Effective logos are easily recognizable, build a following, and can be applied to multiple marketing and product materials. Ineffective ones fail to connect products or services with their brand and are quickly forgotten. To ensure you create a stellar logo for your business, we reached out to the pros for their logo-design tips.
Here are 21 pro tips to help you create a must-see logo:
1.Brainstorm With a Word Cloud
Becky Beach, Designer & Blogger, Mom Beach
I make a word cloud of all the words that the business name conveys to me. For example, if it’s a spa, then I will write “nature,” “yoga,” “trees,” “health,” “wellness,” etc. I create sketches afterward of the various words I have come up with and will group them together. For instance, I will put someone in a yoga pose under a tree.
2. Stay as Objective as Possible
Ellen Sluder, VP of Marketing, RingBoost
Logo development is a strategic endeavor, even though there is a huge creative aspect. The best way to stay on track is to approach it from an objective framework first. Develop a strong creative brief that follows your brand strategy, lists the do’s and don’ts, and describes the goals you want the logo to achieve. Start with only grayscale options and evaluate draft designs on whether they meet the strategic goals first. After you’ve filtered for what meets your objectives, move into subjective feedback of what parts you like or dislike. Then, layer on color (which can be a distracting hot button) and pick the perfect palette for your final designs.
3. Use Your Design to Reflect Your Industry
James McGrath, Co-founder, Yoreevo LLC
When small businesses are coming up with a logo, they should consider working in their market— whether that be the product they sell, geographic market, or any other aspect. We’re actually in the process of redoing our logo and it’s going to be comprised of bricks, reflecting NYC real estate. We’re changing from our current logo because while the current clean and modern look is good for the brand, it doesn’t match NYC real estate.
4. Design for Print
Jolene Rheault, Owner and Founder, Refresh Marketing
Consider how the logo will look when printed on marketing collateral. How does it look when it is converted to a solid white or grayscale logo? Having a versatile logo is a huge advantage and time-saver. The last thing you want is to develop a logo and use it everywhere and then realize that it looks terrible when printed on a shirt or business card.
Jeff Steen, Marketing Editor, Fit Small Business
Your best bet for creating a truly unique design that will serve your company for years to come in all contexts is to hire a logo design company. A company like DesignBro, for example, will offer you a selection of three to 10 logos to choose from, all of which are designed by professional graphic designers who compete for the best design. If you don’t like any of them, they offer a money-back guarantee so you’ve got nothing to lose. If you do like one, you get all logo design files you need to publish your designs anywhere you need to. Learn more on their website.
6. Start By Selecting Your Color Palette
Paul Entin, President, epr Marketing
I recommend starting with the color palette. Colors establish a mood. Blues convey trust and reliability. Reds convey intensity. Browns convey warmth. Black conveys strength. Further, some colors are linked with a particular market or industry. Greens are linked to environmental and financial issues. Aqua and coral colors are linked to marine and coastal issues. For brands to ensure their logos match their brand identities, the colors selected for the logo need to match their brand identities first.
7. Ask About Your Audience’s Preferences
Rochelle Burnside, Manager of the Logo Design Category, BestCompany.com
When designing your own logo, it’s important to (align) your target audience’s cultural associations with word choice, symbols, colors, and fonts. Conduct market research while you’re brainstorming your logo and see what your target audience has to say about its design. See what’s common in your industry, then see what’s typical branding for your target audience.
8. Use a Design Tool With Inspirational Templates
Saranya Ramanathan, Personal Finance Blogger, One Fine Wallet
When I started blogging as a business in 2018, I used a free logo maker app called DesignEvo. It has a bunch of templates to choose from and gives you the inspiration to work with your brand. Before DesignEvo, I was doodling some graphics and found it hard to come up with relatable ideas. Having said that, I finally settled with something simple and easy. Logos need to be clear to read and understand, especially if you are just starting out. This way, readers remember your name better and become returning readers/customers.
9. Develop a Complete Brand Style Guide
Amanda Brown, Director of Marketing, WebTek URL
Developing a complete brand identity kit or style guide is an extremely useful tool to ensure brand consistency. Going through the process of spelling out your brand story, logo usage, typography, and color palette will not only nail down your corporate brand and values, but you’ll also have an easily shareable document that can be distributed to your employees, marketers, and designers. All the brainstorming has been done, the fonts and colors have been chosen, the clear space and proportions have been defined, and the story has been told!
Evan Tarver, General Manager, Fit Small Business
You can hire a proven logo-design expert for as little as $50 – $70 on a platform like Fiverr. Just be sure to vet your chosen freelancer thoroughly. First, make sure they are a resident of your country so they can take into account national best practices. Then, look for the “Top Rated Seller” seal on the profile’s listing just beneath the seller’s name. Also, make sure they have plenty of reviews that add up to at least a 4.5 to five star rating. Further, ask them for their profile links for other platforms where you can gather reviews of their work like LinkedIn. If you like their work, reach out; some charge as little as $5 per project. Click here to find your own freelancer.
