Logos are tiny symbols, yet they rule the marketing roost. Since they’re the first thing potential customers see, logos set consumers’ expectations for what a company is like. Good logos set high expectations, encouraging prospects to take the leap to work with a company. But bad logos turn potential customers away before you can so much as say hi.
Of course you want to design good logos, whether they’re for clients or your own company. To do that, you’ll need to learn the 7 rules of logo design. These surprisingly simple guidelines will help your logo tell customers all the right things.
Rule #1: Be Enticing
Branding is very specific. Every company offers certain products, and they have an equally specific audience—the group of people who need those products. Spend time learning who your audience is, what they like and dislike, and any other information about them, so you can design a logo that appeals to their desires.
Rule #2: Be Unique
Certain designs are popular in certain industries. That’s why most tech companies use blue color branding and why law firms like serif fonts. It’s smart to see what is popular in your industry and even to incorporate those things in some way. Just be sure to add your own unique touch so your design won’t get lost in the shuffle.
Rule #3: Be Timeless
Many logo designs that are trendy now need to be redesigned when the trend dies. But good logos last longer; they appeal to people’s hearts and minds for years. Construct a logo using classic design choices that speak to your brand’s message, not just to what’s stylish this week.
Rule #4: Be New
Being “new” is an extension of being unique and a counterbalance to being timeless. With this rule, you’ll want to think about ways to add your own modern twist to classic elements. These little innovations will make your design totally unique and help it last longer, because it will be rooted in both the past and future.
Rule #5: Be Simple
Super complicated or intricate logos essentially try to tell a brand’s entire story at first glance. That’s like meeting a person at the grocery who starts telling you their life’s problems. It’s awkward, not to mention information overload. Make sure you streamline your logo, so it invites customers to get to know the brand, without overwhelming them.
Rule #6: Be Consistent
Like the rule of simplicity, this rule helps make sure every part of the logo sends a single message. For example, brands marketing to women often use round logos, whose soft shapes seem more feminine. As the designer, you’ll have to consider which shapes, symbols, spaces, or fonts best convey the brand’s message.
Rule #7: Be Adaptable
As a brand’s most recognizable symbol, logos appear just about everywhere. They have to scale from a tiny website icon all the way up to a giant highway billboard. They need to look good in color for use in official marketing materials, yet equally good in black and white in case of colorless printing.
Make these rules part of your logo design process, and you’ll soon have a long-lasting logo that tells customers all the right things.