How to design a company logo - Ronin Marketing
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How to design a company logo

How to design a company logo

In the second part of our two-part blog series on logo design, we explore the stages in the process of designing a company logo. As explained in the first part of the series, your logo is just one (key) part of your overall brand identity, so you will need to consider how it integrates with the overall look and feel of your brand, and how it will work alongside potential marketing strategies.

The following steps are common in the design process for creating a company logo:

1. Discover

This is where you need to ask and answer key questions to fully understand your company’s values, business ideas and attributes, what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. A professional logo designer or branding team will expect you to provide as much information as possible to ensure they truly understand who you are, so they can then provide creative solutions that meet or exceed your brief requirements. Questions like the following are to be expected:

    • Why do you need a new logo?
    • What is the meaning or story of your business or company name?
    • Who is your target audience?
    • Who are your main competitors?
    • What logos or brands do you like or aspire to?
    • What values do you want your brand to express?

2. Explore

Once you have the answers from your discovery phase, the exploration phase is where you start researching and learning about the fundamentals of design strategies you could employ. A professional logo designer will already be accustomed with potential design strategies they could employ, but if you are approaching this yourself, you will need to identify what it is that makes the brands you like successful. How do other brands communicate their identity with their audience across multiple channels? What are current styles and trends associated with your industry? What is it that stands out for you?

Creating a mood board can help. Collect logos, designs, colour combinations and imagery that you feel represents the overall style and mood you like. Having visual cues like a mood board will help trigger creative ideas in the logo design process.

3. Design

Once all the strategising is complete, it’s time to come up with some tactical creative solutions for your logo and overall brand image. Unless you plan to go for a simple text-only logo, it’s a good idea to start by putting pencil to paper, or stylus to tablet. This way you can quickly sketch out rough ideas of symbols, shapes, or iconography.

Once you have a working sketch, it is highly advised to create your logo using a vector drawing program, such as Adobe Illustrator. The reason for this is that vector graphics are easy to edit, and, when you come to use the finished logo, it can scale to any size without loss of quality (unlike working with pixel-based software, such as Adobe Photoshop, which cannot be edited easily, and cannot scale up larger than the size you create it).

For the text in your logo, you may find something suitable, or you may choose to draw this aspect yourself. Some creative typographic logo designs merge the symbology within the text or pull out the first letter to use as the symbol, for example.

At the end of this process, you should have at least one design to review, but you may end up with a few potential candidates, or variations of the one design.

4. Refine

It is time to evaluate the chosen design(s) to check it aligns with your company’s goals and, if you have a selection to choose from, whittle this down to a final choice. There are a few things that need to be considered at this stage to ensure the selected logo is applicable in all use cases:

Does it align well with your overall brand ambitions, and can a full brand style be coordinated alongside it?

Is it memorable, and does it stand out well against your competitors?

Does it sit well in both print and digital applications (website, social and marketing material)?

Does the aesthetic of the design have longevity? (i.e., ideally, it should not be based on a current trend if your ambition is for the brand to last for many years, where trends can come and go).

Does it work in mono or solid white, where the application of a colour logo does not work (such as if it was applied on to a coloured or photographic background)?

It is also a good idea to get some critical feedback on your logo (or if you’re struggling to choose between your favourites). Whilst this can lead to quite a disparity of opinions, it can also help to reaffirm your choice, or open your eyes to how others feel about it, which may lead to a few minor modifications (such as choice of colour, font, etc.). But at the end of this phase, you should have settled on one final logo to use.

5. Define

Now you have your final design, it’s time to set out some ground rules on how your logo should be used (and not used). This will usually be part of the overall brand guidelines outlined above and ensures the integrity and usage by all parties who are responsible for using your logo are adhered to.

As you can see, the process of creating a successful logo design for your company requires time, care and consideration and effort to get right. However, it is much better to understand what you need to do and make the correct choices for the future long-term benefit of your business, than to rush or make snap decisions that could lead to disaster. Unless you have the time, experience, and skills to create a successful logo, it is always advisable to invest in the services of professional brand designers, to ensure you achieve your desired outcome.

For examples of company logo design and brands RONIN has created over the years, check out our work.

If you’d like us to help you with the creation of your company logo, branding and more, get in touch.

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