11. Obtain Logo Vector Files From Your Designer
Kim Poulos Lieberz, Creative Director, KGI Design Group
Always receive a vector file such as .EPS or .AI (from your designer). If you only receive a .JPEG image file, your ability to resize and reuse the logo will be limited. And maybe that is what your designer is trying to do—limit your ability to use the logo without his or her involvement, which would be fine if you are planning on working with them throughout the marketing process. But if not, you need to have the vector file.
12. Differentiate Your Font From Competitors’ Fonts
Beth Noll, Founder, Gift Observer
When it comes to designing a logo for a small business, it can be tricky to find the perfect font that separates you from your competitors. When trying to find the font for your business, see what your competitors are using and pick a font that is both unique and stands out from the rest. This way there’ll be a much stronger connection to your brand, and you won’t ever get mistaken for one of your competitors.
13. Use Symbolism to Build Brand Recognition
Sean Dudayev, Business Growth Expert, Frootful Marketing
When it comes to logo design, it’s all about symbolism. I love when a logo represents something that the company is about. For example, if you’re in the insurance or security industry, the logo can be a shield, shaped by the letters of an acronym to signify protection, and at the same time provide branding recognition. Some existing examples of this type of logo design are the FedEx arrow and the Amazon “A to Z” smile. Try to find a piece of symbolism that you can add to your company name and you’ll have an easier time creating a good logo.
14. Take Inspiration From Your Competitors
Daniella Alscher, Graphic Design Journalist, G2.com
Don’t even try to sketch out a draft of your logo without looking at your competitors. While your brand identity may be different from theirs, it’s important to research others in your industry and see what elements they use to express their own brand identities. Look at color psychology and color schemes, take some time to research how people interpret different shapes and symbols, and, most importantly, make that font legible.
15. Design with Social Media in Mind
Shawn Lim, Marketing Manager, Tree AMS
When designing a logo, you need to think about how it will look like when it is in different dimensions and shapes. With all the different social media platforms around now, they all use different dimensions for the logos. If you choose a design that is too complicated, it is hard to fit it into the dimensions and this will make your logo look weird.
16. Create a Scalable Design
Katie Higgins, Co-founder, Emboss Communications
The most vital thing about your final logo is that the file is a true vector design. These are created in Adobe Illustrator and ensure that your logo can be stretched to any size and still be crisp and perfect. This is not possible in Photoshop or other tools; they will leave you with a pixelated image that will leave your logo blurry in a lot of instances.
17. Seek Feedback Before Finalizing Your Logo
Michèle Jochem Yunus, Owner of Leia
Don’t rush. After your logo is completed, ask other professionals for feedback. Sometimes it’s a small detail like a font size change that would make your logo look so much better. It’s always a good idea to get several opinions from professionals before you completely settle. After all, your logo is your brand’s first impression to potential customers and it can either draw them to your brand or push them away.
18. Ensure Your Logo Is Legible in All Sizes
Kyle Strahl, Owner & Creative Director, KEYLAY Design
You don’t want to confuse people with a design they can’t read or tell what it is. So resist the urge to create illegible logos using elaborate fonts and typography. A good rule of thumb is that your logo should still be legible at a minimum of an inch.
19. Sketch Out Your Logo
David Kranker, Founder & Graphic Designer, DavidKranker.com
I would recommend that business owners just take a pencil and paper and sketch out some rough ideas for their logo. It doesn’t have to be pretty. They can then take those sketches and send them to a designer to have their visions turned into a reality.
20. Create a Custom Font
Mike Stewart, Founder, Vancouver New Condos
If you have the time and resources to have a custom font or lettering created exclusively for your branding, it can be noticed and appreciated by higher-end clients and other entrepreneurs.
21. Run a Logo-Design Contest
Jenna Palumbo, Children’s Mental Health Therapist, Evergreen Therapy
I invested $79 to do a seven-day logo contest on HatchWise. I made a little blurb about my business, gave input on what I’d like my design to look like, and I had over 100 designs submitted. A lot of them were not at all what I was going for, but you’re able to comment and rate each design. The designers get notified when you comment on their submission and they can use your input to submit a new design. Also, the other designers submitting can review your comments to tailor their submission as well. By the end of the seventh day, I had several incredible options. They sent over a whole zip drive with all the different types of files I needed to use the logo on different platforms. I would highly recommend.
Bottom Line – Tips for Logo Design
A small business logo design fits within a small business budget, yet bolsters a company’s brand image by leveraging the right design, color, and font choices. All of these elements should come together cohesively as part of brand identity, ensuring the logo is recognizable and conveys trustworthiness. It should also be clear enough to appear in both print and online in a multitude of sizes.