• 5 Tips For Better Logos

    When designing a logo, it’s important to consider the function it serves: while attractiveness is important, it certainly isn’t everything. A logo must accurately represent a company whilst taking brand values, image, history and target audience into account. Keeping all these things in mind at once can be difficult for any student. Here are five tips to get you designing better logos in no time:

    1. Keep it simple

    Think of the Nike, Apple or McDonald’s logo. They’re all bold, and they’re all clean. You’d recognise them anywhere. Stripped-back logos are timeless and will always been in fashion, so you will never have to worry about your company seeming dated. Not only that, but simple logos are far more memorable, so it’s easier for people to associate the logo with the company.

    2. Be careful with colours

    It needs to look as good in black and white as it does in colour, as that’s how it’s likely to appear on official documents and even, sometimes, in print. Colourful and fussy typefaces can also look dated pretty quickly — pastels, neons, and flowery fonts may enjoy the occasional peak in popularity, but when they’re not in fashion, they will reflect poorly on your business.

    3. Stick with it

    ‘Go for a permanent example and avoid changing it just to match the changing trends,’ suggests designer Steve Sims. You need something that’s always fashionable so you won’t feel the need to keep updating it. If you’re ready to launch your company, but haven’t settled on a logo, a simple text-based one (think Facebook) will work fine. It’s better to start with no design, and add one later, than start with a bad one and replace it.

    4. Keep it versatile

    Your logo is likely to appear everywhere, as a letter-head, in print, and possibly even on TV. Consequently, the size needs to be easy to adjust, so make sure you design it as a vector image so it doesn’t become pixelated or distorted when you make it bigger. Using only one colour is better than using several, as, if you wish to diversify later on, you can (for example, Nike’s  is not always black).

    5. Learn from others

    As a designer, you should really be keeping a scrapbook of all your favourite examples— and it wouldn’t hurt to keep track of the worst ones you find, either. A bad example can teach you just as much as a good one. You’ll probably find that the worst ones are the most complicated or busy, and the most effective are clean, uncluttered and simple. If a company name is more than two words long, use the initials — it’s more memorable, and looks less messy.

    And you can learn from yourself, too. Even if you don’t end up using a design, keep it — you may be able to recycle parts of it later on, and at the very least, you can learn from your own mistakes and use them to help you do better in future.

    Sam Wright is a freelance writer. He is currently working for Brand Republic.