4 logo design tips you should know

When you think of effective logo designs, a few companies in particular probably come to mind. Businesses like Apple, Nike, Starbucks and McDonald’s have instantly recognizable designs that are meaningful for their brands and fairly simplistic. Your logo design is one of the most important parts of a new company. This will be on your business cards and personalized stationery, not to mention company swag, like coffee mugs, mouse pads and more. If you’re designing a logo for your company, here are four design tips you should keep in mind:

1. Be meaningful
Did you know the reason Apple’s logo has a bite taken out of it is because it represents a “byte?” Your logo design should be well thought out and meaningful, so this isn’t a process you should rush. Consider your company’s brand and service. What do you offer and how can you incorporate it into a logo through shapes, colors and themes? Is your brand contemporary and fun, or a little more conservative? What does your target audience expect from your services?

You should also be very thoughtful about whether you want your company’s name to be a part of the design – companies like FedEx, Google and Coca-Cola, for instance, have simple and recognizable logo designs that put the company’s name in the forefront.

2. Be simple
Some of the best logos are simple and straightforward (think Target or Chanel). While complicated designs aren’t necessarily a bad thing, your logo should be versatile, and able to translate easily from the side of a truck to company business cards to social media. It should be clean, distinctive and still recognizable if it’s in black and white rather than the colors you’ve chosen.

3. Use colors wisely
Colors are very symbolic in the design world, so if you choose color instead of black and white, it’s a good idea to take your time considering the right colors for your brand. For instance, green represents growth or an instructional brand, whereas orange is more creative and youthful. For a professional or trustworthy design, opt for blue, but for a rural or historical company, use brown. If you do go for black and white, consider that black signifies a brand is credible and powerful, while white typically symbolizes purity. Even the vibrancy of the colors you choose can make a difference. Bright and bold may mean something completely different than soft and light.

4. Consider your competition
One of the best ways to get a feel for your own logo design is to look at your competitors’ logos. However, be careful not to let their designs influence yours – you want your logo to be completely original, recognizable and set you apart from competitors (not bring your competitors to mind). Consider car brands or newspapers – while they may have some similar characteristics, like an oval silhouette or a classic typeface, you can easily tell the difference between Toyota and Honda, or the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.