How to create your own company logo

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The computer age has brought graphic design closer to everyone, with easy access to the creation of newsletters, leaflets and more. And with more and more companies setting up business, you may be tempted to have a go at developing your own logo.

Here are 10 top tips to help you do just that. Follow this guide and you’ll be well on your way to developing your own brand image…

1. Keep it simple

First, decide on how the logo will be used – for a company, service, or product – and whether it will be both a name and icon, or name alone. (Avoid icon alone unless it’s your company’s long-established recognised image)

2. Research

To stimulate your creativity, put together a list of existing logos and group them into competitors, industry, likes and dislikes.

Once it’s complete, file it away. Only look again once you’ve finished your design – how does it stand out from your competitors?

3. Design in black and white

To help you focus on typeface, shape and size, design in black and white not colour. You can easily translate your design to colour but the reverse is harder – and your logo needs to work in black and white if photocopied or faxed.

4. Company name

Make sure your company name is clear within your logo. If your potential clients and customers can’t read it, how can they get in touch with you?

5. Colour

Choose two colours – its most cost effective to print. The colour you see on your monitor isn’t always the way it prints out. If your can, borrow a Pantone colour swatch book (they can be quite expensive) and use it to select your colours.

Don’t worry if the colour doesn’t look right on your monitor; when printed professionally it will be exactly as you see in the Pantone book.

6. Typeface

Use a maximum of two typefaces. And choose the style wisely – ‘Old English’ style would suit a traditional antique shop while Avant Garde or Optima is great for a modern interior design firm. Be appropriate but don’t be too predictable.

7. Size

Your logo must be legible in a variety of sizes – test readability by shrinking it to the smallest possible usage size.

8. Pause to reflect

Once you’ve designed your logo, put it away. Do you still like it after a week? If not then get back to the drawing board. This also gives you a chance to check your design with a fresh eye. Typos can be expensive!

9. Avoid clipart

As tempting as it is, avoid clipart like the plague, it will only expose you as an amateur! If you can’t design the logo yourself then get a professional to do it for you.

10. Do a mock-up

Try out your new logo on a mock up of a variety of materials and medium you intend to use it on e.g. letterheads, business card, brochures etc.

If you have vans or cars you are going to brand, take a side-on digital picture of it. Download it on to your computer and paste your logo on.

Charles Nartey, director of graphic designers Nataris, says: “There are a number of things to consider when creating a logo, but if you follow this guide and take things slowly you may be surprised by how much you can achieve.

“It’s so important to take time over this – and remember the old cliché ‘you will never get a second chance to make a first impression’.

“If the prospect is just too daunting, get in touch with a design agency – you may be surprised how reasonable a quote you get from a smaller firm. It might well be worth investing in this in the long run.”

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