Creating a logo for your business is a big decision. Whether it’s your first professional logo or you’re considering a new high-quality design, your logo tells your customers a lot about your brand. Learn how to create a logo with our easy step-by-step instructions.
Your logo does more than identify your company or business name. It gives clients an image to associate with your brand image. It uses color combinations, design, and text to sum up your brand in the most concise way possible.
If you think about your favorite companies, you probably know their logos very well.
The McDonald’s arches, Apple’s simple fruit shape, and the Mercedes-Benz circled three-pointed star design are recognizable to millions of consumers worldwide. These designs weren’t created by accident, and any changes are carefully thought out and planned.
In this post, we’ll go over why a great logo is so important, the steps on how to create a company logo, and a few examples to help you out.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Why does a company need a logo?
- How to create a logo step-by-step
- Example of a great company logo redesign
- Share your logo
- Parting advice: A step-by-step guide to creating a logo for your business
Why does a company need a logo?
Company logos are a much older tradition than many people may guess. Time Magazine identifies Stella Artois as the oldest company to use a logo, dating all the way back to 1366.
We’ve been using logos for almost 700 years because they work.
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A good logo helps consumers identify your brand. You can easily communicate important information about your brand with a custom logo, and it can grab attention with striking visuals or bold colors.
Creating a logo for your business helps you create a first impression that will resonate with your customers. It helps set you apart from the competition and can build trust and establish what your brand stands for.
A logo can help people understand your industry, such as when a coffee shop uses a mug or coffee bean in its design. It can also convey the type of company you want to be perceived as.
One of the most expensive examples may be Pepsi, which launched the $500 million “Project Blue” to differentiate itself from Coca-Cola in 1996. Pepsi wanted to move away from red, a logo color associated with its rival, and ended up with a unique brand image.
Your small business may not be a global powerhouse like PepsiCo or Coca-Cola. But you can still benefit from studying their custom logo designs and following some of the steps they might take, even if you’re using an online logo maker.
How to create a logo
Whether you decide to use an online generator to create a logo for free, or hire professional design services, there are a few obligatory steps in creating your business logo. Let’s walk you through them!
Do your research
Before you jump into creating a logo for your business, take a step back and do some research. Schedule a meeting with key stakeholders (both internally and externally), gather feedback from your team, and decide what message you want your new, beautiful logo to convey.
Want to appeal to a wide range of people? You may consider following many Fortune 500 companies and selecting blue to be featured in your next logo. A YouGov study found that blue was the favorite color for most people, regardless of their background.
If you’re working on a redesign, determine what you dislike about your own logo and address that with a professional designer rather than working from scratch.
Is your text easy to read? Is the design high resolution and in multiple file formats? Build off of the feedback you’ve already received.
Decide on your brand personality and color palette
A few recurring themes or words likely will come up during your research. They can help you build your brand’s personality and create a color palette to go with it.
Do you want to be perceived as bold and energetic or calm and dependable? The design and colors you work with in your logo can shape people’s perception of your company. You may be familiar with color psychology and the idea that certain colors can evoke specific emotions.
But color and marketing are very complex. A cross-cultural study revealed colors can have different perceptions depending on the country.
For example, red represents love or ambition in some countries but bad luck in others. Yellow can show everything from warmth and good taste to sorrow and infidelity, depending on the culture.
But it’s not all about color either. A 2020 HBR study tested 423 logos, and 95% of them were perceived as symmetrical. This worked for many brands but did backfire for companies hoping to be viewed as “exciting.”
When creating a logo for your business, you might benefit from trying a logo generator, even if only to test ideas. These user-friendly design tools can let you mock up a few different versions of your logo, even if you aren’t a professional.
Make sure to consider the typography, colors, and shapes you use to convey the right message.
You can try adding illustrations or icons to add visual interest. If you aren’t particularly creative, you might start with a logo template. Make sure you work with vector files or programs that allow you to change any graphics, including a transparent background.
Ensure you include key slogans or messaging within the logo
Logos are usually broken down into descriptive and nondescriptive based on whether they contain text. A nondescriptive logo can add a touch of simplicity, but it conveys less information.
