Logo design can be intimidating. From conducting competitive research to selecting colors, fonts, and shapes, there’s a lot to decide. To help you through the process — and create a standout identity for your business — we asked 16 branding experts for their best logo design tips. Read on for inspiration!
1. Be distinct and timeless.
“A brand is not a logo. It is the emotional and collective space your organization holds within your audience’s mind. The logo is merely a spoke in a larger wheel and acts as a springboard to a larger brand story and richer brand experience.
There are four key qualities to a great logo:
- Simple: Great logos are iconic, timeless and the hub from which your other brand elements are built from.
- Relevant: It isn’t the logo doing all the legwork — it is the images, ideas, color, type, and expression of that logo and with the logo that becomes the associations in your audience’s mind.
- Memorable: All great logos are instantly recognizable and memorable.
- Scalable: The best logos are easily scalable, meaning they look great no matter their size.”
2. Make it work.
“For me, a logo is “great” when it works: we designers are not artists, we don’t have to create something beautiful, but we have to design logos that work. Those are memorable, recognizable, functional to the project: these for me are the characteristics that make a logo great.”
– Pierpaolo Chiaravalloti, Head of Branding at Desircle
3. Focus on your target audience.
“The best branding connects to the most specific target market possible — not everyone. A highly focused visual directed at that target will connect the brand to the audience.
The message, channel, and tone should all be based on traits of the best target demographic for that business. Focus on who you’re attracting, not your own personal style or taste. Take yourself out of the design.”
– Kyle Golding, CEO & Chief Strategic Idealist, The Golding Group
4. Tell a story, convey a feeling.
“The best logos tell a story and convey a feeling. Whenever we develop an identity, we start with deep discovery and brand positioning, and our identity work is rooted in that strategy work. We also make sure that we develop logos with context in mind: where will it live?
What products will it need to be applied to? How will the client use it? It means the finished product is never a surprise to the client and feels like the living, visual version of their brand story.”
– Amanda Lee Smith, Partner at Monday creative
5. Get a second (or third) opinion.
“When you’re in the process of creating a logo, it’s possible that you may miss some important details. Always have a second pair of eyes to identify things that you might have overlooked.
Once you have your logo design concept, always make the time to check if there are any hidden words, meanings, or even cultural misunderstandings. You don’t want to end up in someone’s ‘logo fails’ list. Try to find people (preferably from your industry) and ask them for feedback.”
– Ivan Spasojevic, Marketer, Ucraft
6. Spark a conversation.
“A good logo has to have something for those who see and those who look.
In other words: It must respond to the most basic of needs like recognizability, and the interpretation of the simple idea attached to the product, or venture, it represents. But there’s another level to those who actually look at things. There has to be visual poetry— it must spark conversations and stories.”
– Pablo Juncadella, Design Director at Mucho
7. Create a positive perception.
“A good logo needs to give a strong impression of what your company is about, it needs to create a positive perception of your company’s purpose quickly to your target audience.
A good logo should also be extendable, it needs to easily apply to any and all touchpoints of your brand, content, website, social, email, packaging etc.”
– Dain Walker, Founder, and CEO of Victory Front
8. Avoid generic typefaces.
“If I had to provide a single most important tip in designing a logo, it would be to avoid common typefaces.
While this may be obvious to most designers, it’s not apparent to many companies and organizations. Unique typography in logo design is an extremely simple way to look professional.”
– Erik Pitzer, Graphic Designer, Illumine8 Marketing & PR
9. Make it easy on the eye.
“Great logo design is all about simplicity. It needs to be memorable and still be easy on the eye. It needs to tell the viewer in a single image what your company, business, or service is all about.”
– Gaby Salazar and Alex Roman, Owners at Menta Picante
10. Prioritize simplicity over all else.
“The designer behind the famed Twitter bird icon once told me his core rule for logo design: ‘Only do one trick.’ I love this focused approach, as it forces you to prioritize simplicity and not over-design.
Some of the smartest businesses these days are those with the simplest solution to solving a problem, and this philosophy carries through to branding.”
– Leif Abraham, CEO & Co-Founder, AND CO
11. Make your logo scalable.
“Your logo should communicate your brand’s personality, values, and tone through its style, concept, and color choices. With that in mind, something that often gets overlooked is how it will scale.
Ensure your logo is a vector of the highest resolution quality and is able to scale and be easily identifiable and memorable.”
– Christine Lieu, Founder at CL Designs
12. Be authentic.
“Your logo should be capable of reflecting the values of your company, product, or service. You are the brand, you are the source of the authenticity, and the logo’s job is to be a vessel for delivering those qualities to your public.
The logo is not what makes the company; in many ways, the company makes the logo. The Nike logo is nothing more than a checkmark unless it’s connected to the quality, stories, and marketing of Nike the company.”
– David Langton, President, Langton Creative Group, Ltd.
13. Stand out with color.
“Firstly, it’s essential to know who your competitors are. That way you can gauge what colors and typefaces are currently being used.
Color is one of the most identifiable components of a visual identity, so if no competitors are using a specific color that’s relevant to your brand, it’s a color you can own as a business, which immediately allows you to stand out from the crowd with little effort.
Being aware of competitors’ logos also ensures you select a typeface that’s not being used in the market. Just make sure that the chosen font has the correct associations to your business and brand — don’t be different for the sake of being different.”
– Ian Paget, Founder, Logo Geek
14. Analyze your competition.
“The biggest question I ask myself when critiquing logos is ‘What’s the competition doing?’ A lot of detail, research, and effort go into logo design, and every single one of your competitors (at least those with established brands) has already gone through the process.
Are there any common fonts or colors? Is everyone trying to give off a similar impression, and if so, what is it?
Businesses will pour tens of thousands of dollars into a design, and still end up with a logo that doesn’t represent themselves or their industry well.
Use your competitors’ decisions as a set of checks and balances to help you make better decisions (and likely save bundles in the process).”
– Kenneth Burke, Marketing Director, Text Request
15. Make it memorable.
“As your company starts to grow, your brand will become one of the most valuable elements of your business. You have to create a story from the beginning that you can scale and that your first few clients will still remember.
There are of course many more components of a logo, but making it memorable is by far the most important thing. It’s what identifies you as a business and keeps you relevant.”
– Andres Tovar, Chief Commercial Officer, Noetic Marketer
16. Make your logo your flag.
“If ‘design is the silent ambassador of your brand’ as the incomparable Paul Rand said, then your logo is the flag they are waving.
A great logo has the power to communicate your unique brand belief, separate you from the competition, and rally your tribe.”
– Damin Sterling, Senior Designer, BLVR
Start designing your logo!
We hope these logo design tips helped you in your branding process. Check out our complete guide on how to design a logo so you can create a logo you’re proud of.