The logo is an integral part of a business identity, whether the business is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. Your logo represents you, your story, and your service. How you design it may make you memorable — or forgettable.
And of course, we don’t just want to be remembered: we want to be top of mind.
How important is a logo to your brand?
As bloggers or freelancers, sometimes it’s hard for us to picture ourselves as businessmen or as entrepreneurs. Some or most of us may have been raised to think we should study well to find a good job. Some or most of us may have been downplayed for being creative instead of being academic achievers.
But it’s a different playing field today, what with the pandemic, the lockdown, and the fact that — until a vaccine is made available — our safest bet to stay alive is to stay home.
All of a sudden, it no longer matters as much where you studied but the skills that you have, especially when it comes to digital. And then there’s the soft skills: time management, project management, calmness, integrity, and adversity quotient.
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Well, dear blogger and freelancer, you are now your own brand. Whether it’s for you or a client, it pays to know how to design your own logo. It helps set you apart. It helps clients identify you. It helps people want to know more about you and your business.
Arielle Kimbarovsky writes on crowdspring.com that your logo is “the visual cornerstone of your brand” that will help your company “stand out in a crowded marketplace.” She is very much against playing it safe with your logo design. She says “memorable logos are 13% more likely to get consumers (sic) attention.”
First thing to remember when learning how to design a logo? Don’t go generic. Set your creativity free!
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How to design a logo: 5 things to keep in mind
There are hundreds upon hundreds of tips out there from different graphics artists, design experts, and brand professionals on what must go into your logo design process. We will simplify it for you. Remember that designing your logo is a journey in itself that you also need to enjoy.
So take these pointers but don’t forget to have fun!
#1 – Take into account your or your client’s (hi)story
A logo can be a conversation starter, and that conversation can revolve around how the business began. A classic example is the McDonald’s logo, the two arches, that is based on the design of the first McDonald’s outlets.
#2 – Consider your or your client’s service
What does the company offer and how can you put that into your logo? It could either be an obvious part of the design (if not the actual design itself) or it could be an “Easter egg” that people have to find, sort of a secret hiding in plain sight, like the arrow in the FedEx logo (check the gap between the “E” and “x”).
#3 – Research and understand the psychology of color
Designhill.com suggests designing your logo first in black and white. This is because there will be many instances where your logo will appear in black and white, such as in newspaper ads, photocopies, and more. How will it look? Will it have the same strong impact and memorability that you want?
But then, once you are ready to place your logo on different surfaces, materials, or items — from stationery to pens to shirts to mugs — you would have to consider color. There is such a thing as color psychology, and it is a big factor to consider in branding and marketing.
For a quick overview, here is a color wheel from Quality Logo Products. How does each color resonate with your brand? It’s up to you.
#4 – Keep it simple
The concept of “understated elegance” applies not only to how we dress or design our space but also in our logo. You do not want it to be too complicated that there might be too many interpretations of it for comfort. Worse, it could fail altogether in representing your brand (and we do not want that!).
#5 – Think of typography
I was recently a part of building a startup business, and it meant designing the brand story, including the creation of its logo. We decided to go for two types of logos: the short one with its initials, and the long one where the business’ entire name is spelled out. Choosing the font was quite exciting, because when you see it applied, you feel its effect — and there are no words to explain it.
The journey of designing a logo may be long and winding. Or you may opt to uncomplicate it by deciding to enjoy the journey. Think of how the Apple logo has transformed from 1976 to now and you’ll see what we mean.
Your logo design does not have to be the end-all and be-all. To quote “High School Musical,” it could be “the start of something new.”
Author: Kai Magsanoc
Kai Magsanoc is a lifestyle and celebrity journalist and erstwhile fashion stylist. She began her career as managing editor of glossies and contributor to broadsheets. Kai was the first Life & Style and Entertainment editor of Rappler and the last Lifestyle and Celebrity Editor of Yahoo Philippines. Kai is an animal rescue and adoption advocate, aspiring life coach and farmer.