Whether you’re a beginner or just in need of a refresh, follow our logo design tips and tricks to help you make really good logos.
Logos are really important. They can be daunting to design but are a must for any business and are the cornerstone of any good business brand, or even a personal brand. You want your logo to explain who you are and what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. You’ll include it on social posts, presentation decks, marketing materials, business cards and more. That’s a lot of heavy lifting for one little graphic to do, right?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a whole load of logo design tips, tricks and walkthroughs from an actual Graphic Designer (i.e. me). Whether you’re a beginner or just in need of a refresh, follow these tips and tricks to help you get started and make a really good logo today.
A good logo should:
- Be eye catching
- Be timeless
- Be memorable
- Work well large or small
- Encompass your brand vibe
What on earth is a brand vibe, and how do I find mine?
A brand vibe is how you want your brand to make people feel. Sometimes you might hear it called a brand personality. It should be consistent across your logo and content, and clearly set out in your brand guidelines.
Just like we want our law firms to feel trustworthy and respectable, we want our yoga teachers to feel calm and gentle, and our party planners to feel organized and fun.
With me so far?
Once you discover your brand vibe, the logo-making process gets 100 times easier* (*not scientifically proven). Spend five minutes right now writing down three or four words that encompass how you want your brand to make people feel. Got them? Good, you can scroll down to the logo design tips now.
Learn more about branding:
Keep your brand vibe in mind as you read through the logo design tips, and spend some time thinking about how each logo makes you feel. Based on our research, we know that consumers trust brands that are upfront about who they are and what they do with their logo styles.
So I’ve included some of Venngage’s top logo templates. If any feel right you can get started on your design straight away! If you need more inspiration, check out those beautiful company logos from famous brands.
Top 10 Logo Design Tips & Tricks:
- A picture paints a thousand words
- Use empty space to keep your logo design clean
- Use shapes to think inside the box
- Imagine your logo in situ
- Color is key for good design
- Be literal with your logo
- Be authoritative with your logo
- Create visual salience with a pop of color
- Don’t reinvent the wheel when designing your logo
- Don’t be afraid to rejig the wheel
Ready to get started? Check out our top 10 logo design tips and tricks below:
1. A picture paints a thousand words
A logo is a visual representation of your brand, so why tell people what you do if you could just show them? Use simple icons to communicate who you are.
Remember the brand vibe we talked about earlier? The use of the plane and the sun here makes me feel excited and reminds me of warm sunny holidays.
Visual puns are a designer’s best friend too – here Frost Bites have created a quirky ‘bite’ to show that they are a food company. This is really easily achieved by overlapping two circles that are the same color as the background.
Video Walk Through: How to personalize this logo
My imaginary Taco shop needs a new logo. I love the ‘bite’ design on the Frost Bites logo, but we sell delicious Mexican food – not ice cream!
So instead of a circle, I used a taco graphic. Watch how I did it below:
2. Use empty space to keep your logo design clean
Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”. The same thing applies to design.
You want to make sure people can read your logo from a distance, or when it’s really small – keeping it “clean” (designer speak for “lots of blank space”) will achieve this. Here we can see how Savant Yoga has utilized blank space to invoke a feeling of calmness.
This logo for a photography business takes minimalism to a new level, and creates a camera icon out of two brackets and the letter “o”. This logo proves that you don’t always need a whole bunch of colors or symbols to create a great logo.
Using blank space in your logo design is also helpful when it comes to brochure design, poster design, t-shirt printing, and plenty of other marketing collateral. Your logo is easier to integrate seamlessly into different designs and formats.
3. Use shapes to think inside the box
Shapes are a really great way to make your logo stand out. For this logo for a law firm, we put the firm’s name inside boxes to achieve a professional look.
This also helps with cross-platform branding, as a “boxed in” logo works well digitally, as well on letterhead, presentations, and merchandise such as pens or lanyards.
Shapes with interesting gradients or textures can be used to push your design to the next level. Here, FX Technology Co. has used a blue to yellow gradient to achieve a really sleek look. They’ve used a laptop icon inside the circle, but this could easily be changed to a bunch of flowers, a wine glass, or a stack of weights depending on your business.
4. Imagine your logo in situ
Boy, wouldn’t this logo look great on a coffee cup! When designing your logo try to make sure you think about its intended uses – are you looking to use it on a uniform, or will it just be for your website design? You can use a Mock Up Generator to see how your logo will look in situ.
It’s also good to think about how you’re going to promote yourself when creating a logo. If you’re going to be doing a lot of networking, create a logo that looks good on business cards. This coral logo from Bird View Photography is arranged in a horizontal manner and would look great on a card.
