LOGO DESIGN TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
You know what is a logo and the benefits of a logo towards an organization or company. There are tons of way to approach in logo design. There’s no right or wrong in it. What matters is to actually follow some simple logo design principles and sprinkle in some features of a great logo and you’re pretty much good to go. It can be just texts or a symbol that is related to the line of business or industry. Logo design may be costly for some and it’s probably budget-friendly to DIY it ourselves. Here’s some logo design tips for beginners that may help.
What a logo should be?
1. It reveals your identity
A good example is the abstract logo of Nike (a major supplier of sportswear). ‘The swoosh’ is a sign of speed and elegance. Some think it refers to an athlete’s movement. You can quickly link these characteristics to sports.
2. It invites new customers to get to know you
People are drawn to interesting designs and colors. It should be designed to generate interest and spark the curiosity of potential customers.
3. It sets you apart from the competition
There are symbols that represent certain companies and their products. For example, many pizza places have a logo with an Italian mustachioed chef, a long white hat and a pizza. A good logo reflects who you are, but it must also be able to distinguish you from everyone else. Make sure your logo is recognizable and specifically linked to your product or company.
4. It can be on anything
A good logo design is versatile. The logo will be placed on various media such as on websites, products, social media, etc… is one way to advertise your brand. This ensures that the customer starts associating your logo more and more with your company or product.
5. It can take any form
Font-based logos, or sound or word logos for short, consist mainly of letter shapes . For example, IBM and Sony logos use letterforms with a twist that sets them apart from other companies.
In addition, there are logos that literally illustrate what a company does, such as when a house painter uses an illustration of a brush in his logo. In technical terms this is called an image logo.
Finally, there are also abstract graphic symbols called combined logos , such as the Nike swoosh that are linked to the company’s brand.
Check out our post on different types of logos and be inspired!
Designing a logo: preparation and tips
As with other projects, it is very important to prepare first. There are some important steps you need to take and remember.
- Look at logos of other companies
It is okay to get inspiration from the competition. Look for what you can use yourself to make your logo even better and recognizable. Try to distinguish yourself from the competition.
- Concentrate on the message
Who is your target audience and what message do you want to convey? These elements should play an important role in the design of your logo.
- Make it ‘clear’ and functional.
Your logo should look good on the side of a truck as well as on a business card. A good logo must be scalable and easy to produce. Make sure you have created a logo that can also be produced in black and white so that it can be used in a black and white advertisement, for example.
- Your company name will influence the final design of your logo.
For example, a sports club such as “Vodacom Bulls” can use a bull (= a bull). When you own a standard company name such as “Vitaya” you have more freedom to create what you want.
- Make it recognizable
For example, a football club can use curved lines that reflect speed.
- Do not use clipart.
Clipart can be copied too easily. Use your own original shapes to distinguish your logo from others.
- Be loyal to your logo
There are some companies that change their logo from time to time. This is, for example, because they are not happy with the old logo, or because they change the house style so that the old logo no longer fits. This is annoying for the customer, they now have to train their brains again to remember the new logo. Make sure you are happy with your 1st permanent logo and only change it if there is a very good reason.
Designing a logo: the color dilemma
The colors of your logo are very important, together with the shape they determine the look and feel of the entire logo.
RGB / CMYK
First and foremost, it is important to learn the difference between the RGB and CMYK color models :
The RGB color model mimics natural colors on the screen. It does this by means of light projected on a black base (a screen that is off is black).
The CMYK color model mimics natural colors on print and print. This color model does this by means of ink, on a white base (a white sheet of paper).
This means that your logo will look different on a screen than on a sheet of paper. Thus, the possibility of RGB colors is much greater. RGB colors can be flashy and light, while the converted CMYK colors are darker.
What can I do about it?
- You can simply accept that there is a difference in the colors
- You can choose / create the colors of your logo in CMYK, and then convert them to RGB so that both versions will look approximately the same.
- You can use PMS colors to ensure that the computer and the printed version look perfectly alike. But this can be costly. So include it in your budget.
