Okay, so you’re starting out on a new business adventure. You’ve got a great prototype and funding is starting to come together. Your company name is fresh, relevant, and just a bit cheeky. Now you just need to slap some color on that typeface and you’re all set, right? Nope! If your nascent company is itching to take the world by storm, you will need a logo design that will one day be as universally recognized as the Starbuck’s siren.

Her green form has changed with the times but remained so well-known that when the company dropped their name from the logo in 2011, not a single coffee-seeker turned away in confusion. The Nike, McDonald’s, and Apple logos are so firmly tied to the identity of their companies that language isn’t necessary. For recognition like that, you’ll need to make a logo design with an impact.

Getting Started on Your Logo Design

While you want the logo design to be unique, it’s important that it fits your company. When it comes to the beginning stage of design, Entrepreneur.com offers advice like:

  • Look at the logo design of other businesses in your industry
  • Focus on your message and your market
  • Make it clean and functional
  • Your business name and tagline will affect your logo design
  • Use your logo design to illustrate your business’s key benefit
  • Don’t use clip art
  • Avoid trendy looks

If you consider all of these factors at the start of the process, you won’t end up creating something you might like but doesn’t necessarily help the company project the right message.

In regard to color, you may need to make decisions based on your budget. Your logo will be reproduced on everything related to your company – signs, advertisements, business cards, stationary, and promotional items. More than three colors translate into an expense that is hard on a startup’s bank account, especially since you will likely need to hire a designer. Unless you have remarkable art skills, a professional is your best bet for avoiding amateur mistakes. Try to avoid cutting costs on the quality of your logo design artwork and save money by keeping your color scheme simple.

*Tip: Remember that your logo design will be printed in black and white at times, so make sure that it is still looks good in black and white.

Types of Logos

There are basically three types of logo designs: typographic, illustrative, and abstract graphic.

Typographic – This logo design is only text (examples: IBM, Microsoft, Sony). Its distinctive quality relies on the font used.

The big three fonts are: serif (traditional, academic, newspaper) think GAP, san serif (modern, clear, blogs) think Google, and script (creative, fun, stylized) think Cadillac.

Illustrative – This logo design is an image that explains the product/service or company name (examples: Red Lobster, Laughing Cow, Quaker).

Abstract Graphic – This logo design is a symbol unique to your brand which otherwise does not have meaning (examples: Nike, Pepsi, BP).

Once you and your designer have settled on a type of logo design and a color scheme, get some feedback from fresh eyes to avoid a potentially confusing or upsetting effect.

*Tip: keep in mind that your logo will likely need to change over time. Most corporations make minor or major adjustments every few years (Nokia’s original logo had a fish in it!). It’s important to love your logo design now, but stay on top of changing trends so your logo doesn’t fall behind the times.

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