8 Professional Logo Design Tips For Amateurs


If you’re starting a business (or designing a logo for someone else’s business) you have likely experienced the frustration that trying to craft a good logo can bring. At first glance, it probably seems like a simple enough task.

However, logo design can be incredibly intricate, and there are a million and one different decisions that need to be made regarding the design and style of your logo.

In addition, logo design often requires a lot of technical skill and expensive software that non-graphic designers usually don’t have. If you’re frustrated with your logo design efforts, below are 10 professional logo design tips to help you along.

8 Professional Design Tips for Amateurs

professional logo design tips

1. Understand Branding

Branding is far more than the logo itself. It’s the cohesive style for a business – it’s what communicates to the customer the value of the product or service and creates an overall personality for the business. Your logo is a key component in your brand.

If you want your logo to be done well, it needs to agree with every other touch-point in your brand – things like your website, business cards, and stationery, among others.

2. Start With Pen and Paper

Sketching out ideas can get your creativity flowing and, for most people, it’s much more intuitive than trying to fiddle around with software, even if you’re using an intuitive logo maker.

Try sketching out ideas, and don’t be afraid to make some mistakes. The great thing about starting with a physical sketch is that modifications are usually quick and easy.

3. Lean Towards Simplicity

While it’s tempting to squeeze in a ton of different elements and concepts into a logo, it’s best to keep things simple. A good logo should be able to communicate a number of complex or abstract ideas while remaining simple in form. This is accomplished through powerful symbolism, thoughtful color choice, and well-chosen typography.

Adding more and more elements to your logo will discourage engagement with it because there will be too many distractions from the main message of your logo.

If you think of logo design in terms of a conversation with your customers, you want your logo to be the visual elevator pitch for your business. Don’t confuse the viewer with excess information.

4. Be Intentional With Color

Color has profound effects on thought processes and psychology. If you are working with an already-established brand, your logo should generally match those brand colors precisely.

If you are creating an entire brand from scratch, then you have a few more decisions to make. Red often conveys themes of passion or intensity, blue conveys peace, trust, and security, and green is sometimes used for brands that want to emphasize the natural or holistic nature of their product. Be sure to choose colors that accurately represent your brand’s personality.

5. Be Intentional With Fonts

We can’t over-stress how important fonts are. They speak volumes about your brand and set a tangible tone for your brand’s personality. They greatly affect your logo design – make sure that the fonts that you choose “agree” with the shape or elements in your logo.

6. Make Sure it Scales Well

Your logo will likely need to be used in a variety of applications. To make sure that you are able to present your brand favorably in any situation, make sure that your logo is scalable.

It should look as good in a social media profile picture as it does on the side of a truck or prominently featured on a banner.

7. Start With Ideas, Not Things

Your logo is meant to quickly and efficiently convey a precise idea to your target market. To make sure that it does that, begin by writing down every idea that you want your logo to convey.

  • Do you need to communicate quality?
  • Is your brand geared towards younger crowds?
  • Do you cater to a highly specific demographic?
  • Is your brand luxurious or economical?

Make sure that you understand the implications of all of these ideas and are able to communicate them through your logo design.

8. Don’t Submit to Trends

Trends are tempting. They can help your logo stand out, and will likely make your brand seem modern and in-touch. However, blindly following trends can quickly lead your brand off of a cliff. Trends are a ticking time-bomb – they are bound to leave your brand ineffective.

Design trends, are, however, useful for informing you of what is connecting with society. If you want to communicate your brand’s modernity, feel free to incorporate certain elements of trends into your logo design.

The trick to making this work is to ensure that your logo doesn’t look like a copycat of everyone else’s. You need your brand to be timeless, yet still connect with a modern audience, especially if you cater to a wide demographic.

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Author: Cathy Cater