Perfect Logo Design And How To Create It
Once you know all the benefits of having your own brand logo, now you need to learn everything about perfect logo design and how to create it. No matter what type of business you’re starting, photography or any other, a good logo is one of the crucial elements of it.
In the first part of this article we’re covering all the rules and tips for logo designing:
- Size & Scalability
- Unique & Timeless
- Be different, not predictable
- Suit your brand
- No boxes, writing and outlines
- Use others as inspiration only!
The second part of the article answers the question you surely have on your mind now: How do I do it?
Part one — rules, principles, whatever the name — don’t forget any:
As an old marketing saying goes: Keep It Simple, Stupid. It’s probably the most important principle, which you have to keep in mind from the very beginning until the end of logo creation process. A simple logo is more recognizable and memorable by people. Once logo becomes such, the brand can even stop using its name with it, just as Nike or Apple do. In photography industry it may be a little bit harder, as it’s growing rapidly, but still — simplicity is the key. Need further proof? 93% of top brands’ logos are so simple, they are easily recognizable even in small sizes.
You may have heard of the psychology of colors, which explains what emotions and behaviors each color brings to us. It also applies to designing a logo. Most commonly used color in logos is blue — by 33% of top brands. Then comes red with 29% and black or grey scale with 28%. What’s even more important for you is that 95% of top brands use only one or two colors in their logos. So why blue and red are so popular? Blue is considered the safest color globally and a business color as well. Red is a color of passion and strength obviously, but it’s also one of the most eye-catching colors. As it comes to black, it associates with elegance, strength, prestige and power. Think of the personality of your brand, choose the colors wisely and take advantage of such an easy tool, so that your brand is well understood form the first glimpse.
The best way is to have your own, custom typeface in your logo. It makes the brand more distinguishable in the industry. Take your time here — choosing the right font isn’t as easy as it may seem, especially for not experienced designers. Try and test lots of them to check which suits your brand and your logo best. Experiment with serif and sans-serif fonts, try also script, bold and italics — you never know what looks best, before you see it. The most importantly, avoid most common fonts, like Comic Sans, or your logo may look amateurish. Again, it’s best to use custom typeface to prevent that. It’s very important for the typeface to be legible when your logo is small, e.g. for business cards. Check it twice especially for script fonts as they are quite a complicated letterings. Stick to one, two at maximum, fonts or your logo will be too decorative.
Size & Scalability
The truth is, it can’t be too big and it can’t be too small. The main key of the logo is to attract, not to distract the viewer. But most importantly it has to be scalable. You have to be sure that it looks good when it’s sized down, even really small. As we said before, 93% of top brands’ logos are so simple, they are easily recognizable even in small sizes, so make sure yours is one of them. The design of your logo needs to work at all sizes, so it can appear both on business cards and posters and always be readable. Besides scalability, it has to be adaptable to every place you want to put it in — your website, prints and social media. Make sure it matches every environment, stands out and doesn’t break any rules.
Knowing great special effects is cool, but applying them to your logo is not. It’s definitely not a place for showing off with your skills with filters and effects, but rather for ability to create something amazing but simple. Again, simplicity is the key. Too many effects make it harder for the logo to be scalable and adaptable. They may also overwhelm the main idea of the logo, instead of enhancing it. Be careful with special effects, try them out, we’re not saying you can’t use them at all. Just do it cautiously.
Unique & Timeless
Your own logo has to be totally, 100% uniquely yours. There’s nothing more unprofessional than copying someone’s logo. Never use any obvious resemblance to any well-known brand, or else your business will look like an amateurish, cheap counterfeit which surely won’t bring you followers and customers. The design of your logo should also stand the test of time. It doesn’t mean you can’t change it in the future, but to avoid falling into latest trends, which will sooner or later change. This includes already mentioned special effects, but also some shapes, e.g. swoosh or some ordinary objects, without any idea behind it. How to achieve such uniqueness and timelessness? Take a closer look at your business, your workplace, your colleagues. Find something which identifies you. Or maybe there’s something in your brand’s history, any epic stories? It’s really worth brainstorming those.
