DIY Logos | Creating Your Own Logo? Six Smart Design Tips

DIY Logos | Creating Your Own Logo? Six Smart Design Tips

DIY Logos | McDonald’s has the golden arches, Coca-Cola the scripted font, and Apple… well, the apple. A logo is perhaps one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal. However, coming up with a logo design for your small business can be a minefield, particularly if you have never done it before. Questions like: ‘Where do I begin?’, ‘How many colors should I use?’, and ‘Where can I find a decent font type?’ are all too common.

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A good logo can build loyalty between your business and your clients, reinforce your brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established enterprise. A professionally designed business logo can say to the world that you’ve arrived and are ready for doing some serious business. But it can cost big bucks to have a professional design a logo that really works, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re not diving in head-first.

Getting Started | DIY Logos

Before you begin sketching or researching how to create a logo, you need to define the message you want your logo to communicate first. Try writing a one-sentence brand image description and mission statement to help focus your efforts. Ask yourself what your business logo should say about your business. Should it emphasize power, tradition, speed, flexibility, health, fun, or connectivity? Any of these attributes (as well as many others) can be the main theme of an effective design.

DIY Logos | Creating Your Own Logo? Six Smart Design Tips

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Less Is More | DIY Logos

These days the average consumer is flooded with marketing materials and messages. Everything from TV ads and roadside billboards to web banners and pop-up ads on game apps seems to be screaming at us with a sales message. As a result, amid the high volume of commercial communication, all but the most memorable messages become noise that the brain learns to filter out. If you’re trying to grab the attention of potential clients and remind current ones of your reach, a busy or cluttered logo isn’t going to do your business any favors. Some of the most successful logos have been the simplest.

Don’t Use Clip Art | DIY Logos

However tempting it may be, clip art can be copied way too easily. Not only will original design leave a more memorable impression about your business, but it’ll set you apart from others. What’s important is to come up with something that you believe is different from anything already out there. The last thing you want from your business logo is to have it mistaken for that of a competitor. So when considering logo design, it’s critical to keep it original. When trying to avoid brand confusion, consider the color, shape, symbolism, and the overall flow of your design.

Pay Attention To Your Font Selection | DIY Logos

The ultimate goal of having a logo is to make your business or product name stick in the client’s mind. That can only happen if they can actually read it, easily, without squinting. Ensuring readability is just a half of the battle, though: you have to avoid gimmicky and complex fonts, utilize negative space and perhaps tweak an existing font. Which style feels right for your business? A flowing script, or a vintage schoolhouse font for a wedding photographer? Solid bold sans serif, or edgy and grungy for a fashion photographer? Choose what fits and keep it clean.

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DIY Logos | Creating Your Own Logo? Six Smart Design Tips

Watch Your Colors | DIY Logos

One thing you have to be careful of as you explore color options is cost. Your five-color logo may be stunning, but once it comes time to print it on stationery, the price won’t be so attractive. From business cards to apparel, you’ll print your logo on tons of items. The more colors in the logo, the more expensive it is to print, and sticking with two basic colors will also keep printing costs low. Remember that some of those applications have production limitations as well, so make sure you do a color study. Look at your logo in one-, two- and three-color versions.

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Don’t Tinker With It | DIY Logos

Once you’ve got a logo, resist the temptation to tweak it. Instead, come up with a logo that will stay current for 10 to 20 years, maybe even longer. That’s the mark of a good design. It’s crucial you’re patient and don’t rush to make changes with your design just because you haven’t gotten the reception you initially expected. Don’t change your logo just because you’re tired of it, or because your competitors have.

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