So, you have a new company, product, or idea that you want to sell and have noticed you may need a logo created. Additionally, a logo represents your company, your product, your brand, and, most importantly, you. It needs to be a “WOW!” design that you are absolutely in love with. Here are some tips that can help you get your logo created.
“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” – Milton Glaser
1. KNOW YOUR BRAND
This is supposed to become the face of your brand! If you have no idea what your brand is, what is the point of getting a logo? The following information can definitely make the logo design process shorter (and less painful). Before you even get started thinking about a logo, make sure you know…
Exactly who your target audience and ideal clients are
Who your competitors are and what makes you different
What platforms and channels are accessible to you and your audience
Why your brand exists and why should others care
What are the values behind your brand that you will uphold
What is your final goal and how will you get there
How you are working on making your brand more human
How you speak to your audience and clients in any situation
How you are going to stay consistent on every channel you are visible
Unfortunately, deciding on your theme colours, having a mood board, or even having pictures of other logos or design elements that you like isn’t enough. Not unless you want to change your logo multiple times. It is much more important to understand the meaning behind your brand before you put a face to it. Think about being ready to discuss your brand at the drop of a hat (elevator pitch helps), being concise and secure in your values, and knowing all of the above.
2. MEET YOUR DESIGNER
The next thing you should do is talk to your designer. Whether you are using your brand designer or a standard graphic designer, make sure you know who you’re working with. If you post a logo design job online, the chances are that most of the designs thrown your way are pre-created. The last thing you want is for your logo to look like something created using Word clipart or Canva (no! Do not get your logo designed on Canva!).
So, talk to your designer, get some ideas, and show them your own and make sure to talk about your brand! If you are working with a brand designer, they’ll be asking you all of these questions anyway. If not, I suggest creating a detailed brief that includes all of that information along with what you want your logo to accomplish.
Keep in mind that, at the end of the day, while this is your logo and you need to love it, it is not meant for you but for your audience. It helps if you at least like the person responsible to get your logo created.
3. KNOW THE TRENDS
This may seem like something your designer should know, but it is useful to look at for yourself as well. I wrote an entire rant post on Instagram about not following trends for your brand (you can check it out here), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what they are. The main reason behind this, when it comes to getting a logo created, is because it is supposed to be timeless. You need to make sure that your final logo can fit alongside competitors now, twenty years ago, and twenty years from now.
PS. If you are using this logo only for a short time (ex. seasonal product) or on changing it on a regular basis (ex. annual event), then trends are very important! Knowing the trends leads back to knowing your target audience and competitors, and if this is a timed use, make sure to use everything to your advantage. Even so, keep in mind that any new logo or visual mark that you create for your brand should follow your brand guidelines and those are not on trend!
4. KNOW YOUR LOGO ELEMENTS
Every logo created should contain some elements including name, tagline, and graphic. This can sound like a lot, but keep in mind that having just one of these elements and not having an established audience will not lead new people to your brand.
The name is obviously important, but if it is long it can easily be shortened to a different version on the logo
The tagline or slogan is important for customers to know what you are offering if your name is not enough
The graphic can be as complicated as a woman’s profile with a flower in her hair (see: Hawaiian Airlines), as focused as a specific colour combination (see: Google), or a simple as an arrow hidden in the text (see: FedEx)
Also, just because your logo has all of these elements, doesn’t mean you will be using it that way every time. See next point for what I mean…
5. CHOOSE WHERE TO USE YOUR LOGO
It is very important to have multiple logo variants and when I say variations I don’t mean five different logo designs for the same thing. Think of responsive design for websites… the website elements move around and some even disappear when changing between desktop and mobile versions. So, your logo should be able to do the same. Consider how your logo would logo in different uses. For example, profile picture for social media account vs footer of legal documents vs poster for a marketing campaign.
On top of that, consider colours! For all of the examples listed above… does this mean your logo will always be on a white background? Chances are, no. As such, it is always good to have at least the following variations of your logo…
For light background
For dark background
Only one element
6. GET YOUR LOGO CREATED YOUR WAY
Finally, I am going to refer to the overused (but for a reason) K.I.S.S. rule. Keep it stupid simple. Logos need to be simple and easy to recognize. A rule of thumb is… can you draw this logo from memory? If the answer is no, there is something wrong with the logo.
Additionally, there is a difference between the company name on the logo and on your license. As mentioned, your logo can look many different ways and have some elements removed. As such, you can keep your logo name different from your company name (whether that is because it is for a product or just to keep it simple). Personally, I do not use my company name as my logo (full name is Konstant and New Designs) and before my branding pivot my logo was Konstant Designs. Now… I go with Konstant and New as both my brand name and logo name.
A much more popular example is Coca Cola. Have you ever seen The Coca Cola Company written on a can? Always keep the big brands in mind, even if you’re not aiming that big (yet)!