Many web designers and developers hold the common misconception that a logo is simply a picture to stand in for a brand’s name on a site. The truth is more complex—and it’s absolutely imperative to know if you’re going to design logos for the web.
Logos not only stand in for a brand’s name; they represent the core of its identity. All logos portray a personality, whether that’s traditional, witty, modern, or something else. This personality has to be in harmony with the style of the website you’re creating, too. After all, logos appear in navigation bars, banners, images, and various other places; you don’t want to create a logo that’s going to clash with the rest of the site design.
Logos are also about creating a dialogue. Their purpose is to introduce a company to potential customers and convince them to interact with the company in some way. That’s why the best logos show an understanding of the target audience’s wants and needs.
So it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of pressure to design the perfect logo for a website. Let’s take a look at some design tips for making effective web logos:
Entice Your Audience
Internet users are inundated with hundreds of brand messages every day, so you have to create a truly awesome design to attract their attention. The best way to do this is to be relatable. Learn what your target audience likes and dislikes. What do they do for fun? What age and gender are they? These demographics will help you create a logo that appeals to your audience and captures their attention right away.
Many industries have “standard” logos, meaning that multiple companies use the same color branding, design styles, symbols, and fonts to market themselves. While there’s a reason these standards are so popular, you might actually be more successful if you dare to be different. A unique or unusual logo makes your website stand out and sets you apart as an independent thinker.
Use Timeless Elements
It’s difficult to imagine being “timeless” in this rapidly evolving digital age—but that’s exactly what a good logo does. Rather than mindlessly hopping on the trend train, timeless logos involve classic elements like fonts, shapes, or illustration styles to create logos that will last a long time, even as the web evolves around them.
Add New Styles
Jumping on a trend just because it’s “in” right now is a bad idea—but excluding any new elements from your design can be just as bad. Adding one or two bold components, such as a modern twist to a font or a clever graphic, brings life to your design. It shows that your website is modern and forward-thinking, not just stuck in the past.
Simplify Your Design
Every internet user has come across a site that was just too busy. (Think ’90s style neon colors, huge text, and flashing graphics.) The terrible layout makes it almost useless because it distracts from the real information. Making your logo too busy can actually have the same impact on viewers—they’ll likely think your design is scatterbrained and ineffective. Remove any elements your logo doesn’t need, so visitors can hear its message loud and clear.
Make Consistent Choices
Creating a cool logo isn’t enough. You have to design a cool logo that works for its brand. This means every design decision you make must be rooted in the brand identity you and your client discussed at the beginning of the project (if you didn’t talk about that, set up a meeting as soon as possible). As you select fonts, colors, shapes, and other elements, you should always consider how they point back to the brand’s identity.
Adapt Your Logo
Designing a logo for the web can be tricky because your logo has to be ready to scale at a moment’s notice. A large version may appear on the homepage, with tiny iterations in the nav bars. Test your logo’s scalability to make sure it’s readable at every necessary size. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to see how your design looks in black and white—just in case it’s ever printed on a non-color printer or in case your client ever decides to go grayscale.
The 7 logo design tips above each address a specific component of creating a great logo. Put them all together, and you’ll soon design the perfect web logo that connects with viewers while staying true to the brand’s identity.