8 Tips to Design a Notorious Logo
Do you have a business name, but have no idea how to make a nice logo? Here are 8 simple tips you can follow when building your brand.
1. Keep it simple
I’ve been designing logos for fifteen years now and the first recommendation I give is to keep things sweet and simple. Consider the Nike logo where a sleek check symbol does the job perfectly. Keeping it simple also means integrating the least elements possible. People often want their logo to reflect the business product or service. They add so many details that we can’t even read the company’s name. Below is an example of one of the worst logos I’ve seen so far and what I would suggest instead.
2. Make it look good if small
On September 15th, 2015, Google optimized its logo in order to improve the way it’s displayed on smaller screens. When the designers were brainstorming, they wanted a “scalable mark that could convey the feeling of the full logotype in constrained spaces”. A recent study showed that 63% of the internet traffic in the US comes from mobile devices. When conceiving your logo, think about what it will look like in a restricted area on your mobile screen.
3. Make the icon height at least twice as big as the font
I love the way Airbnb applies this concept. If you’re using an icon, having it twice as big as the font results in a more impactful logo.
4. Be consistent with the size of letters
Consistency is an important feature of good-looking logos. If you’re using capital letters only, why not make the letters all the same height. Here’s what the Space X logo would look like if the height of the letters were different. Which one looks more appealing?
5. Be thoughtful of the spacing between characters
Another common mistake is to condense everything in a limited space. Let your logo breathe. Designers who made the Tesla logo properly used this rule.
6. Avoid round-ended fonts
I sometimes see logos with round-ended fonts. Despite making your logo more friendly and harmless, it makes it look weak. Fonts with sharp edges look more robust. Look at the Amazon logo below with and without this feature. Still not convinced? Try finding a logo with a round-ended font in the world’s 100 largest public companies.
7. Create something unique
Catchy logos have a competitive advantage: something that makes them stand out from the competition. Coca-Cola’s logo has often been parodied for its unique aspect and its easily recognizable font. You won’t find any other successful company with a font close to it. Would the company be as famous if the logo looked more conventional? Probably not.
8. Use your intuition
The Golden ratio is a special number found in all forms of nature and science. Some unexpected forms include DNA molecules, flower petals, hurricanes and spiral galaxies.
The Golden ratio can also be found in the Apple logo as shown in the image below. Although you may think this is genius, the designers of the logo never intended to do so. They simply used their intuition and voila!
When creating your logo, my last hint is forgetting the design restrictions in your mind and listening to your gut!
Matt Lecours, the author of this article, is a Montreal artist and entrepreneur. He owns a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a college certificate in industrial design. He always loved drawing and painting. At age 10, he was already creating logos and graphic projects for businesses. You can find his portfolio here.