Given you often have just a few seconds before customers form an opinion about your brand, business owners need to be discerning when coming up with logo design ideas. Your brand’s logo is as important as your brand’s name in that it brings a set of associations when customers hear it, but choosing an inspiring logo takes time.
Here are 5 ideas to help you design an inspiring logo for your brand.
1. Make a Word Cloud
You should start your logo design process by making a list of what your brand is about. There will be words you use to describe your brand and other people will use when they think about your brand. Reach out to your customers with a survey if you don’t have this information on hand.
Putting together a word cloud is easy. It’s just a smattering of words and phrases that you put together with a group. Schedule a focus group made up of customers, clients, or some of your staff members. Compare it to how you want to project your brand’s image to the world. Do they match up? If not, you can use your logo to start directing your brand toward that ideal.
You need to have about 6 words that sum up what your brand is and who you want to be to your clients. These words will be your guiding light when you’re coming up with your logo. Every idea should fit in with this concept or else it should be tossed out.
Check out this resource for creating your own word cloud: https://www.wordclouds.com/
2. Use a Strong Font
Using a strong font means you’re able to stand out. However, font choices can make or break a company. As seen in this SNL sketch, a font can stick with people, for better or worse.
Bad fonts can cause people with even the slightest inclination for design to bristle at your brand. Fonts can project your professionalism or lack of it, depending on which direction you go. You can project that people should view you with a formal approach or if they should think of you as much more laid back.
You have to start by deciding whether you want to have a serif or a sans-serif font. While the concept might seem to be frivolous, it actually places you in a context.
Serif fonts make you look older, as they read more toward the classic fonts that brands used before 1970. Using a sans-serif font like Helvetica means that you’re more modern. They’re for sleek brands that have no frills and try to share that concept with their clients.
Your font choice will define you in a subconscious way before your clients even find out what you do, so don’t rush when it comes time to decide.
3. Don’t Be Too Literal
If you work in plumbing or in tree trimming services, you might be tempted to add a pipe or a branch to your logo. While this can work for some, as an accent or an underline, it often fails when added as a second thought. If you want to add something like this to your logo, it should be foundational to the structure of the logo.
Rather than being literal, stay conceptual. Think about the market you’re aiming for. Are you a high-end commercial plumbing company or are you working in a rural market, for single-family homes? These questions might seem like they’re not very important but they inform the type of logo that you create.
The logo for McDonald’s is iconic, but it’s not an m-shaped burger logo. It’s two arches which have become iconic because of their relationship through color and shape to the brand.
Speaking of which…
4. Get To Know Some Color Theory
There are all kinds of psychological reasons we choose certain colors. Some theorists have said that the red, white, and yellow you find in McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and KFC have a lot to do with something innate. These colors make us think about hunger and thirst for one reason for another.
Similarly, colors all have a temperature that they’re based in. Reds and yellows are warmer, hotter colors that are connected with summer, sun, and fire. Blues and darker greens have a cooler vibe, connected to winter, water, and colder temperatures.
Use a color wheel, like any good designer, to start brainstorming about the color themes that would work for your brand. Grays, blues, and blacks are corporate and professional. Bright reds, orange, and lime green are more playful and fun. The colors you choose will follow your brand wherever you go.
5. Analyze Your Favorite Brands
Take a look at the other brands in your market. Break down what it is about their logos that seem so good. What seems most memorable when you take a quick glance that their logos? Think about curves, shapes, and whether they seem busy or minimalist. Look at several logos in your industry so that you can start to form an understanding of what the expectations are for brands like yours.
Every industry has a series of standards they abide by. Banks and lending institutions often choose either a corporate blue or an inviting green. Natural health brands will choose earthier brown palettes and either a grassy green or a sky blue.
Become brand literate and you’ll be able to make good decisions about your own logo.
Logo Design Ideas Can Be Harnessed By Pros
If you and your team come up with some great logo design ideas, bring a few design professionals into your circle. With the help of their advice, you can turn your ideas into a reality and make a truly memorable logo you’ll be proud to print on shirts and put on your swag.
Once you’ve got your kick-ass logo, check out our guide to ensuring you can build strong promotions to keep spreading the word about your company.