Top 6 Tips for a Killer Logo Design

Top 6 Tips for a Killer Logo Design

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This article was contributed by Lucy Benton.

Regardless of the industry, a general rule of logo design is to make it as simple as possible. The reason for this is obvious: a simple logo is much easier to memorize.

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However, producing a simple yet effective logo is a challenging task. Besides simplicity, one must consider the uniqueness of the brand, colors, visual appeal, and many other factors.

You know what they say about first impressions. Well, the same rule applies in logo recognition as well. No one will know you if they don’t memorize your logo. As the result, your logo is a prominent and undeniably important part of your marketing effort.

The good news is that one does not need to spend years in design to make a killer logo. However, there are still some essential rules to follow in order to achieve this goal. Below, you will find these rules as well as helpful tools to make a great logo, whether you are a designer or business owner. If interested in tools for logo design, you should check out our Best Logo Design Software article.

See here for more logo resources:

Top 6 Tips for a Killer Logo Design

1. Capture the essence of your brand


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Vero Water Dinner
Vero Water branding & logo by Jacob Cass.

Creating a brand essence for your company means that you have a clear vision of the motto of your company. What is the main goal of the organization? What sets it apart from its competitors? You need to build strong advertising and marketing campaigns. You need to connect with the customers at an emotional level. 

Our brand has a unique history that defines its present, or soon will. All the things that were important to you while establishing your company, as well as its core values need to be conveyed in the logo, at least in its essence.

For example, if you need to create a logo for a company that produces sparkling water, you may want to concentrate on the features of the product, including its refreshing, hydrating, and calming capabilities, such as Vero above.

The color also plays a prominent role in connecting the logo to the essence of the brand. For example, a logo of a sparkling water company may be blue to convey the power of water and desire to improve the health of the customers. In other words, the color of the logo should mean something special and not be chosen arbitrarily.

A logo design session commonly starts with brainstorming featuring the aspects described above. Don’t forget to write down the ideas you like. See here for how to unlock your creativity.

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2. Use colors effectively

Columbia Logo
Columbia Farmers Market logo design by SDKY

Color helps determine the overall mood of a design. Be reminded though that a single color can convey two meanings. The other elements of the logo help determine what the color wants to convey. For example, red can convey both passion as well as anger. Value, or the relative lightness or darkness of a color, also plays an important role in setting the mood of color.

Let me discuss the colors a little bit more. There is a science called color psychology that studies the meanings of colors and how they are perceived by people. The knowledge provided by this science is a great source of ideas for logo design.

According to color psychologists, green symbolizes safety, nature, health, and freshness. Obviously, it is a good option for companies that produce foods. Next, yellow is commonly perceived by people as a color of innovation and optimism, so it can be utilized by high-tech companies. Blue is considered beneficial to the body because it symbolizes wisdom, confidence, and stability. Be careful with using black: in addition to elegance and power, it also implies death.

Let’s continue to work on the example of a logo for a company that produces sparkling water. Apparently, black and yellow are not perfect in this case but green and blue might be the ones to use.


3. Don’t be a copycat

Logo Copyright Poster
Logo copyright by Jacob Cass.

When you design your logo, try not to replicate any of your competitors. This will only show that you are unoriginal and you might even get lawsuits for plagiarism. A great tip would be to not look at your rival’s logo when you start creating your own logo. 

Consider creating a simple yet meaningful logo. Top brands like Nike and Microsoft have relatively simple logos yet they contain very powerful messages.

Making a logo surprisingly similar to somebody else’s is one of the worst things that could happen in this case. Apart from the copyright issues, the viewers might have a hard time remembering it as your logo because it reminds them of a different one. As the result, confusion occurs, and it’s very likely that you won’t benefit from it.

Of course, there are thousands of logos out there and some features of your own will be similar to some of them. To ensure that copyright is not an issue, you could perform an Internet or trademark search to determine if someone else has a similar idea before you even thought of producing a logo. As soon as your search does not show similar designs, proceed to the next step.


4. Simplicity is the key

4. Simplicity is the key
Nike Logo / Nike Swoosh

All iconic logos are simple: Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Audi and many other ones are perfect examples. You will recognize them from thousands of others because they have simple yet unique features. The main feature should be the most recognizable, like four rings in Audi logo and the tick sign in Nike.

