Business logos: How to design your own logo

- June 14, 2008 2 MIN READ

Following on from how to get the business logo designs you want, here are some tips if you want to by-pass the graphic designer altogether and design your own logo.

While I generally recommend enlisting the help of a professional for something as important as business logos, you might just want to make small adjustments to your existing logo. Or maybe you have a very clear vision of what you want and don’t want to go to the expense of hiring a designer.

First, go to my previous articles on how to make an effective logo, briefing a designer and getting the business logo designs you want and write down the list of things to consider when you design your own logo. This will help to ensure that your design is actually workable from a technical, legal and marketing perspective. And remember to KISS it – keep it simple.

1. Approach your printer

Most printers have a graphic designer. I recommend paying yours a visit and ask if you can buy an hour with the graphic designer to set a new logo, i.e. turn it into a beautiful, high resolution file that can be used for all your promotional needs. Go with a sketch of what you want and a list of ways you think the business logos might be used – letterhead, billboard, television, t-shirts, pens and ink stamp, etc.

Be sure to receive permission to sit next to the designer while they are setting your logo so you will be sure it will look like it is supposed to. If the printer has the job of printing your corporate material, they will probably have the nous to agree to the arrangement.

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

2. Be sure not to leave without:

  • A black and white version;
  • an inverse black and white version;
  • an inverse colour version, if your logo is one colour on white or white on one colour;
  • a watermark version of your graphic, if you have a graphic/symbolic image next to your business name so you can use it behind text in promotional material;
  • both high resolution and low resolution versions for everything; and
  • the colour code(s) used for the logo (the CMYK break-up) so you can tell other printers and graphic designers down the track what the colour(s) should be.

3. Test your business logos

Before launching your new logo officially, test the business logo designs on your target market. As mentioned before, don’t test your logo on your spouse or your friends, but on your target market – the people you want to reach.

Again, encourage honest answers, and perhaps offer a discount or special deal for a response if you are emailing out to a decent-sized sample group. Use the research process to ask other questions about your business. Provide simple response options: yes/no, scales (i.e. from 1-10), etc with an option for further comments.

I hope these series of articles on business logos have helped in smoothing the path of business logo design – sometimes a rather rocky road. If you have any logo experiences to share, we’d love to hear about them.