Best Practices To Follow When Designing A Logo
Life for tech startups can be described with just one word: hunger. Not only is the average tech startup hungry for success, but it’s also hungry for attention. Of course, there’s no better way to grab the world’s attention than with a knockout logo.
Great logos do more than just set an up-and-coming tech firm apart from the rest. A sterling example of a logo not only sums up what the company is all about but also captures the brand’s spirit while setting both tone and expectations. Last but not least, a great logo leaves a lasting first impression on clients and customers.
No one said designing a logo for a tech startup would be easy. Even professional designers with countless years of experience must come to grips with the nuances of the tech startup brand. The keys to success lie with five important best practices for creating the perfect tech startup logo.
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- Keep Colors to a Minimum
Simplicity is always the best approach for designing a tech startup logo. That is especially when choosing colors for your logo. All too often, companies will throw as many colors at a logo in an attempt to make it appear eye-catching. However, companies often run into the following problems when attempting to create a colorful logo:
- Adding one too many colors to a logo can make it look too cluttered. A clean design also depends on the color palette is as uncomplicated as possible.
- Too many colors can cause printing issues. Imagine if you had to create a monochrome version of an existing logo on a black-and-white printer. For starters, the various colors will appear as shades of gray and blend, resulting in a logo with an indistinct shape and appearance.
While moderation is the best policy for adding colors to tech startup logos, they don’t have to be bland or monotonous, either. Following these simple rules can help give your tech startup logo that bold impact without it being too overwhelming visually:
- Stick to three primary colors.
- Achieve harmony through complementary colors.
- Choose colors that best reflect your startup.
Movable Ink’s logo gets the point across without having to use every color of the rainbow. All it takes is a simple splash of a single color represented by the creative ink splotch. The one color immediately grabs viewers’ attention while driving home what the startup is all about.
- Include an Abstract Icon
Think of abstract icons as the spark that drives an entire conversation about your tech startup’s logo. After all, it’s likely to be the very first element anyone looks at when checking out your logo. It can be any type of geometric shape that comes to represent your tech startup and the driving forces behind it.
Abstract icons don’t have to be instantly recognizable, although they become that way with time and exposure. Take the Pinterest logo, for example. The highly-stylized “P” quickly became associated with image sharing and social media services from its inception in 2010. Nowadays, there’s hardly anyone who doesn’t recognize the abstract icon.
The Nike swoosh is the Ur-Example of an abstract shape as a timeless logo. Even though it was conceived back in 1971, the swoosh remains as contemporary as ever and there aren’t any plans on the horizon to change anything about it.
Abstract icons also pair well with modern fonts, which we’ll dive into in the following segment.
If you are not sure what would be a good icon, play around with an icon tool, to find some inspiration.
- Use Modern Fonts
When designers talk about modern fonts, they’re not talking about the latest and greatest selections from well-known and obscure foundries. They’re instead referring to a style of font with the following traditional attributes:
- Vertical lettering
- Contrasting strokes
- Slim, horizontal serifs
- Small apertures
Common examples include Avenir, Bodoni, Futura, and Helvetica. All of these fonts have a clean, modern aesthetic that makes them timeless in their way, making them perfect for creating a tech startup logo that stands up over time. Of course, many modern fonts break the traditionalist molds set by Bodoni and other similar fonts.
Stripe’s logo offers a good example of how modern fonts can help create an innovative and futuristic brand identity. It’s also a modern font that departs from the traditional definition of a modern font, resulting in a fresh and energetic look that also manages to look timeless.
- Make Use of Flat Design
Once again, the best logos are those that take a simplistic approach to their design. While textures, gradients, and three-dimensional elements do catch peoples’ eyes, those can easily result in a logo that looks heavy and overly complex. Such logos can even be tiring for people to look at regularly.
Flat design strips away those complex elements, whittling down an otherwise complex logo down to its most basic elements. Clean, geometric shapes, simple typography, and a bold, solid color palette are hallmarks of flat design. Here are a few noteworthy advantages that flat design offers for burgeoning startups:
- Simple to produce – Without any elaborate gradients or 3D elements to craft, a flat logo becomes easier to make.
- Print- and digital-friendly – Flat logos are easier to produce on print media and easier to render and view on digital screens.
- Modern and trendy – Flat logos feature a clean, modern vibe that lets them fit in with current trends.
- Potentially timeless – The best part of stripping away excess with flat design is that the resulting logo takes on a timeless quality.
The flat design had its origins back in the 1900s with the Swiss Style and Bauhaus movements. But it took the debut of flat design in Windows 8, which also represented a clean break from previous skeuomorphic designs, for the approach to come into its own. Today, flat design is a staple of tech industry logo design, especially among recent startups.
- Aim for a Clean Design
It’s tempting to cram as many elements into a logo as possible. However, doing just that can easily turn an otherwise good logo into an overly complicated mess. Complicated logos are hard for clients and customers to remember and such logos could even turn them off from your tech startup.
As we said before, the best logo is one that’s clean, simple, and recognizable. However, it’s not enough to just focus on the logo itself. It’s also important to consider where and how your logo will be used. Not only must it remain legible enough to be printed in small sizes, but also be versatile enough to be printed in monochrome. Only a clean design can achieve that without any compromises.
The Starbucks logo is a good example of how evolution in logo design benefited the company’s famous icon. Over the decades, designers simplified the mermaid character along with the tagline and circular element, culminating in a very simple yet clean and easily recognizable logo design that debuted in 2011.
- Hire a Designer
Last but not least. When it comes to designing your start-up logo, you should splurge a little on your design by hiring a professional designer. This is a best practice that you should take to heart.
Although you can use an online logo design tool to make your logo, this is not advised. Unfortunately, many start-up logos look the same because they are designed by automated logo design platforms, which are becoming more popular due to their cost.
However, you get more benefits with a logo designer:
Your logo is unique
- You are taking with a real person (not an AI machine)
- You can brainstorm with the designer
- You get revisions
When working with a designer it’s important to create a comprehensive brief that includes the following:
- Your brand personality – is serious, playful, vintage, eco, luxury
- Your target audience – are you targeting young people, business executives, artists
- Your main competitors – give some examples of your competitor’s logos
- Your industry – describe your industry
Your startup needs a standout logo design that says volumes about what it has to offer. Following the above best practices gives you the best possible chance at creating a truly stunning logo for your tech startup.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder and CEO of Gizmo Concept and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.