12 logo design tips to learn before designing

Your logo is one of the most visible elements of your company. While it’s not the be-all, end-all of your brand identity, your logo is among the most recognizable and instantly memorable representations of your products and services. Your logo will stand in for your company across print collateral and digital assets, building brand loyalty and creating visual cues for your customers.

Before you put pen to paper (or mouse to free brand identity maker), though, it’s good to have some ideas and design principles in mind. Whether you’re searching for tips for beginners or you’ve been through this process before, these 12 handy tips can help you pick the right colors, shapes, and fonts as you create your new logo.

A good logo is simple, distinctive, and reflective of your brand values. It should be practical to use and feature a singular design. 

That being said, there’s a lot of variety within those parameters. Each element of your logo should reflect your brand’s mission, industry standards, and personal taste. Here are the primary elements of a logo that you can include:

  • Typeface: This is the font, or collection of fonts, you use to write the name of your brand and your tagline, if you’re including one. There is truly no shortage of typefaces, with thousands of options and new designs emerging all the time. Oftentimes, your typeface influences the official brand font you use across sell sheets, when you create business cards, and on your website.
  • Shapes: Logos will often include shapes to help visually reinforce your business’s core purpose, service, or values. This could be the completeness of a circle, the stability of a square, or the flowy movement of an organic shape. Read the Namecheap guide to logo shapes to learn more about this logo design element.
  • Colors: The elegance of black, the trustworthiness of blue, the passion of red: The colors you choose speak volumes about your brand. Your logo will contain a base color, which is the main color of your brand. It may also include a complementary accent color or neutral to help showcase your base color. 
  • Brand mark: Different from shapes, a brand mark is a distinctive illustration that is directly and specifically associated with your business. The Twitter bird is a great example of a brand mark. While not all logos have brand marks, this logo element is particularly effective at leaving a lasting impression on your customers.
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

12 logo design tips and tricks

Ready to create your own logo? Get started with 12 of our best tips and tricks for designing a logo that’s memorable and professional.

1. Select a logo type that best represents your business

Logos come in many iterations, each of which has its own advantages that can help your company stand out. Among the logo types you’ll see are:

  • Wordmarks, which use the name of the company as the primary element of the logo
  • Lettermarks, which use the company’s initials as the primary logo element
  • Letterforms, which use the first letter of a company name as the logo
  • Character marks, which use a mascot to represent your company
  • Brand marks, which use a symbol to represent your brand
  • Abstract marks, which use a shape not directly representative of your product or service
  • Combination marks, which pair word marks with a character mark, brand mark, or abstract mark
  • Emblems, which are symbols and words styled as an icon
Photo by Arno Senoner on Unsplash

To learn more about which logo type is best for your business, check out Namecheap’s guide to logo types.

2. Draw inspiration from your brand’s mission 

As one of the main visual representations of your business, your logo should hearken back to who you are and what you do. The colors you choose, the shapes you use, and the typeface you select all play a role in speaking to that mission. Keep your brand’s purpose first and foremost while evaluating your options to ensure that the choices you make are having the intended effect.

3. Evaluate your competition

There’s a reason whole sectors use similar colors, shapes, and typefaces in their logos. There’s a long history of established looks associated with some sectors, such as green or brown for use with natural and organic brands. Tapping into that means that you’ll easily associate your brand with your desired industry and target market. Going too far from that established path may mean that your brand won’t reach the right audience.

4. Be unique

There’s a distinction between creating a logo in line with your industry and imitating your competitors. Being unique is important for your brand, ensuring customers that you provide a product or service that nobody else can match. Whether that’s a developing fresh take on an industry standard, using a different shade of a similar color, or bringing in a logo shape your competitors don’t use, that unique twist can go a long way in making your logo memorable to customers.

5. Choose your colors wisely

There’s a science, and a bit of psychology, behind the colors used in brand logos. Each color conveys significant meaning, evokes certain emotions, and motivates customers to take a desired action. For example, you’ll see a lot of food brands use red because this color is believed to induce hunger. You’ll also see a lot of financial brands use green, the color of money, or blue, which suggests trust and stability. Learn more about how to choose a color palette for your brand.

6. See what it will look like in black and white

While you’ll use your full-color logo in most instances, you may need to use an all-black, all-white, or grayscale version. This will come up while creating company giveaways, as some items can only handle one-color printing, or if you need to use your logo on a color background that will make your logo difficult to read.

7. Use the space you have

Many logos have space underneath to add a tagline that sums up their business or brand. If you don’t have a tagline or don’t want to add a tagline to your logo, use that space instead of leaving it empty. Take up as much of the allotted space as possible to ensure maximum impact of your logo on the audience.

8. Use negative space to your advantage

Have you ever heard of the “hidden” arrow in the FedEx logo? That’s the perfect example of good use of negative space. Negative space refers to the empty white areas in a logo, whether between letters or between the wordmark and a shape or icon, that can create new shapes on their own. In the FedEx case, this is the appearance of an arrow shape between the E and the X, signifying the company’s core mission as a delivery service.
You can achieve something similar while working on your logo by finding ways to utilize negative space to reinforce your branding. For example, if you run a charitable organization, the negative space between letters can form the shape of a heart to signify care and compassion.

Photo by Bannon Morrissy on Unsplash

9. Prioritize readability

Among all the logo tips you’ll read, readability is among the most important. Your audience needs to be able to know who you are first and foremost. Select a typeface that is clean and legible. You can choose from among the many thousands of sans serif fonts, which are typefaces without decorative elements beloved for their readability on screens, and serif fonts, which have more decorative elements but are still easy to decipher. Be careful with script fonts, which may look pretty but could be difficult to read.

10. Lean on symmetry and balance

A good logo is balanced and symmetrical. This subconsciously communicates to your audience that your company is built on a strong, stable footing that lasts beyond the test of time. Be sure that your logo looks roughly even on both sides of an invisible line drawn down the middle or through the center of your proposed design. To learn more about the importance of symmetry and balance, head to Namecheap’s guide to logo design principles.

It’s inevitable that your logo design will be influenced somewhat by the design trends surrounding you. Unlike trends, though, your brand is meant to last for years after it makes its debut. As you develop your logo, consider if the trendiest elements will look out of place in five years; by that time, you may want to consider a logo redesign

12. Consider scalability 

Your logo will be seen in many places. You may need to put it on a banner or a billboard, place it on an ad in a magazine, upload it to social media, add it to your website, and much, much more. Prepare your logo for all those use cases by prioritizing scalability. This principle ensures that your logo remains crisp, clear, and legible, no matter how large or small it may appear. For example, you may want to scrap intricate details and fine lines that can get blurry as your logo shrinks.

Put these tips to work with the Namecheap free logo maker

The Namecheap logo generator guides you through each element of your logo step by step and helps you decide between the many font, color, and shape options available — all without creating an account. 

All you need to do is type in your company name, and the Namecheap free logo maker does the rest. You’ll go through a series of fonts and font treatments, choose your favorites from a vast library of logo shapes, and select a color palette that best reflects your brand values. You can even add your tagline to your logo. Once you’re happy with your logo, it takes no time at all to export your logo as a .png file for digital use or generate a .pdf file for a print-quality version.
Creating a logo has never been easier thanks to the Namecheap free logo maker. Get started today, and you’ll have a logo ready to make its world debut within minutes.


Nick Allen

Nick Allen

Nick Allen is a writer, photographer, and content marketer. He’s also the founder of BrainBoost Media, a boutique content and operations studio. With a wide range of interests, he enjoys reading and writing about sports, entrepreneurship, and start-ups.
More articles written by Nick.

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