You could be the owner of a small, family-owned architectural firm with a modest staff of six employees. Or maybe it’s just you and you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for a new product that helps keeps kids safe on swing sets. You could even be responsible for building a Fortune 500 company up from the ground floor.

Despite where you fall on the corporate (or entrepreneurial) ladder, you need the right tools to get where you’re going. And oftentimes if you dream big, you need to start small.

A well-designed company logo might just be the smallest in scale, but it is the among largest in value. Chances are your logo will precede your first in-person introduction. That makes it worth its weight in gold for any business in a world where you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Make it a good one by considering these three steps for how to design a logo the right way:

Step one: do your research

Developing a one-of-a-kind logo that tells your story while simultaneously building brand recognition is no small task. And, like anything you’ve done for your business, organization and research is a crucial first step.

From color scheme and size to font and imaging, there is a lot to consider. And there is psychological evidence to support the importance of choosing the right elements of your logo. Take color scheme for example. Huffington Post recently highlighted the use of color in an article that cites how color plays a role in emotions like excitement, creativity and trust. Companies like Lowe’s, JP Morgan and Facebook all utilize the color blue to evoke a sense of dependability and trustworthiness. Paletton is an online resource that provides users with help creating color combinations using coordinating pallets of colors. It is thought to be among the best of its kind because it’s built on a basic foundation of the color wheel, applies color theory and works with a specifically created color space.

In addition to suggestions for effective use of color in your logo, consider consulting online resource guides that offer valuable advice regarding other things to consider as you develop your ideal logo.

Aside from the fundamental elements of a logo, the most effective tool for logo design lies with you. When it comes to your business, you know best. You know the ins and outs, but most importantly, you know your why and how that relates directly back to your business plan. You know what motivates you, and understanding what you like and don’t like is a crucial element in designing a logo fit for your business.

Step two: don’t be stingy

Any smart business decision starts with a plan. A 2010 study conducted by Small Business Trends found that business owners who establish a business plan from the start are twice as likely to be successful. What does that mean for your logo design? Everything. Most business plans outline a vision, goals and the steps it will take to get there, but it is what happens every day that brings a plan to life.

A simple search of Google will reveal the resources that abound for finding logo design applications. There are free and paid options to fit most budgets, but therein lies one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It may seem tempting to cut corners. Don’t. Stick to the plan and remember the necessary steps to success.

There is a reason web sites like “Death to Stock” exist – people know when something looks manufactured. They know and they pass you up because they want something unique. People know when something is fresh off an assembly line.

Your business is worth it. You are worth it. And you are unlike any other business out there, so why not make an investment in the best first impression your business can offer the world?

Step three: Work with a professional

It might be challenging for you to admit. Because this business is not a 9-to-5 business for you. It’s your passion. It’s your dream coming to life. But just because you can crunch numbers doesn’t necessarily qualify you to design the most memorable logo for your business. And frankly, your logo is too important to risk having it not be absolutely perfect. That is among the reasons why experts who can work with you personally to design a logo to suit all of your needs is the sharpest logo design tool in the shed.

Forget working with stock photos or online “logo makers” and work with a professional who is committed to doing more than just designing your logo. Sure, they provide essential services by helping your brainstorm creative ideas, but they do more than deliver a logo. Professionals help you build your brand.

Orpical Group is a local, full-service marketing agency where we use logo design as the crucial first step for all of our clients. Unlike free and paid online logo design applications that draw from a limited selection of stock or template images, our logo designs are 100% custom-made, just like the businesses they represent.

Best of all, we walk you through the process from start to finish. And to us it doesn’t matter whether you own an architectural firm, created a new product or want to become the next Bill Gates. We not only share your belief that its possible, but we also have the tools to bring it all to life.

Get A Free Logo Design Quote

Contact us to get a free logo design quote.

Have you gone to the web in search for a new beginning? Have you thought: “I have a great idea that would make Charlie Sheen scream ‘Winning!'”

Where to get a business logo designed you Google, Bing, or Yahoo! But as the search results begin to pour in, you feel like you are lost at the zoo.

“Pick me!” yells Fiverr, a global online marketplace, who paid their way to the top of the race. “We have over 100,000 sellers, ” Fiverr begins to say, failing to mention that though their logos start at $5, that’s usually not what you pay.

After wasting hours on Fiverr looking for the perfect gig, you realize that there is no such thing, and that Fiverr might be too big. Why limit your designs? Why do the logos all look the same? Your business should not look cookie cutter—that is pretty lame!

So back to your search results you go, still without a design. You modify your search this time to get a logo design online. “Forget those ads,” you say to yourself. “The product of my own labor will be my wealth!”

Scrolling down you begin to see: There are lots of logo generators that promise you can make your own logo super easy. Logogenie, GraphicSprings, Tailor Brands—you choose one and create an account. But after playing around with a gallery of stock images you can see why their service comes at a discount.

