UPDATE: This make your own logo post was originally published on 22 January 2020 and updated on 2 April 2021.
From Nike’s “Swoosh” to McDonald’s golden arches, people instantly think of these brands whenever they see their logos. Even though these are big businesses with big budgets, the same rules apply whether you’re a side hustle or small business. But you don’t have to spend a bundle on a logo — it is possible to make your own logo.
In this blog post, we’ll share the six steps of making your own logo.
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Make your own logo in 6 steps
A logo may be just words or letters, just an image or both — and every venture needs one. When seen over and over, consumers begin to associate the logo with your business. In some cases, all we need to see is a color to think of a particularly well-branded business. Here’s how to make a logo you’ll be proud of.
1. Zero in on your business personality
A logo is a reflection of your business’s personality. So before designers put pen to paper, they take the time to understand:
- The business strategy
- What type of customers the business serves
- What sets it apart from its competitors
A logo design is not about looking ‘pretty.’ Yes, it has to be visually pleasing — but it also has to make sense and fit your business. Every visual element needs careful thought and consideration.
The design elements for a cafe, for instance, are vastly different from those that would be suitable for a medical centre.
A cafe is likely to feature a coffee cup symbol and have an inviting feel to entice people to come in. A medical centre is likely to have a more clinical feel with perhaps a red cross symbol as an example.
2. Look for design inspiration
Pinterest is a popular tool for finding logo inspiration that you can access on a desktop or via your smartphone.
Start by listing a few adjectives that describe your business. Is it:
Maybe it’s a combination of a few adjectives? Start searching Pinterest using a few words that describe your business and start ‘pinning’ the images you like onto a board.
Once you have a few images together, it will start to form a story. You will get a feel of how your brand personality looks and pick up some themes.
Spy on your competitors
You can also find inspiration by checking out your competitors’ branding styles. It’s a good idea to have a look at what’s already out there. This will also prevent you from accidentally copying a competing company’s logo design.
It can happen unintentionally, so your best bet is to be well-informed and to think about what will clearly set your business apart from your competition.
For example, if all the other businesses in your industry are going monochrome or neutral in design, perhaps you could add a splash of colour to stand out against the crowd?
If everyone else looks the same, it can play to your advantage. You will be seen as more fun and modern to attract attention.
3. Choose your logo type
When making your own logo, there are four main types of designs to consider:
A wordmark design
This refers to a logo that is just a word. There’s beauty in keeping it simple.
One inspirational example of a logo made entirely from words is Coca-Cola. They have made some small tweaks to the logo over the years, but it has always been a fancy swirly font.
Google is another example of an instantly recognisable brand with its bold colours and clear font.
A lettermark design
These are initials such as CNN and H&M. Lettermark logos are great to use if your name is very long or hard to remember. The only thing is, due to its simplicity, it can often be hard to express what your business is about with a lettermark logo.
A brand mark
These are icons or symbols that come to mean so much more. You can choose something simple or more complex, but make sure to pick a symbol that creates a unique connection to your brand.
A classic example is with tech firm, Apple. Their symbol is, well, an apple. The same applies for retailer, Target.
A logo can be a combination of a brand mark and a wordmark. The brand name is either placed next to the symbol or below or above it. People will associate both elements with your business, which means you can use them alone or together.
4. Think about the colours and fonts
When making your own logo, the colours play a huge part. There is a lot of psychology behind colour. Every colour has certain emotions and ideas attached. Not only can the right choice of colour strengthen the brand association — but it can also affect your total sales.
It’s a great choice if your brand is loud, youthful and wants to stand out. Whereas the colour blue is thought to put people at ease, as it reminds them of the sky and the ocean. Blue is also associated with trust, security and confidence.
A word about fonts
There are many different fonts to choose from. Google Fonts is a library of 960 free licensed fonts you can choose from to create your logo.
Just make sure the font represents you and your brand.
Certain fonts evoke a certain ‘image’ about them. For example, Comic Sans is playful in style and wouldn’t be suitable for a law firm. Similarly, the cursive typeface that Coca-Cola uses would be too frivolous for a bank or hospital logo.
5. Choose a free logo-making tool
If you’re looking for a quick start with logo design, experimenting with a logo template can give you a starting point on which you can build and adapt.
There are lots of options but one of the best free logo makers is Over by GoDaddy.
Play around with Over until you land on a couple of logos you like.
6. Ask for feedback
Lastly, before you print your business cards and add your logo to your website, we recommend creating a few versions of it and asking for feedback. Check with friends and family to see if the logo you have made reflects your business. Better yet, ask people who represent your target customer.
Ready to create your own logo?
Now that we’ve covered the steps to make your own logo, we hope you feel energised to start designing. Remember, your logo becomes a point of identification and it needs to stay relevant and true to you over time. It’s the symbol that will help future customers recognise and connect with your brand.
A good logo and branding don’t happen overnight. For a logo to be successful, it must be a respected and trusted brand. Don’t lose sight of serving your customers and having their best interests at heart. A strong logo, combined with a quality product and great service, will pave the way to success for you.