How To Create a Stunning Logo Design In 5 Easy Steps
If you are a new business, or looking for a new visual style for your brand, then your first stop is logo design! Logo designs are very important to any company as it is our first opportunity to grab our client’s attention and establish what we are really about. A bad logo design can put off your customers before they even come through your door, so it is better to get this part of the business nailed as soon as possible. We can split this entire process into a neat and concise series of 5 steps, remember to check them off as you go.
Step 1: Brand Personality
What is your brand? If your company was at a party, how would everyone else describe him/her? Would they be loud, funny, informative, friendly or quirky? Make a small mindmap with all of your thoughts and ideas. Put every thought that you have onto this mindmap, even the silly ones! If you are struggling with this list, then ask your friends, family or clients for their help and input. If you are a sole trader, odds are that the majority of these personality traits will match with your own, but it does not matter if some are radically different. Once you have a huge list of ideas, start to break these down into key words to help summarise your brand. For my own business, I limited my personality traits to 7, anymore than that would confuse our message. If it helps, you could even sketch a little doodle of your brand as a person; try to get the body language, facial expression and clothing style as close as possible to your idea.
For example, a handmade craft business might be quirky, friendly, caring, enthusiastic, excitable and reliable.
A computer firm on the other hand may be professional, knowledgeable, helpful, respectful, patient, a good listener and a problem solver.
This exercise can be put into place across your entire business too! This should be the face that all of your employees encompass when they are dealing with your clients. It is this person who should be the voice of social media, the complaints department and all reception tasks. This branding exercise will help to give a clear and concise view of your company, and should be given to staff or kept on notice boards. Having these expectations will help you to keep the company on track and professional.
Awesome! Now you have a brand that is ready to jump off of the page at your clients!
Step 2: What do you want from your branding?
What do you want your branding to do for you? These choices can affect the shape, colour and intensity of your design. For example, if you are a community based project, a circular shape would enforce that idea of community and security. Check out this amazing article on logo shape and colour, it has some excellent examples on there!
Next, think about where you are going to use this logo. If you create a long, thin design, then it will not be suitable for use on social media sites, which use a square shape for profile imagery. You might even want a design that can be used either way, but be careful, you don't want to make things confusing with different logo's.
Do you want your company name on the logo? If you are a small company, the answer should be YES! Logos become recognisable over time the more we are introduced to them. If we see a logo for the first time and it does not incorporate the company name, then it is very unlikely that we will remember this image and then link it back to your company. You can always choose a design that can evolve and eventually lose the company name. Nike have done this very successfully as pictured below.
Step 3: Research
At this point, you need to make sure that your idea is not taken by someone else. There is nothing worse than creating a brand new and shiny logo, only to find that it is practically identical to another one out there! (Also make sure that your company name has not been taken by another business, this can also lead to confusion amongst clients) This may seem like a strange time to do your research, but everything before this point has been theory based, and idea generation. Even if your ideal logo design has been taken, you can always adapt this, whilst still incorporating your previous ideas.
Step 4: Collate
Get all of your information together; make sure that you know what you want. Whilst you do not by any means have to design your logo alone, you should at least know roughly what you are wanting, after all, who knows your company better than you? Try to fit all key words and ideas onto a large piece of paper, step back and look at it thoroughly, are you missing anything? If there a vitally important part of your business that you have missed? Does this really summarise you? If YES, then you are ready for the next and last step, if no, then it is time to go back to the drawing board and do some more idea generation.
Step 5: Hire an Illustrator or Graphic designer.
This stage is not technically necessary, but is immensely important. It is completely valid to create your own logo and fully render this piece, but there are brick walls that you might face. By hiring an illustrator or graphic designer, you are taking on their experience and technical knowledge, giving your logo the best possible chance of grabbing attention and being remembered.
You should hunt around for a professional to create these designs, look at past works and ask yourself ‘Is this the style that I want for my company?’ Every artistic professional has their own unique and individual style, with different techniques and imagery used. Make sure that the person you hire is also someone that you get along with; you will be in regular contact until your piece has been completed. You can get a quote from these individuals, and pricing is completely different for each one. These prices change due to experience, personal needs and individual projects. At this point you no longer have to stress about the creation process, and you can rest assured that you are being looked after by someone with expertise. If you go to a very cheap designer, then they may not have the knowledge or experience to make your dreams a reality. This is why it is so important to look at past works, do not blindly choose someone who is local, cheap or easy. At the end of the day, you are paying for their services and you have to be happy with it.
This explains why the previous steps are so important. If you use a designer, they will not know anything about your company. This makes it so difficult to get a firm grasp on what it is you need. They may have to ask you more questions, so make sure that you have the time to answer them, they are only trying to get to know you. So try to be helpful and give them as much information as you can, and always be willing for a quick phone call or face to face meeting to discuss possible options.
If you do decide to complete this step on your own, then be careful of the programmes and software that you use to create the image. If you make your image really small, then when you use this image on an A1 poster, it will be pixelated, blurry and unreadable. If you make it too detailed, you will lose the emphasis on you wording, making the overall piece lose impact. Make sure that any font or image that you use is not copyright protected. If you are in any doubt, get in touch with the designer or owner and ask for written permission to use such imagery in your works. You may have to pay royalties to use this type of imagery, and 50 other businesses may be using the exact same image file. If possible, try to use your own pictures and create your own font, this prevents any arguments in the future. Try to limit your logo to 2 or 3 main colours, taking into consideration the hue, saturation and contrast between each section. Using more colours could make the design too complex or difficult to remember. Your logo should completely explain your company in an instant, and this is what the professionals have trained and practiced in.
So to summarise, the logo is your company explained in a simple image. Take some time to fully get to grips with what you want so that you can inform any professional that you decide to use. Don’t settle, if you not happy with a design, do not use it. After all, this is your company, do not allow someone else to change the way that it is viewed. Use professionals as much as you can, make sure that you get a fair deal, but remember, price will pay for quality.
Now go and enjoy your shiny new logo, and relax with a nice cup of tea while your clients admire your handiwork!
For more information, please visit www.zoesheltonillustration.com for professional business imagery design and creation.