5 tips on creating a good logo

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It's hard to over-estimate the importance of a good logo.  When they're done well — they can become shorthand for your entire brand or company.  Sadly, most logos never achieve that status because they're not well executed.

If you're in the market for a new logo or want to evaluate the one you're currently using, here are 5 golden rules to follow.

Your logo should be very simple — remember it has to work in very small and very large sizes.

Many logos are designed by committee.  And everyone wants to add one more element, thinking that the logo has to tell the company's whole story.  In truth, your logo should clean and simple.  It doesn't have to tell your story — it has to become a symbol for your story.

Your logo needs to work in just black and white.

Think of all the places a logo appears in black/white or just one color.  It must be designed to work in those situations.  In fact, you should view all of your logo design options in black and white and not add color until the final logo is chosen.  If color is introduced too soon, it can influence your decision for the wrong reasons.  If it doesn't work in black and white, color won't help it.

Your logo should not include elements that would be considered trite.

Have a business in Colorado?  Do not have mountains in your logo.  Run a business in Texas?  Do not use the outline of your state in your logo.  Other trite images?  Globes, a for sale sign and scales of justice.  If several other people in your industry already use a certain image — then you should not.  Does Claire's Hair Salon really need to show me a pair of scissors?  I don't think so.  Trite = forgettable.

Do not use ordinary colors.  Unless your company is ordinary.

There are literally thousands of colors to choose from.  Go to an art store and ask to see a Pantone Book.  You want the color/colors that convey the essence/emotions of your brand.  Color can be incredibly subtle and connotative.  Use that to your advantage.

Don't get too trendy.  A logo should be relatively evergreen.

When you design a logo — it's for the long haul.  So avoid trendy fonts and colors.  Think long-term.  You want to avoid the standard fonts but you also want something that is going to stand the test of time.

All of this logo talk making you wish you had a new one?  Or had one?  Well, stay tuned.  On Saturday, I'm going to announce how one lucky reader will win a new logo design for their company. 


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