Great logo design requires a complex mixture of design skills, creative theory and skilful application. Any designer worth their salt can create a fit-for-purpose logo, but truly mastering all aspects of the craft takes time.
Of course, logo design is just one small sub-set of branding – which these days can incorporate a dizzying number of activation points, from interior design right through to tone of voice on social media – but the logo, or brand mark, remains the centrepiece of most branding schemes.
01. Understand your competition
Compare all the logos in their competitive set. This research may well reveal some entrenched branding conventions in that market sector, and that can sometimes help your process by playing on familiar visual associations.
But bear in mind that many of the world’s most recognisable logo designs stand out specifically because they eschew trends and think differently.
02. Ask the right questions
Strategy is becoming an increasingly important part of the branding process. What this means in practice will often depend on the scale of the project, but it all starts with asking the right questions.
03. Stay flexible during the process
Some conceptual, strategic ideas that work in theory may fall apart in practice when visualised; conversely, a compelling visual solution that emerges from left-field during the design stage can feed back into stage two and help evolve the strategy retrospectively.
04. Respect a brand’s heritage
Where genuine heritage and untapped potential exists in a mark, avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water and consider bringing it to the fore.
05. Small changes are good too
Sometimes you can change doing small things. Perhaps it isn´t necessary to redesign a whole new logo. Doing little things to vary the original logo is OK too.
06. Remember: a logo is just one ingredient
Logo design is just one small part of the modern branding process.
People now engage with a brand through a huge variety of different touchpoints, and the logo is not always their first point of contact with a brand.
Keep this in mind as you develop your logo design: stay versatile and flexible, and consider how the logo interacts with the rest of the brand experience, from packaging to tone of voice.