Business logo designs: Making an effective logo

- November 20, 2006 2 MIN READ

Has your business got an effective logo that is an accurate reflection of what you do? Does it work in every way possible? Here are some tips to give your logo that extra punch.

Most people hire a graphic designer to design their logos, which is great. There are plenty of graphic designers with top-notch design skills. However, not all will have the marketing nous needed to create a logo that works the way you want it to.

However the tips below will help guide you and your designer towards a logo that is both practical and powerful.

In the beginning, be sure to brief your graphic designer with clear points about your business, target market and how you envisage the logo being used.

‘Psych’ tips

  • Your logo must reflect what your business does, or at least, a feeling you wish to create through your business – it’s there to communicate a message as much as your business name.
  • Your logo must be appealing to your target market – test out a new logo on a handful of solid clients that you can rely on for honest feedback.
  • Your logo must be appealing to you – it reflects you, after all.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business branding section.

Logo design tips

  • Make the design simple – the simpler, the more powerful as instant recognition is the name the logo game (look at the logos of our major banks and Telstra).
  • Keep the number of colours used to a minimum (aim for two colours maximum, not including white) and avoid subtle tonal changes.
  • Avoid metallic colours – they require expensive inks/stock and don’t translate on computer/TV screens e.g. copper will convert to a murky brown on your website.
  • Avoid ‘hairlines,’ which are thin lines that can get lost in photocopying or on a computer screen.
  • Test the logo’s appearance: fax it, photocopy it, print it out, look at it on your computer monitor.
  • Check it out in different formats: see how it will look on letterhead, with comp slips, business cards, order forms, packaging, web page, newsprint, glossy paper, etc.
  • Consider how it would look being used by an ink stamp, in a small black & white newspaper ad, on a billboard, on a uniform or promotional t-shirt, etc.
  • If you have a colour logo, ensure your designer gives you a black & white version.
  • Also have a black & white inverse option (white on black/black on white).
  • Hopefully your logo will work in any design layout, but if necessary, consider having both horizontal and vertical versions to accommodate different layout demands.

Legal tips

  • Make sure the design hasn’t already been trademarked by someone else – visit to search for your design concept.
  • Check that you own the design, not your designer – ensure the copyright ownership is documented and signed by both of you.

If you already have a logo but feel the urge to change it, you can…but be careful. Relaunching a new ‘look and feel’ should also coincide with launching a new improved business function as well. Otherwise, your customers will sense a superficial hype.

When satisfied with your logo design, make sure your logo appears on everything possible. Familiarity creates trust. So don’t be shy – go forth and stamp your brand with confidence.