How to Create a Successful Logo

How to Create a Successful Logo

General Electric & Sony LogosYour logo is a visual representation of your company’s mission and ideals. As a business owner, you want that first impression to be smooth as well as memorable because a logo goes far beyond the initial impression. A strong and successful logo establishes an identity for your brand and organization. It can build consumer trust and loyalty, and provide the professional appearance of a legitimate enterprise.

More often than not, many companies and organizations do not put as much effort into conceptualizing and producing a logo as they should. The most common deterrent from logo production for companies is the price of paying either a design firm or freelance designers to create the logo, so they try and develop a logo on their own. Though it may seem smart to avoid the generally high costs of logo design by doing it yourself, any successful business understands, there are always investments that must be made—a logo being one of them.

So You Want to Make a Logo?

There are several things to consider when getting started in designing some concepts for your logo. To begin, try brainstorming on what exactly your company does, what its mission is, and what sets you apart from your competition. It can also help to try and place yourself in the shoes of your target consumer so that you can better understand the message you are trying to send as well as understand possible reactions to that message.

Though helpful, this alone will not be enough to get you on the fast track to a beautiful and successful logo. Here are some additional variables one must consider when creating a logo:

Scalability

When you are designing your logo, you must think about how it will look on many different mediums. Whether it’s on a billboard or the end of a pen, your logo should appear strong and identifiable; no matter the size.

Color

Keep your logo to as few colors as possible. As much as you love your seven-color logo design, you will be amazed at how quickly that love disappears when you go to print and see the price.

One must also consider the psychological reactions to colors. Humans have certain reactions and thinking patterns when exposed to certain colors, and this must be considered in your logo design concepts. It would be odd to see a daycare’s logo colors as being black and red, as that does not convey the friendly, safe, and childlike feelings that, say, blue and yellow would.

In addition to the color being a major factor in determining your logo design, your logo should also be just as strong without color. This is important because your logo will be on your invoices, contracts, and many other legal papers that will make their way into photocopiers and fax machines, where they will be printed in black and white.

Icons Are King

Using an icon as your logo has many benefits over using images or words. One benefit of using an icon as your logo is that icons transcend the barriers of language. An icon is an icon in any part of the world, whereas word logos are limited by whatever language the viewer speaks. However, I must note that there are plenty of greatly successful logos that are word-based like SONY, for instance,
but it is much more difficult to generate as much success in brand identity as compared to an icon based logo.

Avoid Design Trends

While trends can make you look ‘hip’ for a certain amount of time, truly great logos are timeless, and can remain strong and successful for decades. One that comes to mind is the General Electric logo, which was designed and produced in the 1890’s and is still just as strong today in 2015.

Trademark your logo

When your logo has been completed and is ready for production, you should apply for a trademark at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. This will protect your logo from being copied and reproduced without your permission. Once you have successfully protected your logo, you can freely use it on whatever medium you deem necessary to increase visibility and recognition for both your company and your logo.

A Final Note

With these simple considerations in mind, you can create a strong logo for your company. However, as with most things that you try do yourself to save money, often the best choice is putting it in the hands of a professional. If you cannot afford a professional graphic designer or you truly just feel that you are capable of handling it yourself, these steps should guide you in the right direction towards developing a successful brand identity for your new company.

By: Bryce Thorson
  • In my limited branding experience, I have always loved the process of deciding on typography or iconography as the drivers of a mark/logo. It feels like more and more of the global bigs continue to simply to typography only. With Verizon’s recent simplification, I am left wondering if people are saying “can we see you now”?

  • Great points about the use of colors in logos. Colors definitely affect people’s emotions. However, I think it’s more than just subliminal messaging. The colors a company uses in their logo can convey a great deal about the values behind their products and services.