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Top tips for designing a logo

So now you’ve read our article on building your brand, it’s time to look at the intricacies of developing your actual logo.

A logo in itself is a visual device, which is used to create a quick connection between a viewer and your brand. They come in many forms, so there is no one set way of creating a logo, or portraying your brand through a logo, this article is aimed at giving you a better understanding of what is needed to communicate your needs with a designer.

Designing a logo #1 Size

When it comes to logos, one thing is of utmost importance; it must be shrinkable to small scales. Think about website headers, business cards and letter-headed paper. Sometimes your logo will need to be shrunk down to only a few centimetres or less.

Logos such as Facebook and Twitter show up at even smaller sizes; in icon lists and favicons while remaining extremely recognisable. Make sure your logo is simple enough to be recognised in these positions.

Designing a logo #2 Vector

No great logo is ever created using pixels or photos. This point is very simple; don’t accept any logo that uses photos or is only sent as JPEG or PNG. You want a scalable vector format logo in file types such as PDF or EPS. This way when the time comes that you need a large banner you won’t have any of the problems often seen, such as the need to recreate the logo. This is a waste of time and money due to inexperience.

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Designing a logo #3 Colours

First of all, make sure you see your logo in simple black and white as well as a colour version. Although print has moved on from the days when you needed a black only version, there are now many instances online where you need a limited colour version that will work just as well as its colour variant.

In terms of the colours you use for your main logo these should be taken from your overall brand rather than in isolation, if you haven’t decided on your overall colour scheme then you need to make sure that your colour preference matches the style of business you own.

Blue is often used by corporate and technology businesses; as it represents trust and instils a feeling of confidence and calm.

Red is the colour of passion and power. It is often used within food and beverage industries as well as entertainment businesses. Red ignites feelings of excitement so if this suits your business paint it red.

Green is the colour of growth and health, it is often used when businesses have an organic or natural element as well as general healthy living such as many massage businesses.

Yellow is another strong colour that is often used to signify happiness, relaxation and innovation. It is often used in construction and vehicle industries. Remember to use this colour sparingly over wise it can quickly overpower your customers eyes.

Designing a logo #4 Symbol

Not all logos use a symbol, some of the most popular brands are text only, but they often make use of the negative space within the text to create distinct shapes. The FedEx logo is a perfect example of this, instead of a symbol in addition to the text, the text itself creates an image of an arrow in the mind of the viewer, simply through negative space.

A graphical element can help create unity between all branded material by flowing through them not only as the logo itself but as a watermark or pattern in backgrounds. If you decide your business should use a graphical device then be mindful that it is representative of your business type.

Designing a logo #5 Versions

It is important to remember how many different ways your logo will need to be used. In some instances you will need a reduced logo; that can fit a small square to be used in multiple different locations. Others will require a left aligned rectangular version that incorporates more of the overall logo. If given more space you may require additional information such as strapline. A strapline gives you an extra opportunity to add meaning to the visuals your potential clients see, think about Nikes use of “Just Do It”.

Designing a logo #6 Typeface

Often described as the font, a typeface is an extremely important element to any logo. Get it right and you can add extra levels of meaning and confidence too your brand.  Get it wrong and you can completely undermine your entire business before you ever get chance to have a conversation.

If you have a modern, serious business then you would be best to choose a strong sans-serif typeface with sharp angles. If you work with children then a handwritten or rounded style may be best.  If your business is an old traditional one then it may be best to choose a traditional long lasting serif.

It is also worth noting that while you have access to endless font styles in this day and age, there are still restrictions from a license perspective to be aware of, you may need to pay for a license to use your chosen font. If you ignore this it could come back to bite you later.


It is important not to look at the logo in isolation; instead it needs to be part of an overall brand strategy and in conjunction with your business aims. If you can gain an understanding of what is required by your logo, you will be in a much better position to brief a designer no matter what level of experience they have.

Your logo is an essential part of your business branding – if you’re not a graphic designer, you shouldn’t try to do it yourself! Seek professional help and support from someone skilled and experienced in designing a logo.

Blunt advice on designing a logo from Yorkshire Powerhouse

Now you’ve read our article on designing a logo – have you any more questions?

Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:

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