Creating a well-designed logo that resonates with your target audience is not a simple process – it takes research, trial and error and a lot of decision making. A new logo can be an intimidating process, but it’s an awarding experience that can completely redefine the look and feel of a brand.
People are passionate about logos that catch their eye – even from brands they don’t do business with often. Snappy logos are worn on apparel, put on laptops and hung on walls of houses. In fact, I collect and frame sticker collages from bars and restaurants solely based on the looks of their logos. Most stickers are from places I’ve only been once – I just love how they look on my wall.
On the other hand, it seems like there’s backlash that goes along with every logo change. Recently, General Motors updated its logo and received a lot of social media flak from consumers all over the world, claiming it looks like something a child made using Microsoft Word art.
Logos are the face of your brand – that’s why it’s crucial to do the proper due diligence before creating a new design. Creating a memorable logo that successfully communicates what your company stands for often doesn’t happen overnight – it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
Following are a few steps to take when designing your new logo.
Before you begin the process of creating a new logo or updating a current one, complete as much due diligence as possible and find inspiration to help steer the direction of your initial designs. If you’re creating a new logo, take a tour and get a hands-on look at the products and storefronts, try the food or participate in the company’s activity – you never know what overlooked detail could be the main inspiration for a logo. The feeling you get from experiencing the product or service will meaningfully transfer to your design.
We recently created a logo for the city of Lowell’s new social district. After talking with the city manager, we learned he wanted to incorporate the city’s new showboat that is located in the heart of the downtown area. Before designing the logo, I found as many photos of the showboat as I could by searching through Facebook groups and news stories. I would have normally made a trip to draw inspiration from the showboat in-person, but we had a fast turnaround time. I used these photos to design the logo to closely resemble the showboat and be instantly recognizable for residents who visit the social district.
Do your research
Similar to other communication tactics, it’s important to research your competition. This step helps ensure your logo stand out from the rest. You don’t want consumers to mistake your logo for your competition’s when they catch a quick glimpse of it on a billboard or passing by them on a work truck.
Doing your research is also useful in for determining what you like and don’t like about your competition’s logos.
Create your brand identity
After gathering inspiration and performing research, it’s time to create your brand identity. A brand identity is a set of rules and visual elements that define how your brand looks and is received by consumers. These rules will help you determine what fonts, colors, shapes and other visual elements you want to incorporate and avoid when creating your logo.
There are a number of important steps to take while creating your brand identity: Researching your target audience, determining your brand personality and developing your mission are a few first steps that shouldn’t be missed.
I already mentioned choosing colors as part of the brand identity creation process, but I believe it’s significant enough to have its own category. It’s been proven that brand colors affect consumers’ psychology and make them feel different emotions and react in certain ways.
For example, red signifies passion and excitement, gold signifies luxury and wealth and white represents simplicity and health. To ensure you choose the right colors for your logo, write down a list of adjectives that describe your brand. After your list is complete, look up a color guide and pick out a few colors that match what’s on your list.
Make sure it’s versatile
Because there are so many platforms you can use to communicate a logo, it’s crucial you create a design that is versatile and not too complicated. You want to create something that will look just as good blown up on a billboard as it does on a small business card. Make sure your logo will transfer well and not lose any elements when it’s printed in black and white, too.
It’s also imperative to create a logo that isn’t overly complicated – this can create headaches when embroidering it on clothing or scaling it down to a social media profile photo on a mobile device.
I hope these steps help you the next time you have to create a new logo. What are some of your favorite logo designs?