What Do I Need To Know to Make My Own Logo?

make my own logo

In today’s marketplace, branding is everything.

And nothing increases brand recognition like a quality logo. Studies have shown that children can recognize logos before they even learn to read.

Many businesses are feeling the pressure to create a strong, memorable logo.

And they don’t always succeed.

You can always hire a graphic designer, but that can be expensive. And besides, no graphic designer knows your business like you do.

“How can I make my own logo?” I hear you asking.

But never fear. If you follow these tips, designing your own logo doesn’t have to be a mystery.

Learn from the Best

When you’re designing a logo, it pays to look at the masters. Take a look at the most recognizable logos around.

The Nike swoosh. The Golden Arches. The Apple…apple.

These logos are instantly recognizable. Even without their names.

“How can I make my own logo that recognizable?”

To do that, we need to look at what all of these logos do well.

Keep It Simple

We all know how much you love your company. You’ve poured your sweat and tears into it. It has a lot of value to you. And so, you might be tempted to include a lot of details into your logo.

But your logo isn’t a family crest. Adding too many elements to your logo can get cluttered quick.

Take another look at the three logos we mentioned earlier. The Swoosh is a distinct, elegant shape. McDonald’s logo is two simple arches. Apple’s logo is a bold, unmistakable symbol.

When making your own logo, resist the urge the make a complex, detail-laden illustration with multiple elements. Hone in on a strong, clear vision.

Get Symbolic

The best logos utilize some sort of iconography that clearly identifies them. For example, the World Wildlife Fund panda bear or the silhouetted girls of the Girl Scouts.

Think of an object that could become emblematic of your company. It might be a local landmark, a visual pun off of your company name, or a symbol related to your area of business.

You can even choose something entirely non-sequitur and make it your own. After all, what does a siren have to do with coffee?

You can also throw in a hidden meaning. FedEx prides itself on quick, efficient service. Their logo may seem basic at first, but there is a hidden arrow between the E and the X that gives the logo that extra punch.

Again, Apple’s logo might seem like nothing more but a clever visual pun. But the single bite evokes a strong cultural symbol: the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge from the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. Talk about some symbolic heft.

When it comes to the symbolism you work into your logo, don’t limit yourself. Look everywhere. You never know where inspiration might strike.

Consider Color

If graphic design isn’t your forté, you might not realize how much color communicates.

Color speaks volumes. Psychology has shown that every color evokes certain emotions.

  • Red: strength, urgency, passion
  • Orange: playfulness, excitement, excitement
  • Yellow: happiness, friendliness, energy
  • Green: growth, health, nature
  • Blue: trust, authority
  • Purple: wealth, wisdom
  • Monochromatic: seriousness, authority

So let’s say I own a website that coordinates corporate car services. If I were to make my own logo a colorful collage of orange and yellow, I’m probably going to have a hard time convincing anyone to take me seriously.

Choosing colors foolishly can throw your logo way off-brand. Be intentional about your color choices and send a clear message.

Figure Out Fonts

If your logo is going to include your company name (and it should—your brand isn’t as recognizable as Nike yet), choosing a font is incredibly important.

In fact, some companies use their name alone as their logo. Think Coca-Cola or Netflix.

There are thousands of fonts to choose from, but they aren’t all good choices for your business. Who’s going to take your investment consulting firm seriously if you use Matisse in your branding?

There are a few typefaces that have made it onto every graphic designer’s no list. You probably already know to avoid Comic Sans. But fonts like Papyrus, Impact, and most “handwritten” fonts will cause your logo to miss the mark.

The best advice is to try as many different fonts as you have access to. Make a note of the fonts that best capture the mood you want your logo to put across. After all, you know your business better than anyone.

Versatility Is Key

So you’ve sketched out a pretty decent logo, chosen some colors, and settled on a strong font. Before you rush out to order new business cards, take a moment to think about everywhere your logo will be used.

How will it your logo look on the side of your building? What about printed on a t-shirt? How do the colors look on paper? Will it still be recognizable if you shrink it down to an app icon for a smartphone or a favicon on your website?

Instagram recently made waves when they changed their logo. Spoiler alert: not everyone was happy with it. The original logo was a detailed design based on vintage Polaroid cameras. It captured all the quirky fun of the app. People loved it.

However, when shrunk down to an app icon, a lot of those details got lost. The logo looked cluttered at smaller sizes, especially when side by side with sleek simple logos like Facebook and Twitter.

The new logo, for better or worse, is a simplified version of the original. It lacks the vintage charm, but it looks more consistent at smaller sizes.

Before you sign off on anything with your new logo, try it at different sizes. Shrink it down to a square inch. Print it as large as you can. Make sure it remains identifiable between different mediums.

How Can I Make My Own Logo Without Expensive Programs?

Graphic artists spend years mastering programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. And if you’re opening up one of those programs for the first time without any training, expect to stare at the screen dumbfounded.

These programs are complicated. But you don’t need to master them to make your own logo.

There are a number of logo designing programs that are simple to use. Yet they won’t keep you lacking in the power department. You can use a design program without years of experience and still create a power logo.

You’ll be off to the races faster than you can say, “look ma, watch me make my own logo!”

Need support? Reach out!