Not diggin’ the way your logo looks right now? Or just stumped on what to use and how to start?
I mean, you can be plenty creative and still not be super graphic design savvy. And that leaves you still working on a logo you aren’t totally happy with representing your business.
That’s NO BUENO. Your logo is a huge deal! But here’s the thing…
No matter how design savvy you are (or aren’t), you can make a logo you’re proud to represent your business. Best yet, it doesn’t take a lot of money, time, or experience if you know the right tricks!
There are 2 different ways you can do it, and I’ll take you through both step by step.
But first, you have to know the basics of logo design. You gotta know what makes a good logo vs. a crappy logo – cause come on, you don’t want a crappy one, am I right?!
First, we’ll look at what NOT to do with logo design (and what we can learn from it)
Here are some not-so-nice logos from big and small companies that just don’t quite make the cut.
1.Be Careful of What It Resembles (lol)
There’s been silly mishaps and then straight up inappropriate disasters – when you’re too close to a design you might miss the bigger picture! Always take a step back and notice the overall shape of the design – if it makes people think of something other than your product or biz, it’s not doing you any favors.
Pepsi has received some criticism for their logo, as people have pointed out it looks like a round belly. Uh oh.
2.Don’t Make it Too Busy!
When logos are concerned, less is more. The Epcot Food Festival tried to cram in a bit too much quirkiness with their logo, and it lost its visual appeal and strength.
It’s creative, sure… but see how it’s just not as pleasing to the eye as these similar logos that are still creative, but simplified?
3. Don’t use too many fonts.
Again, it just looks busy and inconsistent.
Typography can be fun, but sticking with a single, recognizable, timeless font is always the safer, and more aesthetic bet. (If you use 2 different fonts, pair a bold, thicker one with some contrast, like a curly thinner font).
4. And lastly, always be sure to take a look at the spacing and shape of your logo.
Always consider the amount of space your logo will take up, the white space it requires, and whether it’s too wide or too tall.
Hilton’s design seemed a bit off center, while also leaving lots of weird white space that will just make website pages and letterhead look… odd.
PHEW, not that those icky ones are out of our system, let’s look at…
What Makes A Great Logo
Here are a few common characteristics of strong logo designs that make a great impression:
1. Unique & Timeless
Obviously, you’ll want your logo to be unique so you stand out against others. So you don’t want to play it too safe.
- Keep It Simple, Stupid (The KISS rule)
The strongest logos that stand the test of time and outlast trends are simple and clean.
Fast Company uses a black text logo (simple as can be) but with unique sizing and spacing that looks great with their brand name. Totally recognizable, totally timeless.
Buffer also kept with a simple logo – a legible font in all lowercase, and a super simple (but recognizable!) image.
- Your logo doesn’t have to be literal (seeing an apple can make you think of computers, who’da thunk?)
A great logo will translate well on a website, in print, in black and white, in color, on packaging… the list goes on. This is where spacing and simplicity play another big role.
Kissmetrics has a very adaptable logo, that can work with any background color, be visual and also text-based.
Your logo should capture the essance of your company, your products and your target audience. For example, if you’re business to business, you’ll want to reflect professionalism. Entertainment will want to reflect something fun, appealing or active. And so on.
- Consider your target audience – what’s their style like?
- Consider what your product/service provides? What tone do you take when speaking with customers?
- When choosing a color, make sure it fits with the tone and message you want to portray (some colors are playful and happy, some colors are sophisticated or more professional)
Think about these two logos – they’re both for clothing brands.
Ok, so we’ve gone over the do’s and dont’s of logo design. So how do you start making your own logo?
Two Ways to Get a Professional Logo Fast and For Cheap
Option 1: Do it Yourself (in 5 minutes)
Even if you’re not a designer, luckily there are tons of helpful online resources to make your own high quality, i-can’t-believe-you-made-that-yourself logo!
- Go to a font website, like:
- many fonts here are 100%, some require around a $5 purchase for commercial use
- Font Squirrel
- awesome, professional font selection (though they sometimes come with a big price tag). Check out their ‘Almost Free’ section for sales!
- Google Fonts
- most of these are free!
- some fun and unique fonts! They’ve also got a ‘Special Offers’ section for discounts
2. Type in your biz name to bring up the preview:
- Make sure the lettering looks good with the words you’ll be using!
- Download your chosen font (follow the directions on the font site you choose)
- Use a photo editor (like PhotoShop or Illustrator) to edit the color, spacing, and save as an image file
- You can even use free options like Microsoft Paint, or even Word (create a text box, then save that as an image).
- Voila! Logo done
Option 2: Hire a Freelance Graphic Designer to Get ‘er Done fer Cheap!
- Visit a freelance site like Fiverr or UpWork, where freelance designers virtually live (the cool thing about Fiverr is the whole idea is you get stuff done for 5 bucks!)
- Either search for a graphic designer with a profile that impresses you and a rate that fits your budget, OR
- Post a new job outlining what you want done and how much you’ll pay
- When telling them what you want, keep the logo design fundamentals in mind (simple, timeless, describe your company ‘essence’ to them!)
- Voila! Logo done.
Now you’ve got two new reasons for a fantastic logo to represent your brand, and 2 less excuses to keep using the one you aren’t happy with right now.
If you want some more inspiration for your logo click here:
Or if you just want a good laugh, here are some EPIC logo fails heheh: