Mention the word ‘logo’ and around four or five of the all-time great designs will immediately float into your head – because that’s what they’ve been designed to do! Don’t let the apparent simplicity of the Nike ‘tick’, the apple with a bite taken out, or the Coca-Cola lettering, fool you, though. Creating a great logo isn’t simple – it’s just that a great design makes it look that way!!
Logo design isn’t rocket science either! Like any design process it requires thought, storytelling, creativity and – often – courage. If you’re a start-up looking for your first logo, or an SME wanting a refresh, there’s lots of work you can do to kick-start your logo. A design professional needs your input and can offer simple suggestions that bring your ideas to life in ways you hadn’t imagined.
It’s a real temptation to look at the hottest logos around and use them as a template for your own design. Problem is that if you’re thinking that way, so will loads of other businesses and what now appears fresh and exciting will quickly become cliched and tiresome. It’s certainly a great idea to look at what works, but learn from the best rather than trying to copy them.
Every great logo is inspired by a story. Think about what your answers would be to the following questions:
It’s easy to get caught up on getting the colours just right for your logo, but most designers will tell you that you should start by designing in black-and-white, and add the colour in later. The logic runs that it’s the shapes and the lines that make a logo memorable, rather than the colour. Your chosen logo will – in any case – need to work in greyscale as well as colour.
The aim of any logo is to be memorable – which means that it needs to be simple. If you keep in mind that you want your logo remembered after just a quick glance, it’ll guide you in the right direction towards a simple design, telling one powerful story. Bear in mind that your logo will appear in a number of different applications, so simplicity is your friend all round.
Bring to mind the Twitter bird; it’s in mid-flight and soaring upwards… but this wasn’t always the case. The original bird was perched, but designers felt it was too passive. The bird in flight was born but it lacked any aspirational quality – which is where the upward soar was born. We can learn from the Twitter bird evolution; an active image attracts proactive followers.
Who is the lady in the Starbucks logo, and what do seashells have to do with petrolium? Our storytelling brains love a puzzle to solve and we’ll make up stories around things we don’t understand – which is great for business! Advertising who you are, rather than what you do, can be memorable and intriguing, so think about a family crest, silhouette, or signature.
If you have a single word brand, it may be worth thinking about what you could do with the word itself to create a powerful message for customers. Just think of Google, Coca-Cola, or Disney. Shelter adds a roof, and Amazon provides a swift swirl that could be seen as a smile. Spend some time doodling your brand name; you may unlock a powerful creative potential!
Once the creative juices begin to flow, it’s all too easy to forget that you’re customer base may not appreciate the acid colouration and brutalist fonts that you’re currently favouring. Your logo needs to be designed to speak to the people you want to attract. It needs to be a translation of your values into a design which will prove attractive and memorable to them.
These are 8 of the key starting points for logo designers. Even if you’re planning to use a professional, it would be worth spending some time thinking through these ideas before starting the process – as they will certainly come up somewhere along the line.
Imagefix has professional logo designers who can work with you to create a simple and memorable logo. Call us today on 01525 715608 if you’d like to start working on your logo straight away.
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