8 Logo Design Secrets To Design Like a Pro
Do you know the saying "good things come in small packages"?
Well, it's especially true of a logo because few graphics have such a heavyweight to carry.
Your logo has to instantly convey who you are, what you do, and even why you do it! And it must work in numerous locations, such as on marketing materials, a website, and social media.
So, while your logo's small, it's a big deal and incredibly valuable to you and your business. But how do you create a logo yourself with little or no design knowledge?
You need logo design secrets to design like a pro, and we've got eight of the best for you right here.
Secret # 1. Analyze your competition
Picasso once said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal."
And the first secret to logo design is, few are 100% original. Even professional designers search for inspiration and commonly used design strategies when creating a logo.
So, ask yourself, what my competitors are doing?
You can bet your bottom dollar the successful ones have put a lot of research and effort into designing their logo, and most have paid a pro to do it for them.
Are there any common trends?
Look for any recurring details such as colors, fonts, and logotypes. If you find any, your competitors use them for a good reason; they're proven psychological techniques that work in your marketplace.
By researching your competitor's design strategies, you'll find the core elements required for your logo. Ones that'll engage and connect with your target audience, and you won't have to pay thousands of dollars to do it.
Don't just copy, innovate:
You shouldn't directly copy your competitor's logos. The idea is to create a design portfolio from which you can design a unique logo.
But great logos need a story; I'll explain next:
Secret # 2. Tell a story to convey a feeling
A great logo tells a story that conveys a feeling that connects with people on an emotional level.
They're a visual version of your brand's identity and must be designed with a context in mind, in other words, where and how you'll be using it.
Consider the following:
- What digital platforms will you use it on?
- Which products will it be applied to?
- And how will you use it in marketing?
When you have these answers, you can begin choosing design elements that'll meet your needs.
How to find inspiration for your story:
Think of your brand's story in a visual context. Are there certain feelings you want your logo to convey, a particular message you'd like viewers to pick up on?
Do any pictures come to mind?
If not, get your visual juices flowing by answering these questions:
- Which icons would suit your brand's qualities and identity?
- What words best describe your brand?
- Are they easy-going or formal?
- Which font style fits those words, modern or traditional?What colors would convey your message, bright and playful or dark and mysterious?
Can you use a visual pun or wordplay to describe who you are and offer?
Starbucks used the fictional character "Pequod" from "Moby Dick" as their icon to tell their story. Helping create an atmosphere where people can sit, read, and discuss literature, all while sipping a latte.
Secret #3. Now focus on your target audience
Do you know who your target audience is?
Because that's who you're designing your logo for.
Big brands design their logos for a small percentage of society, their target market. Ensuring their visual identity is highly focused on that target, so it connects with its audience.
And you can do the same by choosing design elements that suit your story, message, and tone and are built around your target audience's demographics.
Your target audience is those who need your product or service and are proven to pay for it.
They're a specific part of society, determined by the following demographics:
- Family status
- Other social factors
When you know your target audience, you'll be a step closer to designing a logo that'll connect and engage with them every time.
Secret # 4. Always prioritize simplicity
When first designing a logo, it's easy to become overwhelmed.
You'll be thinking about what logo type to use, colors, fonts, and icons. And when that happens, things get complicated.
Designers avoid this by keeping things simple. It's a core design rule that works by "only doing one trick"!
In other words, try to achieve one thing with your logo because it enables you to prioritize simplicity.
And it's the simplest logos that stand out the most.
Twitter, Facebook, McDonald's, and Nike are all simple in design, and that's what makes them so engaging and memorable.
But they all have one other thing in common, versatility.
Secret # 5. Ensure your logos are scalable.
If you don't get this one right, your logo will never work as you need it to.
How your logo looks on your website header, social media avatars, a gravatar, posts, business cards, and promotional materials depends upon its versatility.
In other words, it's the ability to scale to any size without losing clarity.
The best logos work on any background and in numerous sizes and in both digital and traditional branding.
Here's where simplicity and the correct format come into play.
And the less that's going on in your logo, the easier it'll be to scale, but the file type is equally important.
Make sure you create a vector file for your logo to ensure the highest resolution quality. And once designed, test it in numerous scales to assess the clarity, as the better it is at scaling, the more identifiable and memorable it'll be.
Secret # 6. Avoid generic typefaces
Another excellent design strategy that pros use is to avoid common typefaces.
This might sound too simplistic to be a design secret, but if you take a closer look at successful logos, you'll notice they're all in on it.
Using unique typography is an effortless way to ensure your brand looks professional and stands out from the crowd.
You can use the answers you got from your brand story to help determine what font style suits your logo, and of course, your target audience.
And be careful not to stray too far from either by being overly original to a point where it fails to connect.
Examples of overused fonts are:
- Comic Sans
- Times New Roman
Secret # 7. Create visual salience with a pop of color
Color has long been one of the most valuable tools in the pro designer's toolbox, and that's especially true for logos.
Because color is what catches our attention, in design, it's known as "visual salience." While the term might sound advanced, it's an easy trick to pull off.
Visual salience is what jumps or pops from the page and screen. And all you do to create it is add a pop of color to your logo.
Amazon's logo is an example of visual salience at work. The wordmark logo is pretty simple, and a little dull, but a pop of orange in the shape of a smile elevates it to a higher level.
Secret # 8. Use Logo Design Tools for Inspiration
I've left this one until last because it works best after you've played about with the last seven logo design secrets.
Logo design tools are fountains of inspiration because not only can you create a logo in minutes for an affordable price. They're packed full of proven design strategies for every potential market.
Since these tools are usually free to use; they can be a great source for inspiration. After answering some industry-related questions you will be given numerous versions of logos, which you can play around with, changing the logo style, colors, and fonts.
When you're happy with the result, you can either purchase the logo or use it for inspiration.
The brand logo design is one of the most important element of brand imagery that your audience will recognize. If you want to sell your logo templates read our article on how to make money as a graphic designer online.
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