Last updated on December 16th, 2019
Milton Glaser — the renowned graphic designer behind the I❤ NY logo — famously said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” But achieving WOW on the first go is no easy feat. A startup needs a lot of varied effort, while staying within the lines of a lean budget to make things work. One such task which can prove to be daunting is to design a logo. A logo acts as the company’s identity for the target audience. It helps build a brand identity for the business.
Logo design is crucial as it sets the tone for business. It becomes a symbol for the brand and helps people recognize the brand amongst the crowd. As a startup, it can hold a lot of meaning. Not only does it lay the foundation for all your branding strategies, it also helps to convey about your business.
At this stage, not many people are aware of the business, since you have just started out, giving you an opportunity to play it smart and create a design which leaves an impression for all who come in contact. Many companies earlier failed to recognize and unlock the potential of a good logo, but now things are changing. You would find all start-ups working towards designing a company logo design from the get-go.
Here Are Top 15 Tips To Design A Logo For Startups
01. Figure Out And Clearly Define Your Business Personality And Brand Identity Goals
While logos are essential, they should not be in your priority list right at the beginning. At least, not until you have figured out certain things. For instance, precisely what would be your company’s most fundamental purpose? How do you envision the company five years down the line? The mission, vision, and aim of the company act as the guiding force through time.
For instance, you have just launched an interior design business, but as part of your 7-year plan, you aim to enter the retail space as a luxury furniture dealer. But at the start, if you focus only on the interior design purpose, you may have to shell out later for a massive makeover campaign. So why not create a logo with both goals in mind, we would recommend even keeping a name that would be relevant for such scenarios in the future.
Therefore, the most urgent and critical step should be to figure out these things before you venture out to create a log design for your startup.
Another aspect that needs to be featured in is your brand personality. As you launch your business, clearly define if you wish to choose the minimalist, elegant, quirky personality and tone. This will not only play a significant role in the logo designing process but also set a tone for your future branding strategies.
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02. Do Not Make The Logo Design Your Only Priority
When you are running a startup, its performance and success depend majorly on how much time and energy you devote to all the tasks that need to be finished. Life of a startup owner never slows down. You have to eat, sleep, and breathe everything about your new business while at the nascent stage. This makes it even more crucial that the tasks are scheduled depending upon the urgency.
Even though it may seem like the task at hand for designing a logo is supremely essential, it may not be so. When compared to certain tasks that you may have, creating a business proposal, choosing a great name, purchasing a domain, securing investment, defining the MVP, etc hold more importance than a logo design.
All such tasks must precede any attempts at the logo and graphic designing. As you shift gears from one job to another, make sure you prioritize them carefully and never lose sight of something more critical.
03. Look For Inspiration Around You
While working on your business pitch or your business model, you may need to study the work of many companies across the globe, giving you an opportunity to look at the logo designs of various players. Or you may be surfing the internet for something in particular when a design catches your eye.
Do not disregard a design even if it may be irrelevant to your business but a great design overall. You may never know how design can become a starting point for your own design.
Keep your eyes open; inspiration can strike anywhere anytime. It could be a color scheme, typography or even a symbol which can inspire your own logo design idea.
04. Consider What The Competition Is Doing
When looking for inspiration, what better way than to check out the competition? You will find great ideas of what is working, what has proven to work and what is engaging the customers more than the other. There is no better avenue to study than your competition.
But keep in mind to examine the concepts behind these ideas as well. When you consider your competition, figure out why something is working or why not? This will not only help you navigate the logo design process but tackle other tasks as well while providing you with a unique opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
When you study your competition, do not copy the exact concepts. First, it portrays your business as unprofessional but more importantly defeats the whole purpose of the logo. The key is to make yourself distinct. The target audience must be able to tell you apart from your competition. Your logo design must be unique for it to stand out from the crowd.
05. Hire A Professional Graphic Designer For Your Business Logo Design
Startups have to manage all the necessary actions with a restrictive budget. You may need to cut corners wherever possible to make room for all critical tasks. Your business logo design should not be one of the avenues where you cut. After all, your logo would become the face of the company.
Always keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to great logo design and all businesses have to aim at a great logo design for it to work. Do not look for someone with the knowledge of tools or try it on your own after watching a few web tutorials. You can hire a freelance graphic designer with the necessary experience using UpWork or LinkedIn. Make sure to check their portfolio to judge their design style.
If you wish to keep it an affordable option, consider using any of the web-based graphic design services. AI-based online graphics tools such as Designhill have been created keeping in mind business owners with little or no designing skills. These tools do the work for you based on your style and design preferences.
06. Brainstorm With The Logo Designer At Length
A logo design is very crucial for any business and therefore demands great thought. Sit with a professional graphic designer or logo designer and discuss ideas at length. Record all the ideas you come up with, good or bad. Create a mood board, either a physical one or with Pinterest. Add all the designs you can draw inspiration from or convey new ideas to the designer.
