How To Design A Logo : Essential steps to creating a memorable design
So you’ve just setup your new company and you need to get a logo. A logo is an essential piece of how your company will be presented to the public, and it is imperative that you get it right. You definitely want to present yourself as professional, trustworthy and a legitimate business, even if it is just you sitting in your kitchen in your undies. Read on ! What we will look at here is how to design a logo, the things you need to know.
The very first step you need to take is to recruit the services of a professional logo designer. Unless you have a background in design, I would not attempt to do it yourself. There are a myriad of file types that will be needed, varying layouts for different situations and colour and font issues to deal with, so all in all it’s far better to pay someone to do it properly. We asked our head designer Aengus Ryan for some tips on how best to go about creating the logo you want.
So what exactly is a logo ?
So we all know the super famous logos out there. The IBM letters, the Nike swoosh, the BMW checkers, we see them day in day out, but what exactly is a logo ? A logo is defined as “a symbol or other small design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc” So basically, a logo is like the face of your company, something people can recognise. We are a visual animal, and that is how we can recognise and identify your business from the crowd.
Your logo is your opportunity to say something about your company. A cheap, poorly designed logo will say……that you don’t think enough of your company to invest in it, you don’t really care how it looks and you don’t care about your prospective clients opinions of it. It may sound harsh, but it’s true.
On the other hand, a well crafted, well thought out logo gives your company a professional appearance. Like a good suit it tells onlookers that you have a certain class, are of a certain standard and are more than likely trustworthy. After all, they will be spending their money with you, they need to have faith in you.
What your logo is…and isn’t
Your overall brand
Brand and logo are 2 different things. Your logo is the visual face of your brand, but your brand itself is built from what you do, how you do it, customer reaction & satisfaction, how you treat people and a myriad of other elements in your business. If it was compared to a person, your logo is your face, your brand is your character.
Basically your visual identity is everything you put out there with your logo on it. This could range from boxes you package your products in, brochures you sent out to clients, beer mats you leave on your bar, aprons for your BBQ school, the list goes on and on. It is everything the public can see that can be attributed to your business.
The Deciding Factor
Good logos do not make good companies, and vice versa. You may have spent thousands on the best logo designer out there, but if you treat your clients poorly and conduct yourself in an un-business-like manner, than no logo will save you. Same applies to poorly designed logos, it might look awful, but you could still have a fantastic business based on how you treat clients, your top quality products or a whole host of other things companies could aspire to.
How to design a logo
A few things to consider going forward:
Put yourself in their shoes
Try and take a step back from your company. Have a think about what the customer might want or expect to see from a business like yours. For example, will a logo of a Rhino be a good fit for a Yoga studio, will a butterfly suit a construction firm. While you can essentially design anything you like, keep in mind the publics perception, as they are your potential customers.
Think of the big picture
So you will end up with this logo you really like. Have a think about where it will end up. Will you use it on a website, business cards, truck tarps etc etc. The end use needs to be influential in the design. A really detailed design might look great onscreen, but shrink it down to a business card size and all that detail gets lost, and even worse, just looks like a blur. So keep in mind the end result before you’ve even started out.
Step 1 : Thinking Cap
This is the step where you have a good think about what it is you want from the design. The designer will ask you questions like what imagery you would like in the logo, any particular message you would like it to convey, examples of logos you really like and any additional background on the company you can give.
This all helps create a clearer picture for the designer as to what your company is about, and the look and feel you’re after.
Step 2 : The Design Phase
This is where you get to see something and it all gets interesting. Your designer will create a selection of logos for your consideration. It is up to you to give a critique of each, narrowing down the one’s you like and eliminating those you don’t. Feel free to ask for a little of one, a little of the other if you think it will suit your end result. Colour & font changes are easy, so request as many options as you need. It’s best to focus in on your favourite, as multiple changes to a few different logos can run up your costs, so pick one, and make whatever changes you need to that one.
Step 3 : Revise until done
A few revisions are normal with logo design, it often takes a few teaks until it’s just right. Check your agreement at the start, will you be charged for each revision or are there unlimited changes until you’re happy. Unlimited sounds great, but after a reasonable number of changes patience can begin to fray on both sides, so keep your messages clear, concise and ideally in as few revision requests as possible.
How your logopack should arrive
Now that you have a logo you are happy with, what’s next. Well the designer will deliver your logo to you in a range of formats, often known as a logopack. Logos should be created in what’s called vector format, which essentially means they can be blown up to any size (or shrunk down to any size) with zero loss of quality. Logos created using other methods will pixelate when blow up and look awful, so make sure your design is vector. An example of the range of formats your logo should be delivered in are.
- .ai – (this is Adobe Illustrators native file type, you won’t be able to open it unless you have the design software)
- .eps – a vector based file
- .pdf – most people can open these using Adobe pdf reader
You logo may be supplied whole, icon only and text only so that you have file types for all eventualities.
Some designers may also supply your logo in various social media sizes. It’s best to stipulate this at the start.
So, there you have it. Now you know what’s involved when designing a logo and how best to go about it. If you’re stuck for inspiration, have a look at these great references and let the creative juices flow.