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7 Questions to Ask When Designing a Logo to Represent Your Brand

questions to ask when designing a logo

You know that you need a logo for your business. You might decide it’s time to refresh the one that you have.

Your logo is often the first impression that people have of your company. It’s the first thing that they see and people will form a first impression of your company in about 10 seconds.

If there’s a reason why companies spend millions on a logo, that will be it. If you’re designing a logo, you want to make sure you get it right. Keep reading to discover the questions to ask when designing a logo.

1. What Do I Want My Logo to Say?

Did you decide that it’s time for a new logo? Maybe you’re launching a new company or product and need a logo designed.

No matter why you want to design a logo, you’re going to have to ask yourself the same questions to get it right.

This question is about the purpose of your logo. You want it to have meaning and convey a feeling that’s aligned with your company’s brand.

When you look at the Nike Swoosh, you think of athletes. With FedEx’s logo, it could be of shipping and reliability.

You’ll want to first outline what you want your logo to say and how you want people to feel when they see it.

2. What is My Competition Doing?

They say that imitation is the finest form of flattery. Not when it comes to logo design. In the case of logo design, you want to make sure that your logo is set apart from the competition.

If you have a logo that’s too similar, you can open yourself up to a trademark infringement lawsuit and cause a lot of confusion among your potential customers.

You want to do your research and find out what your competition in logo design. You’ll want to note if any fonts or colors are used often in the logo. You can even ask yourself how you feel when you’re looking at the logo.

3. What Are Basic Logo Design Principles?

Understanding basic design principles is an absolute must when you’re designing a logo.

Colors, typography, imagery, and text all come together to create an emotion and an impact on the person looking at the logo.

Colors play an important role because we associate them with certain emotions. Blue tends to be associated with calm, security, safety, and reliability. Green is used often to symbolize luck, health, and nature.

4. Does the Logo Tell a Story?

You may not think that you can tell a story with your logo, but you most certainly can. People love and relate to stories. When you incorporate a story with your logo, you’re giving people a reason to remember your company.

An example of a story behind a logo is Starbucks. Do you know that mermaid that appears in the logo? That’s actually a mythic siren with a history that dates back to the 7th century.

5. Does My Logo Reflect My Brand?

Do you know what a brand is? It’s actually not your logo.

Your brand is the feeling that someone has when they think about your company. It’s what your company promises to deliver people.

McDonald’s brand promise is to deliver quality foods in a clean environment at an affordable price. That’s something that many people can appreciate and why the company continues to thrive.

Out of the questions to ask when designing a logo, this is the most challenging one because not many people understand what a brand really is about.

You’ll want to check out this company to find out more about branding.

6. Where Will the Logo Be Used?

The application of the logo is just as important as the design itself. As you’re designing the logo, you want to have a clear idea as to where it will be used.

Common applications are business cards, websites, t-shirts, umbrellas, pens, packaging, banners, and social media images.

You want to test your logo out and see how it looks across these different applications. Printing it out and putting on a t-shirt is one way to go about it.

You can decide to have a couple of versions of your logo. You can have an icon for smaller applications and then have a larger logo that has the company name and icon.

Facebook is a perfect example of this. They have the Thumbs Up and F icon for small applications and then the full name of the company.

7. What Do Others Think About My Logo?

In this final step to designing a logo, this is one of the questions that people forget to ask. They just go ahead and put their logo everywhere without thinking about it.

Instead, you should have several working concept designs and test them out. You might have the same design with different fonts or a different color scheme.

What you’ll want to do is take your concepts and show people. You’ll want to ask them more than one question like, “Which one do you like best?”

You want to know if there’s an emotional reaction to the logo, and why they liked one version of the logo more than another. Once you get some answers, you can go back, make adjustments and test it out until you get it right.

Questions to Ask When Designing a Logo

A logo is so much more than an icon and an image that you slap on a business card or t-shirt. It’s the visual representation of your brand and what your company stands for.

When it’s done right, your logo is recognizable and builds trust among your customers, vendors, and employees. Good logo design doesn’t start with sketching. It starts with the right questions to ask when designing a logo.

When you answer these questions, you’re well on your way to having a logo that makes an impact.

If you need help getting your logo right, we can help. Take a look at our logo design packages today.

Office Motivation


Promoting your brand starts with motivation which leads to your team promoting your brand.  How else does word of mouth start about your business, your brand, and your logo unless your people are wearing it, talking about it and promoting it? Here are three simple ways to motivate your team to promote the products and services you offer.

Get people talking

Even if it’s just a Facebook post, getting your people to talk about your brand, whether to friends, family, or a blast on social media is one of the least expensive ways you can promote your brand.  It’s simple, and only takes a few minutes to create a culture of motivation.  Plus, if your product or service is great, the people who are out promoting your brand will feel excited to share the message with others.

Get your people motivated

Do your people understand what a great product or service you are offering?  If not, perhaps offer a free trial or a sample of the product or service you offer.  If that isn’t feasible, consider writing blog posts or linking to articles that point to why your business is important or what positive effects it can have on others.

Keep people engaged

It’s one thing to have a flavor-of-the-month attitude to promoting motivation for your business, but your business’s people need to be saying the same thing and promoting the same thing every day.  Give your people positive reinforcement regularly to keep them talking.  Remember, word of mouth starts with your people.  Be sure to keep them talking!

Learn How A Logo Design Can Help!

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Color Choice

Color Choice

Color choice is a very important part of brands and logo design.  When it comes to a brand, color choice in a logo can suggest very different things.  Bright colors might suggest whimsy, whereas black and white might suggest strength or tradition.  Let’s analyze some famous brands to learn more.

UPS Color Choice

UPS is an excellent example of color choice to communicate branding.  UPS’s dominant color in its branding is brown, which suggests a utilitarian, we get things done approach to their business.  In addition, brown reflects the numerous boxes they move from sender to receiver every day.  When UPS asks, “What can brown do for you?” it immediately reminds you of their delivery trucks, people, and parcels.

McDonald's Color Choice

McDonald’s has another instantly recognizable logo.  Everyone knows the clown Ronald McDonald, and the red and the yellow reflect other parts of their business such as french fries, ketchup, and mustard.  The brightness of the logo is inviting.  The arches are even reminiscent of fries, again reminding a customer of McDonald’s quality product.

Nickelodeon Color Choice

Nickelodeon’s flamboyant colors and the bright orange are perfect for a children’s network.  Visible from anywhere when scrolling through on TV, Nickelodeon’s bright orange slime logo with the white text on top illustrates fun and whimsy.

As illustrated above, carefully choosing colors can benefit your brand.  What colors will you choose to create your brand? Our team can help you choose the best color for your logo.

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Logo Optimization



Optimization:  A Case Study

Sometimes brands find themselves needing to change their logos to fit better in multiple media.  This happens especially with older brands.  Not all logos were created with the web in mind, and some need to be optimized further for mobile viewing.  Publix, a large Southeastern grocer, is a really great brand to explore for this because they have been around a long time and have lots of different logos throughout the years. Their optimization has helped their brand stand out.

Old Publix OptimizationPaper Ad OptimizationPublix Newer Optimization Long Logo Optimization   Publix


As you can see, there have been quite a few logos for Publix to get to where it was when it first opened to where it is today.  You can really tell that the company wanted a logo that was fit for multiple formats.  What types of optimization will you look for when it comes to your logo?


Optimization helps you focus your brand. When you look at new logos also take the time to look back at older iterations of the logo and brand. This will give you sense of how important change can be for any business – big or small.

Color Choice

Remember that choosing the proper color to give a sense of your brand is important. Creating a brand with the proper color palate can go a long way.
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Layout Blog


How you layout your logo is a very important consideration in logo design.  Are you going to be landscape?  Portrait?  How about a nice square that works in every media?

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of layouts:


Landscape logo layouts are generally reserved for brands that emphasize their name in their brand.  A number of luxury leather goods brands, for example, use the landscape layout.  Here are a few examples.

You’ll notice that every one of these brands predominantly features their name in their logos.  One reason is because people tend to look directly at the front of handbags when they inspect them.  When you design your logo, will you want people to immediately recognize the name on the brand?  Or is a metaphorical representation enough?


Quaker Oats Layout

Some logos are portrait because they sit nicely front and center on product packaging.  One of the most famous portrait logos is the Quaker logo. Right in the middle of all of the packaging for Quaker products, the picture of the Quaker stands out right in the middle.  When considering your logo’s layout, will it be a brilliant portrait logo that makes your logo instantly recognizable?  The Quaker brand has bet on this.


Facebook Layout

Increasingly in a digital age, companies are choosing to go with balanced logos or square logo layouts.  This is because square logos fit nicely on anything.  Digital?  A balanced logo layout has you covered.  Facebook’s logo is a perfect example:  the f with a blue circle around it fits in any medium and also looks good at any size.  It’s instantly recognizable and has become a staple in every website referencing social media.

What layout best fits your brand?
Learn More Creative Brief

Business Marketing Essentials

Marketing Essentials

Small businesses can drive more sales and customer recognition with a coherent logo and marketing essentials.  Being a small business requires a different type of design than more major logos – many people have associations with major logos due to their ubiquity.  Small businesses, on the other hand, have to fight to get their name out there as best they can. Here are our marketing essentials that you should keep in mind when you work on your logo.

Here’s an example of a small-town game store that has a logo that screams small business:

Armada Marketing Essentials

This logo is a little rough around the edges.  It at least is focusing on the most important part of its business, which is its name.  The color choice, difficult font choice, and overall landscape design make this logo a little bit of an eyesore.  However, this logo does maximize the exposure of its name.  Let’s take a look at a better-designed logo.

Here’s a well-designed logo that suggests a refined small business:

Concord Marketing Essentials

The logo is unique, the design clean, and the elements reusable.  The name is featured predominantly in the logo, and the icon chosen to accompany it can be used in many different media.  The business is small, but the logo suggests that you should expect great things. Working on scaling your logo creates a great flow for customers to understand your business. Being unstated can sometimes help push your brand to the front of a potential customers mind.

