Top 5 Logo Design Tips for Beginners

February 23, 2018

Do you know why graphic design, and logo design, in particular, is so nerve-wracking? Because others make it so. It only appears to be difficult, but you really don’t need to take design courses to make a top-notch logo. All you need is Photoshop, spare time, inspiration and dedication.


Although creating a logo is a fairly easy task, keep in mind that it’s really important in branding. There are bad logos and good logos. Pepsi, for instance, changed their logo on a regular basis. Coca-Cola didn’t – it’s been the same one throughout the years. The latter is an example of a good logo because it is time-enduring, the key-concept of logo-making.


If you’re traveling into the jungle of logo design for the first time, you’re probably wondering what you should do and what you should not do. Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right inhabited shack. Here are five valuable tips (make these your rules) from a veteran designer.


Things to Stay Away From


  1. Clichés


There’s nothing on this earth more tedious than redundant logos. If you feel tempted to use a circle or a square-type logo, close your eyes and repeat: “This is a no-no.” Do this whenever you want to use them.


First of all, that’s clearly ripping off thousands of other annoying logos; second of all, it definitely won’t stand the test of time. It doesn’t matter if the logo you’re making looks catastrophic at first as long as it’s original. Give it time. The wheel wasn’t invented in a single session.


  1. Too many fonts and/or overly intricate ones


Dante Alighieri didn’t say it overtly, but legend has it that he visited a 10th circle of the inferno, where all the designers that used more than two fonts in their logos were punished for all eternity. We have no information on how exactly they were punished, but it certainly had something to do with running endlessly through all the preset fonts in Photoshop.


Leaving all jokes apart, you should know that more than two fonts are suffocating the logo. They make it intelligible and visually aggressive overall. Even when you use a maximum of 2, they have to be from the same font family.


The second issue with fonts is using the ones that are so intricate that they fringe on being cartoonish. Those may very well work for toy stores or circuses, but they have no place in a business, professional logo. Stick to the basic ones.


  1. Creating contrast with the tones of a color


You can add up to 3 colors in your logo, but nothing beyond that. Sometimes, even three would give bad results. Instead of just adding other colors, test the tones of the one that you’ve used initially.


For example, you can give the logo a stroke with a darker tone of the same color, or a lighter one, depending on the circumstances. Also, remember that the logo has to look good in black and white, too, so the contrast is really important.


  1. Don’t be boring


You know the Amazon logo, right? But did you ever realize that it has an arrow that points from A to Z? How about the smile that the same arrow forms? That’s wit right there, and the design of the logo is painfully simple. It could pass as uninspired and cliché if it weren’t for those two relatively concealed implementations. You don’t need a hundred elements to make a very smart logo, and this is the proof.


  1. Don’t change it


A good logo must defy time. Once it’s done, it must be there to stay. We could use the Cola logo as an example again, but that would be redundancy, and that’s not an option in design. Eureka – the Google logo! That certainly is an excellent example.


There’s more to logo design than this, but for now, these five tips are concentrating everything you need to know as a beginner. It doesn’t help to bury yourself in details from the very start. Get better with time. Why pay a designer when you can do the logo yourself just by using Photoshop and respecting these rules?