Do's and Don’ts for Creating a Logo

Logos aren't just for multi-million dollar brands. They're for anyone: small business owners, job seekers, or people who just happen to think logotypes are cool. But when it comes to actually creating a logo for yourself—well, let's just say it's tougher than you think.

Logos are in some ways simple designs (because they're so small and specific) and in some ways difficult designs (because they're really easy to mess up). There are a few rules to follow if you want to make sure your logo turns out well.



DON'T start without a plan

You don't have to start with a mental picture of your finished logo in mind—its looks will come together as you start designing—but you do have to start with some sort of plan. Think about why you want a logo and where you will use it. Is it for your business, your blog, your resume, or just yourself? The answers to these questions will help you decide what type of logo you want, as well as how professional or creative you want to be. Write these things down into a creative brief to guide you along the way.

DON'T go into the project alone

The old adage "two heads are better than one" means don't go into a situation alone—because you won't have anyone to help you when you struggle. The same thing applies to logo designs. It's easy to rush into the project because you're excited, but you need to pause and look for tools that will help you, like using a template that lets you plug your information into a pre-created logo. You'll be even better off working directly with a design team. The knowledge you'll gain while talking to the designers is worth every penny you'll pay for your logo—which won't be too many pennies if you choose a firm with reasonable rates.

DON'T waste time

If you wait until you "have time" to work on your logo, you'll never get it done. Time is not something you possess or spend like money. It's more like a river: you have to figure out how to jump in and go with the flow, instead of sitting on the sidelines wishing you could swim. While you can't make more time to work on your logo design, you can start using your time better by implementing simple productivity hacks that help you stay on top of your creative game.


DO take breaks

When you get stuck during the design process, take a break! Walking outside will give you some fresh air and help you clear your head. Many people clean their houses; there's something about the act of tidying a house that helps them tidy their thoughts, too. Or you can do some yoga, which can improve your health and relationships as well as your creativity. Whatever you do, just giving yourself a little time away from the project will help you come back with a fresh perspective and great new ideas.

DO involve others

No one can complete a creative project on their own. Writers need editors to help them; graphic designers need creative directors and client feedback; and you need people who can offer input about your logo design. Be sure that the people you pick are qualified—as in, don't ask your brother just because he made a poster for the school play when he was in fourth grade. Pick people who can offer legitimate feedback, and hold a full-on design review session to get their ideas for improvement.

DOcreate a meaningful design

It isn't enough to create a design that you think looks cool—it needs to have some meaning behind it. If you're making a personal logo, it should visually represent the parts of your life that you take the most pride in, whether that's a hobby, your name, or a strong personality trait. If you're making a logo for your business, it should tell customers the number one thing they need to know about your brand.

There you have it—what to do (or not) while creating a logo. If you follow these guidelines, you're sure to enjoy a much better design process and end up with a logo you can be proud of!