Keep It Simple
Think about the world’s most popular brands. You can probably picture the logos for brands like Apple, Windows, McDonald’s, Adidas, Twitter, Dove, and more, all just by hearing the names. What do all of these brand logos have in common? They’re simple.
Simple logos almost always outshine complicated ones because:
- They’re easy to remember.
- They scale better across multiple screens and mediums.
- They communicate a clear message.
Designing a logo isn’t as easy as it sounds, no matter how simple the finished product appears. The simplicity comes in the form and colors. You don’t want too many lines so that it’s hard to distinguish the image at a small size, and you want to limit your logo to one or two colors. The concept, however, might be a little more complicated and may require some careful thought to develop something unique, creative, and in line with the brand’s message.
Tell a Story
Every logo communicates a message. The FedEx logo, for example, has a professional look. The Baskin Robin’s logo is more playful, and the Monster logo communicates power and energy. You should be aiming to connect the emotions of the logo with the company’s message.
Though your logo’s story starts there, it can go far beyond initial emotions. Some logos use hidden meanings to tell stories apart from the obvious. If you look closely at the Tostitos logo, for example, you’ll see two people sharing a bowl of salsa and chips.
A more obvious use of hidden meanings come in the use of negative space. Notice how the Bronx Zoo logo incorporates animals and the city skyline.
Not every logo has to come with a hidden image or meaning, but you should leverage your logo to tell a story about your brand or your client’s brand.
Care about the Colors
Color is a crucial aspect of logo design, but it often gets ignored by new designers. Your color choice can help tell your story and communicate your brand’s message. Every color connects with a different emotion, though it’s important to remember your target audience’s age, gender, and other demographics to choose a color that resonates with them.
Start by looking at your competition to see what colors their logos are. Trying to stand out by going off the beaten path may not actually work in this case because your message will be similar to other brands in your industry. Take these examples of color psychology in logo design:
- Blue: Tech companies often use blue logos. Dark blue is a marker of trust, loyalty, and confidence while light blue communicates goals and ambition.
- Red: Restaurants and food brands commonly choose red because it helps stimulates appetite. It also communicates excitement and power.
- Pink: Pink is a choice among feminine brands like Cosmopolitan and Victoria’s Secret. It communicates love and sensitivity.
- Green: Green is a popular choice for brands that want to communicate a connection to the earth or send a message of balance and growth. Organic brands, for example, commonly choose green. Other brands with green logos include BP and Starbucks.
- Purple: Companies like Yahoo! and Hallmark choose purple logos to communicate creativity and originality. Purple is also used to communicate wealth.
- Orange: Orange gives the impression of warmth and optimism. It also communicates freedom, new ideas, and social goals.
Choose one color to focus on that helps tell the brand’s story. Sometimes a second color is used for contrast, but as you study logo design, you’ll find that most logos focus on a single color to elicit a specific emotion in their target audience.
Make it Timeless
When designing a logo, you want it to be timeless. That doesn’t mean you’ll never update it to look more modern, but if you do update it, it should take the same basic form and function as the original. That means avoiding tendy looks or pop culture references since they won’t last.
Use the Right Tools
You may be surprised at how much of a difference the right software can make in designing logos. If you’re already a web developer, you may be able to get started with logo design using the web design software you already have. Adobe Photoshop, for example, has all the tools you need to design a logo. However, you might consider adding Adobe Illustrator to your arsenal if you’re planning on creating a lot of logos.
Designing websites and designing logos go hand-in-hand because both work to emulate the brand’s message. As you start to design your own logos, keep these tips in mind.
This is a guest post by Robert Mening.