Be different, not predictable
Don’t be afraid to be different with your logo. The main goal for your logo is to stand out from the crowd and make you more recognizable and memorable. As a photographer, you don’t have to stick to the camera body or lens drawing in logo. Break the rules (which don’t even really exist), leave clichés behind and forget any predictable elements. Experiment and have fun designing your logo, try different shapes, colors, fonts, drawings, effects, keep changing until you feel it. Be innovative and don’t forget for a split of a second — you have to stand out with your brand and it comes not only from your works, but also from your logo, so make sure it distinguishes you.
Suit your brand
Really important aspect of designing process — a good logo perfectly matches the brand. Every element of a logo you create and experiment with has to suit the personality of your business. A perfect logo represents your style and the main idea behind your business. Before you make your final decision on a design, you have to be 100% sure it matches you and your business. 100 and no less.
No boxes, writing and outlines
Your logo is to be simple and legible in every situation so try to avoid those design-mess-makers. Outlines and writing on the logo makes it look cluttered even when it’s big, not to mention sizing it down. Putting logo in box is also usually an unnecessary addition to the design, making it less clear and readable. In general, those three: boxes, writing and outlines, are (most of the time) the enemies of the simple and good logo design.
Outline, writing and box examples by Designmantic
Use others as inspiration only!
We may have said it before, but we’ll repeat — never copy anyone’s ideas! Browsing through your competitions’ logos you’ll surely have some images stuck in your head (that’s just how our brains work). But use them only as an inspiration, never more. Obvious imitations are easily recognized and considered badly by people, so don’t yield to temptation and start your own, creative process of logo design!
How do I do it?
Ok, so you already know all the rules, tips, and never-ever-dos of designing your own logo. It’s time to learn the options of who can put them all into life.
As a photographer you have already mastered some graphic software which you may also use to create your own logo by yourself. If you trust your artistic spirit and graphic skills enough — go for it. It’s the cheapest option you have. Depending on your abilities, it may also be less time consuming. Starting your own business, these are very important pros of DIY logos. If you’re not a born-to-be graphic designer, your first logo may be really simple, but there’s nothing wrong with that (remember, K.I.S.S.). It’s more important to match your business, than be oh-so-creative. When you develop as a brand, you may also develop your logo.
You may also try some online logo generators. Unfortunately, they’re usually quite cliché and predictable, but in case you need some inspiration, it’s better to copy them than act illegally. Here’s a list of our picks — the generators, which provided most interesting ideas (and are free):
If you don’t feel like playing around with graphic programs, or you spend more time on it than you wish, reach out for some help. Having a friend who is a graphic designer, or who is just more talented than you at this, is a blessing here. It’s the second cheapest option, but you need to be very careful. Less money often means more time. Also, make sure you understand each other when it comes to every artistic and financial aspect — you don’t want to waste your time nor money.
Quite similar option is to hire a freelancer. They are cheaper than agencies and usually have more individual approach towards clients. They are also professionals with some experience. But again, you can wait for your logo a little bit longer. It’s also really important to have a signed contract which covers all the details (financial, deadlines, penalties etc.) — better safe than sorry, when someone tries to play with you!
The most expensive option, but also the safest one. Try to find an agency which has some experience of working with people from your industry. Choosing an agency you can be sure, your logo is created by a group of professional and experienced people, and that it always goes before more than one pair of eyes, so it’s really polished up before you see it. You also have the ability to have a few revisions before the final project. On the other hand, you may feel like you’re just another client for them — lack of individualism is a horrible feeling, so get to know the agency’s style before you sign a contract.
As you can see, a perfect logo design is a really hard nut to crack. It takes some time, but it’s really worth the effort. Always keep in mind all the rules and tips, no matter if you design your logo by yourself or have anyone to do it for you — it’s your most important graphic representation, so make sure it looks perfectly you want it to look.
Hungry for some top of the top logos from photographers all over the world? Come back next week! We’ll bring them all to one place especially for you. Maybe you have your favorites? Let us know in the comments. Sign in for our newsletter, so you won’t miss the next article and any other! See you soon!
Originally published at photler.com on August 29, 2016.