Designing logos is a fun form of graphic design. This process involves creating an iconic piece that will act as a visual representation of a company. You can do this for your own business, or you might sell logos for work.
Regardless of your intent, there is nothing more important than good logo design. A bad logo can make people completely ignore a company, which is why we have compiled these helpful tips on how to design a logo.
Logo design is a cross-section between art and mathematics. While you will always want to chase your passions, this form requires some calculations as well. A good logo design is not merely a drawing, but rather a perfectly balanced icon.
There are some constants across logo design and other things to consider when working. However, you don’t want to let this intimidate you. We absolutely believe that you can make a stunning logo quickly and easily.
If you’re interested in design, check out my other design-related content:
1. Simplicity is Key—
There is nothing more problematic in logo design than making it messy. A logo is meant to be simple and clear. This will be visually representing a group or company, so it should be easy to identify and recognize. The more features that you add to a logo, the worse it tends to look.
2. Choose Industry Colors—
Different industries have a tendency to use different colors or color schemes. Some businesses are able to get away with certain colors, while on others it might look unprofessional.
You wouldn’t want a hot pink sign for a law firm. This is why it is important to look at the colors that other companies in the industry or using. You don’t have to use those colors, but it might help your logo line up well against competitors.
3. Do Not Be Generic—
A common mistake that logo designers make is being overly generic. This might mean using a basic icon drawing for part of the logo. It might also mean mirroring another logo’s style too perfectly. You want simple, but you don’t want to look like your design came from clip art. Generic logo design is an easy way to spot a newbie in the industry.
4. Be Weary of Potential Copyright Infringement—
When you are working on your design, make sure that you take the time to research your ideas. The last thing that you want is to realize that the idea isn’t original. Make sure your vision hasn’t already been used. This can lead to a lawsuit and is an all-around headache. When you are done designing, consider doing a reverse image search just to be safe.
5. Choose A Symbol That Matches the Company—
This bit of advice is a little bit hit or miss. You want to make sure that your symbol matches the business, but this rule can be safely broken. When you look at Evernote, you might wonder what an elephant has to do with writing, but it works. If you can be unique with it, do it. Just avoid putting a shoe icon for your calendar application.
6. Make Sure Your Logo Is Readable—
A major mistake that new logo designers make it is with readability. Make sure that your logo holds its shape at a distance and is easy to read. This might mean checking the colors or spacing. All you need to do is ensure that your logo never requires a second glance. That defeats the point of a logo.
7. Test It at Different Sizes—
Scalability is a huge point of concern when learning how to design a logo. Your logo might look great in one version, but if it can’t hold at different shapes, it’s a problem. There is nothing worse than watching a good logo fail because it becomes indecipherable when shrunk down. Using a good design tool will help you to keep designs looking sharp when you enlarge them.
8. Don’t Use the Same Old Design—
There are plenty of popular logo designs, particularly because templates get made and applied to design apps. While these might look nice, if you want your logo to stand out, you should avoid these looks. This will help you to make a design that is special for your company or client.
9. Make it Original—
Not only do you want to avoid copying popular designs, you want to be original. Take some time to brainstorm your designs before you pursue them. This creative focus is crucial when it comes to finding the perfect design. Avoid making something too basic and instead create something that is unique to you and your style.
10. Be Weary of Fancy Font—
A rookie mistake that can be seen with amateur logo designers is the use of exceptionally fancy font. While font can be an amazing tool in logo design, some of the fancier fonts are too difficult to read.
This means that they will ultimately throw off your design or can be embarrassingly misinterpreted. You can use an original font, but you want to make sure it is easy to read.
11. Use the Golden Ratio—
The Golden Ratio is an age-old design technique that has been used across various art forms for hundreds of years. It is focused on keeping an even proportion when it comes to design elements. This ratio is known to make designs infinitely more pleasing to the human eye, making it well received by audiences. Consider using this to make something eye-catching.
12. Make A Few Different Versions—
The best way to design a good logo is to make a few different versions. When you have your winning idea after a brainstorming session, start practicing. You might think that you know where you want everything to go. However, making a few different renderings can lead to some truly amazing breakthroughs.
13. Respect the Power of Negative Space—
Negative space is the area that you are not using in your logo design, and somehow that makes it more important. Not only is negative space necessary to make a clean design, but it can be intentionally used for effect. You can easily create shapes in the negative space between letters to make a unique design.
14. Make It Match the Brand—
When you set out to make a logo, you need to have a firm understanding of the brand. A logo that conflicts with the general brand can be viewed negatively by an audience. The most important part of branding is consistency. You always want to make sure that the logo is true to the company or group.
