How to Design an Effective Logo for Your Business

So You’re Serious About Your Business? That’s Not What Your Logo Says…

You are at a conference, hoping to dear god that the networking gold will pay for the cost of attending. You have met a prospective ideal customer and, excited as a chocoholic in a chocolate factory on the inside, you professionally deliver your elevator pitch, worthy of an Academy Award. The prospect looks like you have just solved all their dreams! They ask for your card and you gladly hand it over.

In slow motion you see confusion and doubt begin to appear on your ideal client’s face, who up until a moment ago, was completely sold on your services. What has gone wrong? What has caused the doubt to creep in?

Then you realise… it’s your dodgy, clipart logo that you whacked together with a “that’ll do” attitude.

You suddenly realise it does not match the sophistication, the style, and the tone in which you just moments ago presented your services to them. The customer is thinking “how can this person deliver what they just promised when their logo looks so last-minute? If this is a representation of their work, maybe they are not the professional service I am looking for? I’m not sure I should be investing time and money with someone that doesn’t seem all that expert after all…”

It is then that you realise that this logo will in fact, not do.


A logo, along with your overall branding, often seals the deal on a person’s opinion of your brand, long before you have had a chance to talk with them. In fact, research by Google and CEB revealed that consumers are often nearly 60% through the buying process before they ever speak to a company representative or salesperson. Don’t think for a minute that your logo doesn’t play a part in this pre-sales decision process.

Your logo is the representation of your brand at a glance. It is your calling card, your badge of honour. It announces your presence like the “I was here” or “I am here” or “I will be here” identifier tag.

You should be proud of your logo and happy to brandish it, anywhere, to anyone, at anytime.

A mere glimpse of your logo should provoke emotions, ideally good ones, along with instant recognition. Your logo builds anticipation for what the rest of your brand will bring. The branding answers the promise offered by the logo. Therefore it is important that your logo should give the impression that it holds a very good promise.

Think about the effects successful logos have on you. McDonald’s Golden Arches or Apple’s Apple? Both are instantly recognisable and, depending on whether their promise aligns with your wishes, they provoke strong emotions such as anticipation, excitement, hunger, craving etc. The promise is then answered through every interaction you have with the brand including their products and services.

*THINK: What promise does a messy, complicated logo represent to you? What promise does a clean, simple logo represent to you?

A good logo should be clean, simple, unique, and easily recognisable in any format, and when delivered via any medium. Generally, it is best to steer clear of complex colour patterns or imagery in your logo design as this can make it very difficult and most likely also expensive to reproduce.

So, how do you get started on a new logo concept?

Start with research. Research what appeals to your target audience – the colours they like, the tone they would respond positively to, the words that would draw them in etc. Once you have a good idea of what would appeal to your target audience, make sure it also appeals to you. After all, you have to want to sell it!

Next, brainstorm! Collect and jot down ideas and concepts. A google image search on words associated to your logo or brand is a great way to get ideas and inspiration for a new logo. Be very careful not to directly copy another logo or use an image without the permission of the owner if you want to incorporate it somehow. Use the images you find as reference material and to get your thought process started and build on your ideas from there through your brainstorming and concepts.

*Tip: Set up a logo inspiration Pinterest board to keep all your reference images in one, easy to find and accessible place. You can share it with a designer to help them understand what styles, colours and tones appeal to you.

Don’t be afraid to use text only for your logo. Many people when creating a logo for the first time, believe it must have an image or symbol of some kind. That “it can’t simply be text. Text is not enough for a logo!” Text most certainly can be enough for a logo, and when done well, it can produce a very effective, clean, highly versatile logo. A personal favourite of mine that has succeeded with the “just text” approach is Peter Alexander:





Ok, so you’ve settled on a design or five, now what?

Once you have mocked up a few designs, it is time for some feedback! Show your designs to your friends, family and colleagues – whomever you wish to – and ask them for some constructive, honest feedback. If you can, ask some people who fall into your target market as this will give you the best idea as to if your logo is effective. Ask them what they feel when they see it. What message does it send to them? What do they take away from the design?

A word of warning…

As the old saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, this applies heavily to asking for feedback on any design. Be sure to listen to your heart whilst receiving feedback on your concepts. Take the constructive feedback only and leave the rest. Listen to your intuition for the decision of your final logo design. You are your brand, it is your baby and you will know which design feels right to you.

If you need help with how to design an effective logo for your business, get in touch for a free consultation. I’d love to help you create the perfect representation for your dream business. Click here to visit the contact page and get in touch.

Now, I would love to hear from you if you have any tips, tricks or resources you use to inspire ideas. What logos do you consider successful and why? Do you have any funny stories about logo designs? Share your stories in the comments below!

Happy Designing!



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July 30th, 2015 at 7:01 pm

A bold trademark shares confidence and stamina. An usual mark says you’re average– one of many in a crowd.

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