by Rob Marsh
Your logo design is the face of your brand. More than that, your logo is the face of your business. It’s often the first thing a customer sees on your business card, your website, or your store sign. It’s the one thing that links all of the elements of your brand together.
So what makes a good logo and how can you make sure you get one?
Let’s start by listing the things that don’t necessarily add up to a good logo: it doesn’t need to be expensive. It doesn’t need to be created by a professional designer (although this may not be a bad idea depending on your situation—see Is a Do-It-Yourself Logo Right for You, for example). It doesn’t have to tell your whole business story or include images that related directly to your business (although it can).
We can hear you saying, but that’s not what I’ve read on other sites. True, there are a lot of people who will argue that you need to spend a lot of money on a logo to do it right (and if you don’t, you’ll pay for it later). But there are examples of very successful companies that paid almost nothing for their logos. Twitter paid $7 for the rights to the little blue bird they use as an unofficial logo. And Nike famously paid $35 for it’s swoosh logo. If you’re just starting out, trying to prove your business concept, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a logo.
But you do need to keep a few things in mind if you want to make a great logo:
#1. Use only one or two colors. Take a look at the logos of the Top 100 brands in the world (you can see the list here). Notice anything about the colors? The vast majority use just one or two colors. That’s it. The simpler a logo is, the easier it is to remember. So don’t mess it up with too many colors.
#2. Choose a simple icon. Take another look at the list of logo designs. Pay attention to the ones that use an icon. Again, notice anything? The best brands tend to use simple shapes and designs—icons that are easy to recognize in small sizes, as well as large.
We once had a client who requested seven different icons be used in their logo because they did provided seven different services. Bad idea. The logo was a mess. How many items are there on the McDonald’s menu? 20? 30? Yet, McDonald’s only uses one icon it their logo (and it isn’t a hamburger). When it comes to your icon, think simple (click here to browse hundreds of simple icons by topic that you can use to create a logo for yourself).
#3. Consider not using an icon at all. Another thing you’ll notice from the list of best brands is the number of companies that don’t use an icon at all. Instead they choose a unique font that they use consistently over time as their logo. (Another shameless plug: our Logomaker design tool has nearly 50 unique fonts you can use to create your logo. You can try them by clicking here.)
#4 Avoid distractions. Go back to the list of best logos. How many include tag lines? How many include words like Inc, Corp, or LLC? How many include phone numbers or other contact information? Answer: none of them. If the world’s largest brands don’t need these elements in their logos, neither do you. Leave them out.
#5. Stand out from your competition. Be memorable. Don’t try to copy another business, especially one you will compete with. Be your own business and make a unique statement about your company. The next time your customer needs your service, she’ll choose you because she’ll remember your brand.
If you put it all together, you’ll get a great logo design. Now, why not try to create one yourself?