How to Create a Great Logo

July 15, 2022   /   by  Roger West

If you’re looking to launch a new logo, listen up! It may seem like an easy task, but our experts here at Roger West know there is so much more that goes into designing one than meets the eye. Creating a great logo requires design skills, knowledge of brand messaging, and a whole lot of trial and error to represent the company and make a lifelong impression on customers.

Start with the Basics

Before you set your team up to accomplish this paramount task, remember that it’s okay to start small. Gather your team to brainstorm different visions for the logo, and what would best represent the brand as a whole. With a few good ideas in mind, now it’s time to design!

Use shapes, colors, and font to fit the brand

Deciding the tone of your logo all comes down to what the brand is, and the message a customer will receive just by looking at it. A spa company might want their typography to be soft and serene, with light colors to promote relaxation. On the flip side, a cutlery company may opt for a bolder or jagged font with a deeper color tone. Both are equally as effective; it just depends how the brand wants to be seen.

To jumpstart the process of finding the right combination of typography and colors, testing different variations is key. Using a mood board to lay out these different combinations is a great resource, working to quickly turn a vision into action and eliminate the ideas that don’t work.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Find a picture or symbol that depicts what the brand is all about! It should give a good idea of the brand’s name, product, or service, but that doesn’t mean the logo has to be too literal. Think of Shell gas stations for example, and their iconic yellow shell logo with red accents. While the logo itself isn’t related to fueling up, the logo works in tandem with the brand name and is recognizable to almost everyone on and off the road.

  • “The best logos are visually simple, but convey a clear message. They tell a brand’s story and convey a feeling that resonates with their target audience. They are distinct, memorable, and versatile.”

-Sarah Pierce, Senior Art Director at Roger West

Give the logo space!

Once the logo has taken form, double check that it has room to breathe. A logo should be simple and not crowded with too much text, too many pictures, or excessive symbols. If the logo is too busy, it becomes more difficult for customers to remember and harder for the brand to implement on websites, apps, and other merchandise. Just the right amount of space allows for an increase in a logo’s versatility.

Avoid Falling for Logo Fails

Now that you’ve got some tips on how to begin executing a logo for a brand, it’s also important to take some extra steps to dodge any potential logo mishaps along the way. If your team is aware of these right off the bat, your logo is getting some major leverage to successfully stand out from the crowd.

Check in With Competitors

Since the overall goal is to set the brand’s logo apart from the rest, get ahead of what the competition is doing! Look at logos from the brand’s competition, taking note of the different kinds of typography, colors, pictures, and shapes that are being used. If there’s a noticeable pattern in the logos of competitors, make sure your team doesn’t continue that pattern.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Just like with any piece of content, it’s crucial to get a second pair of eyes! Getting a second opinion on a logo helps to make sure nothing insensitive, crude, or confusing is coming across in the design. Even if there are no obvious mishaps, getting an outsider’s opinion may also bring out ideas that could shape the logo design to be more memorable in the eye of the customer.

Don’t be Scared of Change!

Another tip to keep in mind, is that a logo can grow alongside the brand! A brand should always continue to evolve in messaging and product, and redesigning the logo is a great way to give the brand another upgrade. Even the most famous logos have done some shapeshifting as time goes on, which keeps them looking modern and fresh. This doesn’t necessarily mean changing the whole look and color scheme, even a simple variation works to keep things up to date. Unless the brand is undergoing a total makeover, customers should still be able to recognize that the logo belongs to your company.

Test for Versatility

Make sure your logo is versatile! While a logo may look good in one place, that doesn’t mean it will look good everywhere. It’s important to consider where else customers might be seeing it. On billboards, t-shirts, coffee cups, or even displayed in a phone app, you want your logo to be complementary to all of those things.

  • “It’s one thing to look a certain way, but it takes a special effort to take a step further and evoke feelings and substance. Bringing the vision to life, per se…What makes a great logo is using good, mature design practices. Readability, contrast, versatility, distinction, mood, elegance / sophistication.  With that in mind, there is also the need to avoid bad practices, such as avoiding cliches, and elements that don’t match the client’s needs whatsoever.”

-Evan Gambill, Graphic Designer at Roger West

How Logos Serve as an Expression of Brand Identity

So, you’ve got an idea of how to create a logo, but what’s the reasoning behind a logo’s importance? Creating a great logo sets the foundation for the brand! The very first thing customers notice about a business is the logo, which better allows them to keep a mental note of what the business offers. A professional logo is also on the forefront of marketing materials, and acts as a catalyst to boost customer recognition even further.

A logo also fosters brand loyalty! If the logo is something that is easily recognizable, customers may find themselves consistently coming back to that brand. Think of clothing companies, for example. Customers of that brand may associate the logo with quality and are more likely to choose clothing from that brand over others. Building loyalty can also be as simple as customers who like the design of the logo and want to showcase them on a piece of clothing.

Lastly, a logo acts as a representation of a brand’s longevity. It shows customers that a product is established and has plans to be around for a long time. For brands that have already been up and running for a while, the logo can function as a reminder of their story and how many years they’ve been providing quality service to customers.

  • “A great logo should have a timeless quality to it. Ideally, a great logo should also communicate a company’s key brand attributes without being overly embellished or contrived. It should be simple, scalable, intuitive, clever, and leave a lasting impression with its target audience.”

-Ruben Barreto, Senior Graphic Designer at Roger West

Let’s Make a Logo!

Are you looking for a logo liaison? Get in touch with the experts! Our talented design team at Roger West has years of experience creating logos and graphics for a wide variety of clients. If you’re ready to see how our design team can boost your brand’s recognition, connect with us.

Roger West Creative + Code

Roger West Creative & Code is a full-service digital marketing agency that helps companies build brands, generate leads, and keep customers inspired and engaged. The agency provides a dynamic environment for marketing pros to innovate and team up with clients to drive traffic to vibrant places and send messages that pack a punch.