Note: This post is part 2 in the logo design tips series. You can read part 1 here.
Logos are everywhere around us. Our everyday life is saturated with tons of different logos competing for our attentions. Even toddlers who can’t yet read a single letter recognize their favorite brands by simply looking at logos.
Oftentimes, logo is a company’s first impression. And this first impression is significant to every business as it can impact customers’ brand perception and purchase decisions.
Who doesn’t want to create a logo that can easily grab the attention of their audience and assume a permanent place in their heart? Unfortunately, designing an iconic and timeless logo is not as easy as it sounds to be.
How do you create simple and highly recognizable logos? And how do you differentiate your logo with your competitors?
In this post, let’s discuss various logo design tips that come handy for your next logo design project.
1. Stay ahead of the curve
How many times have you seen cliché logos like rooftop to represent real estate business and a globe to denote international? I don’t know about you, but I have seen it almost all the time.
From a designer’s perspective, although it might be easier to create a logo using those cliché elements as they are the first thing that gets into your thoughts while brainstorming, such logos makes it harder to differentiate a brand with its competitors. In order to stay unique, the best approach is to get rid of the first thing that comes top of your mind while brainstorming logo design ideas.
Here are a few ideas that can help you to make your logo differentiate with the competitors.
- Create thumbnail sketches: We all spend a good part of our time in front of our monitor. Opening Photoshop with the pretension of brainstorming design ideas will most likely force you to create design itself without enough foresight or plan. While brainstorming you can even sketch the ideas using a pencil and paper, so it helps you organize a large amount of information into manageable pieces.
- Come up with different ideas: Force yourself to come up with different ideas. If you’re feeling exhausted, make sure you look for inspirations all the time all around the web and different places. You can even create a mood, which will automatically force you to come up with various ideas.
2. Tell a story
Every logo should tell a story.
What a brand is and what it does is one part of the story. The feelings and perception a brand could evoke are the next part. As a designer, your job is to distil the uniqueness of the brand’s story and turn it into a visual representation as a logo.
However, before getting started with designing, do some research about the brand. Brainstorm different ways to tell the brand’s story and analyze how you can evoke positive feelings amongst its audience.
Below are a couple of tips…
- Design brief: Get the design brief from your client by conducting an interview or questionnaire. Make sure that you ask the details about your client’s business’s personality, the type of products or services they offer, what makes their brand differentiate from its competitors and who is their end customer.
- Conduct research: Apart from the design brief, do research about the trends and current style in the industry that are related to the design brief.
3. Get inspired
Inspiration is everywhere. With popular graphics design sites like Dribble.com, LogoGala.com and DeviantArt.com, it is easier to get different ideas and inspiration for your next logo design project. For typography inspiration, you can go to one of these 14 websites.
Alternatively, you can look at the inspiration section of this blog to get different ideas.
While searching for inspiration, instead of only looking at various logos, ask yourself why this design works. Try downloading the images to your computer and try to recreate the design on your Photoshop CC. Figure out what does it make the design tick. By researching this way, you can use the same patterns somewhere in your next project.
4. Create a mood board
Mood boards can help you get the ideas into a visual form and convey a thematic setting for your design. Though everyone has their own way to create a mood board, the basic idea is to implement all of your ideas into a single place, so you can quickly look at different kinds of ideas at a time.
If you are not used to creating mood boards, look at this way- would you rather design a logo without a mood board, only to end up with disappointment at the end and making tweaks that won’t work out or create a mood board and put every ideas into it and start working on by combining different ideas and make the logo perfect?
Apart from turning the ideas into visual forms, mood boards can also be used as a resource for your future projects. Even if it doesn’t work out for your current project, chances are with a bit of nurturing, it could grow to become the logo you’re looking for your next project.
5. Keep it super simple
When it comes to designing a logo, a common advice is to keep the design simple, so it is easily recognizable for the audience. Undoubtedly, we have all heard this advice a lot of times.
However, when you hear the term simple, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking of it as just a “little” job at your end. In reality, simplicity means exactly the opposite.
In fact, Steve Jobs once quoted: “Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
By making a logo simple, you are clearly communicating the brand’s message to the audience by avoiding any clutter that would possibly confuse the customers.
Here are a few easy steps to keep a logo simple:
- Avoid saying too much: Logo should communicate your brand story at an instant. With that said, if you try to say too much with your logo, more likely your customers won’t get the message or even worse, get the wrong message.
- Use fewer design elements: If you include too many details in the logo, it can be harder to distinguish each element from one another especially when you scale it down. Simplifying the logo ensures that it is easily scalable.