6 essential tips for creating your new logo

Creating a logo is a crucial step in establishing your brand identity, as it serves as the face of your business and helps your customers recognise and remember your brand. However, designing a logo can be a daunting task, especially if you’re starting from scratch.

Whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, or an entrepreneur, it’s essential to have a strong logo that represents your brand’s values and mission.

In this guide, we’ll provide six essential tips for creating your new logo, from understanding your audience to choosing the right colours and typography. These tips will help you design a logo that not only looks great but also effectively communicates your brand message.

1. Keep it simple

When it comes to designing a logo, simplicity is key. While it might be tempting to include every detail about your business and its roots, it’s important to keep in mind that complex logos don’t always translate well onto various formats.

This is why global brands often have a stripped-down version of their logo that can be easily adapted to different mediums, such as McDonald’s golden ‘M’, Apple’s simple apple shape, and the Nike swoosh. These iconic logos are easily recognisable and can be reproduced in various formats, from large billboards to small business cards.

A simple logo also allows for better scalability, meaning it can be enlarged or reduced without losing its visual impact. In addition, a simple logo is more memorable and easier to remember, which is essential in creating a lasting impression on your target audience. So when designing your logo, remember to keep it simple, yet impactful, to effectively represent your brand.

2. Think about visibility

When designing a logo, it’s important to think about visibility and recognisability. Your logo should be distinctive enough to stand out from the competition and catch the eye of potential customers.

Many companies choose to use a particular colour or combination of colours in their logos, such as Cadbury’s purple or Apple’s white packaging, to make their brand instantly recognisable.

Customers should be able to quickly identify your logo and associate it with your products or services. However, it’s also important to ensure that your logo doesn’t distract from the primary purpose of your website or product.

While a memorable logo can draw customers in, it’s ultimately the product or service that should take centre stage. Your logo should be easy to recognise, but it should also allow customers to quickly move on to the next step, whether that’s checking the price, reading the product description, or simply unwrapping and enjoying your product.

3. Think about online and offline branding

When designing a logo, it’s important to consider both online and offline branding. Depending on your industry and target market, both online and offline marketing may be important for your business, so it’s essential that your logo can work seamlessly in both contexts.

This can be challenging, and may require the help of a professional graphic designer, but keeping the concept clear and the brief simple will make the shift easier.

Offline branding typically requires high-resolution images with clear, crisp detail, and the logo itself will often be larger than its online counterpart. This means that the logo design must be suitable for use in a wide range of offline formats, such as billboards, posters, and product packaging.

Online, the logo will be smaller, so it needs to be simple and eye-catching enough to be quickly recognisable. Additionally, other formats, such as t-shirt embroidery or van decals, may require further adaptations to ensure that the logo remains legible and effective.

By designing a logo that works well both online and offline, you’ll be able to build a consistent and recognisable brand across all marketing channels.

4. Make it work in black and white

It’s important to remember that not every opportunity to showcase your logo will come in colour, so it’s essential to make sure that your graphic designer creates a logo that works in black and white as well.

This is especially crucial when it comes to merchandise like custom t-shirts, which can be a cost-effective way to promote your brand at events or create a staff uniform. However, printing on t-shirts can be limited, so using a logo that requires six or more colours can be problematic.

When creating a logo, it’s important to consider its versatility and how it will translate across different mediums, including black and white. This is particularly important if you plan to use your logo on products, as adding extra colours can significantly increase printing costs.

By designing a logo that works well in black and white, you can ensure that it remains effective and recognisable even when used in situations where colour isn’t an option.

A professional graphic designer will be able to create a logo that looks great in any format, including black and white, and can advise you on the best ways to use your logo for maximum impact.

When creating a logo, it’s important to remember that it needs to be a functional part of your business. If you’ve hired a graphic designer, editorial designer or web designer, it’s essential to listen to their advice, as they’ll have a good understanding of how customers interact with what they’re creating.

It can be tempting to get too attached to your logo and want to showcase it front and centre, but this may not always be the best approach.

A professional designer will be able to advise you on the best way to use your logo to maximise its impact, whether that’s in print, online or on physical products. For example, logos are often displayed over shop windows, as this allows shoppers to see the products first and then glance up to find out where they are.

