Okay, so you’re going to design a logo. Easy.
It’s just a tiny picture that will represent the company you’re making it for. You know, the thing that they every single customer they’ll have will see. No big deal, right? How hard can it be?
All you have to do is sit down, draw the first shape that pops in your head, and type-in the company’s name. Ta-da! Instant logo.
Well, if you want to be a crappy graphic designer, that’s all you need to do. But if becoming an awesome graphic designer that gets tons of clients because of the eye-catching, sure-fire logos you create is your goal, then be our guest. Read on! Let us help you.
Here are tips and tricks to help you design top-notch logos:
1. Stop doing what everyone else is doing.
Trends are the death of creativity.
Not that there’s anything wrong with following design trends, especially when you’re a little short in the inspiration department. However, what can go wrong with jumping on the bandwagon is when almost every single designer is using the same idea repeatedly.
Another downside of following trends is that it gets old fast. You’re not the only designer in the world that considered “remaking” a hipster logo, which means there are hundreds – if not thousands – of people making the same design over and over again. That’s not good, for you, at least.
The solution? Well, you’re an artist, right? So just do your best and take the time to come up with an idea and design it with your own creativity.
2. Own it!
Okay, you already know that it’s best if you create a logo of your own design. The next thing you need to do is own it.
“Yeah, okay! (whatever that means)”
You see, being unique isn’t as easy as it sounds. But the easiest way to know whether your design is one of a kind is to ask yourself if it’s generic or unique.
Generic, being something you’ve seen before. A sad, uninspired logo that some designer made just to have something to show his client. Here’s a blog you can read to find out more about generic logos and how to avoid them.
Always remember that your first draft will perpetually suck – just like anyone else’s first idea. You don’t have to get it right, right away, you just have to get it on paper (or screen) first. You can always edit a bad design, but you can’t edit a design that’s still in your head, right?
3. When in doubt, use custom type.
Now that you’re in the mindset of being a unique and excellent graphic artist, nothing speaks a distinct logo as much as custom lettering does! (note the word “custom”).
More often than not, you come across a logo that went down the long, dark path of “designing” font-based logos, probably something pulled out from the trenches of the internet. A weak attempt at trying to do a “Coca-Cola.”
A custom type logo is timeless. If you get it right, it can stay that way for decades without needing a redesign. So challenge your creative bones and design a custom font-based logo. It takes real skill to create a hand-drawn script.
Best of all? You get to have bragging rights. Scavenger designers will do everything they can to rip off your work if your design is famous enough. Just Google “Coke logo ripoffs” and look at how many times that font has been stolen!
4. Proportion and symmetry is attractive.
Although a perfectly symmetrical design isn’t an absolute rule, you can’t deny that it’s so satisfying to look at.
Just look at the Apple logo:
Photo courtesy: Creative Bloq – 6 tips for using grids in logo design
The circles serve as a guide that helps achieve consistent curves in the logo.
Using your gridlines is the perfect way for you to design a symmetrical logo, especially when you’re passing through the simple design route. You can look for more symmetrical design samples if you need more inspiration.
5. Relax, keep it simple.
Simplicity is beauty.
We hate to throw a cliche to your face, but you probably saw it coming anyway. And let’s face it, as brilliant of an artist as you are, you can’t expect yourself to come up with a complicated logo every time – you shouldn’t force yourself to do it either. You’ll burn out!
Read more about simple and complex logo designs.
So give yourself a creativity break and design a simple logo every now and then. Not to throw shade at complex logo designs, though, it has its fair share of perks. But sometimes, simple designs can be as awesome as complex logos.
Just be cautious of being too simple. You still want your client to stand out from their competitors, of course. Take the time to think about how will you turn a boring design that’s too simple into a unique logo with character.
6. Negative space, positive feedback.
We’re not trying to turn you into a minimalist, okay. But it is what it is.
The next thing you need to know about – especially when you’re creating simpler designs – is using negative space. To utilize negative space means to use the background of your image to make another image.
It is a design technique that allows you to say more by showing less. “Okay…?”
Let us show you what we mean.
Do you see it? It’s right there. That subtle arrow between the E and x. Ingenious, right?
The arrow could mean a lot of things, but since FedEx is a shipping company, it may mean that they take your packages to where you want to go. Hence, an arrow pointing forward. That’s what is means to say more by showing less.
7. What’s that supposed to mean?
This is precisely what your client will ask you if you show them a logo that doesn’t show what they want their customers to know.
Every company has a story, so use that.
Ask your client about their history, what they do, and how they got there. It will help you draw inspiration from what they have gotten through to create a logo that fits their company. Strong logos are charged with meaning – be it obvious or hidden.
When you show your client how much thought you put into the logo you made for them, and how much of them can they see in your design, they are more likely to love what you did.
Sometimes, your clients may initially believe that they want something cool and complex. But when you give them a design that complements their company values and goals, they’ll instantly fall in love with what you gave them.
Don’t forget that you’re creating logos to make your clients happy. Being an artist means making other people feel. And if you’re clients don’t feel that they’re in your design, well, let’s just say you’ll have more to add to the rejection pile. So, you know, get to know your client before you start sketching.