Logo Design Advice

If you’ve made the decision to have a logo designed for your company, this article is for you; some tips and advice on designing a really good logo for your company…

Your company logo should be:

1. Simple

A good logo should be simple yet effective. Take the Nike logo. Now that’s a simple logo. But it works…everyone recognizes it, and it sums up what the company’s products are about (motion, being active, movement) simply and effectively. You can read the story behind the logo here.

A logo shouldn’t be overdrawn, with too much detail or symbolism. keeping your logo design simple allows you to use it more easily on print, signage, clothing, jewelry and whatever else you can think of. Try doing some of that with a complex logo and you’ll likely run into headaches and higher costs.

2. Unique

A good logo should be based on an original idea. It should have some unique element about it. Something that goes back to the company’s core value. A unique idea can use familiar symbols like arrows or circles, but it’s the way these everyday symbols are used in the logo that can make the end result unique. Like the playboy bunny.  Or the Toyota logo.  Both are very simple and very unique.

3. Scalable

Of course every good logo must be scalable. So it should be created using vectors. By using vector based software like Illustrator your logo can be re-sized from very small to very large without being distorted. Your logo will look just as clean on a 10′ by 10′ sign as it does on your business card.

That’s because vector-based images possess a clarity that raster images can’t compete with; they are created using mathematically-based lines (paths), objects and fills versus using a grid or matrix. Here’s a good example actually showing the difference between a vector vs raster image.

Another good thing about vector design is that it forces you to design your logo cleanly. You’ll stay away from fancy 3D effects, drop shadows and the like, or you’ll find a clever (vector) alternative to achieve a similar effect. Just get to know Illustrator and you’ll see that just about anything can be accomplished in vector.

4. Translatable to black and white

Every well designed logo should look good in black and white. This is a true benchmark of a decent logo design. Besides passing this test, it ensures that the logo will print well or look good in media that require only black and white.

5. Lasting

Think about it. You start a business venture and you distribute business cards. You distribute brochures. You advertise in local papers. You have a professional website telling all about your business. All the while, everyone is seeing your logo and relating it to your business. You spend time and money doing this.

Changing your logo (once you’ve begun marketing and started providing a service) isn’t as easy as you may think. Instead, aim for a logo design that you’ll feel good about 1, 2, 5 or 10 years out. Take the famous IBM logo. The striped version has been around for over 40 years: The original, 3-letter IBM concept was actually created in 1947.

A good exercise is to envision your company 15 years from now. Are you aiming to take your business from a small start up to a big corporate identity? Then your logo design should be scalable in a different way: it should be able to be tweaked as circumstances require without having to be revamped entirely.

6. Relevant

A good logo will definitely be relevant to the company it stands for. The design should help customers make a connection to your products and services. Like the Amazon logo – where you can find everything from a to z at great prices – now that should make you smile!

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