What's in a logo? Everything! Your logo is your defining piece of design. It's what will come to mind first when people think about your brand or event. If you're getting ready to design a logo, it's important to keep several things in mind. Look over the list below and make sure that you're designing a logo that you're ready to stand behind.
1. Your Logo Will Be Well-Traveled
Your logo needs to look good... everywhere. It won't appear just on your sign outside. When your business or event takes off, it could end up on t-shirts, letterhead, golf balls, pens, and so much more. That creates a number of considerations for design. For example, your logo has to look good and clear at almost any size. It has to have colors that will look good in multiple contexts. If that's not possible, there should be a black and white version that's still effective. All of these aspects have to be considered.
2. What Font is That?
The answer should be: "our own." Customized type makes your logo instantly unique. Think about Disney. That's a globally recognized brand with a font to match. You could pick that signature 'D' out of a lineup in a millisecond. A custom font goes a long way towards identifying your brand and setting it apart from others. If you're prosperous (like, super prosperous) your logo font could one day find its way into a program like Microsoft Word. Now that's iconic.
3. What in the World is That?
Unlike the previous question, which you want to get asked, this query represents a design failure. If your logo is overly crowded and confusing, it's going to turn people away, rather than draw them in. Some common mistakes include using multiple fonts, too many colors, unclear imagery, and illegible words. Ideally, people will be able to read your company name and understand what you're trying to do visually. It's important to not overshoot on your mission to create something unique. Clarity counts too.
4. Zig When Everyone Else Zags
Design has trends, like anything else. Remember when teal became THE color in sports in the 1990s? That example illustrates the need to be different and buck trends. Teal stops standing out if everyone is sporting it. If minimalism is in, for example, it will be tempting to create a logo that follows that blueprint. But, after that trend moves elsewhere, will your logo still look good? Or, will it look like a relic of a bygone era? Ask yourself that before designing and make sure what you're creating is unique and timeless.
5. Colors Stick
Even though teal ended up looking regrettable in retrospect, color counts. You know what the Target logo looks like. But, more than that, you know that Target = red. The color of Target's logo almost takes on a life of its own and becomes an immediate identifier for the brand. Don't buy it? Wear a red polo and khakis in one of their stores and see how long it takes before you hear "Excuse me, where can I find...?" Choose a logo color or colors that you feel truly represent your brand. They will stick.
6. Tell Your Story
Know what your design stands for. The best logos look amazing. But, they also embody the brand. What is your company's mission statement? What is its purpose? What do you want others to know? Mull those questions over and make sure that your logo design captures at least part of the answer. When explaining your logo to others (or fielding compliments), it's important to know what story your telling and how your logo tells it.