How To Design A Business Logo

gold logo on a black background

First impressions matter. When you log in to someone’s social media account, you will form an impression of them based on the content that person posts on their profile. For business, your first impression will often come from seeing a company’s logo.

The more you associate yourself with a business, the more ingrained that company’s logo becomes in your mind. For example, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Coca-Cola

You will likely picture the red, uniquely italicized Coca-Cola logo on a white background.

In the case of McDonald’s, you may imagine two golden arches co-joined to form the letter M on a red backdrop. These two examples show how impactful a logo can be for a business.

Designing an Outstanding Business Logo

A logo is a business’s first impression. It’s the element that gives your business a visual identity.

If your company were a person, the logo would be that person’s face and outward presentation. The logo is the element that distinguishes your entity from your competitors and any other business around you.

When designing a business logo, you want to make it as unique and memorable as possible. Creating a logo might seem overwhelming, especially if you have no experience.

However, you only need to take the design process one step at a time. In this post, we will break down the steps for designing an outstanding business logo.

What Is a Logo?

A logo is a symbol of texts, images, and characters identifying your company. This element gives your business brand identity and distinguishes it from other entities.

A logo is essentially a visual representation of your business. It sets the pace for building your brand identity using marketing materials like shirts, business cards, letterheads, and flyers.

Logos help foster brand loyalty by making your business easily identifiable to customers. They enable you to slice through the competition by differentiating you from your competitors.

Logos also help reinforce a positive connection with your target customers.

Every time they see your logo, they remember their positive interaction or experience with your company.

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What a Logo Isn’t

Here are some common misconceptions that people have about a logo:

1. A logo is a brand 

As mentioned above, a logo is a presentation of your brand, but it isn’t yours. Your brand is more than your logo. The logo is just one element of your brand.

A company’s brand refers to how people perceive it; the logo is just the visual aspect.

Brands are intangible. They are your reputation in the marketplace. They evoke emotions in customers whenever they hear about or see your business.

The logo is simply the element that enables this to happen.

2. A logo is an indicator that you’ll succeed

Having a unique and great-looking logo does not guarantee business success. You must still work hard to grow your business and establish good customer relationships.

Even the most iconic and unique logo will not help a business that is corrupt, unethical, or unconcerned about customer service.

The sight of your logo may provoke negative emotions among your customers, reminding them why they shouldn’t buy from you again.

Types of Business Logos

When designing a logo, think about the type and form you want it to have. There are several types that you can choose from, including:

1. Wordmarks

A wordmark is a type of logo where the name of your business is your actual logo but designed uniquely and attractively. Examples of companies with wordmark logos include Visa, Coca-Cola, Google, and Yahoo.

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This type is the best for newer companies that want customers to know the company’s name as they associate with it.

2. Emblems

Emblems, called badge logos, usually contain text or font inside an icon or symbol. These logos look like seals or crests and have a traditional, striking appearance that’s difficult to forge.

Emblems are suitable for organizations seeking to preserve their heritage or culture, such as schools and government agencies.

Some restaurants and food companies, such as Starbucks, use emblems as logos.

3. Lettermarks

Lettermarks, called monogram logos, contain uniquely designed letters, usually a brand’s initials. In most cases, businesses that use lettermarks as their logos are those referred to by abbreviations or initials. Examples include:

  • HP: Hewlett-Packard
  • NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • IBM: International Business Machines
  • HBO: Home Box Office

4. Pictorial Marks

A pictorial mark is a logo consisting of only an icon, symbol, or image. It doesn’t have any words or characters.

Examples include X, Apple, Instagram, and Shell logos. This type works best for already established and renowned businesses.

5. Mascots

Mascot logos contain an illustrated character representing the brand. The character can be fictitious or an actual person.

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This type is suitable for stirring an emotional connection from customers since most will naturally relate or resonate with the character.

