5 Things You Need to Know Before Designing a Logo

In today’s world of technology where you can create a logo quickly on Canva, purchase a “custom” one off Etsy, or pay $5 for one on Fiverr, it’s easy to think you’re getting a quality logo for super cheap. But for some, that may not be the case…

I can’t tell you the amount of people who have come up to me asking for me to redo their logo cause they were unhappy with the product they received through a cheaper services. Even though I wholeheartedly recommend hiring a designer, I understand that not everyone has hundreds to invest up front for a good logo design. Some of you may even want to try your hand at designing your own!

So to help you before you make the plunge, here are the top 5 things that make up a killer kick-ass logo.

1. Typography

Typography can make or break a logo. With literally thousands of fonts out there in the world, it can be hard to narrow it down for your design. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Only use 2 fonts in your logo, max 3, but really try to stick with 2.
  • Use fonts that compliment each other. You can use this site for inspiration.
  • Use a font that is also web ready, this way you can match the branding on your website. I use TypeKit, Google Fonts, and Font Squirrel to pick out my fonts. The only time this wont work is if you hire a custom calligrapher for a script logo.
  • Not sure what type of font to go forĀ  Here’s a super quick breakdown: Sans-Serif fonts are good for modern simple logos. Serif ones are good for classic, timeless, romantic feels. Slab fonts are good for tech & trendy looks. Script is often more feminine, however used in the right way can also be good for hipster trendy logos. Below are some of my favorites.

Here’s an awesome graphic & awesome blog on typography!!!

2. Colors

Colors can help move your story in the right direction. It’s important to choose colors that match your mission. Try to avoid using more than 3 colors within a logo. You can also try out gradients, but make sure they are soft, subtle, and adding just the slightest depth to it. You don’t want to overdo it. The important thing is to make sure those colors work well together. I use Colour Lovers?whenever I’m looking for palettes that flow.

Another great resource for learning and researching what colors to use is the new Color Tool from Canva . Seriously, look at how cool this!!!! You put in a color, pick from your options, and it brings you to a page with more details!

3. A Great Logo Can Be Legible in One Color

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make. I ALWAYS design in black first & add color later. If it doesn’t work in black, it wont work with any choice of color. Designing in black makes sure that it can stand out on it’s own; Color is secondary. That’s why a lot of watercolor logos don’t work unless a) it’s a watercolor script no splash background to it b) the text is cut out of the watercolor splash. This beautiful logo by B is for Bonnie Design is a perfect example of what TO DO if you want a watercolor look & feel.

4. It can be Scalable

A great logo not only looks good large, but it can legible even at a small size. If the logo has too many elements or it’s too complex in design, it can get lost when scaled down. It’s very important to be scalable for when it’s time to put your logo on products like business cards, letterheads, brochures, shirts, and more.

Here’s a perfect example from Allebasi Design!?

5. Keep it Simple

I cannot emphasize this enough. That’s great if you love arrows, feathers, gold foil, your home state & photography. You know what’s not great? Putting it ALL in one logo. Just because you want the logo to be a representation of you or your business doesn’t mean it has to have ALL the elements to it.

Before you begin, write down the purpose of your business. Then start thinking of words that relate or represent that mission. Keep it Simple, Stupid. Don’t overthink it.

Also make sure to double check that your logo doesn’t have a double meaning….like these below.

In the end, if you are unsure about the design, ask for some feedback from friends and family. Do they understand what the logo is for? Is it representative of who you are or your business? Could it work across all platforms including web, social media, and print? Will people remember it ?

If you have any other advice to give or perhaps questions to ask, leave it in the comments below!




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