Define your visual identity with a standout logo
You’ve got a great idea for a business, blog, or brand, but you need that all-important visual element.
Having a beautiful look and feel makes all the difference — there’s a reason why people across the globe recognise the Apple brand.
A striking icon, a delicate colour mix, an impactful font — making a logo speaks volumes about who you are and what you’re about.
In fact, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your business.
Having a logo is important because it visually represents your brand and over time can make you instantly recognisable to customers. Everyone can draw the Nike swoosh logo from memory, right? Check out Branded in Memory’s fascinating experiment on how over 80% of customers recall brand logo colours.
You will need to start with a static image to create it from, however, so now we’ll walk you through the different options to help you make a logo.
Hire a graphic designer or professional logo maker
If you’re not exactly Picasso, don’t stress. You can have your logo designed for you, even if you haven’t got a lot of money to spare.
Did you know that Twitter, for example, paid just $15 for their iconic blue bird logo?
Cheap options are to hire a graphic designer on sites like Upwork, People Per Hour, or Fiverr. In any of those places you can source relatively cheap designers from all over the world, and they can design your logo and send it back to you in a short space of time.
You mostly get what you pay for, though, so if you’d like a higher standard of design (and are willing to pay), check portfolio sites such as Dribbble and Behance. You’ll be able to see the particular style of artwork the designer has produced in the past and will therefore be able to choose a ‘look’ that will suit your brand.
To get a range of options for your logo, you could also consider a site like 99designs. Here, you can submit a brief and get a number of submissions from designers, and you can then just choose the best one.
How to make a logo yourself
What about DIY? You can, of course, make the logo yourself. There’s a few ways you can do this, but bear in mind it might take a while and might not end up looking that professional.
Traditional desktop graphic design software
But this could be expensive (they’re not cheap) and there’s a steep learning curve. If you aren’t particularly creative and don’t want to spend time figuring out layers and gradients, then buying the software definitely isn’t the best route.
Best online logo makers
Fortunately, there’s a ton of online DIY logo makers that are virtually cost-free. These offer pre-designed templates, so you’ll just be picking the colours and fonts, and perhaps tweaking some graphic elements within the logo.
The downside is you might not end up with a logo that’s totally unique to your company — someone else out there might have chosen the same template as you.
You could even try out Looka, formerly LogoJoy, which uses a mix of pre-made templates and automation to design a unique logo.
Refreshing your logo
If your logo is going through a brand refresh, keep in mind your current customers’ expectations when it comes to re-making your logo.
If you have a loyal following, it’s easy to get it wrong by switching up too many elements.
For example, when clothing retailer Gap attempted to refresh its logo back in 2010, the backlash from the public was intense.
One Harvard Business Review journalist described it as ‘like something my pet hamster could cook up in PowerPoint.’
Here’s a few crucial design tips to ensure you win praise rather than bad press from your prospective or existing customers:
Logo design tips
Keep it simple: Think of Apple, Nike, Microsoft — all the best logos have minimal colours (between 1 - 3) and are very clear. Make the font easy to read: Can you see the font easily from a distance? Is it readable? Some handwriting or cursive scripts can be hard to read.
Choose a font that matches your brand: You know, such as avoiding ones like Comic Sans (unless you’re seven years old and running a lemonade stand). Fonts represent personality, so try out a number of different ones to see what fits. Simple and stylish works best. Check out any of the big brands and you’ll see they don’t go in for anything too garish or decorative.
Use icons wisely: Do icons represent your product or service accurately? Think of giants like HSBC and Audi, and how their logos reflect what they offer. Shapes in logos aren’t used by chance, there’s often a psychological reason.
Choose the right colours: Colours can convey emotions, so work out what kind of image you’re trying to project. Warm colors like red, orange, and pink can be seen as friendly and passionate, while a cool color like blue is more associated with being competent and businesslike. It’s worth reading our article on colour theory to learn which colours might go well together and which may clash.
Create a greyscale version: Your logo is likely to go on business cards, emails or even t-shirts, and might need to be used in black and white formats. Make sure you create a greyscale version in addition to your color logo.
Make sure it’s legible: This may go without saying, but you may need your logo in a huge variety of sizes, from a tiny web favicon to a huge wall poster or banner stand. Ensure it still looks good in any size.
Think about how it could animate: You’re probably going to create a video or GIF for your brand or business, so you’ll need an animated video logo or ident. Check out our article on how to make a great moving logo with Biteable.
Keeping these tips in mind will make sure you have a standout logo that’s instantly recognisable to the customers who’ll flock to you for years to come.