Everyone wants a great logo, one that's easy for people to remember, distinguishes you from competitors, and reflects well on your business and brand. But how to get there? For starters, keep it simple.
Big brands like Microsoft, Google Chrome and eBay started with more complicated logos loaded with graphic features that weren't needed to make the logo strong and memorable. In fact, these graphics proved to be visually distracting, so the resulting impact was diminished - not exactly what these companies wanted.
All three of these major companies have since seen the light. They've gone from gradient-heavy symbols to a sleeker, cleaner look. They've now heeded the rule of good logo design: Keep. It. Simple.
As a small business owner, you've actually got an advantage over the big brands. You're starting fresh and can avoid their early mistakes. You can keep it simple from the get-go. Here are 5 additional tips for creating the perfect logo.
1) Pick words or a symbol. Avoid using both.
Some businesses choose a graphic symbol to represent their brand. Others use a graphically stylized treatment of the company name (think FedEx).
- A good place to begin: decide whether you want your logo to be symbolic or literal. eBay went with literal. Google Chrome went with symbolic. Why not combine both? Some great logos do break the rules successfully but simple works best.
However, choosing one approach or the other will help you avoid making your design too heavy and complicated. Two or more strong graphic elements can compete for attention, reducing the overall power and impact of your design.
2) When choosing color, less is more.
Logos look best with one, two, or three colors. There are many fabulous, famous, award-winning logos that are one color; others have two or three colors, but four is almost always too many.
- The best advice: stay in the one-to-three color range.
3) Will it look good everywhere, at any size?
You'll be using your logo many different ways, some of which you may not anticipate. Make sure your design looks good in all media, in black and white, and on a light or dark background. Along with your website and business cards, your logo may appear on brochures, indoor and outdoor signs, coffee mugs, printed on t-shirts, embroidered on other apparel, emblazoned on super-size tradeshow displays - you name it.
- After designing your logo, a vector-type digital file will help retain its good looks at all sizes. But you have to start with a logo design that enlarges and reduces well in the first place. So while you're designing, enlarge it, shrink it, test it.
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4) This is about your brand...does it fit?
What's a logical look for your brand? What will make sense to your audience? Step outside of your own shoes and try to view your design from the point of view of people who know absolutely nothing about you, your business and your great product or service.
- What impression will these people get from a glance at your logo?
- Does it fit your actual business?
5) Now is the time to be flexible.
Coco Chanel once said, "Before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory." Coco's advice also applies to designing your logo. So when you think you're done, take one final look. Perhaps remove a shadow, a gradient, a detail, an extra color that really isn't needed to deliver a simple, powerful memorable result.
One more thing: If you are wondering if your logo's look is still a bit complicated or overwhelming, it probably is. Oh, and by the way, did I mention? Keep it simple!
Photo credit: ibrandstudio.com
Bio: This blog post was written by John Williams CEO, LogoGarden.com.