This is a guest blog post by Tim Rocke from LogoJoy.
A well-designed logo can help tell customers who you are as a
business, all the while making you stand out from the
Your logo is to your business what your face is to you. It is a
graphic representation of your organization and often the first
point of visual communication you will have with your intended
target market. Just like you wouldn’t enter a business meeting
with a dishevelled, unpleasant face, you don’t want the first
impression of your business to be based on a poorly designed,
unattractive or outdated image that will reflect negatively on
your organization and product offering.
This guide will help you take steps in the right direction when
creating a logo that best suits your online business. From
initial research to design elements, choosing what tools to
create your image and how to evaluate your competition, we will
walk you through every avenue needed to create imagery that
will help you best attract consumers to your brand.
What is your business? Who are the people in your target
market? How do your prospective clients and employees perceive
The answers to these questions are all elements that need to be
included in the design of your company’s branding. Ultimately,
the goal of your logo is to say exactly what your company is
about – mission, values, quality of product, etc. – without
saying a word. It is important, then, to know exactly what you
want to say, and to who, before beginning the actual design
The answers to the aforementioned questions will help when
choosing design elements, which will be touched upon in the
next section. As every visual element has a cognitive
association, it is good to map out what you want to portray
before diving into a design that has no real psychological
usage behind it.
Let’s consider the following example:
John runs a very serious, sales-based tech start up. As they
have a B2B business model, John’s company culture encourages a
very aggressive, sometimes off-putting approach to closing
deals, however, his company logo consists of a bright blue sky
and yellow sun with a cloud as the centrepiece, signifying his
integration of cloud-based technologies. The tone of John’s
logo presents an impression that interactions with his business
will be happy in nature due to the use of bright, happy colors
and nature-based imagery. This is not aligned with the actual
experience that John’s business offers, creating false
expectations that will result in unhappy customers. As such,
John’s branding does not do the job of explaining what his
business does and the experience they provide.
Although a very simplified example, we see the importance of
research in the logo design process. Without knowing what you
want to portray as a business you cannot correctly identify the
elements that will best reflect your organization’s values
within your branding.
goal of your logo is to say exactly what your company is about
without saying a word.Click To
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your brand, establishing a brand strategy and crafting a brand
persona check out our
FREE Ecommerce Branding Guide Resource.
Everything you put into your logo design will say something
about your business, your product, or the interactions your
consumers will have with you. Details like color, font and
shape all have an impact on the psychological impression you
leave with your current and future clientele.
A monochromatic theme implies elegance and
Regardless of your goals for your logo, you are going to need a
black and white version of your logo for press it purposes.
There will be instances where a color logo may not fit in with
the context of certain marketing collateral, especially when
being featured in marketing or publications from external
organizations, so make sure you have a monochromatic version of
your branding handy.
For those looking to have their default logo in these hues,
images with a monochromatic palate typically imply power,
sophistication, cleanliness and simplicity, especially when
paired with a more elegant typeface. There are cultural
implications, however. In Western societies, black is symbolic
of death and mourning, while white has the same implication in
many Asian cultures.
Cool blue and green tones are used to compliment the text
in driving home this organization’s basis in nature.
Blue, as the worlds most favorite color, is the most commonly
used hue in corporate logos as it evokes feelings of
professionalism and success. Similarly, green tones, which are
extremely common in financial services marketing, have a
psychological association with wealth and luxury, as does the
color purple. Greens and blues are often also used in
combination with one another to show association with nature
The warm tones create an eye-catching contrast to the black
elements within this logo.
The use of reds, oranges and yellows are common within food
marketing as studies have shown that their presence often
stimulates appetite and hunger. Their bold appearance incites
energy within the brain, often used by brands trying to conjure
excitement and fun. Evident in their widespread use in road
signage, their ability to draw awareness to the human eye also
make these hues a great attention grabber.
Note: To get a better sense of which colors
popular brands are actually using in their logo designs and to
get official hex codes check
Serif fonts are best suited for companies looking to associate
themselves with tradition and propriety. They’re also a great
choice for brands looking to give off a timeless feel. They
typically receive the best response from older generations, so
those looking to target a younger crowd are probably best in
choosing a different style for their branding efforts.
Sans Serif Fonts
Sans serif fonts are very versatile, often meshing well with
most shapes and designs that may be included in your branding.
They are easy to read and neutral by design. If you are looking
for a futuristic, modern, and straightforward look, choosing a
sans serif font may be the right way to go for your logo.
Effective with younger, more hip demographics, these typefaces
typically give off a sense of sophistication and complexity,
and an overall feel of power.