15. Aim for Iconic—
In the event that the company you are representing makes it big, you want a memorable logo. Everyone knows the simplistic beauty of Logos by Apple or Windows. When you set out to make a logo, think about it as a household item. A huge part of knowing how to design a logo is preparing for the moment where everyone recognizes it.
16. Make It Easy to Change—
A powerful decision when it comes to knowing how to design a logo is versatility. You want your logo to be able to be presented easily and comfortably in other colors, even temporarily. When you think about brand advertising, symbolically changing the color scheme of a logo is common. Make sure that your logo can support this.
17. Use Eye Catching Colors—
Though not everyone uses colors for their logo, many do. Make sure that you choose colors that are visually appealing to an audience. You don’t want mild colors that fade away too easily, but bold and vibrant colors that draw attention. This does not mean your logos should all be lime green. It does, however, mean that they should be worthy of attention.
18. Make Sure It Works in Black and White—
Another important tip for logo design is making sure that it can be converted to grayscale well. There will likely become a moment when it ends up in this format. When you design, make sure that it can stand the test. This is crucial when it comes to designs that rely heavily on color.
19. Use Symbolic Representation—
A common trick when learning how to design logos is symbolically representing a company. This can be seen with Apple using an apple for their primary logo. Though you don’t have to be that direct with it, you can also use a calendar icon for a calendar app. Other popular versions are a checkbox for a to-do list. Consider what the company does and choose accordingly.
20. Consider Words, Icon, or Both—
Some companies use an icon for their logo. Others use a combination of an icon and words. Both are good options, but sometimes one is better than the other. When you think about your logo, decide if the company name needs to be present. If it does, include it. If it doesn’t, you can probably leave it out.
21. Look at Other Logos in The Industry—
A great way to begin your design is to look for other popular logos in the industry. This will help you to get an idea of what will fit in when lined up against competition. It is also a great way to get an edge on the competition and make your logo stand out. Research is a great way to make an awesome design.
22. Start with A Sketch—
Some designers have a tendency to jump straight to designing the logo itself. However, the trick to learning how to design a logo is to practice sketching. You don’t have to use your sketches or free draw your logo after the fact. Sketching as a starting point will help you to solidify your vision for the logo.
23. Find A Good Design Tool—
When you go to design logos, you need the right tool to do it. There are plenty of logo design tools for various skill levels. Some tools allow you to build a logo from provided pieces, icons, and fonts. Others are completely custom and let you more or less draw the logo to completion. Experiment and find what is right for you.
24. Consider Making Variations—
Though you will always want a core iconic logo, sometimes variations can add some flair. This will allow you to provide a customized logo experience that can be used in different ways. For professional logo designers, this is a great options to offer to your clients. It allows for the perfect icon to be selected every time.
25. Make It Sharp—
Your logo should always be sharp if you want it to be seen well. You should use clearly defined lines and edges to help with the scaling of the item. This will make sure that it holds its shape from a distance and across platforms. As an added bonus, it makes designs look more polished and professional.
26. Use Smooth Lines—
Smooth lines are an absolute must when it comes to logo design. The last thing that you ever want is for your logo to look hand drawn. Using smooth lines that are consistent across the board will make the logo look more professional. Logo design tools can be helpful for this by guaranteeing that the lines are even.
27. Play with The Angle of the Design—
When you are learning how to design a logo, you want to practice experimenting. A fun exercise that can lead to an original design is taking your design and shifting it. Changing the angle of your design can have absolutely stunning results. You might just find that it changes the entire feel of your logo!
28. Make Sure It Can’t Be Meme—
In the modern age, you have to be weary of internet trolls. This means making sure that your design is not easily contorted into something vulgar or offensive. You can’t prepare for everything, but you can stay aware. Considering how your design can be easily repurposed for the negative is a good thing to keep in mind.
29. Respect the Feedback—
When you are working on drafts of your logo, it pays to ask for feedback. You might not want to show it to the client you are working for, but a friend can help. Sometimes it takes another person to point out what is wrong when we can’t quite see it.
30. Talk Through the Design—
Before you begin designing, you should always talk through the design. Find out what you are aiming for, and what the real goal is. This will help you to match the brand, and can raise any immediate problems. A little discussion can save you from a ton of rework.
Logo design has never been easier or more manageable. Whether you are just making a logo for your small business or for professional work, there are plenty of tools around. When you get to work, think about what you are representing and bring it to life. Learning how to design a logo is mostly done in practice, so keep trying!
Which tip do you see yourself using?