In a competitive online world, it’s not enough to have a mediocre logo for your business. You need a logo that effectively represents your brand, makes an impact with your target audience and sticks out in their minds.
After all, it’s going to be splashed everywhere, from your website to your social media channels!
Sure, producing a powerful design sounds like a daunting task as a new business owner. However, if you break down the parts of a logo, you might find just find that it’s easier than you think. (Hurrah!)
Define Your Brand Values
Firstly, before you can even begin the logo creation process, you need to be 100% clear on your brand values.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the USPs of my business?
- Who’s my target audience?
- What’s my end goal?
- What do I want to stand for as a brand?
- How do I want my brand to be perceived by my target audience?
For example, a children’s wear brand might want to come across as fun and youthful. Whereas, a high-end law firm might need to communicate that they’re professional, experienced and sophisticated.
Once you’ve answered the above questions, spend a few minutes just writing down some words that you want to associate with your brand and its personality.
Why? Well, it’ll be much easier to design the different parts of a logo afterwards, because you’ll have a clearer picture in your mind of what kind of message you want to convey.
Speaking of, there are three main parts of a logo.
1. The Typography
Firstly, let’s talk about typography.
For those who might not know, typography is the art of arranging letters in an aesthetically-pleasing way to entice the reader. It’s made up of font styles, sizes and structures. And it essentially sets the tone of your brand.
However, try not to mistake typeface with typography.
A typeface is the family of fonts you use, which usually falls into three categories: serif, sans-serif and script. Then fonts are specific widths, weights and styles of each typeface.
Are you with me so far?
Typography Best Practises
Now that we’ve got the lingo down, follow these best practises when coming up with the typography for your business logo:
- Serif fonts are ideal for brands that are prestigious, trustworthy and timeless, such as The New York Times, Rolex and Burberry
- Sans-serif fonts suit brands that want a modern, clean and sleek look; for example, Google, Facebook and Jeep
- Script fonts have a handwritten aesthetic, which brings an authentic, playful and original feel to a logo; for instance, Virgin, Kleenex and Barbie
If it’s not clear what your business offers just from your brand name, you might want to include your tagline in your logo.
That said, it’s a good idea to choose one kind of typeface for your brand name and another for your tagline.
How come, you ask? Well, this makes them easily distinguishable from each other. It also creates a visual contrast that is designed to draw the reader to various parts of a logo.
Either way, make sure the fonts you use are eligible. Otherwise, you will lose readers faster than you can say Jack Robinson.
Where to Find Fonts
The good news is that you can explore and play around with free fonts on websites such as:
- Font Bundles, an alternative to Dafont
- 1001 Free Fonts
Having said that, when you’re arranging fonts for your logo, you should always be mindful of “white space.”
A Note on White Space
Also known as “negative space,” white space is the area around text or graphics. It’s used to balance out the parts of a logo and ensure everything looks visually appealing.
And it’s important to get it right.
After all, too little white space can make a logo look cluttered, and too much is unnecessary.
2. The Colour Scheme
In addition to typography, you need to define a colour palette for your logo that showcases your brand’s personality.
Perhaps you already did this when you created your visual brand identity. However, if not, now’s the time to show me what you’ve got!
How to Come Up With Your Brand’s Colour Palette
Once you’re clear on your brand values, check out the colour wheel for inspiration.
Warm hues like red and yellow project an outgoing and bold personality. On the other hand, cool hues like blue and green are more mellow and reserved.
Still struggling? You can always study colour psychology to ensure that your logo showcases your brand’s character and evokes a specific emotional response from your target audience.
For example, here’s a list of colours and the messages they convey:
- Red – powerful, passionate and energetic
- Orange – courageous, confident and friendly
- Yellow – youthful, happy and fun
- Blue – logical, loyal and trustworthy
- Green – Natural, fresh and healthy
- Purple – Wise, spiritual and sophisticated
- Pink – passionate, innovative and imaginative
- White – clean, pure and innocent
- Black – secure, elegant and authoritative
Either way, less is more when it comes to a brand’s colour palette. I know it’s tempting to have them all, but pick out two or three that best represent your business and stick with these for your logo.
In fact, stick with them for all your marketing channels.
Why? Well, this makes your branding clear and cohesive so that your target audience can identify it wherever they are.
And if the colours compliment each other? Even better! This might just make them do the heart-eyed emoji.
3. The Graphic
Lastly, we can’t forget about your logo graphic.
Arguably the most important part of a logo, the graphic needs to communicate who you are as a business, what you sell and the benefits for your target audience.
It can be an icon, illustration, texture or pattern. But it needs to be in your brand colours and it needs to pack a punch.
After all, it should be able to stand alone and still be recognisable to your target audience (like Nike’s tick or the Starbucks mermaid, for example).
Note that you don’t have to come up with a graphic if you don’t want to. A lot of small service-based businesses find that standalone typography in their brand’s colour palette does the job nicely.
How to Come Up With Your Brand’s Graphic
Here’s a checklist you can use when coming up with a logo graphic:
- Does it represent my business clearly?
- Does it fall in line with my brand values?
- Does it associate with what my business sells?
- Is it in my brand colours?
- Does it compliment my typography?
- Could my target audience recognise it on its own?
Finding it a challenge to come up with an attention-grabbing graphic? I don’t blame you — it’s tough!
In this case, why not hire a professional graphic designer to do the job for you? I mean, it’s their area of expertise, it can save you time and energy, and you can easily find affordable remote workers on freelance marketplaces like Upwork. Think about it.
In Summary: Take the Parts of a Logo One Part at a Time
Hopefully, you’ve found these tips for designing each part of a logo useful.
The bottom line is that each element should be able to stand alone, but the three elements should also be able to come together to create an effective overall design.
And if they don’t? Well, keep working at it!
Ultimately, it’s worth the time and effort to be able to show off a logo that you and your target audience are going to love for years to come.