Your logo is one of the most important aspects of your business. An iconic logo can create instant brand recognition — think Nike, McDonald’s, and Apple. Even if customers aren’t familiar with your logo, it tells them who you are. Think about walking through an unfamiliar town and what you assume from the logos of local restaurants. What’s the atmosphere of the restaurant? Is it expensive? What kind of food do they have? What level of service do they provide?
Your customers will see your business logo on your storefront, in your online listings, on your own website and social media pages, on your shopping bags and branded merchandise, and in many other places. No matter what type of business you’re in, your logo is just as important to your image as your name. That’s why it’s important to have a business logo that tells people who you are and looks good while doing it.
6 Steps to Design the Perfect Business Logo (And Where to Do It):
You might think that designing a logo is just drawing something that looks good or hiring someone else to do it. It’s true that you want your logo to look good, but it’s more than just a piece of art. Designing a logo that builds your brand image and fits with your marketing plan is also a science that needs to follow important business principles to succeed.
Whether you want to try starting your own logo or want to outsource the entire process, here’s what you need to know.
#1. Understand the industry you’re in
Most industries have a standard look. Daycares and children’s fun centers will use a playful look. High-end restaurants want to look sophisticated and elegant.
There are no rules that say if you’re in a certain type of business you have to have a certain type of logo. But, there is a reason why similar businesses end up with similar logos at least compared to businesses in other industries. If you’re bringing your kids somewhere to spend the day, you want to pick a place that looks fun. If you want to get away from your kids for a quiet night out, you’re probably not going to pick the restaurant with a cartoon chef logo.
Your logo doesn’t have to end up matching the standard look for your industry, but you should understand what your customers are looking for and how your logo responds to that.
#2. Decide on the right font and color combination
Your logo can be an image, letters, words, or a combination. Almost anyone can recognize the logos of Twitter, McDonald’s, or FedEx.
No matter what type of logo you choose, the fonts and colors also create an image of who you are. In school, you probably learned to always use Times New Roman font for reports and that Comic Sans is just plain unprofessional. If you’re running a comedy club, maybe Comic Sans is what you’re looking for. The font you use should match the tone you want to set for your business.
Colors closely match customer tastes and emotions. Brighter colors might be associated with fun or high energy, while more subdued colors might give a more serious look.
#3. Try to avoid the cliches
It’s a good business practice to copy success. There’s usually a reason something was successful. Of course, you can take things too far.
Some logos are overdone to the point of becoming cliches. Think about how many real estate agents use a picture of a house in their logo or how many companies in general use an arc over their name. You might also see certain trends in your area like everyone using the same colors, fonts, or alignments of symbols and text.
If you follow the cliches, you risk your business not being able to stand out in the crowd. This is especially important when you’re new and trying to pull customers away from other businesses by showing that you’re actually better at something, not just an unproven copycat. The trick is to find the balance between following what works and finding a way to differentiate yourself.
#4. Keep it simple
The biggest companies in the world almost always have the simplest logos. That’s because those logos are easy to recognize and not just because that company is famous. When customers see your logo, you want them to either instantly recognize your business or at least feel something about your business if they don’t know who you are. You don’t want them to have to interpret your logo as a piece of modern art.
Simple logos also last forever. Apple has used the same image in different color variations for decades. McDonald’s has only slightly tweaked its golden arches. If you get more complex, you’ll almost surely be incorporating current tastes and design trends that will leave your logo outdated within a few years.
#5. Have your brand story in mind
What is your brand story? This could be an actual story like you’re a restaurant or packaged food company using your mother’s secret family recipe. It could also just be something you want customers to feel about your brand. Maybe you’re the fast, cheap, and easy solution, or you’re the upscale experts doing top-of-the-line work.
Your business logo is an illustration of your brand story. It might be literal or not. Many restaurants use a caricature of their founding chef styled to match the overall feel the restaurant wants to create. Shell gas stations use a basic shell logo that doesn’t have anything to do with gas but is simple, recognizable, and lets passing drivers know they can stop to fuel up without worrying about what they’re putting in their cars. The McDonald’s logo has simplified over time from focusing on a founder’s name to today’s logo that matches the fast dining experience that they offer.
#6. So how to actually get a logo done?
As a business owner, it’s important to understand how to make major business decisions like designing a successful business logo, but it’s also important to know when to bring in the professionals. You probably already have ideas about where you want your business and logo to go, but it takes an experienced logo designer to bring your logo to life.
One place to start is top logo maker websites. There are thousands of small businesses that need logos, and these websites give them the logo design support that they need. You can also look for a logo designer in an online marketplace or go with a branding agency to help you build a complete business image.
No matter where you go, the process is similar. You’ll be asked for information about what kind of brand you want to build similar to the topics discussed in this post. You might already have a sketch of a logo you want to use, or you might not have any idea at all. Your logo designer will guide you through finding answers to the unanswered questions, sketch some basic ideas, and then work with you on coming up with the final draft.
Your logo is one of the most important ways of telling customers what your business is and what you do. There are a number of steps you need to take to understand how to design a logo that creates the brand image you want in a way that’s easily recognizable to customers. You don’t have to, and probably don’t want to, fully design a logo yourself, but if you understand the important concepts, you can work together with a logo designer to create a successful business logo.