Whether you’re redesigning an existing logo or creating one for a brand new business, navigating the complex world of graphic design isn’t necessarily easy.
From colors and fonts to imagery and abstract shapes, switching your brain from business to designer is a lot harder than it sounds, especially for something as iconic yet as important as your business logo.
To help you out, this article covers what to include in your logo, my top logo design tips, tricks, and best practices, as well as several platforms you can use to DIY your new logo, and how to hire a professional logo designer.
Regardless of your budget, you’ll have a brand new logo by the end. So, let’s get started!
What Should You Include in Your Logo?
Your logo should be an immediate identifier for your business. Over time, the logo you design today becomes synonymous with your business. So, it’s important to carefully consider what your logo looks like.
And, whether you’re starting a new business or rebranding an existing one, it must live up to your expectations (and the expectations of your customers or clients). So, rather than defining a rigid set of design elements you should include, let’s talk about what a logo should do.
1. Indirectly Convey What Your Business Does
Great logos indicate what a business does in a non-discrete, indirect way. It certainly shouldn’t be overtly obvious, but it should give some type of indication as to what you do and who you help. This could mean:
- Using an icon relevant to your industry
- Choosing an appropriate color scheme
- Picking a style that resonates with your target audience
- Incorporating your company values and story
Regardless of how you do it, make sure your logo matches the expectations your target audience has and reflects the type of business you’re designing it for.
2. Your Business Name
For most businesses, especially small and new businesses, your business name encompasses your entire business and is usually an essential part of your brand. So, it’s important to use it in your logo.
There are plenty of exceptions to this, but for most new or small businesses, including your business name is a smart idea. It helps your target audience create a color, brand, and image connection (if you use these elements in your logo) to your business and what you do.
3. Appropriate Colors
Signature colors can help increase your brand recognition by up to 80%. So, it’s important to choose a color scheme that’s appropriate for your target audience and the type of emotions you want them to associate with your business.
Think about the jewelry brand, Tiffany & Co. That signature color immediately pops into your head. And you probably associate it with words like… luxury and elegance, right? That color recognition and emotional association don’t happen on accident.
They’re a part of the Tiffany & Co brand by design.
So, consider the feelings your target audience has regarding specific colors and make a smart choice in your logo based on the emotions you want them to associate with your business.
86% of consumers say that brand authenticity plays a vital role in deciding which brands to support. So, regardless of everything else on this list, make sure your logo is authentic and true to your business.
If something feels forced or fake, don’t include it. If you’re worried it may not come across as you want it to, reconsider your choices. Maybe it doesn’t seem to match the tone and vibe of your business.
Keep experimenting until you feel confident in your final design.
Logo Design Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices
Now you know what your logo should do. Now let’s talk about actual design practices, tips, and tricks you can use while going through the process of designing your new logo.
Let’s dive in!
1. Consider Your Target Audience
We talked about this a bit already, but it’s essential, so we’re going to talk about it again. Something to keep in mind when designing your logo is that you’re not designing it to satisfy yourself. You’re actually designing it for your target audience.
So, as you go through the process, review everything through the lens of someone in your target market, and try to remove any bias you may have.
Consider what they enjoy and the emotions you want them to feel. Then, make sure your logo matches that tone and style. Lastly, regardless of everything else, keep them in mind as you finalize your design.
2. Keep Things Simple
It’s easy to look at other logos as inspiration and get a severe case of shiny object syndrome. After seeing all the awesome possibilities, you may want to incorporate them into your logo designs.
It’s all too easy to overthink and overdesign, so try to keep things simple, especially if your business is brand new. As your business grows, you can update your logo and overall branding if you want to. And, simple logos are easier on the eyes, and they’re easier to remember.
So, don’t overcomplicate your design and keep everything as simple and clear as possible.
3. Avoid Using Too Many Colors
This kind of ties in with number two, but using too many colors can be (and usually is) really distracting and hard on the eyes. So, I suggest sticking with 1 – 3 colors that match your company branding, so everything is consistent, simple, and easy to see.
You should also avoid using light colors on a light background or dark colors on a dark background. Or overly bright colors. All of these are particularly hard to read, and they may not even show up on some computers, depending on their capabilities and color settings.
So, it’s best to just avoid it altogether by using a few colors that are easy to see.
4. Use an Easy-to-Read Font
There are thousands of cool fonts out there to choose from. However, some of them aren’t easy to read (like some script and handwritten fonts). This creates a confusing experience for your audience because they can’t immediately tell what it says.
Instead of focusing on what you can do for them, they’re going to focus on trying to read your logo. So, it’s best to avoid this confusion by sticking to a font that’s legible even when it’s displayed on a small scale.
5. Make it Unique and Memorable
While it’s okay to look at other logos for inspiration, it’s not okay to use anything you see in your own designs. Many logos are trademarked so you can actually get in legal trouble even if you accidentally design something similar to what someone else is using.
So, stick to something original and memorable that is entirely different from anything else you see out there. This also helps with immediate brand recognition, too.
People should be able to easily remember your logo, so keep it simple and focus on creating a design that’s authentic and true to your brand… and your brand alone.
6. Think About Where You’re Going to Use It
Your logo should look good and be legible in different sizes. So, consider where you’re going to use it and how big (or small) it’s going to appear across different mediums. You’ll probably use it on:
- Your website
- Business cards
- Social media
- Your products (if you sell things)
- And other marketing material
So while the overall design is important, it’s also essential to make sure it looks good displayed at different sizes. You can also create a simplified version or other variations of your logo to use in different ways.
2x Ways to Design Your Logo
So far, we talked about what your logo should do and logo design best practices, tips, and tricks for designing a good logo. Now, it’s time to talk about actually creating it.
