Logo Design and Branding Tips for Your Business or Website

One of the most important elements for your business is its branding. Branding is so much more than just a logo or slogan, your branding is the voice and tone of your business and represents the personality of the business as if it were a real living and breathing person; and like a person, branding will have its own unique look and feel and normally echo that of the brand/company owner.  Personally I find the branding and logo creation phase of a new business one of the most exciting. On the back of a new business idea, it’s a chance to bring a new brand to the world and inject much of your personality into it as well. A logo can tell you a lot about a company without so much as uttering a word.

There are a few elements to bear in mind whilst coming up with your company logo.

Logotype or Logo – what’s the difference?

Well, not much. A logo type (or word mark), as you might have guessed, includes text, normally your company name and displays the company name in a stylistic way to make it visually tie in with the company branding. Whereas the logo element is a straight up graphic or design, often taking a letter, symbol, mascot or element from the company name.

Almost always the two will be used in tandem. Think of twitter’s bird symbol and their “twitter” type.

Coming up with ideas for a logo

So where do you start? Even if you plan to hand this task over to a professional designer you will need to give them a brief so they can bring your vision to life.

Once you’ve come up with your company name and how you’d like your brand to be perceived you can start coming up with ideas for a logo. Some questions you’ll need to ask yourself are: do I want the tone of the branding to be fun, trendy, professional, retro, modern etc. People should get a good idea for what your brand is about just by the logo. Depending on the look and feel they’re going for, a new edgy streetwear brand might look at “scripty”, hand drawn (tattoo-esque) style typefaces alongside symbols of skulls, hand gestures, characters, dogs, animals etc to give that “fresh” and urban tone they’re going for.

Just like you, your brand will have its own personality. Look at your own style and accessory choices. What’s the image you’re trying to project? Is it professional, fun, edgy, hipster, vintage etc. All the elements you choose, from your shoes to your hats make up the image you’re trying to project and the same should be done for your brand.

A good example of this is a brand called Johnny Cupcakes. These guys have taken a seemingly innocuous brand/company name and through its cupcake and crossbones logo and branding have turned it into this edgy, urban and cool t-shirt company with an army of fans spanning the globe.

  • Find elements and symbols that resonate with you when you think of your brand
  • Find colours you’d like for your logo and keep them to a max of 3. Colours themselves can evoke certain emotions that you’d like people to have when they “experience” your brand… ie green, orange and yellow are vibrant, fresh colours that you’d find in nature. Purple, lilac and pastels colours could be either regal or calming. Red is attention grabbing and passionate.
  • Look at fonts and typefaces and see which you think suits your brand well. Serif fonts have those little feet/lips to them, and give a more formal and sophisticated look but can also be used for grungy, hipster brands. Whereas and sans serif or considered more modern and have a much broader application.
  • Think about the orientation of the logo. Will it be horizontal or straight up and down.

Then once you have all of these questions answered you’ll have a good idea of what to look for in terms of inspiration. The following are a list of websites I use on a regular basis when looking for ideas for a logo. Take a good few hours to find 3-5 logos you really like and put them side by side, then pick out all the elements you do and don’t like. Write them down. Ie “I like the hand drawn element of this one, but the use of typeface for that one”. By now you’ll have a meaty brief for the designer to work from.

Where to get inspired

For non-designers it’s a good idea to get a professional involved. There are some seriously talented designers out there that will make an impressive logo (and even entire branding) for you, and that won’t break the bank. Your logo is a very important element, that will be with you for a long time, so leave it to the professionals.

The following are some great communities and marketplaces for designers an freelancers alike. Have a look at their portfolios to ensure their style is in line with what you want for your brand. Once you find someone, contact them and take it from there.

Places to get your logo created

© Aaron Campbell |
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Mr Mantality

Mr Mantality

Lover of gadgets, men's culture, cool stuff, Earl Grey tea and all things manly. An optimist in his prime. When he's not keeping the wheels turning at Mantality HQ you'll find him trawling the web, and visiting trade shows to find the newest and coolest gadgets. During his down time he's usually with his 2 dogs, on the golf course, cycling or basking in the literary company of Oscar Wilde, Bret Easton Ellis or Martin Amis whilst drinking espresso strong enough to strip paint.

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