Six Logo Branding Design Tips

Posted: 01/02/2018 by Lewis Astridge

Logo design is just one small part of a complete branding, but it remains the central piece of most branding schemes. Before any new logo design project, thorough research is essential. Here are six top tips for designing or adjusting a professional logo to improve your company branding.

1. Understand your competition

Your client should be able to provide some information about their competitors to get you started to ensure your target market is researched thoroughly.

Comparing all the logos in their competitive set can reveal branding conventions in that market sector. Playing on familiar visual associations may help you with the direction of your design.

2. Master grids and structure

Sketching your logo design with a grid structure will ensure a level of consistency with placement and separation across all of your branded mediums. This technical approach will level your logo’s construction with specific curves and angles that define the shape.

For example, Twitter’s icon is built around a series of interlocking circles that conform to a set ratio of 1:1.618

3. Choose your typeface carefully

Sans serif fonts have dominated logo design in recent years in conjunction with the minimalist movement. Some examples include rebrands for MasterCard, Windows and London’s University of the Arts.

But don’t let trends cloud your own judgement, particularly if you need a particular feel, so take the time to research your options. In 2015, Google famously changed its longstanding serif logo for a much friendlier, more contemporary sans serif.

4. Keep it basic

The first and foremost golden rule of logo design is simplicity. Put thought into your concept, but don’t overwork the execution, or adorn a mark purely for the sake of it. You want ease of recognition, as well as versatility of scale and application.

A great way to test the simplicity of your concept is to keep subtracting elements until you reach its most basic form. Generally speaking, the simpler a logo design, the more memorable it will be.

A student at the time, Carole Davidson was originally paid just $35 to design the Nike swoosh: a wonderfully simple shape that can be sketched with a quick stroke of a pen

5. Refine to add personality

If you use an existing typeface, consider applying more pressure on its touchpoints, such as imagery, colour palette, tone of voice and so on, to develop and enhance the brand’s personality.

Skilful tracking and kerning is essential when creating a unique flavour to an existing typeface. Wide-tracked type can feel sophisticated and authoritative, while tight, meticulous kerning can help lock individual letterforms together as self-contained unit.

6. Manage colour schemes carefully

Complementary colours can be too intense if used excessively, while analogous schemes have the opposite problem: they are gentle and pleasing to the eye, but lacking in contrast. A safe approach would be to select a dominant colour, using the others as support and accent colours only.

For example, the BP rebrand received controversy for ‘greenwashing’ its oil corporation, but it’s a great example of an analogous colour scheme

Try a number of concepts and ask for feedback and opinions from others until you are able to narrow down and refine your final logo.

Good luck and happy designing!