HOW TO DESIGN A THOUGHTFUL LOGO FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Starting your own business is exciting! Dreaming of the possibilities of what it might become and where the journey will lead are endless. The hard work and the late nights in the early days of your business are often fueled by the desire to bring your product or service to light and to ultimately be successful.
There are so many steps that must be completed:
Produce your product
Apply for your sales tax license
Register your business name
Register your domain name
Build your website
And the list just goes on and on.
Plus, this short list doesn’t even begin to cover your marketing or branding. Often by the time you are ready to focus on your logo design, your budget has been spent and you feel like the finish line is further than ever.
Ask the right branding questions to get you started
If you don’t have the money to have a custom logo and branding materials created for you that’s okay. You can figure this out and I’m here to help.
First things first, you gotta get a handle on your branding. Here are just a few questions to get you started.
What is your companies mission? Not just what you are selling but why are you selling it?
This is good information to have when you feel like giving up. That way you can just take a peak and be reminded of why you are working so hard.
What three words do you want people to use to describe your company? Got em?
Good. Write them down and remember them.
Every time you post on social media, update your website, try something new in your business; ask yourself could it be described by one of these words?
If the answer is yes then great. Pat yourself on the back and keep chuggin’ along. If the answer is no, that’s okay. Just go back to the drawing board and figure out how to make it fit.
This will help keep your brand consistent, especially in the beginning when your brand is first forming. If you don't have your branding words and need a little help coming up with them, check out this video by AmandaCreekCreative. She goes more in depth about why they are so important and gives some examples that can help get you started.
Who are you talking/selling to? In fancy language, who is your target audience?
This can be such a hard one I know!!! I understand the desire to not want to exclude anyone but it is a must. Even if you think everyone needs your product, research has shown time and time again that talking to one person is way more effective than watering it down for the masses.
Here are a few great articles that go in depth and talk about the why and the how. Defining your target audience: Who are you serving? by 99designs. Another great article, How to Define The Right Target Audience For Your Blog, was written by Raelyn Tan and while she approaches the topic from the perspective of a blogger it has a lot of good information for everyone.
What does your audience care about?
Knowing this information will help you know where to find them. And if you know where to find them you know where to place your efforts.
For example, if your target audience is women from thirty-five to forty-five there’s a great chance they spend time on Facebook and Pinterest. So you would want to be sure that you have your blog content and DIY’s on these platforms.
On the other hand, if your market is teenagers or millennials you may want to create content for Snapchat or Instagram. That way you can produce more behind the scenes content in the form of videos and engaging photography.
What kind of logos appeal to your audience? Why?
This is important because when you are developing your brand it is easy to choose everything on your personal tastes and that is a big no, no. I‘m not saying you don’t have great taste. It’s just that while this is your brand, your products and services are for your paying customers, not you.
So knowing what logos will appeal to them will help you step outside of your personal taste and remember to think about your customers.
The rules of professional logo design
Once you’ve done your homework from asking the right questions, it’s time to move on to creating your awesome new logo. You just need to follow a few simple rules to come up with the timeless and professional logo that you see in your head.
- Keep it simple. When it comes to logo design, less really is more. Remember the objective of a logo is to be remembered and easy to recall. Science has shown that our brains remember simple shapes, so no need to over complicate your image or word mark.
- Keep the font pairing to two. When pairing your fonts don’t use more than two as a rule of thumb. This will help you keep it looking simple and polished.
- Use a limited color palette. Make it easy on yourself and try to stay with-in three colors. This is easier on the eyes and cheaper to print.
- Where will your logo be used? Always make sure your logo is as readable at 2” as it is at 50”. You never know when you will need to scale down your logo to a limited space.
- Create a Mood Board. Putting together a mood board can help create the feeling of what you want your logo to look like before you start designing. Most importantly it helps you decide on how you want people to feel when they see your logo in the first place.
If you are not sure what a mood board is check out this article , Mood board for beginners guide, to help get you started.
- Let Your Logo tell a Story. Lastly remember, while your logo should be related to your brand it doesn’t have to be an exact representation. Your customers are smart and they love a good story. So what’s your story?
A few tips to help with the actual production of your Logo
I hope that you now have an idea of what you want your logo to look like. Go ahead and create a sketch. Don’t worry if you can’t draw, you don’t have to show it to anybody. This is just for you to play with.
You might be thinking the above information is great but how do I turn my sketch into a fancy logo without knowing how to draw. No Worries! There are artist who have made this process easy for you. You can find some really great template packs on Creative Market or thehungryjpg.com. Often times you can find what you are looking for and then piece it together. For example, if you are opening a bike store you might try The Mountainbiker Designer LogoKit by LovePower.
In this kit the designer includes different shapes and elements that you then could piece together yourself. You have to be careful when using these packs because a lot of them have a ready made logo that you could insert your business name and go. I do not recommend doing this. Please do not get excited and throw your sketch out the window when you see a pre-made logo that you like. Instead piece your logo together based on your sketch. Remember you put a lot of work into coming up with your brand words and you are telling your story through your logo. Shouldn’t it be more original?
Which brings me to my next point, don’t be afraid to look outside the box, meaning you don’t have to just look at logo package templates. For example, if you had a kids clothing company you could take this adorable set of characters from Lisa Glanz and make them look how you want to and pair with a nice font for your logo.
If you do decide to purchase one of these kits make sure that you have the full licence necessary to use in a logo design. Sometimes this will require you to purchase an extended license.
You’ll also want to make sure that you have a design program that you can play with all these assets in. Most packs will require Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, which you can snag with a free 30-day trial or purchase for $19.99 a month for continued use of one program.
Just keep in mind that these programs can have a steep learning curve but there isn’t much you can’t find on Youtube to help these days. If you don’t have any interest in using these programs you might also try Canva. I would still encourage you to bring your own imagery to the party so that it’s more likely to stay on message for your brand.
That’s not so hard, right? I hope that you have found a tip or two in the above article to help get you started on your logo. If you have any questions or comments leave them below and I will get back to you. Please tag me on Instagram with what you have made @spii_graphics or leave a comment below.Go forth and conquer your brand. You’ve got this!