. 

Bright and bold colors may grab someone's attention, but could also seem brash; muted tones exude sophistication, but could be overlooked. Every color has a different implication and can bring nuance to your message — don't fall into the trap of conveying the wrong message because of a simple brush stroke.

3) Keep it Simple

It’s important to have a balanced combination of simple and quirky — you want your logo to be interesting, but you don’t want someone to have to sit and stare, analyzing the logo. Simple but powerful logos always prove to be the best icons for standing the test of time. The general rule of thumb for a logo is that it should be memorable enough so someone could easily draw it onto a piece of paper when prompted. Look at all the major brands of today and you will see that even the most novice artist could draw their logos.

In considering how to construct one of these types of logos, let’s discuss the Apple logo. The silhouette of an apple is nothing special or memorable.

It’s that missing bite that takes it to the next level. It gives makes the logo unique and drives the meaning deeper (computers and bytes, get it?). Without the bite, the apple is boring, with it, the apple is suddenly iconic.

Always think about how you can go that extra mile and turn your boring logos into unmistakable brand marks.

4) Formatting is Key

In the digital age, where logos will appear on multiple devices and across social media, you must design something that transcends paper. It must look great on different backgrounds, work for apps, icons, avatars and print, and it must be flexible in size.  Just because something looks good on a white background doesn’t mean it’s going to look good everywhere. 

5) Public Testing

You can never be sure how the general public is going to respond. Assuming you already have the image of your perfect customer in mind, you need to approach a test group and show them various logo designs. Put it to them and see what feedback they give you. Your logo design should make a lasting impression on the market and the customers. Just a glance at your logo is enough to mesmerize the people. 

6) Design Basics

Explore options by finding other inspirations that use the many basic principles of design to create something unique and clever using negative space and visual double entendres. One interesting concept of logo design is instilling motion or a sense of activity into a logo. This isn’t always applicable (such as with the Apple logo), but sometimes it can really give a logo the boost it needs, both from a visual and conceptual standpoint.

As an example, let’s look again to the Twitter logo. Way back in the early days, the bird went from sitting perched and passive to becoming active and taking flight.

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In the most recent iteration, they took this concept even further by pointing the bird in an upward direction to indicate that it’s climbing into the air rather than floating along the same old trajectory.

7) What is the meaning of this?

Every good logo has a story. Far beyond simply a pretty sketch, strong logos are filled with meaning, both obvious and hidden. Overall, the design of your logo should somehow connect to your brand promise. What is it that you want your audience to look forward experiencing with your brand? Does any feature in your logo connect with that promise? These are questions you should ask yourself when evaluating the meaning of your logo. It’s an amazing experience when you get to explain to your members what your logo means when you speak with them about it.

Conclusion

Keeping all these factors in mind may seem like a lot to keep up with. That is why logo designers are in high demand, and it's for good reason — a logo is often a company's first impression, one that can impact a customer's brand perception, purchase decisions and overall attitude toward a brand. 

Remember the last time you were at an event? You probably met a ton of people, shook a lot of hands, but remembered only a small few.

Why is that? What characteristics did the people that stood out have? Maybe it was a unique Hawaiian shirt, or fancy blue glasses. You may not remember their name, but see that crazy shirt again, and you will surely remember the person and the conversation you had.

Think of your brand’s logo like that crazy shirt. You want it to stick out in people's minds, allowing them to recall your brand later on. Maybe it's something unique in your logo, or something awesome your brand has done. Either way, your logo should be front of mind for your audience, and associated with your brand. 

The wrong logo can make your brand come off as unprofessional, assuming anyone notices you at all. A good logo will create instant recognition within the minds of your target audience.

But, don’t worry! OMNICOMMANDER is here to help!

Brian Wyatt