Mascot logos, especially cartoon mascots, are great for businesses that target children or young families. Examples of mascot logos include:

6. Abstract Logo Marks

An abstract logo is like a pictorial mark, but it contains some geometry instead of an image or symbol. Abstract logos are more illustrative than pictorial marks.

Abstract logo marks don’t just depict an image or icon. They do it in a highly unique way and with some geometry. Examples include those representing Google Drive, Nike, Pepsi, and Airbnb.

Since this type of logo needs to be highly unique, it is designed by a professional designer.

7. The Combination Mark

Combination mark logos combine words with images and icons. They combine a wordmark with a pictorial, mascot, or abstract mark.

This type is also ideal for newer companies wanting to create brand awareness with their target customers. Examples are Lacoste and Burger King.

Elements of a Good Business Logo

When designing your logo, focus on the elements highlighted below. These four components distinguish your logo’s design:

1. Typography (Font)

Typography refers to the way you present your letters, words, or initials in the logo. You want your typography to be unique, attractive, and recognizable.

Choose a professional font that does not clash with other elements in the logo. You also want to assess whether to use italics, bolds, and lines.

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2. Color Choice

Different colors evoke different emotions. Because they can affect how customers feel and respond without them realizing it, you should choose your brand colors wisely. Choose the ones that evoke the emotion you want your customers to have as they visit your business.

Here is a brief overview of what various colors represent:

  • Red: Fire and strong emotions but can also mean violence
  • Green: Calmness and trust
  • Black: Seriousness and professionalism
  • Pink: Warmth
  • Yellow: Energy
  • Blue: Stability and confidence
  • Purple: Royalty

3. Logo Style

As mentioned above, not every type of logo will be good for your business. Choose the one that aligns with your current business stage.

Lettermarks are ideal if your company name contains initials. Combination marks and wordmarks are suitable for new entities.

Mascots work best if you target a younger audience, while pictorials are perfect for a business with a well-established audience.

4. Graphic Style 

The graphic style is how you blend every element in your logo to form its design. You want to ensure the components merge harmoniously with each other.

Start by deciding on your elements and then experiment with different designs. How you blend your components is what makes your logo unique and attractive.

Principles That Make a Good Business Logo

As you create your business logo, remember the seven principles highlighted below. They will guide you to develop an effective, unique and outstanding logo.

1. Simplicity

The best logos are clean, uncluttered, and simple. Think of the Nike logo.

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It doesn’t have many elements, which makes it simple and memorable. Aim for a logo with a few components, each identifiable from a distance.

2. Originality

Don’t go for a replica logo. Try to make your logo as unique and as original as possible.

Mimicking another company’s logo will make it harder for your customers to distinguish you from that entity.

3. Versatility

Your logo will be used in many contexts in your business.

You will utilize it in your marketing materials, documents, website, business premises, and pens and water bottles. You want your logo to be versatile enough for all settings.

4. Balance

Balance is crucial when designing a business logo. You want each element to blend harmoniously with each other.

For example, if you want to create a combination mark, the words should not be larger or bolder than the icon or image and outshine the image. Ensure you also align each element symmetrically.

5. Timelessness

A good logo stands the test of time. Don’t employ trends in your logo, as they often fade quickly. You want your logo to have a long life expectancy.

The longer it remains the same, the more recognition it garners from your customers. The Coca-Cola logo, for instance, has never changed since the company’s founding.

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6. Memorability

Your customer should be able to recall your logo after one or two looks. Remember that they won’t come to your store to study your logo.

Most will glance at it unintentionally as they interact with your business. The more they interact with you, the more the logo becomes memorable.

7. Complementary

The elements in your logo should complement one another. If your icon, image, or graphic style is clean and professional, don’t combine it with playful fonts.

The colors of each element should also be complementary. Also, each color has shades, ranging from bright to darker hues. Ensure you use the exact ones.

A good tip would be to work with color codes instead of relying on memory to identify the color shades.

Steps to Design a Business Logo

Let’s now dive into the process of designing your logo:

1. Think about your brand’s story

You want your business logo to communicate your brand’s story and personality.

