Logo 101

Logo 101, a Beginner’s Guide to Logo Design for Graphic Designers

Logo Design

A logo is a graphic mark or symbol that identifies the goods and services of an organization. It is usually a simple design and can be represented in numerous styles. A logo design is used to identify businesses, organizations, groups, and even individuals. Branding is the term commonly used for this process.

Logos can be made up of many shapes, colors, and fonts, and come in every size imaginable. The most important thing about them is that they are simple enough for anyone to recognize while also being visually appealing.

This Logo 101 session will show you what to do and what not to do when designing a company’s brand. By following this simple guide, you will avoid the many headaches that beginning designers often make.

Tips for Designing the Perfect Logo

The design of a logo can make or break the success of a company. A good logo should be memorable, have a unique style and be easy to reproduce. It should also reflect the values and personality of the company.

A good logo should have some basic elements that are necessary for any design. It should be easy to read, simple and timeless. The colors used in the logo should be recognizable and not too bright or dark.

We recommend that you use one font family for your logo’s text and use symbols as little as possible to avoid confusion when reproduced in smaller sizes. The only exception would be if a symbol is the main part of the logo.

You must also consider all the ways the logo will be reproduced. It will be used online, in print, on apparel, and in marketing materials. The logo must be easy to recognize whether it is on a billboard or a keychain. Each method of use for a logo requires you to submit the art in a specific way. For example; a logo used online can be low-res (72 .dpi) and is in RGB color format. To print that same image on paper, such as a brochure or flyer, it must be 300 dpi and in CMYK format.

Common Mistakes When Creating a Brand

Branding a company can be a long and involved process. Your design after the initial concept will oftentimes be scrutinized by more than one person. This means that you will invariably be forced to create endless iterations of your design before final approval, so be patient.

To eliminate some of the back and forth between you and your client, try to avoid the little mistakes often made during the design process. The most common mistakes made in logo design are:

  • Not considering the use of color – Use a color wheel
  • Using too many fonts – Stick to just one
  • Not using negative space effectively
  • Adding too much detail to your design
  • Being too literal in your design

Logo 101 Starts With the Color Wheel

You need to become knowledgeable about the use of the color wheel. This is a device that will keep you from using color combinations that clash with each other. There are universally accepted color combinations that work best with each other, the color wheel will make sure that the colors you choose for the logo complement each other.

How to Choose an Appropriate Font for Your Logo

Choosing the right font for the brand is a crucial decision. You want to make sure that it will be attractive and memorable for your target audience. There are many factors to consider when choosing fonts, such as legibility, readability, and memorability.

When choosing a font, remember that the fancier the font, the harder it will be to replicate. It is best to avoid cursive or script fonts. San-serif is easier to read than serif fonts, however, the serif font lends a more professional white-collar image. Most serif font use can be found in brands for doctors, lawyers, etc…

Presentation is Key to Getting Final Approval for Your Design

When presenting your design concepts be sure your presentation is complete, concise, and color-correct.

Make sure you present the logo in every viewable form imaginable. You will want to show the brand in single color as well as full color. 

Learn how to create mock-ups so you can show the brand in its natural state. Let them see the logo as it would appear on a letterhead, as a metal sign on a building, on a promo item like a water bottle, etc… Don’t let the client imagine how it might look embroidered on a shirt, show them.