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Be aware that the design of your logo may be changed in the future as the company grows, so it must be flexible as well. Make your logo as simple as possible by using simple elements like circles, lines, rings, etc. but don’t discount creativity when doing so.


5. Use the right font(s) 

Mood board
Font mood board

There are so many fonts out there, so you will become overwhelmed very quickly, but these are the main categories. First, Serif is used for logos that need to look traditional. Second, Sans-Serif is perfect for modern-looking ones. Script is recommended if you need to make the logo more carefree or formal, depending on the typeface. Regardless of the choice of the typeface, you should also remember to make it versatile to adapt it well to the surroundings, especially pairing it correctly with other fonts.

Serif VS Sans Serif
Serif VS Sans Serif

For example, if you are running a company that is related to travel (a travel blog etc.), you may want to consider using a hand written script. If you want to look traditional, Serif is the way to go. However, if your brand produces innovative products, using Sans-Serif might be a good idea. Understanding the power of typography in logo design is crucial to success.


Twitter Logo Evolution
Twitter Logo Evolution. Image credit: Twitter

Having an active logo is an expert tip that has been considered by many companies. The best example of an effective active logo is the one used by Twitter. On earlier versions of the logo, the bird appeared standing, so it was a passive bird. Later, the designers of the company changed the logo: the bird became active and took flight! The latest logo of Twitter took it to another level by making the bird flying in the upward direction.

If you to include an object in your logo, consider making it active. For example, a sport equipment brand may use a spinning ball or have a line to convey motion.

Every logo should resemble the uniqueness of the brand. Make yours filled with meaning, and follow the tips above for a killer logo!


Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for a killer logo design?

Some things to keep in mind when designing a killer logo are the essence of the brand, effective brand colors, avoiding plagiarism, using a cohesive font, and keeping things simple. Many iconic logos make use of active logos, so a more active logo design is worth considering.

Choosing the best font for your logo depends on your brand goals and identity. For designers going for a refined look, serif and script fonts are a great fit. Conversely, for a more modern and relevant look, sans-serif fonts are more suitable.

What is an active logo design?

An active logo is one where the logo is created to look like it’s in mid-action or have motion. Active logo designs are great for a brand design that’s distinctive and appealing.

The color scheme for logo design depends on the goals and desired impression you want to convey with your branding. Darker colors tend to be more serious, while lighter colors tend to be more exciting.

When creating a killer logo design, it’s important to avoid plagiarism and cluttering the logo with too many elements. When it comes to killer logo design, cohesive colors and fonts are also important elements to consider.

What is the difference between a Sans and Serif font?

Serif fonts tend to have tapered edges for a contrasting mix of narrow and broad strokes, and appear more serious and classy. Sans serif fonts, on the other hand, tend to be rounded and have more consistent strokes that ensure a contemporary look.


More Logo Resources

Lucy Benton is a writing coach, editor at BestEssayTips. She specializes in content writing for marketing purposes. She studied Creative and Professional Writing at Maharishi University of Management. 

12 thoughts on “Top 6 Tips for a Killer Logo Design”

  1. Lucy, a great article on logo design and branding concepts! I’ve used this header reference a hand-full of times when working with clients. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Here i learnt the importance of keeping your Logo Simple, which i used to ignore a lot. And it is liberating to know how color psychology effects our perception of the logo design.
    Thanks a lot.

  3. Logo design truly evolved the past years, just see design profiles over at Behance or Dribble to get the idea. Some brands actually kept their logo as is, which is unique imho.

    I agree with 4 – “Simplicity is the key” – or, Just Do It 🙂

  4. Great article that explains in detail what a proper logo should look like, with some great examples that prove the point. The first step in my opinion should be getting a proper advice from a company that has experience in making logos; this can inspire you and give you a better picture of how you want your logo to look like.

  5. Hey, Jacob,
    Great thought and innovative writing I must say. In my point of view for a graphic designer, it’s not hard to design, but it’s hard to get the concept and visualize it. Thank you, bro, for sharing color definitions. I learned few new things from your post. Great work and keep it up.

  6. These tips really are key, especially simplicity. Often people get so consumed with what is possible with logo design and simplicity gets easily lost. We have recently finished the rebranding of a project we have developed, we use a logo creator which really did manage the key points you want to always be considering when creating a logo.

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