The logo design is awfully essential because it is the first impression of the face of any brand. A logo is a powerful asset to the client’s brand when executed correctly. However, creating an effectual visual demonstration of a brand requires much more than just graphic design. Like any line of work that engages a set of definite skills, logo design needs abundance of practice and experience for it to be winning; knowledge is absolutely power for any graphic designer. For this reason, we have outlined 12 necessary rules to follow in order to design a successful logo.
1. Preliminary Work Is a Must
Preliminary sketches are an important first step in designing an effective logo. These can be as simple as paper and pen drawings or drafts made using a vector program, such as Illustrator. The bottom line is that you compromise the final result if you rush, or skip, this step. Start with 20 to 30 sketches or ideas and then branch out to generate variations of the unique ideas. If nothing seems to work, start over and begin sketching new ideas.
2. Create Balance
Balance is significant in logo design because our minds logically distinguish a balanced design as being pleasant and attractive. Keep your logo balanced by keeping the “weight” of the graphics, colors, and size equal on each side. Though the rule of balance can rarely be broken, remember that your logo will be viewed by the masses, not just those with an eye for great art, so a balanced design is the safest approach.
3. Size Matters
When it comes to logo design, size does matter. A logo has to look good and be readable at all sizes. A logo is not effectual if it loses too much definition when scaled down for letterheads, envelopes, and small promotional items. The logo also has to look good when used for larger formats, such as posters, billboards, and electronic formats such as TV and the Web. The most dependable way to decide if a logo works at all sizes is to really test it yourself.
Note that the smallest scale is typically the hardest to obtain right, so create by printing the logo on a letterhead or envelope and see if it is still legible. You can also test for large-scale rendering by printing a poster-sized version at a print shop.
4. Clever Use of Color
Color theory is complex, but designers who appreciate the basics are able to use color to their benefit.
The basic rules to keep in mind are:
- Use colors near to each other on the color wheel (e.g. for a “warm” palette, use red, orange, and yellow hues).
- Don’t use colors that are so bright that they are hard on the eyes.
- The logo must also look good in black and white, grayscale, and two colors.
- Breaking the rules sometimes is okay; just make sure you have a good reason to!
Knowing how colors remind feelings and moods is also significant. For example, red can suggest feelings of aggression, love, passion, and strength. Keep this in mind as you attempt out special color combinations, and aim to match the color to the overall tone and feel of the brand.
Playing around with individual colors on their own is another good idea. Some brands are identifiable exclusively by their separate color. For example, when you think of John Deere, you think of the “John Deere green” color, and this sets this brand apart from its competitors and, more importantly, makes the brand all the more identifiable.
5. Design Style Should Suit the Company
You can employ a variety of design styles when creating a logo, and to pick the right one, you should have some background information about the client and the brand. A current trend in logo design is the Web 2.0 style of 3D-looking logos, with “bubbly” graphics, gradients, and drop shadows.
This style may work well for a Web 2.0 website or tech company, but may not be effectual for other kinds of brands. Research your client and its audience before you begin your beginning work. This will help you decide the best design style from the start and save you from having to return frequently to the drawing board.
6. Typography Matters… a Lot!
Choosing the right font type and size is much more difficult than many beginner designers understand.
If your logo design includes text, either as part of the logo or in the tagline, you will require to expend time sorting through various font types — often, dozens of them — and testing them in your design before making a final decision.
Try both serif fonts and sans-serif fonts as well as script, italics, bold, and custom fonts. Believe three main points when choosing a font to accompany your logo design:
- Avoid the most commonly used fonts, such as Comic Sans, or else your design may come off as amateurish.
- Make sure the font is legible when scaled down, especially with script fonts.
- One font is ideal, and avoids more than two.
Strongly believe a custom font for your design. The more unique the font, the more it will differentiate the brand. Examples of victorious logos that have a custom font are Yahoo!, Twitter, and Coca Cola.
7. The Goal IS Recognition
The entire point of creating a logo is to put up brand recognition. So, how do you go about doing this? Well, it varies from case to case, but the goal with the logo is for the standard person to immediately call the brand to mind.
A few examples of this are the logos for Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s, and Nike. Just a glimpse of any of these logos is all you need to recognize the brands.
The key to making a accepted and familiar logo is to unite all of the elements discussed in this article: size, style, color, typography, and innovation.
Overlooking any of these during the design process will impair the excellence of your final design. Examine your own logo design and see whether it meets all of these criteria.
A quick test to decide if your logo is familiar enough is to invert it using any graphic design software and see if you can still identify the brand. Additionally, you should mirror the logo and see if it’s simply familiar in this state.
Keep in mind that logos aren’t always seen head-on in genuine world situations, for example, on the side of a bus or a billboard that you drive by.
Therefore, you should make sure to view your logo design from all angles and ensure that it’s recognizable from any direction before submitting it to your client.
8. Dare to be Different
To stand out from the competition, you must differentiate yourself as a designer with a distinct style. Rather than copy another design or style, be pioneering and stand out from the crowd.
So, how can you be different? Try breaking the rules of design and taking risks. Try a variety of styles to get the one that works best for your client. Try special color combinations until you find one that makes your design truly original. Have fun with the design program you use, and keep tweaking the design until you feel you’ve got it right.
9. K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
The simpler the logo, the more decipherable it will be. For example, the Nike swoosh is an tremendously plain logo and is also one of the most familiar in the world.
Follow the K.I.S.S. rule right from the start of the design process, when you are brainstorming ideas and doodling sketches.
Often, you’ll find that you start with a comparatively complex design and end up with a simpler version of it in the end. Work the design down to its fundamentals and leave out all avoidable elements.
10. Go Easy on Effects
Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, Photoshop, and other graphic design programs are extremely powerful tools and have many filters and effects that you can relate to your logo, but don’t obtain carried away!
There’s a time and place for these powerful tools, but it is not essentially to design a logo. Of course, playing around and seeing whether they improve a logo is fine, but just remember that minimalism is key.
11. Develop a Design “Assembly Line”
To create constantly high-quality logos, you require to expand your own design procedure, or “assembly line.” This should comprise the following steps:
- Brainstorm and generate ideas
- Preliminary sketches
- Develop vector designs
- Send to client
- Add or remove anything the client wants
- Finalize the design and resubmit to client
Although you may desire to tweak the order slightly, you should follow these basic steps with each logo design.
This will help you streamline your work, stay organized, maintain focus, and deliver better quality and more consistent results with each job.
12. Use Other Designs for Inspiration Only!
The last rule for designing an effectual logo is fairly simple: don’t copy other designers’ work! While there’s nothing wrong with being inspired by other designers, copying another person’s ideas or work is morally and lawfully wrong.
Gallery websites exist that let you use vector art images free of charge, with proper attribution under the Creative Commons License, but I strongly advocate not going this way.
These websites can be helpful for getting ideas during the brainstorming stage, but you’re better off starting your design from scratch and making it 100% original.