Having an eye-catching logo is undoubtedly a good thing for anyone looking at raising the profile of their business or brand. Before you go rushing off to find a designer or do it yourself, here are a few top logo design tips to consider.
D.I.Y. vs Hiring A Pro
Designing a logo themselves is often the first thing that many small business owners will do when they start thinking about their corporate identity. If you’ve got the skills to do so then it can often save you a lot of time and money and is worth considering as an option. Even if you’re a whiz with computers and design software, sometimes creating your own logo design isn’t always the best option.
Coming up with a usable logo design involves more than just producing something which looks the part. You will have to understand the difference between file formats used, the ‘colour space’ you’re working with and what the differences between online and print reproduction can be. If any of these terms are new to you, then whilst coming up with the original idea is extremely useful, you might wish to consider handing the actual logo production on to a designer.
Also; whilst there’s nobody who knows your business better than you, sometimes having a bit of influence and inspiration from someone on the outside can be a plus. Even though we could have come up with our own logo design at Armshouse Group, we consciously chose to hire a design firm so that we were a step removed from the project and could look at the results objectively.
Keep It Simple
Often a neat, simple, uncluttered logo design works far better than one which is bursting with lots of detail and small text. The more complicated, the more difficult to reproduce. That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions to the rule and that you can’t have a more ‘deluxe’ version of your logo produced for appropriate situations.
Some points to remember to help you get inspired are that a logo should:
- Be easy to describe
- Be easy to remember
- Work well without the use of colour
- Allow you to use it in various ways
- Scale up and down in size effectively
Think Beyond The Obvious & Avoid Clichés
A logo doesn’t have to let people immediately know what your business or service is about. You may well be a dancer or costume designer, but that doesn’t mean you need a pair of ballet shoes or scissors in your logo design. Just because other people in your industry may have chosen those items in their logos, you don’t have to. In fact it is actually a good way to set yourself apart from the crowd and be a little more unique and original. That’s not to suggest that there’s anything wrong with having a more generic symbol if you really want to but if you think about some of the top brands in the world, few of them have logos which give you any idea as to what they do or sell – and it hasn’t harmed them.
Avoid Clipart At All Costs
However tempting it may be, avoid the urge to create a speedy logo design using graphics libraries or clipart. Not only do you risk having the same artwork as a ton of other people, but there may be copyright and other implications too. Generic shapes like circles and squares are fine, but anything more should really be drawn from scratch. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with using clipart to create a concept to show a designer. They can take that and use it as a basis to come up with something unique and individual which after all, is what you want your logo to be.
Even though your logo should still look good when printed in old fashioned black and white, you should be aware of a few colour considerations when coming up with your logo design ideas. If you’re designing your logo on a computer, you should bear in mind that not all screen colours can be reproduced in print. It might be an idea to check with whoever is printing your business cards etc if your logo can be reproduced faithfully. If you hire a designer, they will be able to work with you to make sure that your final design can be presented in the colours you want, no matter what the final medium.
Revisions & Tweaks
It is extremely rare that the first draft of a logo design will be exactly right. No matter if you’re going it alone, or having someone do it for you, chances are that you will want to alter a few things and try some ideas as you go. These are usually known as ‘revisions’ and it’s good to know how many rounds of revisions are included in the price if you’re working with a design firm. Some firms limit you to a set number of rounds, whilst others offer unlimited revisions. Don’t assume that an unlimited number of revisions means a more expensive service – if you shop around you can easily find many firms who offer this at prices comparable to, or cheaper than, firms who don’t.
Whilst we’re talking of revisions, it might be worth mentioning a potential pitfall to be aware of. Resist the temptation to make tweaks for the sake of it. A logo should get your attention and feel right as soon as you see it. If it doesn’t, then rearranging things, turning it upside-down etc are unlikely to make it any better. You might be better off trying a different concept all together, especially if you have a limited number of revisions to play with. In a similar vein, borrowing a bit of one logo and adding it to another usually won’t help much either.
Check The Smallprint
If you’re hiring someone to design a logo for you, make sure you confirm who will own the copyright to any artwork produced. Any designer worth their salt will usually transfer all of the copyright in a logo design over to you with the finished article, but check this is definitely the case. Also, ask if your designer or firm plan to use your new logo to promote their work in any trade or industry publications and make sure that you’re happy with those arrangements.
For the ultimate guide on logos and inspiration check out this page from the ‘Just Creative’ archives: https://armsh.se/g/logos
If you’d like any help with producing your logo or liaising with design firms, then feel free to get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or see our website for more information on our Graphic Services.