The function behind a logo goes far beyond being just a pretty visual. 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 designer to achieve this result? Luckily not. These days, you can use a free logo maker to design a logo that is professional, aesthetic and meaningful without needing to be a graphic design expert.
When it comes to good logo design, there are a few simple, but essential rules you need to keep in mind. We met with Ofra Lior, Social Design Team Lead at Wix, to share some of her knowledge, and very useful logo design tips. She shared some easy tweaks and helpful insights that will undoubtedly make a big difference as part of your own research for your logo design.
From the rules of using handwritten fonts to understanding the importance of balance and thoughtful design, here are our tips on how to make a good logo.
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How to make a good logo
01. 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.
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, recognizable and capable of evoking emotion. 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 online or offline.
If you need a little logo inspiration, you can take a look at this complete guide on how to design a logo.
02. Use the space you have
For most businesses, an icon is simply not enough to fully express their brand identity. If you use a logo maker, you will have a variety of options 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 it 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.
03. Play around with caps or lowercase
When it comes to good logo design, sometimes it’s the small details that make all the difference. Something as simple as playing around with letter case could bring your typeface and trademark to a whole new level.
Traditionally, uppercase logos give off a strong message 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.
04. Consider handwritten fonts
Creative typography remains to be one of the major logo design trends. Specifically, handwritten fonts are some of the best fonts for logos. They offer a quirky and authentic feel that is sure to delight any customer.
Handwritten typography is especially effective when used as the font of your tagline. If you’ve opted for one of these font styles, then this logo design tip is for you. Often the use of caps for handwritten fonts make them seem less authentic, so take that into account.
05. 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.
06. Adjust your name and tagline
Here’s the golden rule of design—it’s all about visual balance. 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 element.
07. 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.
08. Ensure readability
Your logo will be used in all your branding assets, from the header of your website to your business cards. Regardless of where your logo 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, Instagram, 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.
09. Create a scalable design
Here’s how to make a good logo—make sure your entire logo design is scalable. Big or small, wherever your logo appears, it should always look sharp and recognizable. This includes both the text (as mentioned above), and any other elements.
Logos that are too detailed or intricate may be challenging to scale down to a smaller size. There is no “one size fits all” for logos, but ensuring that your logo is a high resolution vector that can be adapted to various sizes and file types means it will look good in any setting. If you want to familiarize yourself better, you can read more about logo sizes for various contexts. You can also check out some real life logo examples, designed internally by Wix experts for a real business.
10. Give your background contrast
Following the theme of visibility, another way to guarantee 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.
Be mindful of your color palette in general, as colors are very powerful when it comes to inspiring specific emotions, be it love, happiness, drive or something else. Consider getting more familiar with color psychology, the color wheel and the concept of color space to ensure you're using the best combination of colors for your logo.
11. 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. In fact, paying attention to alignment, symmetry and negative space are key components of logo psychology.
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 logo design and content should be one (small happy family).
12. 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 as your text or even make it slightly bigger.
13. Know your competition
Be sure to look at competing brands to see what logos communicate effectively to your target audience, and which ones are missing the mark. Analyzing competitors' logos can not only help you gain strategic insights, but can help you differentiate yourself from the pack.
For example, if all your competitors stick to monochromatic wordmark logos, try designing a logo with color or unique typography to help your brand stand out.
14. Stay as timeless as possible
A classic never goes out of style. While design trends come and go, it can be tempting to follow the latest fad. Using short timed design trends is a pitfall you want to avoid.
Since your logo is the heart of your brand identity and will appear across all your branding touchstones (social medial, email marketing, business card and other places), it's worth putting in the time and energy, right off the bat. This way you can be sure your logo will stand the test of time and look good 5, or even 10 years down the road.
15. Be memorable
One of the best logo design tips we can share is to make your logo unforgettable. You want customers to not only notice your logo, but to remember it long after. Try to think of some logos that are particularly memorable to you. Why do they stand out? It's likely the positive association to the product of service that comes to mind.
