The Secrets of Successful Logos

Six Design Tips for Logos

As Smuggie's story and the others suggest, logo design doesn't adhere to a strict set of rules. But there are guidelines most designers try to follow. The creative team behind online logo design firm The Logo Factory offers these six tips for creating a company logo:

How to Work with a Logo Designer
Busy or design-challenged business owners often choose to work with a professional logo design firm, rather than go it alone. If you choose this route, consider these tips from Cono Fusco at LogoMojo.com for getting the most from a logo designer:

1. Meet with the design team in person or by phone. Such direct communication is best. E-mail-only contact usually won't cut it.

2. Don't try to be something you're not. Don't let a designer talk you into something you're uncomfortable with.

3. Be sure to get the master files so you can print the logo anywhere.

4. Negotiate a flat rate for alterations.
  • Don't worry about conveying exactly what the company does. A good logo can be adapted to whatever direction the company takes. Think about McDonald's golden arches or the Nike swoosh.
  • Size matters. A logo may be reproduced in a variety of sizes. Consider how the logo will look printed on everything from business cards to the fax header to ballpoint pens.
  • Proper ratios are vital. A logo usually won't be visually pleasing if it's tall and skinny or wide and short. A logo that approximates the proportions of a typical business card is generally more adaptable to working in other artwork. Designers call this the "golden mean."
  • Consider the target market. A logo is meant to appeal to customers and should be created with them in mind.
  • Seek instant impact. You have only a few seconds to grab customers' attention. Make sure your logo stands out in a cluttered marketplace by having something that's unlike your competitors'.
  • Once it's finalized, don't change it. Small occasional tweaks are fine, but once you've developed your logo, it's best to keep it. Brand recognition takes time.

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Kara Ohngren is a freelance writer and part-time editor at YoungEntrepreneur. Her work has appeared in publications including Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Huffington Post and Business Insider.

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