Again, you don’t want something tacky. And when you try to design a logo on your own, or with a generator, the final product looks really wacky. So where do you turn for that new beginning you seek? There is no reason to fret, nor reason to freak. There is no need to be lost at the zoo, when you can consult with a logo designer who is waiting near you.

Professional logo designers are the only way because they move all the bull crap out of your way. They have the knowledge, they have the insight, they will make sure your logo is done right. Shop local and you will be satisfied. You will know that your brand is unique and your investment will be more than justified.

Get A Free Logo Design Quote

Contact us to get a free logo design quote.

Want to know how a graphic designer and online marketing agency create their professional logo designs?

Here at Orpical we’ve done the logo design dance only a bagillion times. So, we’ve gone through all of the motions. That’s why we collected our emotions in action through a series of GIFs to showcase exactly how the best logo designers create a rock-solid brand building block.

1. Client discovery

It might shock you, but we’re a little creepy. By the way, any online marketing agency or graphic designer that tells you they aren’t creepy is either lying, or not doing their job right.

A professional custom logo is a reflection of a business’s values and culture. That’s why we launch every logo design project with some intense, deep-diving discussions with the man or woman behind the plan. Our goal is acquire as much information as possible about you, why you do what you do, and discover what makes you different.

We need to know how you think and sometimes that requires us to ask those awkward first date questions. Beyond hearing it from you, we’ll also take our research team to the streets (The Internet) and learn about your industry, your competition, and more.

Our motto is: If it doesn’t make you squirm then we can’t learn. Just kidding, client discovery is all relatively painless.

2. Set benchmark

After we’ve successfully stalked you—errr, we mean “discovered” you—we will collect a variety of resources and design elements that we think you will “Like.” Often, we set up a dedicated Pinterest board or online sharing area for your logo design inspiration. This enables us to have a visual point of reference on what to use and what to stay away from during our initial designs.

We will work with you to establish what colors, fonts, layouts, and styles you like best, and share what we feel is appropriate up front. Almost 9 times out of 10 this enables us to get very close to what you’re looking for on our first presentation. Once there are thumbs up across the board, we will start sketching and drafting our initial designs.

3. Sketch / Draft Designs

We sketch. A LOT. Before even opening up Adobe Illustrator, we play around with dozens of ideas on paper because it helps weed out the good from the bad. Plus, it makes us feel more artsy, and we have to maintain our rep as Today’s Monet.

The best logo designers come from the school of doodling during school. So, while sketching might seem like a waste of time, it really is essential in opening up the creative corners of the graphic designer’s mind.

Once we have 4-5 concepts we believe will help you truly stand out in your market, we can move into Adobe Illustrator, a vector based application, to bring our conceptualizations to life.

4. Share Initial Designs

Just because we are nerds and we have done the logo design dance a bagillion times doesn’t mean that we aren’t human. We are artists, remember? When we send our designs to you for the first time, we schedule a follow up to review our initial concepts with you. Then, we wait.

Anxiously.

Very anxiously.

5. Collect Feedback

There are usually four outcomes on the initial call when we review our logos.

  1. We nailed one concept, but just need to make a few refinements.
  2. You like bits and pieces from each concept and want to mix and match.
  3. You love them all and have no idea how to choose.
  4. We missed the mark.

For outcomes #1 and #2, we can wrap up our call or meeting in typically 30-minutes or less and move on to the next stage: Refinement.

Outcome #3 tends to result in the client asking us: “Which concept do you like best?” And while we certainly have our favorites, we choose to put our biases aside. Whether you choose to work with us or someone else, just remember this: The designer’s opinion doesn’t really matter. In fact, your opinion only matters 5-10%. The only opinions that really matter come from your target market.

If you have a hard time choosing, we defer to your market. We will set up social focus groups and ask our participants about their perceptions and opinions to help you make a more sound decision to move forward.

Outcome #4 rarely happens, but we would be misinforming you if we did not include it. Again, we are humans, the one species that cuts trees, creates paper, and writes ‘Save Trees’ on that very same paper. Even careful preparation, years of experience, and advanced resources cannot always combat the unexpected, mysterious variables characterized by the descendants of Fred Flinstone.

It might be best to use an example to illustrate how we would handle Outcome #4: About a year ago, our graphic design team in New Jersey worked with a local start up who had a very specific “vision” for their logo design. They had bookmarked fonts, icons, shapes—you name it, they had it covered. We completed steps 1-3 as outlined above and presented our work. Unfortunately, the client did not love any of the initial logo concepts.

Here’s the quote of the century from the owner that sums up logo design better than any quote we’ve seen to date:

Guys, these logos are great. You did everything that we asked for, but it’s just not what we are looking for.

Though slightly befuddled, we did not panic. What we suggested was for the client to first walk us through each concept and articulate what they did not like. We had them focus on core elements like positioning and layouts, as opposed to little details like fonts, and worked back off of their earlier examples to compare and contrast.

