New Logo Design Checklist: 20 Ideas to Consider

A logo design checklist allows you to prioritize and ensure that
your brand design communicates exactly what you intend. Far too
many businesses fail to invest enough thought into their logos,
with consistently bad results.

Brand
identity
is something you should take seriously because it is
the foundation of a business’ relationship with its target
audience. Once this demographic gets to know a brand in a certain
way, it’s hard to rework this impression in the marketplace.
That’s why planning out what elements your client wants in their
brand identity suite will set you up for success as your logo
design shapes how the brand is viewed by the public.

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Here are the 20 essential items to include in your logo design
process:

Consider All the Types of Logos

The best place to start as you conceive your client’s brand
identity is the different kinds of logos at your disposal. These
are the directions in which you can take your logo
design
concept:

  • Wordmarks – All-text logos that feature
    eye-catching and stylized typefaces; ideal for new companies to
    help build brand identity and recognition
  • Emblems – Logos that feature text inside of
    the overall design (icon or badge); ideal for established brands,
    as these tend to be more visually complex
  • Brandmarks – Logos that feature no text, but
    only symbols or icons; good for brands that become more popular
    over time
  • Lettermarks – Initials-only logos that
    don’t use words, but, rather, abbreviations; well-suited for
    brands with long names that don’t transition well to a simple
    icon
  • Combination marks – More ambitious logos
    that include both symbols or icons and text; great for brands that
    need instant name recognition, but also visuals for a stronger
    impact

Research Your Client’s Target Audience

Information about your client’s target audience is critical to
new logo success. Knowing for whom you’re designing the emblem as
part of the broader brand identity gives you the pertinent data to
make the design more:

  • Relevant
  • Applicable
  • Meaningful

For instance, if you’re crafting a new symbol for a kid’s
brand, you wouldn’t want to use serious colors like blacks and
other neutral tones. You’d likely go with something brighter and
livelier.

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Image Credit: Ezra
Comeau-Jeffrey

Find out more about your target audience by:

  • Asking your client
  • Researching the industry
  • Conducting surveys of the target audience

Draw Sketches of Your Logo Idea

Strong logos start with simple sketches. This is the
brainstorming, early phase of your creative journey. The beauty of
sketching is that it lets you do a brain dump of your visual ideas
right onto a sheet of paper. You can then easily revise and change
the details as you go.

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Image Credit: @plqml |
@feliperizo.co

Of course, you can refine your new logo afterwards using a
program like
Adobe Illustrator
. Sketching, though, is ultra-important since
it’s the starting point of the tangible process of logo
design.

Create a Black-and-White Version of Your Logo

Let’s start with a curveball right off the bat: creative
professionals and designers should definitely go to great lengths
to include a monochrome version of their logo. This may grab you
by surprise since the costs of printing in color have come down
considerably and black-and-white seems so old-fashioned.

Here’s why you shouldn’t write off a black-and-white version
of your new logo:

  • They’re ideal for uses like textiles, 3D printing,
    embroidery, receipts, and laser engravings, which rely on special
    machines that don’t have a color feature
  • You can fax and or copy a black-and-white logo without worrying
    about the color fading
  • In collaborations with other brands (like corporate
    sponsorships), logos could be presented in monochrome to prevent
    anyone in the partnership from standing out

The bottom line is that you’ll create a much, much better
impression on behalf of your client if you can furnish them with a
black-and-white version of the new design.

Ensure That Your New Logo Design Is Versatile

We hear the word “versatile” thrown around so much in design
considerations, but what does it actually mean? Versatility is a
direct reference to the utility—or the number of uses—of your
new creation. Never forget that the icon you’re designing for
your client needs to be seamlessly integrated in a host of
different ways, such as:

  • On various surfaces (T-shirts, ballcaps, water bottles,
    etc.)
  • In different sizes (billboards, business cards, websites, apps,
    etc.)
  • On both vertical and horizontal banners
  • Next to other brands’ logos (partnerships, collaborations,
    etc.)

Therefore, a logo that features versatility is one that looks
great and communicates the same brand values on a giant billboard
right beside the freeway as it does online, in any screen size and
on any device.

The mark of a stellar designer is having foresight and thinking
several steps ahead to visualize how and if your new logo will
actually work in a myriad of contexts. Failure to do so means that
your client’s logo may look great on a large-sized billboard, but
then perhaps have so much complexity that it’s hard to properly
appreciate once it’s shrunk down digitally to fit on a
website.

Give Consideration to Shape

Logos are by nature all about
shapes
. Whether it’s just one, specific shape that’s front
and center, as with Target’s circle motif, or shapes form the
basis of the broader logo design, as with McDonald’s “M”
being formed by two arches, shape is the building block of your new
logo.

Shapes are so vital to your client’s brand identity that, even
if you’re using lettermarks or wordmarks, your fonts will still
be heavily influenced by forms.

Develop the Concept

When we speak about brand identity, we mean what separates your
client’s brand from the rest of the field in the crowded
marketplace. The new logo needs to tell people what your brand’s
values and
personality
are in clear-cut ways. Your logo must reflect your
target audience’s preferences, which you will have gleaned from
market research that you performed at the very start of the
process.

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Image Credit: Patrik Michalicka

To help with the development of your client’s brand, ask
yourself:

  • Is it serious or humorous?
  • Is it for a high-end or cheaper product or service?
  • It is meant to be trendy or classic?

Think About Your Color Palette

Getting the right color or
combination of colors
is crucial to new logo design. Your
client’s target audience is so visual that colors can communicate
strong feelings to them almost better than mere words can. Again,
think of famous logos like:

  • Google’s wordmark
  • NBC’s peacock
  • Firefox’s fox
  • Pepsi’s globe

All of these are purely based on vivid and lively colors.
Google’s and NBC’s logos are multi-colored while Firefox’s
features stark contrast between orange and blue. Pepsi’s logo
features the classic tricolor of red, white, and blue.

