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Tue 25 Feb 2014 02:26 PM

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How to… create a logo

A good logo can work wonders for your business. Find out how to create one which will make people sit up and take notice

How to… create a logo

There are certain logos in the world that are ingrained in our memories.

Who can fail to recognise the Nike swoosh or the Apple, well, apple? Just one look can tell you exactly which brand you’re in contact with, and along with that comes a wave of associations including quality, product range, and much, much more.

A good logo can carry a lot of power, but creating one is an art which takes time, effort, and understanding of numerous aspects including colours, forms, demographics, and so on.

Of course, there are plenty of companies who can do it all for you, but if you want to create your own winning logo, here are a few pointers to get you started.

Work out primary function

What do you want your logo to do? Do you want it to show people what your business does? Do you want it to stick in people’s minds? How about create trust, or build admiration? There are a few things logos are capable of doing so you need to be sure you define your needs as this will guide your design.

Understand the qualities of your company

You may want to exhibit a certain aspect of your business that you’re proud of. For example, a delivery company might want to include themes of swiftness into its logo. If you have a hard-nosed business – perhaps a law firm – that should be reflected in the design, rather than making it look fun and whimsical.

Decide whether you want font, illustration, or symbol

Logos come in three broad types – font-based, illustration-based, and symbol-based. Font-based logos include Microsoft and Sony, illustration-based logos feature items linked to your business (using a picture of a hammer if you’re a DIY company, for example) and symbol-based logos have seemingly abstract symbols that trigger brand recognition. Think Audi. The final type generally takes a long time to build, while the other two are easier to market for new companies.

Think about target market

Different groups of people respond to different things, so make sure you’re targeting the people you want to target. If you’re aiming your business at young people, it’s no good using a logo which pensioners might find appealing.

Understand colours

If you understand the power of colours, you can tap into people’s subconscious. The colour of your logo, and the colour of your branding in general, will not only tell people something about your company, but it will affect them in a certain way. Passionate reds, cool and calm blues and luxurious purples and golds will all utter something without saying a word. Make sure you know what your colour pallet is saying.

Keep it simple

A bad logo is generally one which tries to squeeze too much into it. Try to avoid too many colours, too many words and clutter – customers won’t get a good impression of your business, and probably won’t understand what you’re offering. In theory it’s also cheaper and easier to create and reproduce a more simple logo, which will help other aspects of your business.

Create options

Don’t stick with the first logo you create. It’s best to get a few ideas together so you can get people’s opinions, develop designs, iron out any problems, and so on. Even a poor design can spark new ideas or contribute to further options. Feedback will help you narrow down what you’ve produced – it’s good to know if people think it’s boring before you use it all over your marketing material.

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