By taking the time to listen to your designer’s advice, you can ensure that your logo is used in the most effective way possible to drive business growth and build brand recognition. Remember, a good designer will always have your best interests at heart and will work with you to create a logo that truly represents your business.

6. Make sure you own it and can change it

When creating a logo for your business, it’s essential to ensure that you have full ownership of the design files. At boxChilli, we’ve worked with several businesses who have wanted to make changes to their logo, only to find that their designer won’t release or has lost the original files.

This can be frustrating and expensive, as it means that any changes to the logo will need to be recreated from scratch.

To avoid this problem, it’s important to make sure that you own the logo design files and have full access to them. This means that you can make changes to the logo as and when you need to, without having to go back to the designer each time.

It’s also a good idea to keep backup copies of your logo files, so that you don’t lose them if your computer or storage device fails.

In addition, it’s important to make sure that you have the legal right to use your logo. This means that you should register your logo as a trademark and ensure that there are no existing trademarks that are similar to yours.

By taking these steps, you can protect your logo and ensure that you have full control over its use and any changes that may need to be made in the future.

Why logo design is so important

Look around you. How many logos can you see and recognise? Each little image is a brand ambassador, reminding you that the product exists and that you should buy it. While many are hard working, some are the equivalent of a drunk salesperson, harassing the customer with an overly aggressive or inappropriate pitch.

As graphic design experts working with companies across Hampshire and beyond, we’ve created and improved hundreds of logos. Here are some of the common ways your logo can let you down.

Is your logo too complicated to use?

A simple logo is easily adaptable. Boiled down to it’s essence, something like the Apple logo or the Nike swoosh can appear in any colour and any size from while still being easily recognisable. You may not have the budget of a multinational, but you can still have an amazing logo.

Work with your graphic designer to ensure that your logo design is not only simple enough to doodle on a beer mat but also looks good in a wide range of colours. Can you picture your logo on a postage stamp or a motorway billboard? Ideally it should scale between the two without losing its impact.

Just like every other logo on the block

Your logo is, in many ways, the face of your business so you need to give it a few distinguishing features to make it memorable. Just as your friend with the blue hair and the multiple piercings is the easiest to pick out in a crowd, your logo should stand out.

Graphic designers aren’t paid for their in-depth knowledge of your industry so if you work with an independent designer they may well offer you the most obvious choice – a tree for a garden centre, a car outline for a taxi company, building blocks for a childminder – and as result it may look like every other logo in Hampshire.

At boxChilli we work with our clients across multiple areas from logo design to marketing so we can invest the time to understand what will stand out from the crowd – whatever your crowd is.

The wrong emotional hue

Colour influences us on an emotional level. Whether it’s hard-wired by genetics or learned in the playground, certain colours have vivid associations which you can harness for your branding. As an obvious example, green is associated with relaxation and the natural world while red is brash, bold, powerful and sometimes angry.

There’s a reason spas and parks have green logos while sports cars are shown in red! Naturally, it’s not always this straight forward. The shade of the colour you choose can make a huge difference – add enough white to sports-car red and you eventually get baby pink.

Choosing the right colours for your logo should be part of a conscious brand placement strategy, as well as meeting graphic design standards.

Trendier than your customers

If you’re starting a cafe in Hackney that only sells cereal imported from France and opens at midnight your logo should be so hip it hurts. For those of us based a little further from the epicentre of cool being on-trend can be a liability as a graphic design trends can bewilder those not in the know, have a few minutes in the spotlight and then quickly look dated.

If you’re a Hampshire-based small business, your customers are probably more likely to appreciate a nod to local history than an award-winning visual effect from California.

Too much of too many excesses

Too much colour, too many fonts – excesses of all kinds are de trop when it comes to great logo design. It might be tempting to throw in another colour, add another font, an image or perhaps a bit more detail but the best modern logos have a grace and simplicity that makes them stand out.

Anyone can throw together a bunch of graphic design features, but it takes an expert to know which elements to leave out to improve the whole. Some logos even use negative space to create hidden information – look for the secret arrow in the FedEx logo, for example!

Stuck with the way it is

Graphic design experts often point to brands like Coca-Cola and Shell which have been around for a hundred years or more as examples of great logos. However, while some elements of their logos have stayed the same over the shifting years others have changed beyond recognition.