That said, you want people to create positive and meaningful associations with your brand, and a good logo is just the way to do so. Some of the most notable and memorable logos like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, IBM, Visa and Apple are simple, direct and clearly represent the brand. If you stay true to your brand values, hold on to the concept of personalization, and design a logo that effectively communicates who you are, the easier it will be for people to recall your logo and think of your brand.
Tips to choose the best logo
Here are some tips to choose the best logo for your brand:
1. Understand your brand. What do you want your logo to communicate? What are your core values? What makes you unique? Once you have a good understanding of your brand, you can start to think about how to visually represent it.
2. Consider your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your logo? What are their interests? What kind of design would appeal to them? Keep your target audience in mind when choosing colors, fonts and other design elements.
3. Choose a versatile design. Your logo should look good on a variety of different materials and in a variety of different sizes. It should also be easy to reproduce in both black and white and color.
4. Be original. You want your logo to stand out from the competition. Avoid using generic clip art or overused symbols. Instead, try to create a unique design that is specific to your brand.
5. Get feedback. Once you have a few logo designs that you like, show them to friends, family and colleagues to get their feedback. This can help you to identify any potential problems with your design and make sure that it is effective and appealing.
Here are some additional tips:
Use simple shapes and fonts. Complex designs can be difficult to remember and reproduce.
Use color wisely. Color can have a powerful impact on emotions, so choose colors that reflect your brand personality.
Don't be afraid to experiment. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to logo design. Be creative and try different things until you find a design that you love.
How to integrate your logo into your business
There are many ways to integrate your logo into your business. Here are a few ideas:
Use it on your website and social media. Your logo should be prominently displayed on your website and social media pages. This will help to create a consistent brand experience for your customers.
Include it on your marketing materials. Your logo should be included on all of your marketing materials, such as business cards, brochures, flyers and email signatures. This will help you increase brand awareness and recognition.
Add it to your products and packaging. If you sell products, you can add your logo to them directly or to the packaging. This is a great way to get your logo in front of potential customers.
Use it in your office and retail space. Your logo can also be used in your office and retail space. For example, you can display it on signs, walls and uniforms. This will help to create a professional and branded environment for your customers and employees.
Partner with other businesses. You can also partner with other businesses to cross-promote your brands. For example, you could offer each other discounts or give away each other's products or services. This is a great way to reach a new audience and get your logo in front of more people.
The golden rules of logo design
The golden rules of logo design are:
Simplicity: A good logo should be simple and easy to understand. Avoid complex designs that can be difficult to remember or reproduce.
Memorability: A good logo should be memorable and easy to recognize. Aim for a design that is unique and stands out from the competition.
Versatility: A good logo should be versatile and able to be used in a variety of mediums and sizes. It should look good in both black and white and color, and it should be scalable to any size without losing its impact.
Relevance: A good logo should be relevant to your brand and target audience. It should reflect your brand values and personality, and it should appeal to your customers.
How to make a good logo FAQ
What do I need to know before creating a logo?
Before creating a logo, you should have a clear understanding of your brand and target audience. You should also have a good understanding of the principles of design.
Here are some things to consider before creating a logo:
What are your brand values?
What is your target audience?
What is your brand personality?
What colors and fonts represent your brand?
What are your competitors' logos like?
How can I get good at logo design?
The best way to get good at logo design is to practice regularly. You can start by sketching out different ideas and concepts. Once you have a few strong ideas, you can use design software to create digital versions. You can also learn from other designers by studying their work and reading articles and tutorials about logo design.
What are 5 rules for creating a good logo design?
The 5 rules for creating a good logo design are:
Keep it simple: A simple logo is easier to remember and recognize.
Make it memorable: A good logo should be unique and stand out from the competition.
Choose appropriate colors: Colors can evoke different emotions, so choose colors that align with your brand values and target audience.
Ensure it’s scalable: Your logo should look good at any size or resolution.
Keep it consistent: Use your logo consistently across all branding materials.