Updated: Jul 22, 2019
Prior to finalizing the logo for my company, HELIX MEDIA, we went through a binder of ideas before we settled on our current design. As a designer, I want to share five things to consider when crafting your logo.
1. What message are you trying to convey? This is perhaps the most important question you need to answer because it will help drive all of your other decisions. Playful? Geeky? Forward-thinking? Traditional? Fast delivery? The FedEx FDX +0% logo is revered for its use of negative space, which reveals an arrow pointing forward. You have to know what you want to say before you can say it.
2. Who are you trying to reach? This can start out as a simple demographic or customer question. When we tossed around ideas for Hitched, we first expressed what we didn't want, which was a frilly, effeminate look or feel. We wanted something gender neutral to appeal to male and female married individuals—thinking that men would be less likely to read relationship advice that mimicked a lady's magazine. This helped guide the font style, color choice and everything else.
3. What do the colors and/or graphics represent? It's hard to imagine all of the color possibilities until you really begin to stare at a 1,000 different shades of a single color. Some colors are more popular in particular regions, some colors are faddish, some colors are difficult to replicate in different mediums, and some colors may already be spoken for—would you try to establish a new soda brand using a red can? Graphics and images pose their own concerns. In general, simple is often better. If, for example, you have a detailed graphic it might express a high level of sophistication, but it could also be difficult to read from a distance. Which brings me to...
4. In what context will it be seen? Will most people come in contact with your brand on a store shelf? On the internet? On coffee cups? Giant billboards or neon signs? What looks good while flipping through an idea book could look terrible once it's wrapped around a package. Literally look at your logo at the same angle your customer/client will see it. In most occasions a logo will be seen in a multitude of ways, from t-shirts to letterhead to coffee mugs. Take them all into consideration.
5. How can it be transformed? If you're designing a new logo today, you have to take into consideration how it can be manipulated, transformed or abbreviated to accommodate the digital world. Every social network, for example, wants a representative icon. Pepsi uses their ball logo with the red, white and blue stripes on Twitter; while Forbes uses just the "F" in the appropriate font from their full logo. Also, some logos get animated when introducing a video.
Logos have a personality. Since we're inundated with them we often take the thought behind them for granted. When crafting your logo don't settle for something that simply looks good, aspire to design something that evokes your message or a feeling.