So you, or your client, has started a new business and you need to create a logo. This logo will be a visual representation of everything the new company stands for. The problem is that it’s hard to pick a single image that will be able to capture all that you want to communicate about your business. It needs to work in a marketing setting, it needs to instill trust in your buyers or audience and it needs to create the right associations. How can you possibly create a single image to do all that?
If you don’t know where to begin, then a good place to start is with a mood board. A mood board is essentially a collage that you create by combining all the images, text and screenshots of things that you find inspiring. This might be other logos or it might be images you just like the looks of.
You can also add anything else that relates to your business: the products, the mission statement, the company’s values, your team, etc.
Then take a step back and look at the collage. While you can’t use everything, you should find that patterns and themes start to emerge and often this can be enough to give you a rough artistic direction for which way to go with your design.
When trying out designs, you should also think about your target demographic. Who is it you’re trying to appeal to with this logo and what sort of thing would they be likely to respond well to?
An important tip is to make sure that you avoid clichés at all costs. These include ticks, lightbulbs and globes – all of which have been severely over-used when it comes to web design. By avoiding these tropes you can make sure your business looks creative, original and interesting rather than derivative, run of the mill and dull. Avoid logo-generating types of websites, too, as these logos can be used by more than one business. You want a memorable logo, but not one that the customer remembers from another business.
Once you’ve come up with some ideas for your logo and some images you want to use, you can try combining them with different fonts and in different arrangements to come up with potential logos. From here, you now need to try showing these around. The important point to remember is that a logo isn’t about what you like but what resonates with your audience. When it comes down to a few options, the best choice is to survey a few people to see which the winner should be.
I did this once, on a related Facebook fan page that had over 90,000 fans. I put up my three favorite designs and asked the fans for their opinion. I got over 2500 responses, and not only did they pick their favorite, many gave their opinion on how the logos could be improved. If an improvement was suggested hundreds of times, I knew it was something I should incorporate into that logo.
Finally, make sure that your logo meets the following criteria:
- Simple – you don’t want a logo that is overly busy or distracting
- Easy to reproduce
- Memorable – will your logo be immediately recognizable?
- Relevant – does the logo express what the business is about?
- Versatile enough to be used in multiple situations – will it work online as well as on a brochure or on a billboard?