This process will help the designer gain a better and in-depth insight into your needs, requirements, thought process and goals. Once designers understand all these factors, they can come up with some spectacular graphic design ideas which can result in excellent logo design and further help your branding and marketing strategies.
07. Choose A Logo Style According To Your Target Audience
Design preferences are subjective; it is not necessary that all will like the same design. When you choose your logo style and design, make sure you keep in mind the preferences of your target audience. If you are targeting professionals, your logo design must be clean and elegant. If you are targeting children and teenagers, it should be playful and colorful. For millennials, it can be a quirky and cheerful design and so on.
This way the audience can connect with the logo easily and ensures that there is brand memorability.
08. Avoid Generic Logos And Cliches
Going with what has worked may seem like a safe and easier option, but that is the exact reason why it should be avoided. Since it has proven successful and can be considered safe, it would have been used by the majority of businesses. Hence, it defeats the entire purpose of a good logo which is to stand out.
Cliches such as a dentist using a tooth with a smile, a pet shop using a dog vector will result in you blending in with the crowd rather than stand apart. Come up with ways where if you do need the cliches to convey the purpose, their implementation is distinctive.
09. Make Sure Your Company Logo Design Is Adaptable And Scalable
A business logo would be displayed on smallest of surfaces to the largest. You would use it on your business card, promotional stickers, and even billboards. Therefore, the logo design is such that it looks great on all kinds of surfaces in all sizes.
It must look good on your website as well as a standee. Another critical factor to keep in mind is flexibility. With time you may need to tweak your logo a little bit. Ensuring that there is room for modification right from the start is a smart way to go.
10. Create A Logo Which Is Recognizable As Well As Memorable
Logo design is a demanding process. It takes time, and you may even feel stuck by so many things to be kept in mind. The key is to ensure that your logo is effective and recognizable. Your target audience must be able to identify your business and pick out you from the rest. This is critical if you are in retail.
Another vital need is that your logo must be memorable. If the logo is not memorable if it is not able to leave an impression in the minds of the people, they won’t be able to identify it. If your logo is memorable, it acts as a foundation for reliability. People start associating a sense of well-known brand with your company.
11. The Business Logo Design Must Be Simple Yet Distinctive
Never disregard the importance of minimalism and clever imagery. Simple designs go a long way. They are easy for the audience of all ages and spheres to understand and remember.
You may have done a lot of research on what works visually and no matter how tempted you and the logo designer get to pack all in the logo design. Show restraint and focus on one or maximum two elements to ensure that the logo is a clear and uncluttered presentation of your company’s brand identity.
12. Choose The Logo Font And Letter Size Carefully
Most people believe that a logo is all about image and graphics, but contrary to this popular belief, this is not at all true. A good logo can also be devoid of any image or icon entirely. The best examples for such logos are Google, Yahoo, and Nestle. These logos are legendary and were created using only text.
Therefore make it a point to check out as many fonts styles as possible to find the right one for you. Fonts are available in a plethora of styles. While some portray cheerfulness and informal setup, certain fonts paint a professional image. Once you have finalized the font, you wish to use, consider the letter size. Again, it may seem like inconsequential while it’s not. The right variation in size can make a lot of impact in a logo design.
13. Consider The Science Behind The Colors
Colors are very crucial in driving a point home when it comes to graphics. Colors and hues breathe life in an image. Some colors capture the viewers’ attention more quickly than others. This is known as the science of colors.
A carefully chosen color can get half of your marketing job done. The right colors can help you set the tone for your business. A common mistake startups make is adding a lot of colors to make it attractive. This ends up making the logo look too cluttered. Try and stick to 3 primary colors when you design a logo.
You can also revisit your choice, many major brands have done so successfully in the past, but that would incur additional costs which you can avoid by getting the color combination and shaded right the first time.
14. The Logo Design Must Be Relevant
A logo is a representation of your business at all times. This makes it pivotal that the logo is relevant. You would not find a chair in the logo for a medical clinic, would you? To stand out, the logo design must not lose its relevancy.
Make sure to use icons and visual elements that help the audience connect your logo to the respective industry, product or service. This reinforces the entire branding attempt while helping the viewers interpret the logo better.
15. Aim For A Balance
As your work towards creating an effective logo, you should aim to strike a balance. The logo should be proportionate in size and create a harmonious visual effect. An imbalanced logo would appear either weighed or crowded on one side of the design, while a balanced logo design portrays a simple yet powerful image. Look to create symmetry in the design for an overall balance and make sure that the logo works well on all colored backgrounds.
A logo is all about attracting people to try and consider your brand. These tips can help you get the logo design process started. Keep in mind that logo designing is an intimidating process for startup agencies, designers as well as entrepreneurs. When you put your heart and soul in building a business from the ground up, it should reflect in your company logo design. This makes it essential for you to let the imagination drive this process. Get creative and look for some unique ideas which can invent an excellent brand personality for your business. A thought out logo design can kick-start your branding journey, giving it the well-needed push. Your logo can prove instrumental in forging an emotional connection with your audience. Using the tips above you can design a creative logo which will prove to be effective.