Logo Design Basics | Do You Want Fries With That Logo? Elements of a Winning Brand
Logo Design Basics | Contrary to what most people think, building a business doesn’t have to be a daunting, stressful task. If you want to command a large audience and take large piece of the pie in your industry of interest, you have to create a brand that people will quickly learn to trust. More and more small business owners are recognizing the value of branding; however, many don’t really understand the key elements that will enable them to create a strong and memorable brand.
Effective branding begins with a well-defined brand that is RELEVANT to your market. You might think that since you have a company name, tagline, and business card, you’ve completed your branding, but your brand is much more than that. Your brand is your reputation, your promise of value and the experience and results a client can expect through working with you.
Logos Connect to Customers | Logo Design Basics
A logo that resonates with clients will allow them to be more passionate about your brand and what it represents. You might think that a logo is just a small element of branding, but actually, it is the most important part. When you think of a certain brand, what comes to your mind? The logo, right? Logo design is all around us. We live in a society painted with brand logos. Even toddlers who can’t yet tie their own shoelaces recognize many logos or are able to deduce what a company sells just by looking at its brandmark.
Logos must be simple | Logo Design Basics
A complex logo can be difficult to reproduce and more importantly, difficult to remember. Most effective logos feature something unexpected or unique without being over-designed. Simple, but powerful logos permeate the business world and always prove to be the best icons for standing the test of time.
A logo consists of two elements: A wordmark and a symbol. Before a company can even think about representing itself with just a symbol, a great deal of advertising must be done. If your company logo is to feature both an iconic logo and a textual treatment of your company name, it’s best to have the elements as separate pieces of artwork (as opposed to overlapping, intertwining, etc). This way, you’ll be able to use either the text or icon alone, and the logo will still stand up.
If you design a custom typeface, try not to make it too fashionable, because it could date quickly. Consider the words that you’re depicting – if they’re unusual, a simple typeface might work best; if they’re common words, then you can usually be more creative as they’re more recognizable. Some companies even choose to stick to logotype entirely, like Coca-Cola, Ray-Ban and IBM.
Your logo is for your audience | Logo Design Basics
Good logo design doesn’t just create something that looks nice – it has to communicate a brand message. It makes sense, then, that the first step in designing a logo should be to research your target audience. You may be the most conservative person on the planet, but if you’re trying to market to the hip-hop crowd, your sensibilities are probably different than your audience’s. A logo that you like probably won’t appeal to them.
Color is key | Logo Design Basics
One of the most vital considerations for logo design is the color palette. This is not a superficial decision; color carries meanings and communicates ideas. When taking the brand’s personality into account, you have to think about every aspect of the image. Bright and bold colors may capture someone’s attention, but could also seem brash; muted tones exude sophistication, but could be overlooked. However, remember that a good logo is versatile and will still have to be functional in gray-scale as well.
Think About Negative Space | Logo Design Basics
Some of the best logo designs have hidden meaning in their negative space. A classic example is the Fed Ex logo, which uses the combination of the letters E and x to form a shape an arrow in the negative space. That’s what we love about this logo; the use of negative space is so subtle. Most people in the U.S. see the FedEx logo on a daily or a weekly basis for years as it drives by on the side of countless trucks, and they never even notice the arrow.
Make your design active, not passive | Logo Design Basics
Consider adding a sense of movement to your design. This doesn’t mean you have to add cartoon-like motion lines, but rather think about the size, position and rotation of elements within your design. This isn’t appropriate in every situation(such as with the Apple logo), but sometimes it can give a logo the much needed boost, both from a visual and conceptual standpoint. Twitter’s logo design has evolved from a static bird into one in flight over the years, suggesting motion and movement.
With time, a successful creative logo will stand for your business. It will drive sales and bring in clients and establish your company as a trusted, true and tried brand. A logo doesn’t have to cost the earth, but it’s certainly worth investing your time, effort and energy to get your logo right.