Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the turn of the century, you’ve probably heard of an app called Logo Quiz. It came out a couple of years ago, topping the charts in no time. The object of the game was to identify the logos of hundreds of famous brands: not always an easy task, and yet - it had millions of people playing it, making it a huge success. The explanation for that huge success lies in our basic, undeniable attraction to symbols.
Symbols serve as a core ingredient of our communication and come in many shapes and forms: from emojis on our chat apps to the Like button on Facebook, or the icons on almost any interface for that matter, and of course, the logos that surround our everyday lives.
A logo is an abstract symbol and as such it helps us associate a certain emotion or sentiment with its brand without using any words. Every time we see a logo or use an app like the Logo Quiz, our mind is busy doing two things: recognizing what that logo stands for and reminding us what we feel towards that logo, making the entire experience extremely memorable. And when you think about it, isn’t that exactly what every brand or individual using a logo wants to achieve?
Whether you own a company selling its own products, a website trying to attract new visitors or a new business in need of business cards, the importance of starting out with a great logo that conveys your brand, making it memorable and easy to connect with emotionally, cannot be overemphasized.
Working with many different designers over the years has given us a lot to think about. We’ve gathered some of their most important tips which we recommend keeping in mind when starting a logo design project:
- Find a clear concept. Take some time to think about what you’re offering and what kind of sentiment you’d like to convey. Write it down in a few words or even in bullet points. The more focused you are, the better results you’ll get from the designers working on your logo.
- Get inspired. Browse the web and find a few great logo examples you like. Not only will it help you get the focus you need but it can also make for a good reference point for your designers, directing them towards an end result that you’ll like.
- Keep it simple. There is nothing worse than a logo that’s too complicated to understand. Remember that symbols are meant to simplify things. If your logo takes more than a couple of seconds to comprehend, your potential customer will move on and forget all about you.
- Pick your colors. Don’t mix too many of them. If your product is associated with a distinct color, make it prominent in the logo as well. Colors are not necessarily perceived in the same way everywhere, so be sure to check out what each color means in your market before choosing a direction. A good logo works just as well in grayscale (sometimes you’ll have no choice but to display your logo in black and white only) so make sure it’s still effective without any colors.
- Know the competition. Do some research and look into your competitors’ logos. What do you like about them? What don’t you like and why? The answers to these questions can help you create guidelines and directions for the designers you’ll be working with.
- Make it memorable. We’ve mentioned it before: your logo must be simple, unique and easy to remember in order to have an impact. If possible, try to inspire an emotion (or a mood) that is closely associated with your product, so that the connection isn't too abstract.
- Don’t be fooled by trends. This one is an easy and common mistake: don't be tempted to base your logo directions on passing trends. Something that looks trendy and modern today might seem dated in a couple of years' time. Focus on the idea your logo stands for and instruct your designers to think long term as well.
- Make sure the text is clear. If your logo contains text, keep it separated from the image; in the future you might want to use the image alone in some places, once it is strongly enough associated with the brand. Avoid mixing different fonts or using complicated ones; this could make your text difficult to read.
- Show it around. We can’t stress this one enough. Getting different opinions from people can provide real insights into aspects you haven't even considered in terms of how your design looks or feels. It doesn’t even require too much time and effort, as 5-7 people can give you enough ‘meat’ to make the necessary adjustments.
- Try several options. Even if you know exactly what you want, and even if you give out clear guidelines, there’s still a good chance you’ll get a logo you’re not entirely happy with. Design contest sites use the power of crowdsourcing to get you hundreds of options from creative minds around the world, saving you time and money. All that’s left is to pick the option you like best.
These tried and true tips are the result of years of experience. They’ve already helped thousands of people come up with the perfect logo for their business. Before you order your design, give them a think: take a look around at what’s already out there; consider what it is you’d like to inspire in clients and how to do so; and try out a bunch of different options until you find one you’re genuinely excited about.
As we’ve noted above, logo design contests are a great way to do just that. If you need help choosing the right platform to work with, check out our reviews of the top design sites right here. Good luck and hey, maybe you’ll soon find yourself in Logo Quiz too!