5. Color is key for good logo design
Monochromatic doesn’t always mean black and white! Sometimes black and white can seem harsh on our eyes, especially if we’re trying to create a feeling of zen. You can use various shades of the same color to create subtle contrasts within your logo.
By using various shades of pink, Serenity has created a logo that is very calming – much like their spa must be. If you’ve been searching for the answer to, “what is good design?” well now you know.
6. Be literal with your logo
Your name is Electric Box Productions, huh? Have you considered…putting electricity inside a box? Sometimes it really is that easy.
If your name is a thing, make that thing your logo. Don’t be afraid to lean into the obvious, there’s a reason that Apple’s logo is, well, an apple.
Brewery logos are notorious for being literal, like this Cigar City Brewing logo:
Take note that some brands had to protect themselves from competitors infringing their registered trademark because the words in their logos weren’t translated into local languages or the logos literally depicted something that wasn’t translated.
For example, a South Africa-based Jordan Winery that was using an image of a chameleon on their sued one of the competitors, Lovane, for featuring the images of chameleons on their merchandise.
The problem was the word “uluvane” meant “chameleon” in one of the local languages in the country, which could potentially create associations between the two brands. The two brands spent quite a lot of time in court and paid thousands in legal fees, which could have been avoided had Jordan Winery used trademark translation to protect their brand.
Gold Spoon has been really clever with their logo design here, and has used their titular icon (the gold spoon) as a replacement for the letter “p”. This reminds me a lot of the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo and just goes to show that literally doesn’t mean boring.
7. Be authoritative with your logo
Be literal, but make sure it fits your organization. Some companies, such as non-profits, demand a level of seriousness that a production company or ice cream shop can get away without.
Ask yourself: if I saw this logo for the first time, would I trust this company? Here Helping Hands have managed to create a logo that is both respectable but uses hands. Muted colors and serif fonts are key here, and stop the logo from feeling too cartoonish.
A font can go a long way to helping you create the right logo – luckily Venngage has a huge font library (we recently added 40 new fonts!) and we even have blog posts about font psychology to make sure you nail it.
Video Walk Through: How to personalize this logo
I like how this logo feels and think it really fits my brand vibe, but my organization is called “Head Start” not “Helping Hands”.
So instead of hands, I used arrows. Watch how I did it below:
8. Create visual salience with a pop of color
In our blog post “How to pick colors“ we explained how color is the most valuable tool in a designer’s toolbox, and it’s no different when making a logo.
In design, we call this “visual salience”. It’s a great term to use in casual conversation to impress your designer friends, and also a great way to create an impactful logo.
One easy way to create visual salience is to use a ‘pop’ of color.
In this Evergreen logo, the pop comes from a green leaf icon above the black text, but you could also make the first letter of your name a different color or even a whole word.
Adding this small pop of color stops your design from feeling flat, and is a trick designers use all of the time. The Amazon logo is a great example of this.
9. Don’t reinvent the wheel when designing your logo
If it works, it works. Sometimes, your bakery just needs a logo with wheat on it. If it feels right to you then go ahead and use it. Have a look at your competitors and see what their logos look like, are there any common themes or colors? Once you’re done reading these logo design tips, check out Venngage’s handy guide for creating a Competitor Analysis.
10. Don’t be afraid to rejig the wheel
Pepsi has been around for 120+ years as a brand. The modern Pepsi logo we know is drastically different from how it had started. But the transformation from then to now was a gradual one. That’s because Pepsi was always building on the brand it had established, it wasn’t trading its old brand for a new and shiny one.
Besides, a drastic change would have been confusing for its consumers. People might not have recognized the Pepsi brand or product as easily, in stores or in advertisements.
It’s ok to be bold and try new things. Use patterns, overlapping shapes, and contrasting colors to create a modern logo. The “C” layered over the semi-circle helps elevate this design to the next level, and the contrasting blue and purple tell us that this company is bold and forward-thinking.
Modernization doesn’t have to be ‘in your face’ to work. For this logo, Discovery Education chose to use an overlapping box effect. The subtle geometric pattern on the top box really helps to bring the logo right into 2019 – helping the brand feel fresh. Also, they have used a sans serif font which stops the logo from feeling stuffy and dated.
To recap our top logo design tips:
If you’ve ever worked with a designer professionally, you’ll know that they never just present one option. Try a couple of different logos and ask your friends, family, coworkers, and communities for their opinions as to which one feels right for your brand.
Check out Venngage’s full library of logo templates here.
The Venngage Business account comes with the ability to build a Brand Kit. You can upload your logos and company colors, and apply them to different templates with the click of a button.
If you have any other logo design tips, or just want to share your process please leave a comment below!