Mockup of POP THE PIXEL's logo design on the home screen of an iPhone.

When it comes to creating a logo, the last thing you want is just any old design. Sure, there are sites out there where you can plug in a few details and create a canned logo that looks just like thousands of other logos. However, if you want a brand to stand out from the competition, it requires a lot more creativity than that to accomplish.

The average consumer forms an impression of a logo in about 10 seconds. The brain processes everything quickly, particularly images, so you’ll want to use every bit of that 10 seconds to grab the consumer and make an impression for the brand that sends a message, ties into a personality and is memorable. The perfect logo is easier to talk about than execute, but here are 11 things that go into creating a stellar logo:

Color

Color has a huge impact on logo recognition. Using a color that is readily recognizable as belonging to a brand increases brand recognition by 80 percent. Think about some of the top brands out there. Starbucks uses a specific green on their cups, in their advertising and on their signs. They repeat this color in their logo. Check out some of the work we’ve created here!

Design in Stages

One way to can create an amazing logo is to design in stages with customer input throughout the process. A client knows his business and brand better than anyone, and can offer input and ideas about what works or elements to add. For example, a designer might create the typography, get feedback and then add design elements. Color might be the final part of the design process. Get each part perfect before moving on, and in the end, you’ll have an amazing logo. Want to chat about your project? Contact us here!

A Logo That Is the Name

If you’re designing for a brand that has a visual name, it becomes second nature to use that image as the logo. For example, consider Target. The name brings to mind a shooting target, so it makes sense this is the logo for the company. While not every brand will have a name that creates a visual image, take time to figure out if it does. It can become a powerful image for the brand.

Customize the Type

If you use a ready-made font, you run the risk of creating a logo that is similar to competitor logos. Even worse, if the font is readily available, a competitor might rip off your design and thus confuse consumers. Consider using a customized type, such as a hand-drawn script font that really speaks of the company’s personality and can become part of the overall branding for your business.

Keep It Simple

A beautiful design doesn’t have to be complicated. Think about some of the most iconic logos out there, such as Nike. A swoosh can say a lot. While not every logo calls for such a stripped-down design, simple is often the best place to start. You can always add to the basic design or try something different as you create various options.

Symmetry

One of the first things students learn in art school is how to create symmetry in a design. In a symmetrical design, the proportions make sense and angles and curves are all on a similar scale. Think about logos, such as Twitter’s. Twitter has swoops of the bird’s wings and head. These are all circular and proportional to one another to create the image of a bird in flight.

In Motion

Should you set your logo to look like it is in motion? That depends on the business you’re designing the logo for. For example, the logo for Formula One racing puts one in mind of a car in motion, with the red lines trailing out from the number one. Racing and motion go hand in hand. Consider the message the brand conveys, and decide if you want to add something that puts one in mind of motion.

Consider Different Media

In today’s world, companies use their logos everywhere. It might appear on a website, on social media or on paper. You also need to consider that many people are using mobile devices, so think about how well the logo translates onto smaller screens. When designing, look at your design from different angles and different screen sizes. How does it look on paper? Is it equally crisp on a larger screen? Is it still discernible on a smaller screen?

Negative Space

Take time to consider the negative space of your design. You might be able to come up with a look that has a double meaning, like the secret arrow hiding in the FedEx logo. Smart use of negative space makes a big impact on the consumer.

Understand the Brand

One of the biggest things that can help you in designing an amazing logo is by making sure everyone involved understands the brand. What logos, if any, have been used in the past? What is the history of the company? What is their philosophy? It is also important to identify and understand the typical customer, so that you can design a logo that speaks to that demographic.

Versatility

A really strong logo is also versatile. If you suddenly decide to change the entire color palette of a brand, the logo should be updated as well. Consider how the logo looks in black and white, too, which might be particularly important for printed materials. A really strong logo is going to be recognizable no matter what color scheme you put behind it.

Conclusion

When it comes to creating an amazing logo, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. You can be creative while still applying strong, basic design concepts. While you do want to create something original, you don’t want to make the design so complicated the user has no idea what the logo means or what the message is. Follow these 11 tips, and your design will naturally match the overall tone of the brand and stand out.

About the Author of This Post

Lexie Lu is a graphic designer and blogger with a passion for the digital world. She spends most of her time working on logo mockups and creating websites for her clients. She also manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.