How To Create A Great Logo
The purpose of the logo is not to explain what you do. It’s to help people remember you and define the quality of your organization. The most beautiful logo in the world will not increase sales at all but an ugly one can demolish your brand and lower your prices.
While crafting a memorable logo is a profoundly nuanced personal and creative endeavor, you can begin the process in several distinct ways:
Logos that have a symbol
First ask yourself if there is any obvious imagery that the name evokes. Like Apple, Target or Shell. If so, and you don’t have any design skills, you may be able to do what Twitter – now a VERY memorable logo – did and download it from a stock library like iStock. Twitter later redesigned the bird as big companies “aren’t supposed” to buy their logos from stock agencies. More on that later.
Another subset to this approach is to use the first letter of the name as your symbol like McDonalds, Adobe and Volkswagen.
Logos that are wordmarks
These are logos with no symbol and are defined by their font. Think Coca Cola, Google and FedEx. Simple typographic logos are powerful and classy. But choose an illustrative typeface, like letters that are made out of cats, and you can quickly wind up with a cheesy logo that screams cheap. So choose a classic typeface, like Bodoni, Goudy, Helvetica Neu or Futura (like pentagram used for Yahoo), not the ones that come with your computer. This works especially well if you have an impactful and memorable name.
Logos that replace a letter or letters in the word with an image or symbol. Think Chick-Fil-A, I heart NY and Discover. Look at the letters in the name and see if any of them could be replaced with meaningful shapes or symbols. Like the first approach, if you don’t have any design skills, you can find symbols on iStock or ShutterStock and use a program like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to swap out the letters.
Your Logo Isn’t Set In Stone
In the spirit of evolutionary branding, remember that logos should evolve with the times and as your business grows. Apple is a great example. Its logo wasn’t always as clean and sophisticated as it is today. Neither were AT&T’s and Twitter’s logos. So don’t be afraid to recreate your logo when it starts to feel stale or outdated.