You have a few options. If you’re on a tight budget and want something simple, you can DIY your logo for free using several different platforms. Or, you can hire a designer if you’re not interested in creating one yourself.
1. DIYing Your Business Logo
There are countless easy-to-use platforms you can use to design a logo for free, which is great news for anyone on a budget. Plus, most of them offer various templates and guides you can use to help you get started.
We’re going to go over three of the easiest platforms you can use to DIY your logo in just a few minutes with no design experience required. Let’s dive in!
Canva — Free (With a 30-Day Free Trial)
Canva is a drag-and-drop web-based design tool you can use to design anything you can imagine. It’s easy to use, and they have a very robust free plan (and a 30-day free trial for their Pro plan), so you don’t have to pay anything to design your logo.
To get started, head to Canva’s Logo Maker. Then, enter your business name.
After that, you can choose your industry and choose up to five of your favorite logos so their AI tool can get a better understanding of the style you’re after. Then, you can start using their free logo templates or create your own.
You can change the colors of everything, the fonts, the sizing, and the icons as well. So, you have complete design control and countless free templates to help get you started designing the perfect logo for your business.
Note: If you want to save your logo with a transparent background, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Canva Pro (just don’t forget to cancel before your 30 days is up).
VistaPrint — $20 per Design
VistaPrint is a digital printing company that lets you print your designs on virtually anything you want to. It also includes a drag-and-drop design tool you can use to create your designs and design a logo.
However, with VistaPrint’s logo maker, you have to pay $20 to download a digital version of your designs. You can print your designs on anything you want (like business cards, for example), but there’s no way around paying for the digital file.
To get started, head to VistaPrint’s Logo Maker. From there, you can look through their pre-made templates or search for an icon using the first field that says “Search icons”. Then, enter your business name.
After you find a design you like, click on it to open up the design editor. From there, you can move things around, change the fonts and colors, and save your final design. You can also save different variations to see which one is the best.
Furthermore, you can add new text blocks or new icons and delete anything you don’t want within the drag-and-drop editor. But, keep in mind it’s $20 to download a digital version of your design.
Looka — $65 for Unlimited Changes
Looka is an AI-powered brand design platform that uses your design preferences and business name to create a set of templates you can use as a basis for your new logo. You can also use it to design your website and create business cards.
To get started, head to Looka’s LogoLooka – Logo Maker. Then, enter your business name and click “Let’s make a logo”. After that, you can let the software know what your business does so it can curate a list of relevant templates you can use.
From there, you can pick five or more of your favorite logos and up to three colors you want to use in your logo design. Then, you can choose the types of symbols and icons you wish to use. After that, the AI-powered software develops several different logos for your business.
From there, click on your favorite design to start customizing it.
In the drag-and-drop editor, you can change the background, icon, fonts, layout, colors, and more. You can also look at several different mockups of your logo in different situations, so you know how it looks in various sizes and mediums.
When you’re happy with the design, you can buy a low-resolution version for $20 or a high-resolution and transparent version for $65. With your $65 purchase, you can make unlimited changes and download the digital file in various formats and sizes.
2. Hiring a Pro Logo Designer
If your budget allows for custom design, you can easily hire a designer for a professional, high-quality business logo. If you’re struggling DIYing your logo, this may be a smart choice to save you time and give you something you’re happy with.
There are several ways to go about finding a designer, but we’re going to go through some of the easiest and most affordable options. So, let’s get started!
Hire a Local Designer
Regardless of where you live, odds are there are several local designers who’re interested in working with you to design an awesome logo for your business. You can scout out some of your best options by searching “local logo designer” or “local design company” on Google.
If that doesn’t work, try using the name of your city instead. Furthermore, you may know someone with graphic design experience who can help you out at a more affordable price point. This is an excellent option if you have a tight budget or have never worked with a designer before.
You can also turn to social media and ask your existing network if they have any recommendations as well.
Fiverr — $5 – $100+
Fiverr is a marketplace for all different types of business services. They have an internal network of freelancers and independent contractors ready to get to work on your next project. The name comes from the fact that many of these services start at $5.
Freelancers place their services up for sale on Fiverr, and you can decide if you want to buy those services. So, you get to choose your designer, and you can choose how much you can afford to pay that designer for their work upfront.
To get started, head to Fiverr.com. Then, search for “logo design”. From there, you can see a list of available designers and how much they charge. Furthermore, you can also see their past work and overall ratings.
You have several filtering options to narrow down the number of designers to choose from, like your budget and delivery time. Once you choose a designer, you can look through the different service packages they offer.
Choose a package and hit continue to buy their service and get in touch with them about what happens next. After you pay, they’ll get started designing your new logo for you.
99 Designs — $299+
With 99 Designs, the process flows in the other direction. You start by creating a brief for the design work you need completing (in this case, a logo). From there, you can either hire a specific designer or host a design contest.
If you have a good idea of what you want, it’s best to hire a specific designer. However, if you’re open to exploring your options and don’t have a set style, you can create a contest to see what their design community comes up with.
Their logo design services start at $299.To get started, head to 99 Design’s logo design page. From there, you can create your brief or learn more about how the process works. You can also look at finished logos their design community created in the past.
If you’re ready to roll, click “I need a logo” and follow their prompts to create your design brief. After that, their design community will get to work, creating the perfect logo for your business.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Business Logo
If you decide to DIY your business logo, be sure to follow the best practices and tips included above and aim for authenticity. And if you decide to hire a designer, stick to your budget and take the time to find the perfect match for the style you’re looking for.
Either way, make sure you’re happy with the result and feel confident your target audience will be as well. Because at the end of the day, your branding (logo included) is for them… and not you.
Lastly, congrats on your brand new logo!