What Makes a Good Logo: The Dos and Don’ts
The function behind a logo goes far beyond being just a pretty visual that you can add to your website. As the heart of your branding efforts, your logo should represent the essence of your company’s personality. But does that mean you need to hire a professional designer to achieve this result? Luckily not. These days, creating a logo has become much more accessible to small business owners, thanks to the array of DIY online logo makers available – such as small businesses’ favorite, Wix Logo Maker.
Being able to create your little gem with your own resources doesn’t mean that you should go full experimental. There are a few simple, but essential design rules you need to keep in mind. This is why we met with Liron Gispan, a designer from Wix, who’s about to drop some (very, very useful) logo design knowledge. He shared some easy tweaks everyone can make to their creation and that will undoubtedly make a big difference. From the unwritten rules of using handwritten fonts to balancing out your name and tagline, here are the rules to follow to make a good logo:
Explore conceptual icons
In logo design, an icon is a simplified visual that captures the spirit of your brand. A common misconception is that your icon should literally be an image showing what your product or service is. While this may benefit some, it doesn’t have to be the case for all businesses. You can explore more conceptual (or even abstract) icons to emphasize what it is your company does. Browse various logo design ideas for some inspiration. Or consider Nike, for example. The iconic “swoosh” icon evokes the feeling of movement and speed. Very fitting for a sportswear brand. Think of your icon as a symbol rather than a picture. It needs to be highly visual and easily recognizable. The advantage of a more graphic icon is that it can often carry more visual weight. Ideally, your icon should be simple enough that clients can recall it even after one quick glance.
Use the space you have
For most businesses, an icon is simply not enough to fully express their brand identity. This is why Wix Logo Maker gives you the option to insert your name and tagline. Also known as a slogan, taglines are dramatic phrases that sum up the tone and premise of a brand. Now, not every company has a tagline. And that’s okay, but that doesn’t mean you should let this valuable space go to waste. If your name allows it, you can break it up into two lines while keeping the same font and size for both lines.
Play around with caps or lowercase
Sometimes, it’s the small details that make all the difference. Something as simple as playing around with caps and lowercase could bring your trademark to a whole new level. Traditionally, uppercase logos give off a strong sense of authority, while the use of lowercase exudes a more approachable, casual vibe. That’s not to say you can’t utilize uppercase text while softening the appearance with your choice of colors. It’s all a matter of balance.
Understand handwritten fonts
Creative typography remains to be one of the major logo design trends of 2018. An example of this trend: handwritten fonts. They offer a quirky and authentic feel that is sure to delight any customer. They are especially effective when used as the font of your tagline. If you’ve opted for one of these font styles, then this tip is for you. Often the use of caps for handwritten fonts make them seem less authentic, so take that into account.
Balance your tagline
Let’s talk about your tagline. A simple rule to follow to ensure that your logo makes sense is to always make your tagline shorter than your name. This is why we suggest going for no more than 25 to 30 characters. For the same reason, if you’re using a thicker font for your name, it’s best to use a thinner (or more basic) one for your tagline.
Adjust your name and tagline
Remember the golden rule of design? That’s right, it’s all about visual balance. This is why, although smaller in dimension, your tagline should always be perfectly aligned with your name. This will give your viewers and potential clients a natural sense of harmony.
In the situation where either your name or tagline is considerably longer, you can easily solve that by adjusting the font or size of either elements.
Let your logo breathe
Just like the Mona Lisa, some logos look best when surrounded by a beautiful frame. If you decide to go in this direction, be sure to leave enough space between your chosen frame and logo. In essence, allow your logo some breathing room. If things are looking a little cramped, simply enlarge the frame or decrease the font size.
Your masterpiece will be popping up in all kinds of places, from the header of your website to your business cards. Regardless of where it appears, your text should always be readable. To ensure this, take note of the text size and font that you use, and check the final result on various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and from different devices (desktop, smartphone, tablet, etc.). If your logo is too difficult to read, what was the point of designing it in the first place? In order for your logo to serve its entire purpose, make sure it’s readable in any situation, for any potential customer.
Give your background contrast
Following the theme of visibility, another way to ensure your logo is always ‘seen’ is by selecting a background color that gives enough contrast with your text. If the color of your text is white go for a darker background color such as black. So small, yet so effective.
Align all your elements
We hate to sound like a broken record, but this logo design tip goes back to the golden rule of design. Once all of your elements (name, tagline and icon) are present, it’s imperative that they are well balanced as a whole. While there are no set in stone rules, in order to be on the safe side, we suggest that you align all your elements in the same direction: left, center, or right. Remember, your design and content should be one (small happy family).
Size up your icon
The size of your icon affects the placement of certain other elements of your logo. Your icon should never be smaller in height than that of your text. To fix this, you can size up your icon to the same height of your text or even make it slightly bigger.
By Taira Sabo
Wix Blog Manager