Creating a business logo is incredibly important but also surprisingly simple. Honestly, you could start designing your logo right now and be done before bedtime. But before you get started, you should probably think through a few things. Here are six important questions to ask yourself before creating your startup logo.
What did your competitors do?
Copying your competition is not only ill-advised, it's also fairly illegal. However, there's no law against getting a few ideas based on what your competition has put together. Figuring out what their reasoning was behind a certain design can help guide you along the way.
Does some particular font or color or shape resonate particularly well with your target audience? Analyze your competition, and see what you can learn from them before creating your own startup logo.
What impression do you want to create?
Don't let anyone tell you that first impression aren't important. In most cases, your startup logo will be the first thing a potential customers sees. What do you want your message to be? Clean? Trustworthy? Unique? Awesome?
Once you decide what you want people to think, choosing the right colors, fonts, and general design becomes much easier.
What colors best convey your message?
Each color comes with a particular association. For instance, purple represents royalty. Black, white, and gold tend to signal sophistication. Green goes with growth. Brown pairs with earthy, rustic feelings. Blue goes with comfort and stability. Reds signals passion and hunger. Yellows shows happiness and a care free spirit. It's a science!
Accordingly, publishers tend to use black. The business and tech industries tends to use blue. And the food industry tends to use red, to name a few. Know that you don’t have to choose one color or another simply because of what industry you’re in, or because of its popular association. If anything, you might want to consider choosing a color that makes you stand out.
It's important to understand your market’s landscape. In fact, here’s a directory of brand colors to help you out.
Which font best represents you?
There are millions of different fonts to choose from but don't get too creative. You should probably stick with one of the more commonly used fonts. Everybody recognizes Arial, and it’s easy to read. Baskerville also ranks well on legibility tests, and it consistently ranks as one of the most trustworthy fonts.
Typically, serif fonts are rated as more professional, while sans-serif fonts are rated as easier to read. For your startup logo, throw all of this out the window and choose something uniquely yours. But you should at least consider what the general public thinks.
How easy is your design to understand?
If someone has to spend more than a second to register and comprehend your startup logo, it’s too complicated. Keep it simple! Part of what makes a logo easily recognizable is how long the brand has been around. If they have to think, you’re doing too much.
Trying to create a shape out of all the letters in your name, for instance, is a bad idea. On the other hand, just your name in a nice font can be great, simple means of getting your message out there. Because of this concept, minimalist designs have become popular. Whatever you choose, keep it simple.
Will it stand the test of time?
The last thing you want is a bedazzled startup logo that will probably go out of style next season. Don’t think about what’s hip. Think about what’s stable. The big idea here is that you don’t want to prematurely age your business. Nor do you want people to make inaccurate assumptions about your business because you typified one particular year or era.
Starting a business is a big deal, and creating a logo is one of those steps that makes your dream feel much more like a reality. Just don't get sucked up into all the hype and make a decision you're going to regret. Consider these questions before you decide, and you'll be on your way to a successful business.
Photo: Flickr / Kevin T. Houle