Launching a start-up? Opening a small business? Rebranding your business? Then, you need to put your best face forward with a logo that reflects your business, goals, and audience. That’s why it’s essential to understand how to design a logo! 

1. Why You Need a Logo

You absolutely need to spend money on a logo and branding for your business. Why? Well, a logo is the first thing a customer sees that abstractly communicates the essence of your business. Your logo reflects your offerings, brand identity, and credibility. Your logo sets your business apart from the competition and differentiates you in the market. Logos are so important for every business! Do not skimp on this essential branding element.

How to Design a Logo for Your Business

Not to belabor the point, but you absolutely need a logo. BUT NOT JUST ANY LOGO. You need a professional logo that’s high quality, plays nicely with ADA guidelines, works with print and digital marketing materials, and can stand on its own in black and white and full colors. So, how do you design a logo of this caliber? Using the following criteria and advice.

1. Consider Your Brand Mission

What’s your brand’s purpose? What’s the story behind it? Think about your mission and what your brand stands for when you start brainstorming ideas for your logo. You want your logo and entire branding design to reflect your why and make your mission apparent.

2. Brainstorm

With your mission in mind, start thinking of words, colors, and images that represent your business. What tone and feel do you want the logo to have? What colors should it include? Should your logo include a word, certain letters that represent your company name, a custom illustration, or an abstract graphic? Create a short list of things you want to create in your logo. You can whittle it down from there.

3. Start Sketching or Make a Mood Board

Calm down! We know you probably aren’t a graphic designer, and that’s okay. However, you have to start with something. So, sketch out your vision on paper, no matter how rudimentary. You want to get some basic ideas of what the items you brainstormed will look like together. You can also pull together a mood board of logos and branding you admire and want to pull inspiration from with your business’s logo design.

4. Find a Logo Designer and Ask for Logo Concepts

It’s time to take your favorite logo design elements and bring them to life in your working logo. You can take a DIY logo design approach and use software like Canva or Adobe Illustrator. Or, you can hire a branding designer like Charm School to bring your vision to life. 

Be sure to ask for a number of initial logo concepts and fully brief your logo designer on your vision. Logo design isn’t cheap, so remember you’ll probably get what you pay for.

5. Factor in Overall Brand Guidelines

Your logo should go along with photography guidelines, typography, and color palette. Make sure you use a logo that will play nicely with these other elements.

6. Workshop and Test Your Logo

it’s hard to be objective when you’re super invested and close to something. You know, like launching and building a business. That’s why you should review your logo concepts with stakeholders, test groups, and trusted members of your business. You can also hire a business consultant like us who specializes in everything from brand identity and business naming to branding design and digital marketing. Their input should be the guiding force for your final decision.

8. Debut Your New Logo

Once you’re happy with your logo, you’re good to go! Launch your logo and new branding on your website, print materials, and everywhere you have a digital presence. Update social media profiles, emails—the works. You want your branding to be consistent across channels.

What to Avoid When Designing Your Logo

We make designing a logo for your business sound relatively easy above, at least we hope we did. But, like with everything, there are certain things you’ll want to avoid in the process.

Don’t Make These Logo Design Mistakes

1. Being Cliché or Generic

You don’t have to go with the most obvious logo elements. Think about it. How many fast food burger places have burgers in their logos? McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Carl’s Junior, Jack in the Box, and In-and-Out don’t. Just because you sell an item doesn’t mean you have to feature it on your logo.

2. Forgetting to be Unique

Along those same lines we mentioned above, be unique with your logo design. Don’t even think about copying or mirroring someone else’s logo just because you like it. The last thing you want is to get accused of trademark infringement—or blend in with the crowd.

3. Trying Too Hard

You can be unique without your logo being complicated or having some overly complex meaning behind what you do. That FedEx arrow is simple. It’s one of the things that makes it such a great Easter egg. 

4. Overcomplicating and Overdesigning

You need your logo to be legible horizontally, vertically, in one color, and in black and white. Don’t opt for a busy logo that doesn’t size well.

5. Choosing a Design Trend

Wide-leg jeans are back. Yep, like they wore in the ‘90s. But while most styles come back around, you want your logo to be classy, traditional, or even sleek and modern, but not necessarily trendy. Trends come and go. Think timeliness instead. Branding is a big investment, and you want yours to last a while.

6. Cheap Out or Settle

Don’t cut corners or adopt a logo you don’t love. If you can’t design it yourself, pay for a quality graphic designer who can. If you just aren’t quite there with the design, keep trying things until you get something you love. You shouldn’t change your logo like you do socks, so you’ll want something with some longevity. This especially rings true if you’re launching a new business. Don’t build your empire on a shaky branding foundation. Lead with a strong logo you’re proud of and can grow with.

Not sure that you want to mess with the whole logo thing yourself? We understand. Charm School is happy to take it off your plate with our branding and graphic design services. Contact us today to get started!