When you’re starting blog, like a business there are a few foundational bricks which are vital. A niche, product or service, a name, a business model, and a plan are only a few of the many steps in the entrepreneurial marathon. But with each stride forward, there should be an eye toward long-term branding. And one of the most important aspects of building a brand is the creation of a logo. While it may not seem as though creating a tiny little image is one of the building blocks of a great blog or business, it is a small but crucial brick. When it comes to making a logo everyone’s ultimate goals will be different. But for anyone, a logo needs to be a memorable, visual encapsulation of your business. It’s a tall order for a little picture. But it’s not impossible, here are a few tips for making it happen.
The first thing you want to do is look at other logos. You wouldn’t make a pie for the first time without looking at recipes, and you shouldn’t design a logo without taking a good hard look at what you like and hate about other people’s logos. Start by reviewing the logos of some of the world’s most famous brands. What makes them so successful? Why do you think they’ve stood the test of time and helped these businesses rise to the top of their industry? Search your own market, find your future competitors and scope out their logos. Taking stock of what others have done can help you figure out what aspects you really want to incorporate and what mistakes you want to avoid. Once you have your list the fun part begins.
Selecting your colors and font styles is a crucial part of designing a logo. There are both practical and theoretical reasons to examine every choice carefully. As human beings our psyches are predisposed to respond in different ways to the various shapes and colors on the spectrum. Certain colors evoke specific emotions triggering different instincts on a primal level, and cultural and social conventions have created numerous color related cognitive connotations.
We can harness all of the powers of colors and use them to help re-enforce our messages. Red, for example can help create a sense of urgency and green is associated strongly with both money and the environment. Some colors like purple are representative of opulence but are also popular among children. This multi-faceted personality makes it a great color for both luxury items and products geared toward kids. The point is, selecting your color palate should take into account our most basic reactions to color, and capitalize on them in a way which supports our goals rather than contradicting them.
Font choice is another important decision because typeface can say as much about a company, website or blog as the words it illustrates. With an ever broadening buffet of font types available there are some distinct decisions to be made. Is the company very buttoned-up and traditionally corporate? Then the font should convey professionalism. Is the company more free-spirited and artistic? Then the typeface can be more creative and unusual. In any case, the choice of font styling should be in line with the overall essence of the company. But most importantly, it must be readable. If the font is so artistic that it becomes difficult to read it becomes counterproductive. For small companies with limited resources, sticking to something more traditional and simple to reproduce may be in their best interest.
No matter what colors and fonts you wind up choosing, the logo it self must be versatile. A logo will appear in numerous places related to your business, which means it needs to adapt to each situation seamlessly. An image should be equally effective on large and small scales. The same logo must be able to fit a 30-foot banner and a 3-inch business card. Color wise, a logo should work aesthetically with your marketing materials. But many colors don’t represent well on a website or on paper. Multi-colored logos should also work as monochromatically, for situations that call for one color or black and white. A logo should be recognizable in any form or color and should work well on paper, online or on logo products. Versatility is served well by simplicity. A design which is uncluttered will translate better across multiple channels than something which is highly detailed. It’s important to experiment and view the logo in different sizes and formats to ensure that it will look clean and memorable under any circumstances.
If you are creative and have a basic understanding of any graphic design program, you can probably bang something out. Even without Adobe, there are numerous free logo creators on the web. But with only basic skills or generic free tools, you do sacrifice some degree of character and complexity. Essentially if you use the same basic elements that everyone has access too you will not wind up with the most unique of icons. Granted it’s totally possible to create something distinct, functional and even good with limited resources, but if you want something outstanding or borderline ingenious, it could be worth looking for a designer. It doesn’t have to take hundreds or thousands of dollars to have someone create a brand new logo. What it does take is someone with graphic design skills and a thorough understanding of exactly who your business is and what you want your logo to accomplish.
Not every logo will reach the iconic status of McDonalds or Nike. But not every logo needs to. What it needs to be is a well thought out, well researched and carefully designed representation of your blog. It should be something which is instantly recognizable and compelling. But above all, it should be something that speaks to the heart of who you are and what you represent.