A great logo is integral to any successful brand, no matter what your business ambitions may be. From local contractors and food trucks to the mega-cap tech giants of the world, logos convey a succinct brand message and are highly memorable.
But before you jump into a digital logo maker and put the official stamp on your business forever, there are a few steps you won’t want to miss. Here’s how to choose the right logo for your business and execute the idea with precision and speed.
History’s greatest logos didn’t appear out of coincidence. Branding experts make deliberate decisions on all aspects of logo design and the emotions they want to evoke. Moreover, the best logos are a precise reflection of the brand itself, with continuity across all products and marketing materials.
Therefore, you should not embark on logo design until you have your branding elements firmly in place, including:
- Color schemes with two or three exact colors
- Fonts, typography, and appearance of text
- Mottos, slogans, taglines, and key marketing phrases
- Associated images like mascots, symbols, etc.
Setting these elements in place will organically guide you to a logo idea, rather than forcing you to start from scratch with zero point of reference.
Every logo fits a certain category and theme, which tells a lot about your business at first glance. Bold badges like the UPS or Harley-Davidson logo show strength and trust with customers, while Samsung and Sony use sleek text to say they’re on the cutting edge of high tech.
In the finance world, Capital One and Citibank use colors and fonts that give customers a sense of trust and stability. Alternatively, food and beverage brands like Starbucks or Pringles rely on colorful imagery that we associate with tasty drinks and snacks.
You’ll quickly see that certain logo types are more text focused, while others use emblems, mascots, or abstract elements to get the point across. Depending on your brand and the type of business you aim to be, decide on a logo theme to refine your range of options.
At this point, you’re working with a color palette and some design restrictions to point you in the right direction. This is when the brainstorming begins, and we recommend starting the old-fashioned way with pens, colored pencils, and plenty of unruled classic notebook paper.
Whether you’re an Adobe expert or lack artistic talent, this will help clear the cobwebs and require authentic creative thinking before you start leaning on tech tools. At this stage, the goal is to unleash the floodgates and get all your ideas on paper, as crude as they may be.
Take this chance to exercise your creativity, set aside the ego, and reserve judgment. The results won’t be perfect, but that’s not the point.
By the end, you’ll have a broad selection of concepts to take to the next stage and start making real progress.
Once you’ve done some hands-on work with your logo ideas, it’s time to use a logo maker that fits your level of skill and technical capacity. Plenty of free tools are available to try, so browse around before you decide to pay for software and unlock the full feature set.
Your favorite logo maker may indeed be free, saving you some cash for your business. Look for the following features to get the best software available:
- Accessible design tools that anyone can use
- Downloadable high-resolution files in key formats
- Fully customizable elements, colors, fonts, and more
- Easy import feature for websites, cards, and socials
- No time limits, download limits, or other restrictions
With so many software options out there, there’s something for every skill level. More complex technology does not necessarily equate to a better result! Work within your competence and learn about new tools to get the most out of your toolkit.
It seems like every business is taking the minimalist route with logo design these days, and we suggest you refine a logo if it’s too complex or detailed.
Firstly, this will help your logo translate to a wide variety of formats and sizes, from big screens to tablets and smaller smartphones. Next, minimal logos are more memorable, since viewers have less visual information to process.
Finally, a simplified logo helps keep your brand up-to-date and ahead of the curve. You can always keep multiple versions of a logo on hand, depending on the situation and marketing objectives.
Keep in mind that you can send logo ideas to professional creatives at any time, and have them take the design to the next level for a reasonable cost.
You should have a short list of top contenders in your logo file by now, so bring in team members and stakeholders before you make the final call. As with all creative decisions, it helps to get more eyes on the project towards the end stages so that you don’t miss glaring mistakes or shortcomings.
While you might not want to go back to the drawing board, some extra input and collaboration can help smooth out any issues with your logo before finishing it off.
The last mile of logo design will require you to download and preserve logo formats in various sizes, and ensure they’re readily accessible for all team members at any time. These assets will be used and promoted for years to come, so set your people up for success now.
As a measure of legal protection, you may want to register your logo with the USPTO once your final design is set and stored. The process is quick, cheap, and well worth the effort.
With so many online brands emerging in 2023 and beyond, it never hurts to get an extra layer of protection for your hard work and creativity.
Logo design isn’t necessarily easy, and it may be slow going at first. But between digital tools and plenty of online inspiration, you can develop an original, compelling logo in a matter of days.
Put in the work now, and you’ll have a memorable logo that helps your business rise above the rest.