Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Five Ways to Become a Logo Design Whiz

Your business needs a logo, and quick! When it comes to getting a logo design, you have three choices:

- Hire a professional designer
- Purchase a logo from an online logo design site
- Roll up your sleeves and DIY

But how can you tell the difference between epic design and an epic fail? Just what are the characteristics of a successful logo?

Ask yourself these five questions to decide whether the design you’re considering will propel your brand through the years, or just getting dragged along like dead weight. These tips can help you choose from among the design ideas presented to you, or ones that you’ve developed yourself.

How Does it Look in Black and White?

What does the logo look like if you photocopy it? Will it still look great if it’s stitched on a polo, or printed on a tshirt using only one color? An awesome logo will still work in difficult situations. Good logos have distinctive forms, and serve your brand well even when production quality is lacking.

How Does it Look at a Small Size?

It would be great if your logo could be big and bold all the time, but often you will need to squeeze the graphics into a small place. Does the logo still work when it’s tiny? Even at a small size, your logo should still be identifiable.

Is it Simply Lovely?

Simplicity is key. Don’t use a rainbow of colors — just two will do — and ditch unnecessary add-ons like gradients and drop shadows. All the elements of your logo should be clean and simple, so people will instantly recognize your brand.

Make sure to specify that you want the logo art in vector form as well. Design programs like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw and Inkscape generate files with extensions like .eps or .ai. The benefit of vector art is it can be increased to any size without getting pixelated. If you ever create large-format marketing materials, like billboards, you will need vector art.

Will it Stand the Test of Time?

Be prepared to commit to this logo for the long haul. Logo designs can be a big investment, so you will want to get a lot of mileage out of yours.

When you are so tired of your logo that you’re ready to change it, that’s usually about the time when the public is starting to recognize it. That recognition is what your business needs, so when you feel like you want a change, resist the urge and leave your logo as is. You want to create a memorable brand, and that takes time.

Valid reasons to change your logo include:
  • It doesn’t depict what your company does
  • It contains a old-style technology product (like an outdated cell phone)
If you pick a design that avoids fleeting trends, you will have a classic logo that will grow with your company.

Is it Unique?

The purpose of a logo is to draw in your ideal customers and help them remember your company. You might be tempted to choose a design that looks, well... a little TOO familiar. But, duplicating another company’s image will not help you build your brand. Make the effort to create a look that’s truly original, so people will recognize your company.

That’s the reason you’ll hear some people call a logo your “corporate identity.” It’s important that your identity be original and unforgettable.

The Key to Becoming a Logo Whiz

Here’s the simplest way to become a logo whiz: look for a uniquely classic graphic that’s simple, can be used in black and white and also at a small size.

If your design meets these criteria, you will have a logo that’s useful, flexible and long-lasting.

Find out more about logo design at the main Big Brand System site.