After designing hundreds of logos for clients, I've seen the process of taking a client's ideas, creating a logo, and then seeing it go on their website, flyers, and signage.
The more your business grows, the more you will be using your logo on just about everything. So getting the logo design process wrong early in your business' growth can end up being a huge, costly mistake.
Here are some important principles to think about when getting your logo designed:
1. Your logo should form a rough rectangular shape.
This one is important, because it determines how your logo will be printed onto spaces. Most signage, or clothing tags, or social media images require a square or rectangular space. If your logo is an awkward shape, it will take up unnecessary white space that will cause your logo to appear small and unevenly placed. The close to a square or rectangular shape your logo can be, the more places it will be able to fit into nicely.
2. Your logo should not be too thin.
This is important for signage, printing, and even web use. An ultra thin logo, or details that are very thin, will not translate well in a variety of print and digital settings. It's typically better to err on the side of thick, but elegance can often be part of a brand. So default on the side of medium to thick fonts when possible.
3. Your logo should be as simple as possible.
This also has to do with the practicality of printing your logo down the road. If you print your logo on clothing, or signage, or other physical materials, the more complex your logo is, the more difficult and expensive it will be to print your logo. I've seen this costly mistake before with clients who really wanted an intricate logo, only to find later that the pattern makers, printers, and signage manufacturers could not replicate the design without extensive testing and expenses. The take away here is that you do not need a fancy, complex logo. Simple, in almost every aspect, is better.
4. Your logo does not need to have color.
These days, I have a lot of clients who really appreciate the minimalist aesthetic that so many companies use. Black, grey and white tend to be favorites, even when choosing car colors, smart phones, or home decor. The same should go for your logo. The more monochrome your logo is, the more likely you'll be able to pair it with branding you do down the road. Often times, color trends come and go very quickly. In some seasons, Navy and Turquoise are popular. In others, a ruby red or forest green is popular. But the classics of black, white, grey and gold never go out of style. Stick with a color that works, and go with a more neutral option.
5. Your logo does not need to have an "icon" or picture associated with it.
While it is nice to have some kind of icon or graphic associated with your logo, it's really not necessary. There are only a few iconic brands who have "icons" that are culturally recognizable, like Target, Apple and Starbucks. But even brands like Walmart, which uses a yellow starburst icon, is not culturally recognizable. But the company name is. The most important aspect of your logo is your brand name, not the icon. So instead of trying to develop a fancy icon for your busy, focus on a brand name that is easy to say, spell and remember. That is far more important.