Handwritten fonts are typically used by brands wanting to give
off a formal, elegant and/or feminine vibe to their target
market. While displaying these characteristics effectively, the
use of handwritten fonts should be exercised with extreme
caution. By design, the nature of these fonts could cause
readability issues when being resized, which is common when
being placed amongst different marketing collateral. They also
can cause strain on the eye, so any copy using handwritten
typeface should be kept short.
There are many fonts that do not fit into the aforementioned
categories that are quite common within the realm of logo
design. Many businesses opt to create their own custom typeface
to avoid replication by other organizations, which is an option
when choosing a design professional to create images.
Typically, these fonts do not portray simplicity or elegance,
but can be quite effective in reaching your target market,
should the proper research be done in regards to what your
potential consumers will react best to.
AT&T’s 2016 rebrand included the sole use of a circle
icon in their branding.
Shapes with lack of points, specifically circles, often give
off a gentle association within the human mind. They are often
associated with femininity, security, protection, community,
love, and support. Circles historically are also known for
having a time value, often representing infinity and
Squares & Rectangles
Kodak’s bold use of color makes up for the nonabrasive
square shape to attract attention.
One of the most popular shapes in corporate logo design,
squares trigger feelings of stability, balance and reliability
in the human mind. As a common shape in branding, they have
taken on a secondary neurological response associated with
strength, efficiency and professionalism. Their popularity
might prompt many to continue using this shape, however, their
nonabrasive appearance in association with constant human
exposure have caused squares to be more overlooked by the human
eye. Anyone wanting a logo that really stands out should
Lavado’s logo utilizes numerous triangles in their
The three-pointed shape is often viewed as a more masculine
shape, being associated with strength, conflict and speed.
Triangles often represent direction and movement, and are
commonly used to replace the letters “A” and “V” in wording.
This shape is also unique in that certain psychological
inferences is dependant on their orientation. A triangle
sitting on its base represents tension and change, while being
place on a point often signifies instability.
Ways to Create a Logo
In the highly technical world we live in there are numerous
options for actually creating your logo that were unimaginable
just years ago. When deciding which avenue to venture down
take into consideration the time and money you are willing to
invest into a design, as well of the quality of image you want
to display on your marketing collateral.
Typically, a high quality, custom-designed logo would need to
be done through a graphic designer. However, commissioning a
professional to do your branding could set you back hundreds of
dollars and the actual process could take weeks should edits
need to be made.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are numerous online
logo makers that can create simple, inexpensive images in a
short period of time. Typically, these web-based options allow
for a quick turn around from initial design to completion,
however, the quality of logo created is low and in many
instances the design elements are not unique, allowing for
others to have logos that could possibly replicate yours.
Additionally, many of these tools require the user to have a
decent amount of design knowledge, which may be a deal breaker
for those who are less aesthetically inclined.
Design variations using an online artificial intelligence
Most recently, a new wave of online designer tools have been
created to help overcome the shortcomings of both these
methodologies. Artificial intelligence powered logo designers
use machine learning to help create designer-quality logos for
a fraction of the cost of a designer and in the matter of
minutes. By completing a few initial questions focused around
design preferences, machine learning algorithms generate
numerous design variations from which to chose from. With a
seemingly unlimited number of designs generated, there is sure
to be an image that fits the needs of your business. This may
not be a good option for businesses who want their own custom
fonts or complicated design features but for those looking to
keep their branding relatively simple, which is always best
when it comes to logo design, this is a great middle point
between hiring a graphic designer and using a standard online
Bonus: Interested in using an artificial
intelligence powered logo design maker for yourself? Check
out LogoJoy to create a
designer-quality logo you’ll be proud of for a fraction of the
Your research is completed and some preliminary designs are
created but before you can decide which one to go with, you
must place it in your competitive landscape and see how you
stack up, much like you would with any other marketing
Put your competitors’ logos side-by-side. If you’re in a
heavily saturated market look at the market leaders within
your industry, as well as those with the least market share.
What are some commonalities between the more successful
companies? What do they do that differs from those who are not
as successful? Be sure to figure out what is working and what
isn’t within your industry to ensure your branding is at the
same quality level as the big guns in your field.
Next, put your logo side-by-side with the competition. Does
your imagery hold up to the quality of work of your
competitor’s? You don’t want to put off potential clientele by
having branding that is sub par to others in the industry. In
fact, ensure that your image stands out from the pack; a more
visually appealing brand could be the differentiator for
customers viewing competitors with similar product offerings.
Your logo is the
first form of communication between your business and your future
Logo design is a science, and not one to be taken lightly. As
the first form of communication between your business and your
future clientele, your logo speaks volumes to the industry you
are in, the work you provide, and the kind of value you bring
to your consumer. You can only make a first impression once, so
it is important to make it count. As the saying goes, “a
picture is worth a thousand words,” so make sure all thousand
of those words being spoken are true to your organization, and
help you attract the business you want to help grow you