Your business logo’s often the first impression people have of your brand.

And as consumers often judge a business solely on its logo, yours must be outstanding.

To make that happen, you first have to understand what makes a good business logo design and which elements to use is yours, like logotype, fonts, and colors.

But even more importantly, you have to infuse it with your brand’s personality, so it’s unique and recognizable.

It’s a steep learning curve!

That’s why we’ve written our (how to design a business logo ultimate guide).

So, you can create an outstanding logo for your business, one that’ll engage your target audience and make the right first impression.

Here are the eight most important steps to designing your business logo:

1. Define your brand identity

Your logo has various roles. The first being, communicating your brand’s personality to your target audience so they instantly feel good about your business.

And your personality also helps create a strong brand identity, which is crucial for gaining credibility and recognition within your market niche.

You find your personality by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I start my business?
  • What values and beliefs are important to me?
  • What do I do better than my competitors?
  • What makes my brand special?
  • And if you could describe your brand in three adjectives, what would they be?
  • And how would you want your clients to describe you?

When you answer those questions, you can choose design elements that compliment your personality.

2. Know Your Target Audience

Your logo’s next role is to engage and resonate with your target audience, to create a connection on a personal level. But first, have to know who they are and what they look for in a brand similar to yours.

Here’s where designing for your audience comes into play.

Start by asking yourself, who’s my ideal customer?

For example:

Consumers searching for an organic beauty product brand wouldn’t gravitate towards a business logo with glaring colors and a dark undertone. Likewise, a law firm’s logo would fail using soft hues of pink and a bubble font.

One proven way to find elements that suit your audience is to look at your competition.

3. Research your Competition

Now ask yourself, what’s my competition doing? Because not only will you discover which colors and fonts to use, they’re also a fountain of inspiration.

Because the top brands in your marketplace have done their research and often employ top designers to create their logos and branding packages for their websites, and it’s all there, waiting for you to pick the best bits for yourself.

Of course, you’re not going to copy directly, as that’s plagiarism and doesn’t help you create a unique logo, which you’ll need to stand out from your competitors.

Your goal here is to find design elements that fit your niche, brand personality and are proven to work with your target audience, all while differentiating your brand from your competitors.

4. Choose a Type of Logo

Newbies to logo design often get stuck at this point due to the vast range of available logotypes.

There are nine in all!

But they break down into three main categories: combination marks, image-based, and letter-based. Each serving its place and purpose.

An overview to help you choose:

  • Combination marks combine a symbol (icon), a wordmark (your name), and often a tagline. It’s a good choice for new brands as it conveys all the information your audience needs to know and makes your logo easily recognizable.

And you can break combinations down into variations; we’ll look at those next.

  • Image-based logos – Apple,Facebook, Twitter, and McDonald’s are all image-based logos.And while image logos are excellent for associating your brand with a specific product, it takes an established brand to use one.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create one. It’s why we recommend creating a combination logo first, one that has an image that’s usable independently as your brand’s recognition grows.

  • Text-based logos – Also known as wordmarks are your business name. Coca-Cola’s probably the most globally well-known text-based logo, and it’s the style of font that makes it stand out and memorable.

While on the subject of style, let’s take a closer look:

5. Decide on your design style

Style comes next when designing your business logo because it’s the style you choose that determines your choice of fonts and colors and sets the tone for your brand identity.

No one style fits all; otherwise, all logos would look the same. Your goal here is to choose one that suits your brand voice and the message you want it to convey.

When deciding on a style, first consider your personality and how you want consumers to perceive you.

Are you serious, easy-going, formal, or playful?

Numerous design elements now come into play, such as colors, shapes, and typography. But when you isolate each one and choose according to your design style, it helps simplify picking the correct elements for your business logo.

6. Experiment with Typography

Your fonts must compliment your logo style; otherwise, they’ll create a confusing image of your brand and fail to connect with your target audience. It’s because fonts help tell your story and convey your message in a style that consumers relate to the service you offer.

And while there are thousands to chose from, fortunately, you only need to know about four font families to create a great business logo.

They are serifs, sans serifs, scripts, and slab serifs:

  • Serif fonts – Serif fonts have little feet on the end of each letter, giving them a classic look. They’re popular because they’re versatile and work with numerous designs, especially those with vintage and elegant styles.
  • Sans serif fonts – San serifs don’t have the little feet and work exceptionally well with modern designs wanting a clean and simple look.
  • Script fonts – Scrip fonts look handwritten and are excellent for creating an individualistic-looking logo. But they also give a brand a more personal touch, often used for the tagline beneath the company name.
  • Slab serif fonts – Are bold, confident, in-your-face fonts that shout creativity and dependability. They’re more modern than the traditional Serif font family and are great for titles and grabbing people’s attention. 

7. Pick Your Colors

You have to pay attention to color for your logo to send the right message to your audience. Because each color conveys a different meaning and emotion and is powerful for making your clients feel a specific way about your business. 

It’s why you must choose logo colors that suit your brand personality and help convey your story.

When deciding on colors, you must first consider your marketplace, using ones proven to work (found using your competitor research). And ensuring the viewer feels the right emotions, encouraging them to take the desired action.         

The final key to choosing the right colors for your business logo design is to use no more than three; two is even better. And while you can use complementary colors from the same palette, there’s no rule against using contrasting colors that make your logo pop from the page.

Before you build your logo, I advise you to learn more about colors and their meaning; it’ll only take ten minutes but could be the difference between a good logo and a great logo.

8. Your Logo Design Options

As someone writing about logo design for years, I know the amount of information required to design one might leave you feeling overwhelmed.

But I’ve good news for you.

If you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, there are plenty of options available for creating your business logo.

Five ways you can design your business logo:

  • DIY – However, if you feel confident and have some experience, you can use software like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to design your logo from scratch. And by doing so, you have the freedom to create a truly unique business logo while saving money on outsourcing.
  • Freelancers – You can hire a freelancer to design your business logo using freelance logo designer websites. But when choosing this option, ensure the designer has experience in your market niche and knows which colors, fonts, logotypes, and styles to use. Also, ask them for examples of past designs and provide your logo in a vector file format.
  • Logo Competition – Logo competitions are an excellent way of obtaining multiple business logo design ideas. Choose your logo competition website, submit your requirements, including how much you want to pay, and press go. Designers then present their ideas, and you choose the one that best suits your brand,
  • Logo Maker – A logo maker is viable if you want a fast and effective way of designing your business logo. The best logo maker websitesones use AI machine learning and provide you with market-relevant logo designs within minutes. You answer some business and market-related questions, and they do the rest. And the real bonus here is you get unlimited variations and only have to pay when you have the perfect business logo.
  • Design agency – I’ve left this one until last because it’s the most expensive; however, it’s a great option if you can afford to employ a design agency. You’ll get a team of trained designers who’ll provide you with a unique and relevant logo with numerous variations that’ll work wherever you need your logo. But expect to pay $2000 +.