In addition to collecting as much feedback as possible prior to moving into refinement, we informed our client that we would assemble a second design team to work on additional concepts. The thing about design is it is ALL subjective. Think about those trendy Paint Nite sessions: A group of people gather around and all paint the same picture. At the end of the night, often after a few cocktails, everyone holds up their interpretation. What do you see? Different brush strokes, hues and saturations, and more. Every painting is the same, yet completely unique.

The same Paine Nite principle applied to logo design works wonderfully, especially when the first set misses the mark. On occasion, all it takes is a second pair of eyes to get a logo design right.

6. Refinement

The moral of the above story is that you want to make sure you work with a designer or marketing agency that is flexible. Fixed bid contracts without revisions and unlimited concepts rarely work.

You are not going to bowl a strike on every frame. With that being said, an edit-friendly agreement and strong communication will almost certainly result in “picking up the spare” or “cleaning things up.”

Logo generators, stock logos, and those $49 logos outsourced overseas either do not give you the opportunity to make changes, or they make the process of implementing your changes cumbersome and frustrating. A good professional logo designer will give you a custom bowling ball (one where your fingers actually fit in the holes), and they will let you throw the ball as many times as you need. Hell, they will even throw bumpers on the lane if it is needed.

6. Deliver Final Files

In this case, the logo designer is Mufasa. Simba represents ALL of your final logo files, including the Adobe Illustrator source file and scaleable vector formats. If someone says you only need a JPEG or PNG, run. Fast.

This stage usually marks a triumphant day and consequentially results in the entire village celebrating and bursting into song and dance. Celebrate—good—times—come on!

Get A Free Logo Design Quote

Contact us to get a free logo design quote.

It’s powerful, often without saying a word. It can be memorable, leaving a lasting impression on the subconscious mind. Or it can be as fleeting as a cloudburst on a smoldering summer day. The point is, having a well-designed logo is among the best marketing investments you can make in your business.

Because developing your logo is the first step. It’s a foundation upon which all other things are built. No press releases can be written, websites designed or marketing materials printed without the company logo in the forefront. And for good reason.

Effective marketing is all about branding. Why else would Buzzfeed quizzes that challenge readers to identify a brand of soda with only a piece of the logo or identify which French fries came from which fast food establishments be as well received?

What’s in a logo, you might ask? Well, in an application of some very famous words from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” everything. A rose by any other name would indeed smell as sweet, but would that still be the case if it looked like a daisy?

Some marketing professionals would argue a memorable logo is worth its weight in gold. So what are the golden rules of logo design? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Remember the KISS method

The phrase was made famous for being embraced by the United States Navy in 1960, but the acronym for “keep it simple, stupid,” gracefully lives on in effective logo design. At least that is the advice straight from legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser, who is best known for creating the “I Love New York” logo and credits his success to a respect for moments when less really is more.

Make it stand out

The worst thing you can do is the obvious. Applying a certain level of intrigue will garner the right kind of attention. Consider the logo for Starbucks, which begs the question: who on Earth is that green and white siren anyway. For Starbucks, she is everything.

A blog written by a senior writer for Starbucks describes her as both a storyteller and a muse. She is a promise who means something different to everyone. And with an idea as simple as that, a legend was born. And not in any way by making certain the logo contained something as obvious as a coffee bean.

Consider the color

The number one priority when designing a logo is to make it memorable. As with anything, you can only make a first impression once, and you want it to be a good one that is both recognizable and reflective of the vision and mission of your company.

Psychologically speaking, research supports the importance of choosing the right color scheme above all else, since color can evoke an unconscious response for most people. Huffington Post recently highlighted the power of the use of color as it relates to emotion in its article “The Psychology of Color in Logo Design.” The article cites several effective uses of color as it pertains to emotions like optimism, friendliness and excitement. In the case of companies like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC, for example, red is used since it is deemed a color that stimulates hunger.

Whatever your color scheme may be, consider the impact it can have on marketing is profound and worth considering.

Embrace versatility

Whatever the logo might end up being should stand the test of time, color and personality. But all of that doesn’t matter much if it isn’t adaptable between a variety of mediums.

The logo will most likely have a prominent placement on the company web site and letterhead, but don’t forget that it should be recognizable in other formats as well. Business cards, advertising materials and commercials (if applicable) should all be able to feature the logo seamlessly.

Evergreen is best

Anyone who gave in to the power of peer pressure and created a MySpace account in the 90s knows it’s true. Trends come and go. For a concept, idea or story associated with your company to go viral or “trend” on a social media outlet like Twitter, for example, can be a game changer. But anything worth having is made to last, and the same can be said for a logo. It should be timeless and not focused too much on one single trend, idea or feature of popular culture.

Some business professionals go as far as to suggest a logo that embraces features like these is worth its weight in gold. It’s powerful, often without saying a word. It can be memorable, leaving a lasting impression on the subconscious mind. Or it can be as fleeting as a cloudburst on a smoldering summer day. The impact your logo can have is ultimately in your hands. What you do with this foundational first step in marketing development is up to you.

Get A Free Logo Design Quote

Contact us to get a free logo design quote.