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Image Credit: Balazs
Ketyi

This leads me to segue into the next point: understand the
color wheel
and color theory
, so you can pair and combine different colors
for the greatest effects possible.

Be as Unique as You Can

Reject the boredom and complacency of the conventional in your
brand identity suite. Dare to be unique and push the design
envelope. If you set out to make your client’s new logo as unique
as possible, you’ll already give your client the edge in the
crowded marketplace. Logos that are unique are memorable and
therefore help greatly with marketing and branding.

To come up with a unique design, think outside the box and
go for symbolic and abstract interpretations instead of literal
representations. An ideal example is Apple. Though it’s a tech
company, its logo has nothing to do with computers at all.

Integrate Stunning Typography

A new logo can be strictly typography-based or a combination of
fonts and symbols. If you do decide to add a typeface
into its design, make sure to use a typeface that’s legible,
readable, adapts well to different contexts, and showcases
uniqueness.

Experiment with numerous fonts, which includes the weight,
spacing and height. Really allow yourself the freedom to see which
font goes best with your vision and concept.

Some timeless typography rules to be aware of are:

  • Choose 2 to 3 kinds of typefaces to preserve visual
    balance
  • Keep readability
    and legibility
    in mind always
  • The font has to complement your new logo design and communicate
    your brand identity

Make Your Brand Identity Relevant

There’s something to be said about using
abstract
or non-literal icons for your new logo. Nonetheless,
there’s a fine balancing act between being unique and choosing a
word or icon that’s so off-the-mark that your target audience has
a hard time understanding your logo choice.

Solve this potential problem by aiming for relevance. Relevant
logos are:

  • Intentional
  • Clear about your message
  • Targeted

For instance, don’t just choose any color for your new logo.
Pick one that has great meaning for your client’s brand and ties
into its backstory.

Use Good Judgment Instead of Personal Taste

One of the biggest temptations to hit graphic
designers
in their work is to insert their own taste into their
clients’ projects. If you have a favorite font or color, for
example, you may want to use it in a project when that’s not the
best decision for the brand identity of the logo.

A good rule of thumb is to dispassionately evaluate specific
design considerations. Use your designer hat and not your heart to
exercise sound judgment on logo work.

Craft a Memorable Logo Design

Just because you’ve made your new logo unique, simple, or
relevant doesn’t necessarily make it memorable. However, you want
to also aim for memorability because that tends to stick in the
minds of the public easily.

Remember that your design will likely be seen by your client’s
target audience for just a few seconds or less—whether that’s
on
social media
, in a print ad, a billboard, or anywhere else. You
need to make this precious time count.

Reject complicated design elements and clutter in the new logo
to ensure it’s simple enough to quickly remember. Your audience
needs to be able to recall key elements of your design after
glancing at it just briefly.

Aim for Timelessness

Creating a successful brand identity is all about balance. You
must strive for a new logo concept that is contemporary or
modern
, but avoids being just a fad. In other words, you want
an aesthetic that’s not “in” for just the moment—and then
will look outdated in a few years’ time.

Get around this problem by thinking of modern, which we’ll
define as epitomizing all the essential elements of the present day
without getting too caught up in the small details. By not
obsessing over the smaller details, you can aim for the bigger
picture and capture the broader concepts that will carry your new
logo into the future with ease.

Think of successful brands like Starbucks, UPS and Burger King.
Their logos haven’t significantly changed over the decades due to
the timelessness of their original concepts.

Preserve a Balanced Composition

Balance often means incorporating proportional and symmetrical
qualities into your design. The most visually pleasing logos tend
to rely on these qualities. They use equal weight on both sides of
their horizontal and vertical planes. As a result, their symbols
are easy on the eyes, which leads to greater accessibility.

That’s not to say that asymmetry
is a deal-breaker in new logo design, but it’s generally harder
to successfully incorporate it into a logo.

Vectorize Your New Logo


Vectorize
is a technical term that refers to making your logo
adaptable for a whole host of different uses. Essentially, a
vector-based graphic means that you can easily scale it to any size
that you want without it losing its quality.

There are three vector formats that are typically used for logo
work:

  • Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) – Adobe’s
    EPS is the standard in vectorizing your new logo. It’s highly
    recommended for you to always vectorize your client’s icon in
    EPS.
  • Adobe Illustrator Artwork (AI) – A modified
    variety of the EPS format, AI is less popular than EPS, though
    still widely popular.
  • Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) – SVG is
    catching up to the other two because it is the W3C vector standard.
    More and more browsers are increasing their support of SVG, and
    your logo will support just about any screen resolution in this
    format.

Make a Minified Version of Your Logo

Minification is when the code and markup in your script files
and webpages have been minimized. From a user-experience point of
view, this means much faster page load times on websites.
From the developer’s point of view, it means much less bandwidth
use.

When your logo is minified, it helps to optimize the performance
of entire webpages, thus making the presence of your client’s
logo on a website or app seamless.

Keep the New Logo as Simple as Possible

Minimalism
is the principle of less is more. Whenever you can, make do with
fewer elements in your aesthetic instead of making it one cluttered
mess. The goal of the logo is to communicate your client’s visual
and brand identity, which will be overshadowed with a logo that’s
too busy and boasts too many elements.

Let’s think about some of the world’s most famous logos and
how their respective brand identities are represented:

  • Disney
  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Twitter
  • Mercedes

Are you noticing a distinctive pattern here? They’re all
enormously simple!

Disney showcases the famous castle with the “Disney”..

Source: Marketing Blogs
New Logo Design Checklist: 20 Ideas to Consider