5 Tips for Your Company Logo Design


There are a million people in the logo design industry today dishing out crappy logos in bulk for crowd sourcing sites. How do you as a serious professional stand out from the crowd and produce quality logos that don’t suck? Read on to find out.

1. Use a Visual Double Entendre

Some of the best logos in the world utilize a technique called a visual double entendre, which is an overly fancy way to say that it has two pictures wrapped into one through clever interpretation of a concept or idea.


The WinePlace logo below is a perfect example.


2. Color is Vitally Important

One of the most important considerations for logo design is the color palette. This is not a superficial decision, color carries meanings and communicates ideas. Sometimes you’re pegged to the colors of a brand, but other times you’ll have the freedom to explore. We love the rich palette used in the Zion logo below.


The colors here grab you and pull you in, they bring life to the illustration and give further context to the shape of the landscape. That being said, remember that a good logo is versatile and will still function well in grayscale:


Beyond a grayscale version, I like to also provide clients with a true single color version, using only black and negative space. This would be a little tricky with the logo above, but definitely possible. Always consider what it is that the logo will be used for and whether or not the various use cases require different versions.


3. Avoid the Cliché

Every few years or so, some new fads come along in logo design. It’s great to study design trends to keep up with the times, but with logos that use the same idea over and over again get old, fast.


4. Make it Ownable

I don’t believe that “ownable” is a real word, but you nevertheless hear it quite a bit in marketing, (marketers love to make up words). The concept is definitely an important one that ties closely to the previous tip. Rather than following the herd and using a cliché design, you should instead strive for something that is uniquely recognizable. The Evernote logo below is a good example in this regard. It’s really just an elephant head, which doesn’t sound like a very unique concept. However, the way it’s drawn with the curled trunk and page fold in the ear makes it instantly recognizable.

5. Everybody Loves Custom Type

While we’re on the subject of being unique, there’s almost nothing that can give your logo a unique feel quite like some awesome custom lettering. Logos with this much customization often require additional time to develop, but can be well worth the investment.



Custom type helps ensure that your unique logo will stay that way. Keep in mind though that if your logo is famous enough, people will always try to rip it off. This certainly holds true for a favorite script logo:

The awesome Coca-Cola script has been stolen countless times in awkward parodies throughout the last few decades.


Need assistance with your company logo?

If you’re a startup looking for a great design for your new brand, or a seasoned business in the market for a brand refresh, Gwen Canfield can help. Contact her at gwen@creativeinstinct.biz, or visit www.creativeinstinct.biz. Do you know of a business that could use help with branding, marketing or website design? Please feel free to refer them. Thanks!


See some client logos we've designed »

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– Article written by Joshua Johnson

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Gwen Canfield provides graphic design, branding and website design for small businesses in Tennessee, Arkansas, and throughout the Southeastern U.S. Working with you via email, phone, video conference, or in-person, Gwen will design your project creatively and affordably. Request a free quote today »

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