Today’s world is increasingly visual, which means people are swamped with images. In turn, they make judgments about those images in milliseconds—judgments that can either hurt you or help you.
If you want your business to win the competition for attention, you’ll have to go above and beyond the traditional confines of logo design to create something that will turn passersby into dedicated customers. Your new logo has to function at multiple touch points, such as office signage, social media profiles, or corporate videos, since it will become the centerpiece of your brand’s identity.
So what factors will create the greatest impact? These are the eight most important things to remember when making a business logo:
Showcase your company’s inner self
Businesses that share an industry tend to look similar on the surface, but in reality, they’re completely different. Every business is unique in terms of what it offers, what it does, and how it handles customers. You want people to see your company’s unique “personality” come out in your logo, so it’s important to identify your brand’s most important qualities and showcase them.
Know who you want to reach
There’s no purpose in designing a logo if you don’t know who you’re making it for. You’ve got to determine who your target audience is and learn all you can about them. Identify what they like or dislike, what motivates them or turns them off. When studying your clients, it’s a good idea to go through a behavioral researcher that has experience analyzing consumer motivation and action. They’ll help you know what your target audience wants, so you can create a logo that exceeds their expectations.
Opt for a captivating design
Logos might be small, but there’s still plenty of room for creativity. You’ll want to choose a design that catches people’s attention from a distance, whether that’s because of an image, typeface, or color. A really fun idea is to give your logo a “hidden meaning” by manipulating negative space into another shape. This will make people look at your logo longer, because they’ll try to see all the imagery inside it. You can see some great examples of negative space in this logo inspiration gallery.
Think outside the box
Part of creating a captivating design is knowing what everybody else is doing… then steering clear. While there’s a reason trends become popular, there’s an even bigger reason they fade: nobody wants to look at a logo they’ve already seen on ten other companies. It’s important to use design elements that stand out. Take Apple and McDonald’s: while some super original tech logos exist, Apple is the only one with fruit for its logo. And McDonald’s yellow icon stands out in an industry that’s using less yellow than ever.
Maximize the power of less
People think complex logos are interesting, but in reality, they just make it hard for people to remember your brand. Besides, simple logos are every bit as interesting as their complex counterparts—or even more so. Analyze every element in your logo and ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” Most of the time, the answer will be no. Scrap anything that’s a “no,” and you’ll end up with a simple logo that gets a resounding “yes” from your customers.
Choose adaptable colors
Logos appear on everything: billboards, websites, social media, and more. That makes them the chameleons of the design world—they’ve got to blend into all sorts of situations. Opt for colors that can work in most situations or can be replaced with grayscale if need be. Not sure which color to use? This color quiz may not be able to pinpoint an exact shade for your logo, but it can definitely teach you the right questions to ask when choosing your brand colors.
Check for scalability
As with colors, logo sizes have to change to fit different marketing mediums. Choose symbols and typefaces that can scale from one size to another and remain easy for clients to identify. You can get a rough idea of your logo’s scalability by using a validation tool. If your logo needs to appear at super small sizes that won’t display in the tool, you may want to consider creating an abbreviated version that’s more portable.
These days, everything changes at lightning speed—but that shouldn’t include your logo. A truly great logo design can stand the test of time. It blends trendy modern elements with classic old elements to create a design that will appeal to people for years, with only minimal redesigns along the way. Take Coca-Cola for instance: except for a couple misguided years in the 1980s, they’ve used the same script logo for over a century.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll find yourself well on the way to creating a stellar business logo!