The Do’s and Dont’s of Logo Design

July 7, 2020

Our creative experts reveal best practices for a perfect logo

As the first point of contact for your business, a great logo design is critical for establishing your place in the market. But what exactly goes into creating a great logo? And what should your business expect throughout the process?

Whether you’re tweaking a current design or looking for a total logo refresh, we asked our expert creative team to share everything you need to know before embarking on a brand identity project. Let’s jump in!

How often do you recommend a company update their logo?

“5-10 years unless there is a reason to change such as a merger or acquisition. Ideally, a logo should last longer than 5 years if it’s done correctly.” – Jesse Pixler, Creative Director

“I always say 5-10 years for bigger companies. It all depends on products as well. Did you reinvent what you are offering or core competencies? Then that would deserve a rebrand. I think it is a case by case basis but if the company hits a turning point and wants to recreate their image, then it is a good time to revamp.” – Jeffrey Steffonich, Senior Art Director

“If a company is going through a major shift in their ethos or their offerings – that would be the time to rethink the logo and brand. If they are moving toward a new focus or new audiences that may not be attracted to the old look, that would be the right time. You have to think of everything that would have to be changed, not just collateral pieces (business cards, signage, etc.) but also the overall look of the brand. Because let’s remember, a brand is not just the logo – it’s the foundation of the company. So there will be more changes than just the logo.” – Chris Thomas, Creative Director

How many elements are too many when designing the perfect logo?

“I always go with my gut feeling when creating a logo. I try and use fonts that could be timeless, but it all depends on the client and what they would like to see. My job is to show them that (because they’ll want to see it), but then evolve that idea into something amazeballs.” – Teri Springer, Senior Art Director

“No more than 3. I like to provide options for logo use depending on the complexity of the company and its uses. The three elements that I use are 1. Logomark (aka. Icon or Bug), 2. Logotype (company name) and 3. tagline. You can typically use them independently if they are strong and intentional. From there I provide color options depending on the use (corporate ID, signage, environmental graphics, social, web, etc.).” – Jesse Pixler, Creative Director

“I would treat this as a case by case scenario. I always try to make the brand mark or logo as simple as possible. As far as brand campaigns and brand styles guides go, this is where I like to make the brand look and feel shine with items to accentuate that brand. To make it look professional and have a purpose.” – Jeffrey Steffonich, Senior Art Director

What are your top questions to ask before starting a design?

“What’s your spirit animal? Is there anything that you would like the logo to resemble? Provide up to ten keywords that best describe your company today and in the future.” – Jesse Pixler, Creative Director

“Describe the personality of your business in 5 words, or tell me what emotions you want to be evoked when people think of your brand. What colors do you like and see in your logo? What other logos do you gravitate towards? (it doesn’t have to be in your industry) If your brand was an animal, what animal would it be?” – Jeffrey Steffonich, Senior Art Director

Do you review competitor’s designs? If so, what do you look for?

“Color, shape, any marks, font, and tagline. We want to make sure we clearly differentiate our new logo and look from the competition.” – Chris Thomas, Creative Director

“How to differentiate from the competitors. If the main competitor is using teal, we would guide the client to stay away from teal. We do not suggest falling in line and becoming one of the crowd. I think with all of our branding exercises we try to push clients out of their comfort zones because this will make the brand more unique and explorative.” – Jeffrey Steffonich, Senior Art Director

What logo designs do you predict will become the next trend?

“Minimalistic and flat design will be the style that continues throughout this year. I predict colorful and gradient logos in the next year or two. Coming off of a pretty rough year, it will be a time of rebuilding and a time to inspire.” – Jesse Pixler, Creative Director

“I’d rather not go back to the 80’s logo style…but like fashion, they tend to come back around. I love to look for inspiration-it is good to see what’s happening out there and it tends to get the ol’ creative juices a flowin’, but, what’s trending now is not how I design.” – Teri Springer, Senior Art Director

“I can see a simple, tech-inspired logo thriving this year and next. Bright colors, gradients, and bold, simple type. I also see a resurgence of “handmade” logos coming around. Sketchy lines and more “farm to table” and “humanistic” for the brands that want to relate to the people they serve.” – Jeffrey Steffonich, Senior Art Director

Now that you’ve heard from our skilled team of designers, what’s next?

If you’re ready to take your logo design to the next level, give COHN a call. We’ll apply more than 20 years of experience, with an integrated team of specialists, to work together on what matters most – your business.

Explore Our Work to see examples of branding across industries and schedule a meeting to start your journey to the next great design.

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