As a designer, I strive to create logos that are the best possible for my clients. There is a thought process that goes into creating a logo and I always want to make sure my client will love it. In the past years, I have done my research on what makes a logo great. It gives me the ability to create a logo for myself that I will forever love and logos my clients will love. So for this post, I want to take the time to share what I know with you today. Every blogger, entrepreneur or anyone should know what makes a great logo even if they don’t plan on creating one themselves.
The Five Tips
Keep it Simple
Have you ever seen a logo with lots of details and just too much going on? That is a logo you do not want. Try to keep it simple as possible. Remember less is more. When I am designing, I try to think of simple icons or shapes and leave out the details. Creating a good logo means thinking of the big picture instead of whats inside the picture.
For Instance, one of my clients needed a logo that represents their video game store, so I thought of an Xbox remote control. Instead of adding every little detail of the remote, I only had the remote shape, joysticks, and buttons. Just enough for customers to understand that it’s a game remote.
Even though your goal is to have a simple logo, you also want to add just enough for your audience to understand what it is.
Colors Under Three
When working with color, try to keep it no more than 2 or 3 colors. Too many colors could make your logo too busy and hard to read. It might be a good option to start designing only in black and white as it will help make sure your logo stays simple. You want to try to have your logo look good in all background colors. Additionally, It might be good to think about color psychology when creating your logo as it has a lot to do with your target audience. If you want your brand to have a joyful, energetic approach, you wouldn’t choose black or brown as your colors; you would want to choose pink, blue or even orange as they have a more fun vibe to them. I have a whole blog post about color psychology which you can check out [here].
Kern your Type
It is the worst when logos have bad kerning or leading. If you do not know what kerning, leading, or tracking is, it is basically this…
Kerning - The space between two letters
Tracking - The space between all the words in a sentence.
Leading - The space between each sentence.
Always keep these terms in mind when working with type as it is very important so your words or letters are easy to read. It is also fun to adjust the spaces, in my opinion! However, you want to be very careful when tracking your type, for too much or too little spaces can make it look odd or hard to read. I suggest looking at your work from a distance or asking a friend to make sure the spaces look okay. In addition to the spaces in your type, I would also be very picky about the type of fonts you use in your logo as well. For Instance, try to stay away from fonts such as papyrus, comic sans, times new roman, or any other fonts that are overused. You want to be unique! The fonts you choose for your logo has a lot to do with the personality of your brand too. If you want a sophisticated, classy type logo, you might choose a serif font such as the font “Prata.”
Vectorize not Rasterize
When I say vectorize I mean use a vector image program such as Illustrator. I suggest never creating a logo in Photoshop, for it will be pixelated or in other words a rasterized image. If your logo is a raster image, you will probably run into problems with the image becoming pixelated or grainy when you need it enlarged or shrunken. A vectorized logo will look good at any size whether it be for a billboard or something as small as a pin. Although your logo may be a vector image, you still have to make sure it is as simple as possible. The worst would be to shrink your logo only to have everything you created smushed together. My favorite thing to do to prevent this is to outline all the type. Plus! select all of your logo > Go to Object > Expand or Expand Appearance (either one works fine). It will keep your logo looking great at any size without changing the stroke sizes. However, I would recommend keeping an original/un-expand logo version before doing this, for wants the type is outlined or the logo is expanded, you can no longer edit those parts of the logo.
Appropriate for Audience
When designing your logo, it is best to keep your target audience in mind. You wouldn’t design a feminine logo with pink if your target audience is someone who likes to purchase black leather. They might like something more masculine with black or even blue. You want to design something that will attract your target audience, but also something that you will love too. If you don’t like your logo, you won’t be motivated to keep your business running. Both you and your audience should love the logo. Keep in mind that if you don’t like the logo that fits for your target audience, then maybe think of a different audience to target? One of my past logo designs was for an Autism Jog-a-Thon that had the main goal to spread awareness about Autism. I know that the main symbol for autism awareness is Puzzles, so I incorporated that into the logo and also added someone running to symbolize running for Autism. The Target audience relates to this logo since they are also running for Autism.
In the end, everything you read in this guide is from my experience and knowledge. If you keep your logos simple by thinking of the big picture, using no more than three colors, and remembering to kern or lead your type, you will start to see a difference in your logo design. Just remember to use a vector program such as Illustrator. If you been designing logos with photoshop, I’d recommend a stop to that and start trying to invest in a vector program. It is definitely worth it if you want to have designs that are scalable at any size and not grainy/pixelated. Your target audience is what makes your business so always keep them in mind when designing your logo or any design for that matter. I hope my experience in designing logos has helped you out and equipped you with new knowledge to begin your next great logo!
So..What do you think makes a great logo? Have you tried any of the tips I listed? Have a favorite logo you think uses everything listed in this guide? I want to know your thoughts so please comment below!