Therefore, you need to consider your brand’s values before creating the logo. This stage should also be your time to identify your target audience to ensure you design a logo that resonates with them. Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is my business story, and why did I start this company?
  • What does my brand stand for?
  • What perception do I want customers to have about my brand?
  • What emotion do I want customers to have about my brand?
  • What makes my business special?
  • Which words or adjectives best describe my brand’s identity?
  • Who do I want to see my business logo?

2. Brainstorm your design

This next step is the brainstorming stage, where you identify the elements and components that will go into your logo. Ensure they resonate with your brand’s story.

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Note down the following elements:

  • Logo style: the type of business logo
  • Font choice: font type and size, normal or italicized, bolded or non-bolded
  • Color choice: a maximum of three colors (the exact color shade or code)
  • Logo design: how the elements blend

3. Sketch ideas

This step is your inspiration stage. It’s your opportunity to bring all elements together. Sketch the design on paper or using logo maker software.

Sketch many designs and don’t think about which is right or wrong. Even a horrible sketch can spark up a better logo design later.

4. Choose your top three sketches

Study your sketches and choose the ones that resonate with your brand’s story. Imagine yourself as an outsider, for example, a customer looking at the logo for the first time. How do you feel about it?

Review the seven principles of a good logo and evaluate if your sketches abide by them.

You should also ask your friends, family, and employees about your sketches. Observe their reactions as they look at each design sketch.

Ask them to select the one they like the most. Don’t be afraid to throw out the sketches and start again.

5. Refine the sketches you’ve chosen

Take your top three sketches and choose the one that will look the best when refined. Look at your brand story first to identify which parts haven’t been well captured.

Use the seven principles to enhance your design further. You can also combine elements from the tossed sketches and see if they work well together.

6. Develop your official logo from your chosen sketch

Finally, you are now in the home stretch. Now that you’ve chosen and refined your sketch, you can officially develop your logo.

You don’t necessarily have to design the logo by hand. Use logo-making software such as Canva, Appy Pie’s Logo Maker, Looka, and DesignMantic.

Conclusion

Creating a logo is as much a process of choosing colors, layouts, and fonts as designing it. It’s a procedure you can do one stage at a time.

Try not to rush the creation steps. Take your time to brainstorm your design and sketch ideas. Eventually, you will have your perfect logo.

Resources

You’ll find a collection of resources below to improve your knowledge created to create a logo for your business. Most links lead to search results, and that’s by design, so you have the latest information at your fingertips.

Software

If you plan to design your logo, you may want to check out the logo design software available.

The link below offers the latest search results for the most popular logo design software.

Search Results – Logo Design Software.

Logo Design Mistakes

You should consider many things when designing your logo, but have you supposed what not to do?

I suggest you take a few minutes to look at the latest search results for what to avoid when you are in the process of creating a logo.

Search results – Logo Design Mistakes.

Books

Books are another source of information you can use to plan your logo design. You can also find books with tutorials on creating a logo that’s appealing and fits your business.

The latest Publications on Amazon related to Logo Design.

Design Examples

Looking at examples can offer insights and spark your creativity, helping you create a design that fits your business. So why not take some time to study the top designs that can help you develop a concept that’s a great fit?

Search results – Top Logo Designs.

Memorable Logos

The key to a good logo is to create one that’s memorable and creates an association between the graphic and your business. To see examples of memorable logos, follow the link below.

Search Results – The Most Memorable Logos.

Logos Created By AI

It is interesting how far along AI has come. Why not glance at the most famous logos created by AI from the link below?

Search Results – Logos Created by AI.

Trademark

Once your logo is created, you may want to protect it by registering for a trademark.

The link below provides information to guide you. You may also want to consult a professional to ensure you have covered all the bases, especially if your business is international.

Search Results – How to Trademark Your Logo.

Videos

YouTube offers a wide range of videos that can help you understand the creation process and provide tutorials for creating a great-looking logo.

YouTube Search Results – Logo Design.