By Joe D.

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While a logo is a small graphic, it has the important job of telling others about your company or organization and what you do. A well-thought-out design has the power to draw in new customers and keep old ones. Below are five tips to take into consideration when designing a logo.

1. Know Your Brand

How do you want people to feel when they see your logo? Think of a few words that encompass these feelings. For example, a logo for a large corporate bank may evoke a very different feeling than the neighborhood brewery’s design.

Is your brand soft or bold? A nonprofit humanitarian organization will have a softer approach than a large, competitive sales organization. Who are your customers?  Take into account their ages, interests and where they live. A Millennial may like something different than a Generation Xer. The best logo design is immediately recognizable and makes you stand out from the competition and inspires loyalty and trust.

2. Keep It Simple

When it comes to logo design, less is more. The logo needs to be unique and inspiring, but not overdone. Think of the Nike swoosh – clean and simple and recognized all over.

This doesn’t mean that the logo design has to be boring, but it should be free of unnecessary elements that make it difficult for customers to focus. Using blank space within the logo can help people read it from a distance. Applying various shapes such as a box within a box or a letter over a semi-circle creates a bold and progressive – but still simple – design.

3. Use Color and Font

Color plays a vital role in conveying your brand. For example, red suggests boldness, and courage, while blue represents stability, trust and togetherness. Many social media sites use blue as their main color.  Green may signify nature, peace, growth and freshness, while orange signifies friendliness and creativity.

Every color has the potential to elicit some sort of emotion, so think of how colors will get your message across. Creating the first logo in black and white may enable you to see whether or not the overall design is good in its simplest form. Keep your brand in mind when picking colors, but be aware that the more colors, the greater the price tag.

It’s easy to overlook the impact a font may make. There are a wide variety of typefaces to choose from, but be sure that whatever you use is legible. Serif and sans serif typeface are usually the best choice. Some decorative and script type fonts work out well, but others may be difficult to read, especially in smaller formats. Again, consider your market. A children’s toy store logo can use a child-like font and bright colors, but the law firm down the street might need a more classic font and subdued colors.

4. Make It Enduring

A good logo design should be current, but timeless. Take the time to look at brand designs that have been successful over a period of time, rather than following the latest trends. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need to refresh your logo from time to time.

A good example of a timeless but refreshing design is the McDonald’s logo. The logo has been updated numerous times, but the Golden Arches featuring the bright yellow color, a simple font and the distinctive shape have remained popular and recognizable for decades, no matter what part of the world a new restaurant opened.

5. Keep Function In Mind

A logo that can work in various environments is best. Decide where you will use it. Will it be used on the front door of your business or will it be on your letterhead and business cards? Will you put it on a large billboard and various social media sites?  A design that looks great on a large billboard won’t necessarily look great on Facebook or Twitter.

Make sure the graphic designer accounts for this and comes up with a design in vector format that can be used in various mediums. Ask yourself if the logo were printed in various colors, sizes and formats if it would still be effective. Would it also look good if the colors were reversed or in black and white?


Designing an effective personal logo that stands out but is also versatile and simple may seem like a daunting task. However, taking the time to research, study other logos and spend money on a design will leave a lasting impression with customers and will prevent rebranding every few years.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos