10 tips for designing the most beautiful logo
One, two, three... Lo-GO.
When we think about the first day of school in our lives, we can't help but feel a touch of tenderness towards the feverish little pimpled kid we were back then. This chaotic mix of wanting to please at first sight, while being different from the others, but not too different either...
Yes: we are making a subtle metaphor. Got it?
We're referring to logo design here! It's kind of like preparing your outfit for the first day of school: you know that this is the image that will be in everyone's mind, so you want to go all out. The only difference is that at the time, no one was there to tell you not to combine those floral leggings with velcro sneakers (please don't).
But now, the TPOP team is not far away, ready to come out of nowhere to advise you on how to design the best logo possible.
You already have a store name, perhaps from our recent article... Then it's time to take that next step. You'll see, the logo world is a piece of cake. Would you like a slice?
What do you mean you want four?
We knew it. Greedy people that you are.
The different types of logos
There are six different types of logos. Complicated? Not at all! Think of it as a multiplicity of ways to express your brand's personality. Touching when you put it that way, isn't it? Personally, we cry.
This is the most obvious version of the logo: it is simply the name of the brand in its own font, without any symbols or shapes. Particularly suitable for brands with short, easily readable names, this will not be the best choice if your brand is called, for example, Streichholzschächtelchen.
Derived from the logotype, the monogram is based on the same principle of the brand name without any other distinctive sign than the font. The only difference is that it is the initials of the brand name. This type of logo is a bit impersonal and is rarely used by e-commerce brands, especially those in the fashion world. It is nevertheless a good option for brands with complicated names wishing to be understood and recognized more easily!
"A picture is worth a thousand words", said Confucius... This is the credo of brands choosing a pictogram! This type of logo is composed of a symbol or a shape and... That's all. This has a main advantage (to be understood by everyone, without exception) but also a certain disadvantage (it does not help consumers much if they do not already know who you are). We advise you to wait until you build up a certain reputation before turning to the pictogram, and considering your potential (limitless, simply prodigious), we don't worry about it happening one day.
Stand out from the crowd? Companies that choose an abstract logo make it their fight. This type of logo is a derivative of the pictogram since it is entirely based on an illustration: on the other hand, this last one is evocative, unique, without real meaning. It was invented with one objective in mind: to reflect the spirit of the brand as accurately as possible. Pfff, they really can't do anything like the others those ones... And that's GOOD.
It's self-explanatory, right?
Well, okay, we'll give some anyway because we're not paid only to drink coffee and make puns.
The mascot logo represents the brand with the help of a fictitious ambassador-character, a perfect reflection of the brand's values. Created from scratch by the company, it has the noble mission of uniting all ages around a friendly character: that's why we'll see them in brands wishing to inspire trust, especially to families. Imagine a mascot for Chanel. Can you see it? We do: it's a lady in a suit making a face, smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of red. We've seen more selling. That's why the mascot logo is not often used in the fashion world: it doesn't really lend itself to this universe.
The best possible choice. Without question and very objectively of course...
More seriously: as its name indicates, this type of logo combines several of the logo styles seen above (often no more than two). Very versatile, the logo-combo has the nice advantage to be more suggestive than a purely illustrative logo. We note that it can also, in the long term, be used in a fragmented way (think for example of the Nike comma, which has since its appearance gained so much evocative power that it is sometimes used alone).
Well: now that we have had our fill of inspiration, we catch our breath... The mop has just begun! Let's see now how you can create the logo of your dreams.
10 tips for designing the world's most beautiful logo
If you please!
Tip #1: Keep an eye on what's out there...
How do you go about creating your logo? Wait for the idea to come to us in an enigmatic dream? To go to a clairvoyant so that she reads our future logo in coffee grounds?
We are more reliable: on our side, we advise you to take a look at what the competition is doing and, more globally, the market. Not to copy (that's naughty) but to know what you like and what you don't like in what we are used to see (it's much less naughty). Believe us, this step will be very helpful in your quest for the perfect logo!
Tip #2: ... While being original
The logo has one main purpose: it is there to distinguish you from the others. Yes, the same ones we told you to be inspired by in the paragraph just above. Why make it simple when you can make it slightly contradictory?
It is in fact the right balance of your cocktail between similar and differentiating codes that will make your logo effective. We would like to tell you that this balance is easy to find. But we never lie. Except when someone asks us if we're okay and we answer "yes" even though Crazy Frog hasn't released an album since 2009. Finding that balance isn't easy, but once you do, you'll definitely recognize it... And you'll have the power to shine as brightly as Bruce Willis' skull in the sea of dull hair of your competition.
Tip #3: Think about your symbols
Your choice is a logo with an illustration? Yep! Then you surely understand why you will have to focus on this visual aspect: it will be the first thing that will attract the eye of your precious potential customers. For this step, keep in mind the values and the target of your brand, whether it is for the shape of your symbol(s) or for the way they are stylized (rather classic, minimalist, retro or childish "doodle" effect). The frame of your logo also matters: note that a round shape evokes values of unity and comfort, while a rectangular frame will inspire balance and stability. That's how important every detail is... It is a work of goldsmith, yes, but it will allow you to offer yourself as a logo the jewel you deserve.
Tip #4: Choose your fonts wisely
The police do EVERYTHING: proof of this.
Something is wrong. Do you see what we're talking about?
The whole thing is infamous, yes, but more importantly, none of these fonts are in line with the companies' identity and values. The result is confused and curious: a mix of feelings that rarely made the wallet draw.
So, shaping the most beautiful logo also involves a good choice of font: your brand personality is rather classic? Then why not opt for a serif font. If you want to belong to the world of luxury, a more minimalist font, without serifs (Sans Serif) could be a good choice. To help you find the one, there are plenty of guides to finding the right font, like here or here.
A word of advice: don't use Comic Sans MS. Really.
See for yourself with this box that contains all the occasions when it is good to use Comic Sans MS:
No, there isn't.
Tip #5: Do not overlook the importance of colors
As you know, we associate meanings and values with certain nuances: this is called the psychology of colors. Sometimes, it goes a little far. Thanks to the internet, we discovered that blue means "peace", but also "escape" and "dream". Yellow, on the other hand, refers to joy and energy but also to illness and betrayal. Oh well.
However, don't be fooled: the psychology of colors does exist. To support this point, you only have to look at the logos we know change their palette.
How does that make you feel? On our side, we hyperventilate.
It is therefore TRUE that we associate certain values and sectors of activity with particular colors ... But in a way that is perhaps a little less far-fetched than mentioned above. Blue is often used because it inspires confidence and serenity. Red, on the other hand, attracts attention and evokes energy; it is often found in the logos of high-tech brands. To help you in your choices, there are many serious guides on the subject. Just remember that as is often the case in branding, less is more: prefer simple palettes of three colors .
Tip #6: Keep it simple
Your brand is a complex entity, full of personality, with its own history. In fact, it is a bit like you: it is composed of multiple facets. That doesn't mean they all have to be in your logo: it's not that we don't like comic books, we love them, but logos shouldn't look like them. So remember: the mission of your logo is to differentiate you... While remaining understandable.
Tip #7: Plan for variations
What is this again...
Nothing complicated! These are the elements of your logo rearranged in several different layouts. It's a fact: your logo, as it is, will not fit all the supports, all the backgrounds, all the page layouts... The whole point of logo variations is there: to prepare for all possibilities. If your logo is a little complex, it will be good to plan a simplified version for the supports where it will appear in small size, as on a business card or a letterhead. If it is rather horizontal, it will be judicious to think of a version rather in height. In short, the goal is always to be easily readable and recognizable, two essential characteristics of a good logo!
Tip #8: Don't follow fashion trends
Let's do a test. What does the term flash mob inspire in you?
On our side, a nice balance between pity and nostalgia. And yet, we were the first to find it touching at the time. But now, as always, time has taken its toll. Associating your logo with a dated phenomenon, graphic style or imagery is a guarantee that, in a few years, it will inspire the same thing as flash mobs. Or even tecktonik... No, really, your brand deserves better.
Tip #9: Don't forget the black & white version
When we found the logo we like, we want to put it everywhere, on glossy paper of the best quality, in museum quality printing... So that it graces the eyes of all those who have the chance to cross its path. In reality, it's a little different: color high-definition printing is not always within our reach. Take the examples of business letterheads or our shipping labels stuck on packages: this type of printing is done in black and white. It is therefore recommended that you ensure that the contrast and overall design of your design is suitable for black and white printing before approving it.
Tip #10: Don't let yourself get (too) worked up
If you wish, let's study a picture together...
No, it's not a dusty engraving straight out of the museum in Tourcoing. It's the first Apple logo, created in 1976.
Is it effective? No. Does it fit? No. Is it beautiful? We will not say anything because beauty is subjective. We can however underline that our retina is burning.
Apple may not have made the most judicious choice of logo in its early days: has this prevented the company from becoming as big as it is today? No, it didn't! Here is the proof that your choice of logo, although important, is not a matter of life or death for your brand. You can change it along the way, and most companies do... So relax and enjoy the ride, folks!
Are your graphics skills very, very limited? You know how to use the pencil and eraser in Paint... And that's about it? Don't worry, you can still have a nice logo. You can hire a professional designer to create it, or you can use one of the online logo creation tools we talked about in a previous article...
On the contrary, our little help has made you want to roll up your sleeves? To create the 5-star ambassador your brand deserves? So imagine a little Labrador retriever in a pool of treats: that's how we feel about you getting started. We're not even exaggerating. We wish you the most beautiful creative phase!