My personal advice on creating incredible logo designs.
No more wasting time with drawing silly shapes on napkins. Stop drawing the awful amalgamations of text and imagery. It’s the biggest waste of time and takes you farther from the goal than anything else.
A logo is NOT a picture. It is a feeling.
Why most people’s logos suck
They suck because you can’t taste it. You can’t feel anything. There’s no emotion because they’re too busy trying to bend letters into the shape of a dog, car, airplane, you-name-it. And it looks amateur as hell.
Oh and don’t get me started on those silly $50 logo design sites. Hahaha…all of them are exactly that. The same cheesy combinations of text and images. Oh and sometimes it’s not only one image but TWO images. Like a horse AND a house. Or a light AND a carrot. Or some lame word with the “O” turned into a basketball or the dot of the “i” turned into heart or a flower. Etc and etc.
- ^—– [BOOOOOORRRRRIIINNNGGGGG!!!]
And please don’t get me wrong either.
Those combo-images are pretty cool. I do think they’re clever and pretty. It’s just that I just don’t think they’re very good logos.
A logo is NOT a picture, it is a feeling!
You ever heard that marketing saying that goes, “sell the sizzle, not the steak”?
This is exactly what I’m talking about. We need to establish an emotional connection. A feeling. Products are loved because of the feelings they elicit.
- Want to sell a juicy steak? – make them FEEL the sizzle.
- Want to sell a fast car? – make them FEEL the engine/speed.
- Want to sell a cleaning service? – make them FEEL the peace.
Now what feeling should you decide for your logo? Honestly, you should already know that before you start a business. Usually…you either go with:
- A) TREND-FOLLOWER – same vibe as everyone else.
- B) TREND-SETTER – different vibe to set yourself apart from the rest.
Typically, option A works for an underserved market with many customers jumping on a trend. This can be a useful tactic if you just want to quickly test the market before really doubling down on what customers want. Option B is better in an established market where might appreciate something different from the rest. Honestly, it’s the only good long run option IMO.
I’ll go over some examples of good and bad logo imagery using both OPTION A & B.
“BUMBLEBEE WEB DESIGN”
- BAD – an image of a bumble in there with your logo text. C’monnnnnnn! So obvious. And wasting pixels for nothing! What are someone supposed to think of the bee? That it’s cute? That it’s painful? That it’s annoying? A hard-worker? What?????
- OK – an texture of a honeycomb around the logo text. Ehhh…better. Heck, even the word honeycomb or “honeypot web design” sounds better to me.
- GOOD OPTION A – you use a font that feels professional. That’s it. No need for any “bee imagery” because nobody cares about bees. They care about web design and the word “bumblebee” was only used to distinguish your service from others.
- GOOD OPTION B – you pick a font that somewhat feels like the furry texture of the bee. Playing off subtle queues of “bee imagery” without being so obvious. Maybe you can somehow make it feel the “buzz” as a pun for marketing buzz.
- BAD – image of a coffee cup or swirley smoke rising out of the logo text. So cheesy, predictable, and over done. There’s no feeling at all whatsoever.
- GOOD OPTION A – putting just a clean beautiful font, and nothing else. It already says “Sara’s Coffee”. To have to add any extra imagery makes the logo feel like a toy IMO.
- GOOD OPTION B – you think about your customers and use a logo that appeals to them. Maybe Sara’s Coffee is frequent by truck drivers…and you use a super rugged logo instead. That would be cool!
“JASON EDWARDS LAW”
- BAD – anything with that silly balance-scale image thingy!
- OK – making the initials prominent in the logo. This can be useful to help people remember the name. If the name is hard to spell, maybe use only the first syllable of it in the logo. Like instead of “Tavorkian Law”, you put “TAV Law”.
- GOOD OPTION A – clean professional looking font. Nothing else.
- GOOD OPTION B – think of something in the neighborhood or local area and put that in the logo. Maybe there’s a river, or mountains, or train station. Anything that ties it in to the local community would be clever.
Figure out the feeling
So again, figure out the feeling (and not the imagery). Once you have a clear feeling in mind. You’ll realize a dozen incredible tasteful/classy ways for your logo to look good, timeless, and without being so darn obvious/cliché.
So how do we make this “feeling-ful” logo? (Stay tuned for my next guide!)