Creating a logo that helps your business to stand out, but still communicate your values and personality can be a tricky thing to get right. Here are five simple steps you can take to get things right.

Brief

Creating a brief for your project is absolutely essential if you're going to get this right. It's important to take a long hard look at what your business is about, the values, vision, personality, who your customers and competitors are and what you are hoping to achieve. The Design Council has a great guide for this here and there's a free brief form available here.

Research

Once you've done this then it's time to look into your competitors, design examples and anything visual related to your business. Here's some ways to do this:

  • Create a table and list your competitors. Look at what their logo is like and make notes on different things like colour, font style, imagery used and layout. You want to make sure that you do not look like they do.
  • Grab two sheets of paper and cut and paste logos, fonts, colours etc onto them. One for things you like. One for things you don't. Annotate it so that you know what's what – especially if you see something that could work for your business.
  • Do a visual mind map where you look at your business and doodle the images that are related to what you do.

Create

Take some time to look through all the information you've gathered so far. Grab a pen and paper and spend some time translating this information into logo designs. You're focusing on layout, shapes and ideas. It doesn't even have to look beautiful. Jot down everything, even if you have a really, really BAD idea, try it just so that you can move on from it. If you get stuck then have a break and come back to it.

Refer back to your brief often to make sure you're on track.

After a while you should have a selection of options and you can pick a few of them to take on to the computer, try out and neaten up.

Develop

If you don't have any 'professional' design software on your computer (such as Photoshop or Illustrator), there are free or fairly inexpensive graphics software packages available.

You'll need to think about various different aspects of your logo including:

  • Colour. This is very important as colours have a lot of power in terms of how people perceive your business so spend some time choosing carefully.
  • Style. Will your logo work best in a hand drawn or in clean lines?
  • Typeface. You'll need to consider the typeface you choose to ensure that it matches your values and personality. Is it legible? Is it serif or sans serif? Capitals or lowercase?
  • Layout. Will your logo work on your website? On your letterheads? On social media you mostly need a square logo, I'm not saying it has to be square, but it helps if you can make it useable within that space.

Once you are satisfied with your logo, show some people you trust, get some feedback and push it further. It can be hard to know when to stop, so save it as you go in different versions so you can always go back a few steps.

Once it's finished, you should have a logo that conveys what your business does, indicates your business values and appeals to your target audience.

Apply

Once your logo is complete then you can apply it to things. Pop it on your social media, design some stationery, add it to your website etc, you should have a good idea what these things will be from the brief that was filled in at the beginning.

Article by Amy Purdie of Whiteacres Design.

Contact 07731 582379 or @amypurdie on Twitter.

NBSL LogoThis article is brought to you by NBSL's North East Business Support Fund which funds the costs of business improvement projects such as website development, marketing strategies, external consultancy – click here to find out more

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