The 5 essential steps when designing your company logo

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As we are getting nearer and nearer to 2019, this might be the perfect time to improve your company’s branding and logo. Whether you have a designer in your team or hire an external professional, you will benefit from understanding what a good logo looks like and does.

A new year marks also a new beginning, with businesses expanding and startups getting off the ground. Irrespective of which scenario your brand finds itself in, your new or renewed logo should make a difference.

In this blog we will be discussing what fundamental steps you need to take in creating brand logos. We will also focus on the use of negative spaces, as one of the most powerful ongoing trends in the business related design world. What it actually means is using the space around a subject, shape or image to make the logo more interesting and dynamic. By doing so, you will be adding flair and style.

And who would choose their brand to be represented by a washed out, boring image?

Step 1. The Beginning

When first designing a logo for your business start with the preliminary groundwork. What does this exactly mean?
Sketch out ideas to form a basis for the future image which will represent your company. Choose what images and what text will be incorporated and where it will go. These will show your audience what your business is all about.

Now, the designer creating the logo needs to understand the nature of your business and what it offers. First, clarify to yourself and to the professional you are working with what makes your company stand out. This step is extremely important as you are laying down the foundation to then work and expand on. Once you know what words and images you want to use, look at the negative spaces. Consider how they can be expanded or worked with to make your logo stand out.

Is there space missing within the text to create an image?
For example, when using the letter ‘ A ‘ (see image below), we identify three negative areas – the middle triangle, the lower part of the letter and of course anywhere outside of the letter. Next, you decide how to use these spaces – this can also be done for images and shapes!


Step 2. Identification and Balance

After laying down the foundation, we need to ask another fundamental question.
Why do companies and businesses use a logo? What is its purpose?

Besides the company name, a logo makes your brand instantly recognisable. It also needs to demonstrate to anybody looking at it what your business provides. Anybody looking at it should be able to capture this in a glance. So, very importantly, try to have the essentials ONLY!

Balance is vital within a logo. Unnecessary graphics or text will only distract and detract consumers from your intended message. The graphics you are using (whether they are shapes or images) and the text/colours should all align, correlate and make sense. This gives your logo the perception of professionalism and makes it all the more appealing.

As for the negative spaces within your logo, apply the same principle.
Do the spaces, shadows or any other element you are utilising within the negative space line up?
Does it actually make sense for it to be there?
Negative spaces used within your logo that correlate with your business’ USP make your logo so much more stylish and sophisticated.

Step 3. Colour, Imagery and Font Face

The colours used in a logo play a significant part. When thinking colours, you can choose at least a primary, a secondary and possibly more. This will correlate with what type of imagery you are using and of course, the text/font face.
What colours you use should reflect the identity of the brand. They should match already existing colours (if any) within your brand and also relate to the industry. For example, web companies often use the already established blue. We discussed about the psychology associated with each colour in our article about business cards. Also, an excellent tool, the colour wheel will help you by demonstrating which ones go together.


The same also applies to the text/font face. Nowadays, you will find vast sources to choose font faces from. Consider this carefully, as it will massively influence the impact of your logo. Think of what you are aiming to display. Different font faces can achieve completely different things.
Are you going for a more sophisticated and stylish logo, or a friendly, fun and eye-catching one?

Lastly, the imagery must also reflect your business. A web company for example would use imagery that relates to that field, such as a computer.

Colour, imagery and font face must work together! More specifically, negative spaces (see in our logo below too) should also work within the confines of your imagery/text. Overall, the text, colour and imagery should be legible at any scale and make sense in relation to your company.


Step 4. Suitability

Who makes up your company’s audience?
What services does your company offer?
What already exists in your company’s brand?

These are all important questions to consider when designing your logo. The final image MUST be suitable for your company and its identity. As already mentioned, it should help your audience identify your brand and, most often, it stands as the first point of contact. Nowadays, most of us will recognise big companies across the world instantly by their logo. You are aiming to achieve that exact goal.

Step 5. Originality

With so much information, and more importantly, visual information around, we risk drowning in the digital ocean. But luckily we can learn how to swim – by being original!
It is so important to have originality within your design. Of course, knowing what is already out there helps, but designers should NEVER copy or replicate someone else’s work. Your ideas should come from you and only you!

Originality allows your logo and brand to stand out and also allows more leeway when designing your logo in the first place. It allows the industry to move forward and push boundaries, so be daring, creative and bold with your designs!

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