The first thing you need to understand about any logo design is that it is going to take time – and plenty of it.
Using an online logo creator may make the process a lot simpler, but coming up with a great idea and perfecting it is the hard part.
Even if you are working for yourself, and not a grouchy, difficult client, be aware that seemingly endless revisions are in store. After all, you want an awesome, unique logo design for yourself, don’t you?
It makes sense to take some inspiration from the experts. Look around at some of the world’s best-known logos and you will see that they all have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Simplicity – Apple
- Timelessness – Coca Cola
- Versatility – World Wildlife Fund
- Appropriateness – ToysRUs
- Memorability – McDonald’s
So, how do you go about imitating their principles without compromising on originality? We hope to get those creative juices flowing here so read how you can apply some of these aspects to your logo.
Know your brand
Only once you are clear about what you are trying to portray, you can start working towards these five key features of killer brands.
Whether you are doing work for a client or yourself, you need to know your brand backward. The logo is the figurative front man for your internet forum and an integral part of it.
Know what you are trying to achieve with your forum and let your logo tell that story for you. Research other brands with similar aims and look at how they portray this. These needn’t all be other forums, they could be any brand with the same ethos as yours. For example, if you want your brand to have an underlying current of integrity, have a look at some of the banks’ logos as that is what they too would like to portray.
Knowing exactly what kind of story you want your logo to tell is the first step in unique logo design.
To get you on the right track, these 5 questions can help you to understand what we mean:
- What is the company’s mission?
- Why was the name chosen?
- Is there a story behind the brand?
- What is unique about the business?
- What is the brand’s personality?
You don’t need answers to all of them right now but if you want your brand to last beyond the flash-in-the-pan stage, you should start thinking about them before you design your logo.
Keeping it Simple
Ditch the shadows, gradients, textures, fancy fonts and backgrounds. Stick to the basics when designing your logo.
Let’s see how two well-known internet forums use simple shapes in their logos – check it out here.
Reddit’s logo is as simple as can be and (going against what we have just said) was reportedly created from a doodle with no clear intent behind it.
The name 4chan, on the other hand, follows from its Japanese counterpart 2-chan, and puns on the Japanese term for Channel 4 – Yotsuba. Yotsuba also means four-leaf clover. The logo design for 4chan is representative of its users’ love for irony and puns.
Timeless Before Trendy
This is a no-brainer. Following in the footsteps of others is not the route to unique logo design.
Trends come and go. You want your logo to be around for the long-haul and not have to revamp it every time a new trend comes along.
While researching other logo designs may provide inspiration, it is easy to fall into the trap of imitating a favorite designer. Try to find inspiration by digging deep into your own unique experiences instead. Often, it’s this part that takes the longest since it cannot be forced.
It is imperative that you check wherever you can that someone else has not already had a very similar idea to yours already. Copyright infringement is never a good thing.
Versatility or Bust
This can sometimes be the deal-breaker for a logo. Your design should be compatible with many different mediums and applications and scalable without losing clarity.
A vector format is best suited to this and many design gurus recommend designing in black and white first. Black and white is the worst your logo is ever going to look – so make it appealing if it ends up getting photocopied a thousand times in these shades.
Your logo should be able to look good even if it is:
- Reduced to the size of a postage stamp
- Blown up to billboard size
- Printed on a dark background or in reverse
While your logo is bound to appear on the internet more often than anywhere else, spare a thought for the possibility of having to print it one day. More colors equal more expense.
Make a note of the Pantone codes for any colors you use. Printing companies will ask for them.
Appropriateness is Key to Unique Logo Design
While we are not suggesting that you try to represent your internet forum graphically on your logo it should at least be appropriate.
If your forum is a fun place to be, choose happy colors and a relaxed design, if it is geared towards serious topics, something more subdued would be appropriate.
Creating a Memorable Logo
A unique logo design will always be memorable. If you have got all the other elements of your logo design right there is no reason why it should not stand out from the crowd and stick in people’s heads for a long time to come.
Crafting a unique font or symbol is one way to make your logo memorable – think Coke, McDonald’s, and Nike for example. You can also experiment with different styles of type such as serifs or not, italics and bold, or upper and lower case.
Take your time crafting a unique logo design for your business. Don’t let frustration get the better of you if you feel the need to start over time and time again. You have to live with the end result for a long time and you don’t want to end up on one of these lists.
Once you have all your ideas in place it is much easier to adjust the finer details until you get the balance just right. The perfect logo for your online internet forum is within your reach if you follow these basic principles and see it through to the end.