A well-designed logo sets the tone for your business so making a logo in five minutes and calling it done is a rookie mistake.
A logo lives with your business long into the future assuming your company makes it that far and redoing it can get expensive and messy. Not only will you have to recreate your logo for the web but also all your offline media as well.
It's much better to spend a bit of time right from the beginning and get it right (or as close to right as you can) the first time.
A well-designed logo gives your company immediate recognition, and it inspires trust in your brand. It usually has very simple design characteristics and is unique. Simple logos are easily recognised and the most visually attractive.
Want to see what a bad logo looks like?
How Much Does A Logo Cost?
Many online services will let you design a logo for free or for a small fee. I've included a list of logo maker sites at the end of this article.
Graphic designers typically charge between £49 at the low end to £250 at the higher price point for custom logo design, which should get you a beautiful design.
From there you can spend thousands on putting bright minds to work in some of the top digital agencies, but you'll need the underlying profits to justify the expense of course.
Making Your Logo
You don't have to have a design degree to be able to create a great logo (although it would help of course!), but you do need to be aware of some design basics. My advice if you don't have a clue is to pay a professional to get this job done for you but if you are on a tight budget then with a bit of thought you can make something that will quickly look the part.
Do not steal or “borrow” other peoples creations. The whole point of creating a logo is for it to be unique and represent your vision of what your company represents.
Merely ripping off someone else's work is entirely lame not to mention unethical. Browse for inspiration but do not copy.
If you haven't heard of GIMP, then this is an excellent software graphics tool to use that is Open Source.
It's not the easiest to use though, and it doesn't hold a candle to Photoshop, but if you need to create your logo, then this is the tool to use.
There are plenty of logo tutorials for GIMP on YouTube.
Use The Right Contrast
If you are using a dark background for your website, then use a light coloured logo and vice versa.
The aim is to make your logo stand out so using bright yellow colours on a black background works well, but it doesn't work at all on a light background. Trying to mix shades is a mistake, and you should try to keep the colours as simple and as bold as possible.
See this list of Web-safe colours when making your decisions.
Creating A PNG File
The most significant error you can make is to fill the background colour of your logo. By default the canvas colour is white, and that's usually the colour to save a new image.
Having a background colour means the logo will display in a “square”, and it is much more preferable to have a transparent background. PNG files are much better at handling transparency, and file sizes so make your logo transparent using 300 DPI which you can then scale down for use on the web.
Using a transparent background means that if you decide to change the background colour of your website, then you won't need to redo the logo as well.
Use A Horizontal Design
It's much easier to use a graphic that is horizontal in website design than a vertical image. You also need to think about how the logo is going to display on a mobile device, and that is another reason this matters.
Nearly all the Rockettheme, Wordpress and eCommerce templates I can think of using a horizontal placeholder for their logos, so you need to go with the general design consideration here.
Get The Right Formats
Once you've designed your logo export it into the correct formats. Use JPEG, GIF and PNG for web use and use PDF and EPS for printing purposes.
Have a browse through the logos at Logo Of The Day for some fresh ideas.