How to Design an Amazing Logo for Your Company
7 Steps to Craft an Awesome and True Symbol for Your Brand
I designed the logo above with the help of my friends in about three hours.
I’m not a designer.
Here’s how I did it.
1. Avoid cheap logo designers on Fiverr.
My first stop was outsourcing the job on Fiverr. I clearly described what I was looking for. A capital E design that used primary colors. I sent the mission of our organization as well, which is all about utilizing the web to fundraise and raise awareness of the world’s most effective charities, and the problems they combat.
Here’s what I got.
I actually kind of liked the three lines in the written version of Effct on the left. So, I told the designer to keep working with that, and incorporate primary colors. He responded with this set of logos.
Fiverr customer support eventually extinguished this dumpster fire and refunded my $5, after I persistently explained the designer was incapable of understanding what I was asking for.
Sacha Greif, issued a scathing report that exposed how many of these designers were simply borrowing from stock templates or ripping off others. It also took him over two weeks to receive the final product, which was pretty much made entirely from a template.
Avoid $5 Fiverr designers. The opportunity cost of wasting your time for a logo you won’t use is much more costly than a Lincoln.
2. Figure out your brand identity.
At the time, I was going through a business incubator called CO.STARTERS. One of our group’s mentors is Olivia Omega, co-founder of Wallace Marketing Group. Olivia’s worked with brands like Frito-Lay to help them improve their brand.
She helped me settle on the name Effct, and asked me a series of questions to help identify our company’s identity. These questions would form the foundation of our logo.
Think of your brand as a person.
- What is his/her favorite artist?
2. What is his/her favorite book?
3. What words describe him/her?
Counter-cultural, analytical, bold, selfless
Answer these questions to determine your brand’s identity.
3. Find inspiration all around you.
In designing the logo, I thought of some things that had stuck out to me in designs that I liked, and what little I’d read about design.
Walter Isaacson notes in the Steve Jobs biography that Jobs intently crafted the rounded corners of the iPhone. The rounded corners represent the symbiosis of the circle and the line. The circle is the symbolizes nature, while the line represents civilization.
I didn’t have Photoshop, so I went instead to Keynote.
I clicked the shapes button, and found the “Rounded Rectangle.”
The week prior, friends and I went glamping in the Colorado Rockies. While we made s’mores, I stared into the fire, and observed its colors from top to bottom.
I literally just used the preset yellow, red and blue colors that a brilliant designer at Apple had already picked out as Effct’s color scheme.
Finally, I worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign last year, and liked her logo’s arrow. Top-notch designers put a ton of thought into it. I wanted to incorporate it, but wasn’t 100% sure how.
I also liked the three lines that the Fiverr designer had suggested. So, I decided to stick with that as well. I knew I’d seen it before, and realized it was in Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 album.
Do a brainstorming session yourself, and write down things that have stuck out to you. Maybe it’s the color of your favorite flower, your favorite animal, logos that you gravitate towards. Remember K.I.S.S. — keep it simple, stupid. Great logos are simple, sleek and communicate just enough of their brand to be memorable, and attract customers to learn more or return.
4. Design it.
Put on your favorite music.
Bust out your laptop, device or notebook, and go to work.
I stayed in on a Saturday night. No one else was home. Nothing was distracting. I was able to focus and do deep work.
Everything was designed in Keynote. It’s great software that is straightforward, yet customizable.
During this process, I also realized the logo would need to be adaptable for both Instagram’s circle icon and Facebook’s square icon.
I used the inspiration above as well as the companies mission to come up with about 20 designs. Take a quick glance at them.
This whole process took me about 2–3 hours of focused work.
5. Send the designs to friends whose design opinions you respect, and incorporate feedback.
I narrowed the 20 above down to eight, purely based on aesthetic, and the mission of the organization.
I sent these my friends Lincoln and Cody. Lincoln, is truthful and wise. Cody, works at Lyft in branding and design.
At least one design-oriented friend should analyze your logo as well.
Both stated that they liked the primary colors scheme, and the three lines.
Lincoln recommended shortening the red, and extending the blue to make it look more like an “E.”
Cody advised taking the arrow from the purple and green design, and affixing it to the bottom line of the yellow, red and blue design. He also recommended playing with width, and spacing until it felt right.
Sometimes it takes the opinion of an expert to give that simple tweak that cements a larger idea.
From that I came up with the final logo.
I tried it on a gray background and black background as a test for branding on hats, t-shirts and other materials. It looked great, so I moved forward.
6. Design a full word logo.
For simplicity I went with Helvetica. In all honesty, this is a part of the logo that could use a bit of improvement.
The idea was just to get something out, so we could focus on executing our organization’s mission.
Marc Hemeon has written a really great piece on how to design a logo in three minutes, explaining how to get the typography right.
Still, as we learned with the Hillary Clinton campaign, it’s not the logo that determines your success. Trump won with the infamous, “What is that ‘T’ doing to that ‘P’?” logo (which was eventually scrapped) and the standard TRUMP/PENCE yawner.
It’s ultimately about how effective your organization is. Your logo is just one piece of that.
7. Stick with it.
Get final approval from the same friends, and then STEP AWAY FROM THE DESIGN TOOLS.
The logo is done. It works. You have your minimum viable product. Print it on a business card, post it on your social media pages, and make it official.
Thanks so much for reading!
If you would like to learn more about Effct, please connect with us on Facebook and Instagram or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to connect with me personally on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also find me on Snapchat as brownybite or email email@example.com. If you would like to receive more articles like this one, then follow me here on Medium.