by Robert Clough
Be smart with your logo design and think about your overall business strategy. Here are some tips to create a modern logo design for your business.
There are roughly 7.8 million small businesses in the US alone. It’s true that your brand isn’t competing with all of them since they’re not all in your niche.
But you will have competition, especially on a global scale. Standing out in a crowded marketplace online can be tough.
When you’re branding a small business, getting the right logo is vital. It’s the first thing customers see and it’s likely the thing they’ll remember.
But creating a modern logo design doesn’t need to be stressful
Read on for our top tips for logo design for your business!
1. Decide What You Want a Logo to Say
Your logo is often the first thing a customer or client will see. They’ll learn lots about your brand based on your design decisions.
A vintage styled design can communicate values of trust, authority, and longevity. But a modern logo design is a great way to say you’re current, up-to-date, and no-nonsense.
Working on your brand values means your logo design will tell people exactly who your business is. Your logo is a key aspect of your brand building.
Ask yourself what your business’s ‘why’ is. Why do you do what you do informs what you do and how you do it. Check out Simon Sinek’s famous ‘Start with Why’ TED talk for more guidance.
Think about your brand’s personality.
- If your brand was a shoe, what would it be?
- And if your brand was a car?
- How about if your brand was a store?
Knowing these aspects of your brand’s personality makes it easier to make the right design decisions.
2. Brainstorm Your Ideas and Throw out the First Half
This sounds like a waste of time. But it’s not. The first ideas you have will often be obvious, contrived, or cliched.
Force yourself to think of more than you think are possible. That’s when you’ll start coming up with something more interesting.
So brainstorm as many ideas as you can. Put the first half away (if you can’t stand to throw them out). What you have left will be more original.
Make sure you get plenty of feedback at this point. Get others to contribute to the brainstorm because they’ll have different perspectives than you.
3. Gather Plenty of Visual Inspiration
Once you’ve got the concept in place, you need to find visual inspiration. You can do this the old-fashioned way, cutting things out of magazines.
Or do it digitally using a platform like Pinterest.
Having a mood board is a great way to start making connections. You might see part of a pattern on one image. Then you combine it with a typeface from another.
Putting all of these visuals together makes it easier to spot things that match your brand personality.
4. Check Out the Competition
You don’t want to copy what your competitors are doing. That way, you’ll never stand out from the crowd.
But you do want to be sure your design isn’t near-identical to someone else. You’ll also get a good idea of common themes in your niche.
And you can see what to avoid. Is the current trend is for handwritten fonts? But you think they’re cheesy and overused? Don’t use them yourself!
5. Choose the Right Colors and Fonts
You may already have brand colors. Think of IKEA and you think blue and yellow. For Intel, you’d think of blue and white.
Make sure the colors have the right association for your brand. Remember that colors also have an international reach. A color may have positive connotations in the West and negative connotations in the East.
For fonts, keep it simple. Don’t use more than two types in the same logo. By types, we mean;
- Serif (e.g. Baskerville)
- Sans serif (e.g. Helvetica)
- Script (e.g. Lucida Handwriting)
- Display (e.g. Wingdings)
Certain pairs work well together to help reinforce your brand’s image.
6. Start Creating your Modern Logo Design!
Your brand personality will imply a particular aesthetic. This is another reason why you don’t want to follow trends.
What looks good this year can be horribly outdated next year.
Simply put, the easiest way to create a modern logo design is to choose something that suits your brand.
Use a logo maker online to experiment with designs based on the work you did earlier.
Types of Modern Logo Design
Try out lettermarks, otherwise known as monogram logos. Think of brands like the BBC or BP.
The full names of the companies are reduced to initials. They’re often harder to communicate brand personality. But they look incredibly modern.
Instead, you might look at wordmarks. Think of Samsung or Canon. For these brands, they only use the brand name.
But they succeed because they choose the right font. If there’s a perfect font for your brand values, a wordmark could be the right choice for you.
Expand your wordmark by adding a picture. Amazon would be a good example here. Not sure what we mean? Just check out the smile pointing from the A to Z!
The symbol communicates the extent of their stock. It also shows that the company delivers products.
If you’re feeling really confident, you can try an abstract logo. Look at Apple or Nike. Customers instantly recognize the logo even if they don’t immediately say “computing” or “sportswear”.
7. Get a Final Form of Feedback
Make several logos before you ask for feedback. Ask friends and, if you can, customers in your niche.
Find out if they can tell what your business does from your logo. Will they remember who you are based on the logo?
Is it a flexible logo? Can you use it across signage, uniforms, stationery, and websites? Will it become dated in a year or so?
Does it look like anything you’ve seen before? And does your target audience like it?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to unleash it on the world!
Finally, Enjoy the Process!
Now you know how to create a modern logo design. It can be a fun and enjoyable way to get to know your brand better.
Getting the design work right in advance means you’ll have a strong, sleek logo to last you for a few years.
You’ll be able to build brand recognition among your customers. And you can be proud of the logo, and the brand, you create!
Check out our other articles on brand building to give your business a headstart.
Be sure and visit our small business news site.