Don’t Even Think About Logo Design Without These Tips

The old saying “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” sums up the purpose of a logo. Often the first taste of the company, a logo can mean the difference between a person becoming a customer and the one who got away. That’s because a logo is multipurpose – it symbolizes an organization and therefore serves as a marketing tool. A good logo is unique enough to stand out in people’s minds as well as simple enough to stay there.

Designing logos is an integral part of any graphic artist’s career. It’s a chance to be creative by making designs that a mass audience might notice. A well-received logo will likely generate more work, so it’s like having your portfolio distributed to people you might not have otherwise networked with. That’s why it’s vital to consider the following when you receive a logo-design assignment.


What is the company trying to sell? If it’s a restaurant, you want to create a sense of hunger fulfillment. If it’s a tech company, you want to convey precision. If it’s a day-care facility, safety is important.

cloud logo


Once you come up with a theme, how do you express it? Not every logo needs to have an obvious central object; a dog-walking company doesn’t necessarily need to have a dog on a leash as its logo. How about something more symbolic such as a bone?  I like the use of lightning bolts to signify speediness and wafts of smoke to mean delicious cookies that are hot out of the oven. Water can mean serenity (for spas, yoga, etc.), while clouds convey opportunity.


Color brings out emotions in people. It’s a subtle choice that creates powerful feelings. You don’t want to turn off potential clients by making poor color judgments. When playing with colors, do your homework about what your choices mean and use other people as guinea pigs to see what they feel when presented with your logo concept. Some color choices are obvious, such as green conveying eco-friendly and blue meaning clean, but what colors are harsh? What symbolizes strength? And what does away with hunger?

Branding opportunities

Finally, how is this logo going to be seen? If the client is a small company that won’t be featured on billboards, the logo shouldn’t be too fussy, since detail can get lost in a small space or when printed on newsprint – you don’t want ink to run together. Is it going to be on a glass window or door? Be sure the colors stand out.

Those are the items to be aware of when designing a logo. There are also a few things to avoid.


Each year bloggers grasp onto predictions and trends in graphic design: What will be the hot color; which era design will be inspired by, etc. Ignore these; you don’t want your logo to be a cookie-cutter image of all the other new logos. Graphic design trends are just like fashion trends – a good logo will stay in style for years to come, while a trendy one will look outdated next season.



There’s a reason McDonald’s and Nike are recognized worldwide – their logos are simple, striking and memorable, and people know the companies they represent even when the name isn’t present. Your client’s business might not be as big as those mega-corporations, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow their examples. Don’t try to mash a lot of details into the logo – look at it was a teaser to catch people’s eye, lure them in and then inquire more.

Jennifer Moline is a writer for PsPrint and the PsPrint Design Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company.


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