A study published in the Journal of Marketing Research found approximately 60% of companies used a nondescriptive logo, and 40% chose a descriptive one. Although nondescriptive logos were more common, descriptive logos were more favorably received.
Spend some time thinking about how you want your brand to be perceived and whether the visuals in your logo can convey that by themselves. If you’re an entrepreneur at a startup and need to educate users on your brand, a descriptive logo might work better.
Of course, if you don’t have a slogan, you might want to work one out with the marketing and communications staff.
Test your logo
After you’ve come up with a few different logos, you should test them out. Ask for feedback from both internal and external parties with an informal survey.
If you don’t check on customer perception, you could end up making a change that doesn’t necessarily “click.” A good example of this is Weight Watchers.
Blogsmith designers using official WW logos
The company changed to WW International in September 2018, dropping the “weight loss” wording entirely in a bid to latch on to the body positivity movement. This went horribly, however. The stock price went from a high of $102.42 in July 2018 to nearly half that value at $50.33 in November 2018.
The company still hasn’t recovered despite an attempt to return to its original brand identity. Their product didn’t change significantly during this time, but customers just didn’t respond to the new logo design.
If you want to know how to design a company logo that will stand the test of time, it’s always crucial to ask for feedback on any major changes. Another useful tip is to get a focus group together and get some insights before you launch your new logo.
Example of a great company logo redesign
Wondering which companies have been successful with recent logo changes? It’s not all about jumping on recent trends.
Burger King is an excellent example of careful research when you want to create a new business logo.
Burger King hadn’t changed its logo since 1999 when it took the plunge in 2021 with a $400 million campaign. The redesign removed the blue swish, changed the colors, and simplified the logo while working with a 1960s-inspired design. It also slightly changed one of Burger King’s slogans from “have it your way” to the new “you rule.”
Image source: Canva mockup using official press release logos
So far, the change has been embraced by customers, franchise owners, and ad executives who find the changes appealing. In the third quarter of 2022, same-store sales rose 4%, a good shift from the declines in 2021.
Another recent change comes from the social media management platform Hootsuite. The company ditched the minimal design style popular for the last decade or so, embraced more color, and highlighted its mascot more prominently.
Image source: Canva mockup using official logos
Then-CEO Tom Keiser said of the change, “It was time to rethink our integrated branding strategy to better reflect our position and our direction as the social experts, trusted partners, and joyful mentors. We’re showing the world that Hootsuite doesn’t just ‘get’ social … we are social.”
The company wanted its new logo to show its emphasis on social interactions. Adding color, choosing a more playful font, and using a more detailed image all helped convey this message.
Share your logo
Once your brand logo is finalized, include it in the proper materials. For example, Hootsuite issued an official press release on its website. You should also add your new logo to marketing campaigns like your sales emails or any new merchandise and business cards.
You can even use the new logo as an opportunity for a new campaign. Post about the changes on social media, offer free products or a discount to celebrate your new design, or increase your ad spending to make sure everyone is aware of the changes.
You might want to show both logos together for a few weeks/months depending on how big a change this represents. For example, if you’re completely rebranding due to a merger, adding your previous company name will help avoid confusion for consumers.
Designing a logo has a lot of variables. You have to decide on the color, font, shapes, and images involved and whether they really convey your brand’s image well.
There’s also a lot riding on your logo since it’s often the first thing your customers learn about you. By researching, thinking about your brand’s message, following design trends, and looking at your competition, you can develop a holistic approach when learning how to create a logo for your business.
Although this guide can help you with the ideation process, you probably don’t have the skills to design a logo yourself. Don’t forget that a brand logo is the most important visual element for your marketing and brand building efforts. So you don’t just need a logo - what you need is a really good logo design.
But what if you’re a smaller business owner who simply doesn’t have the budget to work with a design agency that charges thousands of dollars to create a logo and brand identity? There’s a great alternative right in front of you!
ManyPixels is your one-stop shop for all your graphic design needs, including logos, brand identity design, websites, and much more! Best of all, there’s no need to worry about hidden costs or unexpected expenses. You always pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited design requests and revisions.
Want to learn more about how it works? Book a free consultation to ask all your questions!