What makes a good logo?

How do I make a great logo?

What actually makes a good logo? It’s a difficult question with no real definitive answer.

But with over 8 years experience in the print and design industry, I have spent a good amount of time working on logo designs for clients.

I’ll be honest, some of which are not that great but I have progressively got better as my career as progress. So I thought today, why not, I will pass on what I have learnt over the past 8 years and hopefully it will help you create a great logo.

Keep It Simple.

Think of all the big names, businesses like FedEx, Amazon, Apple and UPS. They are all super clean and simple. They do not shout about what they do. They don’t have super detailed illustrations in their designs, with good reason. If you are thinking about having a detailed image in your logo design, I would personally avoid it. You’re making your logo design work harder than it needs to.

Making it fit for purpose

If you are using a designer or you are designing your logo yourself, you will be creating it on a white screen or piece of paper and ultimately you have to think of where in the real world will it be placed. This can range from being on a cap, on the side of a van, on letterheads or even on a big display. So if you have a super complex logo, if it’s on a van it will look fine. However, if it then has to be scaled down onto a business card it may just become a blur that doesn’t really do your business any justice.

Don’t describe what you do

This is an easy mistake to make as you feel your business will fall into a void where the customer will be left not knowing what you do. Thinking of the bigger picture though, when will your logo be sat on it’s own without anything else to support it. If it’s on a poster it will have some more text to sell your product (If it’s set up correctly!), if it’s on your van it will have other details explaining what you do. Your logo is very rarely on its own, resist the urge to put what you do in your logo.

Don’t be too literal

You really don’t have to be literal with your logo design. Sometimes your logo design can be more memorable if you create a design that it’s an exact representation of what it means. For example, with Cookie I could have easily slapped a big cookie icon on top of the name. However, this wouldn’t show any creativity and it’s exactly what you expect…. plus people would think I’m selling cookies! I opted for a clean wordmark which just isn’t what you would expect for that name. It’s simple, has a nostalgic feel to it and works in any colour. This tactic can work for your logo as well. This leads me nicely to the next point.

Icons aren’t a necessity

Now I’m a huge fan of a well thought out icon design. We’ve all seen those icon designs that just feel like they’re made by witchcraft. You know the ones, where the design just seems to work so well with the company name. However, people now believe that an icon is a necessity when starting a business when in reality you really don’t need one unless you intend on creating an app or your packaging pivots on that icon.

Always work in Black & White first

Whenever I create a logo design I always start the design in black & white and once I have a design I am happy with I start to experiment with colour. A monochrome logo design will always work in any situation. So when you start experimenting with colour, if you decide that it just doesn’t work in any colour variation you can fall back to the black and white design.

So there we have it, that is my verdict on how to create a good logo. If you are creating your own logo design and are having a bit of trouble with it, go to a design and they will be more than happy to help with it. Your logo design really does play a big roll in your business.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post, I hope it was useful for you and that it gave you some clarity on what makes a good logo. If you have any points that I might have missed, let us know in the comments below!

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