When choosing the colors, it is still important to consider the identity of your company. For example, a yoga instructor is more likely to use soft colors that radiate calm (eg light beige or light blue) and a metal band is more likely to use hard, dark colors that radiate commotion (eg black and dark red).
Think about the amount of colors you want to use. Ask yourself: do I really need these 5 colors? The fewer colors, the clearer and more beautiful your logo will appear. Most well-known logos consist of 1 to 3 colors (without white included)
Make sure these colors match:
- Analogue colors or adjacent colors on the color wheel make a good combo.
- Complementary colors are right on top of each other in a color circle and also match well.
- A striking color also quickly makes a good combo with a dark color.
(There are more options: triad, split-complementary, rectangle, square but these were the simplest)
Not so good at choosing colors? No problem, on the internet you can find different beautiful color palettes that other people share with you.
On the other hand, you can also use websites that help you create a color palette such as Coolors.
Designing a logo: the world of fonts
It is not only important that your font matches the whole, but also that your font is legible. So don’t opt for overly decorative fonts that have to be looked at for 1 minute before your audience can read what it says.
Types of fonts
- Slab Serif
- Sans Serif
For example, if you want to add a slogan to your logo, you want to make it very readable. You will therefore rather opt for a Serif, Slab Serif or a Sans Serif font.
To add your company name or an abbreviation, you can choose other types of fonts as long as it remains legible.
Where can I get them?
Various fonts can be downloaded for free. Some known and safe examples of this are:
Of course there are also paid fonts. These cost (a lot of) money and are only used by professionals.
How do I download them?
When you download a font, you will get a zip file containing various otf or ttf files. When you open one of these files you will be asked if you want to install the font (s).
How do I find them?
Mac users can find these in the “Font Book”.
PC users (Windows 10) can find it in the Explorer via the path: C: / Windows / Fonts
Designing a logo: which programs do I use?
There are several programs you can use to design a logo.
First: what is a vector?
A standard image consists of a grid of pixels. When you zoom in on an image (eg JPG, PNG) the pixels start to become more and more visible and the quality decreases.
A vector (also called an SVG file) does not consist of pixels and can be resized indefinitely without any loss of quality.
Buying Adobe software can sometimes cost you some money. For example, you pay 290 euros per year for Photoshop or Illustrator. For all software together you pay 725 euros per year.
There are some free software you can work with if you don’t want to pay for it.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a graphics program for editing photos and other digital image editing on the computer.
Is it possible to create logos in GIMP? Yes.
Is it possible to make a vector (SVG) in GIMP? Yes.
You can compare GIMP with Adobe Photoshop.
Inkscape is an open source vector illustration program that uses the SVG format for saving vector graphics. This means that Inkscape is more suitable for creating logos.
Is it possible to create logos in Inkscape? Yes.
Is it possible to create a vector (SVG) in Inkscape? Yes.
Inkscape can be compared more with Adobe Illustrator.
Adobe Photoshop is a graphics program for editing photos and other digital images via the computer.
Is it possible to create logos in Photoshop? Yes.
Is it possible to make a vector (SVG) in Photoshop? No
Adobe Illustrator is a computer program used by graphic designers, illustrators, and technical drafters to create vector graphics.
Is it possible to create logos in Illustrator? Yes.
Is it possible to create a vector (SVG) in Illustrator? Yes.
Illustrator is the most preferred program to create logos. Not only because it features vectors, but also because the user-friendliness towards creating logos is much higher than Photoshop.
Extra: Logos with hidden meaning
The white space between the “E” and the “x” makes a perfect arrow. The meaning behind this is that it is a company that is constantly moving forward and looking ahead.
The iconic NBC logo has a white peacock in the center with 6 colored feathers. Each color represents a division of NBC.
A logo reveals the identity of your product or company. It is important to choose the right shapes, colors and fonts that not only make the whole beautiful, but also bring out the identity. Only then, you can harness the true benefits of logo for your company.