A logo is an important part of your brand that should be a simple but memorable mark, that works well on its own and within a system. When creating a logo, there are a few key rules that a designer should follow that will help ensure a solid end product. For starters, never use online services that allow you to choose from preexisting logo galleries or cost $10. A logo should be relevant, personal, and original.
1. Understand the Brand.
When starting the process of branding your company, first brainstorm what you’re trying to convey with your logo. What is the essence of your company in the simplest of terms? Try explaining your company in five words or less.
2. Scope out the Competition.
Research competitor logos and see what works for them and understand why it’s successful, or not. But don’t let it influence your design.
3. Less is Always More.
The best logos are the ones that are simple and instantly recognizable. Try playing with the negative space to find witty or clever solutions to amplify the visual. Adding unnecessary visuals or graphic elements to your logo will only deter from the core values you are trying to illustrate.
4. For God’s Sake, Use a Grid!
A well designed logo (most often) follows a strict grid structure as a framework for creating the icon, wordmark, or lettermark. There is nothing worse than a logo that is improperly aligned, or not balanced correctly. Someone with an untrained eye can notice these inconsistencies, even if they can’t identify exactly why it doesn’t look right. Starting with a proper grid structure will also help you down the road when creating guidelines that pertain to proper alignment and layouts.
5. Big / Small / Black & White / Colour.
Logos are used in countless applications, ranging in size and in colour. Make sure the logo you create can look good in small and large applications, as well as in colour and in black and white. I always start designing in black and white and add colour later. This ensures you’re not relying solely on a colour palette to create a nice logo.
6. Make it Timeless.
Stay away from using trendy fonts or current design styles, or your logo will look dated in a few years. A good brand should stand the test of time.
7. Application is Key.
A logo is rarely used on its own, and is most often used with accompanying graphics within a layout. Creating a strong visual system further pushes the brand aesthetic as a whole and elevates the logo when used in both print and digital applications.
8. Consider Movement.
While having an animated logo isn’t always necessary, your logo will be seen on a range of devices, social media profiles, and applications. Design is becoming less static and more interactive, so it’s good to think about versatility and how it can occupy different spaces.