logo design, corporate identity

Tips for logo & brand design


Practice safe logo design, always use a concept…

logo concepts
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Starting a logo or brand design for a company is much like brainstorming… there are no wrong answers, and you will often stumble on unique solutions that you would not have come across if you started with a preconceived notion of what your design will look like.

When creating a corporate identity or logotype, I like to divide my notebook into quarters and dedicate each section to a single brand idea. These can then be designed and developed further. Sketching with a pen starts the process of your logo design in black and white only. This is important in logo design because a simple logo idea can always be improved with colour. However, if a logo is designed initially in colour, the idea may have to be compromised to work in black and white.

Simplicity is key

Logos are typically viewed at a quick glance and not necessarily studied for long periods. It should be sharp and snappy and convey everything that needs to be said at a moment’s glance but leave a lasting impression. Think of all the big name brands, whose modern logos are simple and clean.

Have a good slogan with your brand

A great way to aid this process, and expand on your message is with a sharp, concise and catchy tagline, motto or slogan.

Slogans are your business ‘battle cry’. They are mini marketing missions statements that tell your client who you are and what you do.

Make you logo clever or unique

picking the right colour for your corporate identity or brand
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

This is where a branding designer really adds value. A logo should be memorable. If you are not a company with the brand reach or awareness of something like Apple or Google, the best way to achieve this is by having a clever logo that will resonate with the customer on first viewing. Two of my favourite techniques are; tying the icon into the company name and use of negative space.

Play on the company name

You can reinforce the message, and make the customer feel smart for noticing the link, by integrating the business name and logo design to create the corporate identity. I have achieved this on the logos Maverick Energy and Garden City Dental. In the case of Maverick Energy, the icon is made up of a fusion of the letters ‘M’ and ‘E’, split with a lightning bolt to symbolise electricity. For Garden City Dental the icon is a toothbrush garden which ties in the company’s geographic name and creates a fun dentist logo, with an element of calm and serenity (a tough challenge!).

Use of negative space

A great example of this is the former Formula One logotype by the design studio Caterwong Design. With the ‘1’ from Formula 1 in the negative space between the F and speedlines. The identity was launched during the 1987 Formula One season and has really stood the test of time, not feeling dated in the 30 year period it was used, until the logo redesign in 2017.

Example of the 1 in the negative space of the F1 logo

Trust your graphic designer

And finally, if you find a logo designer, creative design agency or an experienced freelance designer, they will have the experience in graphic design to create a professional logo that will last the business longer than the letterheads, flyers and web design it appears on. Their experience with colours, fonts sizes, and print executions will ensure your new logo or brand does not date quickly and can be used in a variety of applications. Of course, the customer is always right, but trusting the experts will lead to a professional looking logo and brand identity.


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