Although every business wants a logo that will still be recognised in a century, it’s important to update your logo to reflect your current business priorities and your audience. If your company has shifted  its focus, perhaps from a local Hampshire audience to a national one, from B2B to B2C or simply widened your demographic then it’s important to do a refresh.

Technology today has never been more innovative or progressive, hence why our society is transitioning to online platforms more so than ever. With websites now accessible via multiple devices in just a few clicks, they continue to rise in popularity for both businesses and customers.

This abundance of new websites has resulted in increasing competition amongst companies to have their website seen and heard. In order to make their business memorable companies tend to lean on their logo.

At its basic function, a logo is the graphic representation for a company, used throughout daily business and amongst audiences to ultimately give a good first impression. A logo can become globally recognisable, and take on the role of promoting brand trust and awareness, making business easier for the company.

Brands are continuously trying to produce a successful logo that will help boost their profile, however what is widely misunderstood is that a recognisable logo is the outcome of success rather than the cause of success1. Whilst a company’s logo is important, this misconception as to how important it is can lead to the downfall and hindrance of a successful website by those who focus on the wrong aspects, such as the logo.

Bigger isn’t always better

When it comes to designing a website, one of the most common requests is to make the logo bigger; this concern in line with the client’s desire to be seen and remembered by audiences. Having a big logo may not seem so disastrous and in fact may sound plausible, but it’s impact can be harmful.

In attempt to make a logo seen by increasing its size it is forcibly pushing it onto the audience, which will come across as overbearing and deviate from the information the audience is looking for. If the audience can’t find the information they want quick enough, due to a large and unnecessary logo for instance, they are likely to leave the site. A successful website design avoids any overbearing elements – including the logo.

For instance, Nike are one of the most successful companies in the world and their logo is just as, if not more famous. However, the success of this logo is not down to the style or shape of the tick but down to the businesses success.

Their website does not focus on the logo, and instead choses to promote product and content. In a culture where people assess you not on the strength of your logo but on the quality of your product of service2, it is important that businesses should focus on the content and experience they offer in order to gain returning traffic, which will in time raise the status of the logo.

What is worthwhile noticing about Nike’s website design is that the logo is placed in the top left hand corner, this position has become the unofficial home for logos. As you read left to right it is one of the first things you notice on the page, without being domineering over other important page information.

Marks and Spencer’s are another example of a company who have achieved an A-list status logo. Their website avoids heavy focus on the logo, and instead opts for a small sized ‘M&S’ in the designated top left-hand corner. Ultimately most people will only look at the logo for less than a second3 and increasing the size won’t change that, no matter who you are.

Less is more

Every business wants their logo to be original, whilst this is hardly a crime it can result in many overly complex designs. In attempt to stand out from the crowd logo designs’ use unnecessary details which make it unmemorable due to its difficulty to replicate.

When people are using your website they are (hopefully) taking in a lot of information, if you then add a complex logo on top of that it simply won’t sink in. That is why the general rule of thumb for a logo is that it should be memorable enough so someone could easily draw it onto a piece of paper3; helping you to provide the easiest user experience possible for your audience.

Simple designs can attract negative connotations, but it is in fact simplistic logo’s that dominate our market; Apple being a prime example. Despite their ‘apple’ logo being simple, it has become synonymous with not only the company, but innovation, technology and much more – this achieved through the company’s capability to deliver complex, state of the art products.

The website design and logo however do not try to push Apple’s technological intelligence, due to the fact that simplicity sells because it’s what people remember3. Brands needn’t overcomplicate things when it comes to logo design, and should focus on producing work that will showcase their skills instead.

A logo is an important part of web design – but not a priority. Companies need to be cautious that in the process of promoting their logo, they don’t harm the brand reputation, which is a risk taken when trying to push your logo onto customers. A logo won’t allow a company to build a respected brand on its own2, but will grow with your company as it achieves trust and loyalty through successful website interactions.


1 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/one-cares-your-company-logo-joe-moreno

2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32495854

3 http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2016/04/25/7-tips-for-creating-the-perfect-logo-for-your-brand/2/#be0e31830f7f

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