Don't Do It Yourself

5 Tips for Designing a Logo for Your Business

While working on my journalism degree, I was required to take a class in graphic design. One of the assignments was to create a logo. The instructor wanted us to have an idea of the basic principles of graphic design, for those of us who might go on to create online, magazine and newspaper layouts.

Starting with a logo seemed easy, but it was a little harder than I anticipated. Your logo needs to convey something about your business, and offer something memorable that others will recognize. On top of that, you want it to be something that others can easily share. In this age of online communications, your logo needs to be built for the times.

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Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you design a logo for your business:

1. Keep the Design Simple

Your logo design should be straightforward and simple. It shouldn't be too intricate, since it can be difficult to translate complexity onto letterhead, T-shirts, and other promotional items. Instead of going for complicated, look for a simple design with a high visual impact. You want a connection made immediately, and that's easier with a simple design.

2. Limit the Colors Involved

Sure, you can have two to four colors for contrast. But don't get too crazy with the colors. On top of that, consider what your logo would look like if it could only be rendered in black and white. Would it still look clear? Would it still look good? Understand that in some cases, your logo might not appear with color. Test it out in different conditions to make sure that it still conveys what you want it to.

3. Consider Backgrounds

What happens if your logo is placed on a different background? Think about how your logo would stand out on different colors. In some cases, your logo might appear against different backgrounds. Take this into consideration as you begin the design process. Once again, something simple, with limited colors, can be your best bet in this situation. It will make your logo more versatile.

4. Make your Logo Scalable

Will your logo still look good if it is blown up to appear on a poster or billboard? Does it shrink down so that it is still identifiable when you put it on a pen or a business card? Create a logo that is scalable so that it looks good in a variety of sizes. And make sure that you have a good version of your logo that you can add to the Web.

5. Work with a Professional

Your logo represents your brand, so it's important that you take the time to get it right. It's true that you can change your logo later, but you will be more consistent and memorable if you don't have to overhaul your logo five years down the road. Consider working with a professional. When I was looking for a logo for my blog, my business partner and I had a professional design it. My class in graphic design wasn't enough for me to feel comfortable, and I wanted the logo to look just right.

A professional can walk you through ideas, and help you create something that truly reflects your business, and that customers will be drawn to — and remember.

Photo: Bazstyle