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If you want to have a successful and great looking brand identity, an effective logo is a crucial element to have.
When it comes to creating a great logo design there are some very important stages that should be undertaken. Unfortunately, I see too many designers and business owners skip these stages. The result of which is a logo which is poorly designed and ineffective.
In this video you will learn my 5 tips and strategies to create the best logo possible for your brand.
- Hey, folks. I hope you're well.
Today, I want to talk about a few things that will help you to develop a much more effective logo.
Now, this video will be useful for business owners who want to hire a designer, and also for any young designers out there who are looking to improve on their logo design process. Let's get right in and run through those tips.
My first tip for you is to make sure that you spend enough time researching the industry that you're creating the logo for. Study the competition in that industry.
What are they doing well?
Also, what are they doing not so well?
Are there opportunities in there for you to stand above the competition?
Maybe everyone's using the same typography, or the same colour scheme.
You could buck that trend, and go for something different. If you are going to go down that route, though, you need to make sure that the colours and typography that you choose are suitable. For example, blue is probably not a great colour to choose for someone in the food industry.
You probably don't want to choose that quirky typeface for anyone who is in the financial industry.
By spending plenty of time doing your research, you'll get a better understanding of where your logo needs to be placed within that specific industry.
Without doing any research, or with doing just minimal amounts, you could find that you end up creating a logo which just merges in with everyone else's, or even worse, that really doesn't suit that industry at all, and therefore, the logo becomes completely ineffective.
I mentioned that you can make your logo stand out by the use of colour and typography. There are many businesses out there that don't use a symbol as part of their logo. There is no design law out there that says you must have a symbol as part of your logo design. You can have a simple wordmark as well.
A symbol can really help with memorability, but you can also do the same with great colour choice and great typography. The key here, though, is to fully understand the meaning of colour, and to understand when a typeface is appropriate.
For example, colours can have both negative and positive aspects to them. Take yellow, for example. In Japan, it represents bravery, wealth, and refinement, whereas, in France, it can represent weakness. In China, it represents pornography. You can see, not only do colours have different meanings in different cultures. You want to make doubly sure that you choose the right colour for the right culture, and also the right industry.
When it comes to typography, that can also have specific moods and feelings. There's less chance of any culture shock, but for example, if you were designing a logo for a lawyer or a funeral director, you really don't want to choose a quirky typeface for that specific set of industries. It just wouldn't fit, and it would give completely the wrong impression of the business. Take the time to learn about colour and typography. It will really help you when it comes to creating your logo designs, and it could also stop you from having an international incident.
The next tip is to spend time sketching before you move into your design software on your computer.
It can be very tempting to just open up your design software and jump straight into creating that final logo design. The problem is, you may have access to an array of design tools, but without a solidly thought out and explored concept, your logo is potentially going to be very weak.
You should spend a good amount of time exploring your concept designs. Ideally, you want to sketch on paper, or as I do, on a tablet, something that lets your mind quickly explore ideas and iterations around a design.
You want it to be free-flowing. You don't want to be thinking too hard about those designs. If you get too caught up in refining and tweaking, you're going to loose the momentum of creativity. By pushing forward quickly, the bad ideas can quickly be pushed to the side, and you can develop and hone in on the concepts which are probably going to be the more successful.
Sketching allows freedom of expression, and lets our imaginations run free. Again, like jumping into your computer design software, don't be tempted to just sit and work on one concept. The whole point of sketching is to explore every possible avenue you can based around the industry you're designing the logo for.
What I find useful is creating a mind map, selecting words which are related to the industry that I'm trying to design the logo for. I can then pick and choose, and combine words which will then bring in visual imagery into my head, which I will then sketch quickly onto the page, and see where that takes me. It can open up some really, really great creative avenues for you.
I also know that it takes me at least half an hour before I really get into the flow of exploring the more unusual concept designs. The first half hour, you'll be producing designs which are derivative, and expected, and what probably 99% of other companies in that industry have.
What you want is to create something unique for your client, and to create something unique takes time and effort. Make sure you push through that first half an hour barrier, and give yourself the time to let your imagination truly free up, and see goals, and see options that may not have been there right at the start.
In combination with your earlier research, sketching is one of the most important parts of the entire logo design process.
Now, the next thing is to try and avoid design trends. I know, I get tempted myself. You see something, and it's pretty cool, a lot of the big designers are using it, but when it comes to logo design, you really want to stay away from design trends because they come and go very quickly.
Sure, use a design trend in your marketing or branding materials. Those things have a short lifespan. Your logo is going to be around for a long time. If you decide to create your logo on the back of a current design trend, guaranteed, in a year or two, your logo is suddenly going to look very dated.
Rather than ride the trend wave, what you need to do is try and design something that can become iconic for the brand. I say, "become iconic," because no logo is iconic on the day that it is born. It takes time, and I'm talking years, to imbue that logo with meaning, story, and emotion.
To help that journey, you want to create a logo which is simple, memorable, and versatile. Think of some of the major brands in the world. When they created their logo at first, it didn't mean anything to anyone.
The Nike swoosh, it represents athleticism, sportsmanship, high quality. It's just a tick.
The Apple logo is a call to many to think differently. It represents craftsmanship and cutting edge technology. It's a symbol of an apple.
It took years of storytelling, living their vision, and delivering on their brand promises to imbue these two simple shapes with all of that meaning. Strip that meaning away, though, and you're still left with a versatile, simple, and memorable logo design.
A good test to see if your logo is simple, versatile, and memorable is to ask someone to draw it from memory. It's easy to do complicated. It's hard to do simple.
My last tip is split into two, and depends on which side of the fence you're on, the designer side or the client side. If you're the designer, it's your task to take control of the project. The client has hired you because you're the professional, and therefore, you should take the lead.
Don't let them push you down avenues and routes that really aren't right for the brand. In many instances, the client will try and get you to create a design which they personally like. That's not the focus of the project. The focus of the project is to create a logo design that works for the brand, not for the client.
If the client questions your motives and the route for the logo, you should be able to back this up by showing them all of the research that you carried out at the beginning of the project to show them that the route you're taking is the correct one for the brand at hand.
Now, if you're the client, you've hired a professional designer to create a great logo for you. You need to let go of the reins somewhat, and let the designer get on with their job. But how do you know if you can trust that designer? Well, before you hire someone, ask them about their logo design process.
What are the stages that they go through?
How long do they spend on research?
How long do they spend on sketching?
Look at testimonials. Even contact some of their previous clients, and speak to them one-on-one. Find out the experience they had of working with that designer.
If you're going to invest money into creating a logo design which is to last your business for years, you want to make sure that you're going to be working with a designer that's going to produce the best possible result for you. In order for a designer to do that, they should be carrying out a certain amount of research, and a lot of sketching. Some designers will carry out two to three weeks of research alone into the client's industry before they even put pencil to paper. I'm one of those.
You'll also need to separate yourself from your likes and dislikes. You may not like orange. You may not like triangles, but if the research is showing that your target audience are attracted to those elements, which means they will be attracted to your brand, which will turn them into customers, you need to let go of some of the things that you hold dear in order to allow your brand to be successful.
It can be really tough to put aside your likes and dislikes, but you have to have trust in the design process.
By putting in the effort and understanding the core elements of design, you're going to end up with a truly successful logo that will last for years, and more importantly, become recognisable and memorable to your audience.
Thanks for watching this video. I hope you've learned from it. If you have, give it a thumbs up. Subscribe to the channel, if you haven't already, and when you have, make sure you click on that little bell icon to get notified whenever I release a new video.
Until I see you next time, folks, stay creative.