So when you’re considering what your small business’s logo design should be, be sure to create something memorable, clean, and most importantly, featuring your name. Go to our pricing page to find out more:
Learn More Creative Brief

Logo Designs

Logo Designs

Logo design is the beginning for any brand.  How are people going to remember you and your product that you created?  Logo designs suggest things — whether it’s quality, efficiency, or status, logos are the way you’re representing your brand to others.  A quality logo answers four main questions:

  • What is your logo trying to say?
  • What sets your logo apart from others?
  • How does your logo quickly identify your brand?
  • How is your logo presented in multiple formats?

Let’s explore each of the questions further.

One of the most famous logo designs that cleverly states what the brand does is FedEx.  FedEx has a hidden arrow in its logo design.  See?

Fedex Logo Designs

That arrow cleverly communicates exactly what FedEx’s brand does.  With clever typeface, it subliminally lets the customer know that Fedex can get what you want from one place to another.

Nike Logo Designs

If someone asked you to draw a swoosh, there’s a very good chance what you drew would look like this.  The Nike swoosh is one of the most iconic logos of all time.  The Nike swoosh is so much different than other brand marks that no matter what it is on, and no matter where it is located, you know it’s Nike.

BMW Logo Designs

The BMW badge is one of the most iconic logos ever designed.  The propeller blades communicate where BMW came from and also quickly identifies a car as a luxury automobile.

Publix 1 Logo Designs Publix Logo Designs 2 Publix Logo Designs

Finally, your logo must be easily identifiable in multiple media.  A Southeast grocer, Publix Super Markets, Inc. created these two logo designs to replace its old logo that you find from before.  With considerations like trucks, packaging, websites, products, and storefronts, Publix updated its logo to be more flexible.  Be sure to keep your logo design flexible so you can port it from one media to another.


Many businesses offer similar services.  What sets your branding apart matters.

Branding Ralph Lauren Branding Aeropostale Branding Brooks Brothers

Of the three clothing companies are pictured above, these pictures don’t scratch the surface of how many clothing companies exist out there.  Your branding is what sets you apart from the other businesses in your sector.  Clothing is an exceptionally dense market, so creating a recognizable brand will set your products apart.  Let’s take a look at the three brands above and what their brands communicate. Our team can always help you with your design, learn more about our  Design Packages

Brooks Brothers Logo Design

Brooks Brothers is a traditional menswear brand that exudes luxury with all of its branding.  From its logo on its sport shirts to its fabric choices on its fine menswear and suits, Brooks Brothers’ brand sets itself apart from other clothiers. They do so by conveying their branding through their establish logo.

Aeropostale Logo Design

Aeropostale is a very different brand than Brooks Brothers.  As an entry-level fashion label for young children, Aeropostale has much less attention to detail as a brand than Brooks Brothers.  Notably, Aeropostale puts its name all over its name all over its clothing as opposed to many other clothing brands.  Aeropostale’s branding on its clothing recognizes the tendency for young children to conform, as it is likely the first fashion brand they will encounter.

Ralph Lauren Logo Design

Polo Ralph Lauren’s branding incorporates both strategies from Aeropostale and Brooks Brothers.  Sometimes understated, sometimes boisterous, Polo Ralph Lauren has clothing lines that suggest both understated class and exuberant flamboyance.  This many types of clothing options Polo offers:  work wear, country club wear, and club wear. Their logo is pervasive through their company culture.

As you can see in the pictures, considering what you want your branding to accomplish is vital to considering the overall brand.  In a world full of brands, how will you separate yourself?

Logo Design Mistakes

Branding Mistakes

Branding and logo design can be exceptionally tasking, especially when starting from scratch.  When the idea of a logo is to say everything about a brand all at once, one of two major branding mistakes can happen:  either a logo is too complex and isn’t recognizable (a brand trying to do too much in the space of a logo) or the logo is too plain and doesn’t stand out (a brand didn’t do enough in the space of a logo). Check out our creative brief to learn what you should think about: Learn More

The Logo That Did Everything, but Really Did Nothing

If you find yourself trying to do too much with your logo, you can end up with something really sloppy.  Many mom and pop operations suffer from over-designed logos that don’t communicate much about their brands.

Fixing Branding Mistakes

Branding Mistake

Here’s an example.  Do you have any idea what this company is trying to do?  Not only is the bright pink egregious and difficult to look at digitally, but the logo has so many distracting elements to it.  Unfortunately for this logo, it is a failure and falls victim to branding mistakes.

The Logo That Did Nothing, and Really Did Nothing

Some logos are so plain that they don’t stick out at all and that’s a problem.  You may or may not be a The Office fan, but most people have at least heard of it.  Can you remember the name of the company that everyone worked for in the American version?  If you came up with Dunder-Mifflin, you’re right.

Now, can you picture their logo?

If you can’t picture it in your mind’s eye, here it is:


This logo is the logo that did nothing:  it communicates very little about what the core values or feeling you get from the brand.