Step three: add a logo or simply replace it with text.
A logo is not just for pros
When we talk about the visual identity of a brand, a blog or any other activity, we inevitably think of their symbol: the logo. A small visual element that’s immediately recognizable and that helps you stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re a professional or an individual, when you create a website, the question of the logo always comes up. So how do you make a good logo? What are the pitfalls to avoid? We tell you all about it…
In life, I’m surrounded by graphic designers. I work with web designers on a daily basis, and every day I hear fuzzy terms like “calibration”, “vector”, “bleed” and “cursive”. In my profession, I’ve learned that we don’t say “photo” but “visual” and logo, for me, inevitably rhymed with design and communication box. Nonsense!
When you create your own website, you can quickly create a simple logo, or upload your own logo if you have one… But if you don’t have one, we’re still going to go back to the basics and give you a few explanations and tips to avoid starting from scratch.
Example of a simple logo design – Redpixel @Stock Adobe
At Hubside, we work with a logo pro: his first name is Merdy, and for the sake of modesty, we’re not going to give away his age. What we can say is that Merdy is passionate about photography and graphic design in general. After graduating from high school, he naturally turned to a school specializing in web design. It was there that he discovered visual identity design, and the steps and best practices involved in creating a logo. What he likes best is the work involved in graphic research, reflection, adjustments and variations, as well as the satisfaction of delivering quality work that perfectly matches the customer’s expectations.
I went to ask him a few questions (well, it was easy, he’s just to my left).
Merdy Mouanga, Art Director – Hubside
Hi Merdy, let’s take it from the top! What’s a logo?
Everyone can have their own definition of a logo, but if I had to give mine, I’d say that a logo is the symbol of a brand, company or organization. It’s the first element of a brand’s visual identity, so it must attract attention and communicate the values of a company or other activity.
The first thing to do is to choose the form it will take, and for this you need to know that there are different types of logos:
- The monogram, i.e. a logo that uses a few letters, usually initials. For this type of logo, the choice of typography is everything. It has the enormous advantage of being quick and easy to design.
Logotypes, which are similar to monograms but based on the company’s full name. Like the monogram, it’s a simple logo. You can have fun with original typography or colours.
- Pictograms use the brand emblem, such as an apple, a panda or a little blue bird whistling… However, this implies that the brand is already established and identifiable in a simple image.
- The abstract logo works on the same principle as pictos, but with a more abstract, immediately identifiable image. For this type of logo, it’s best to call in a professional, as an abstract logo can’t be improvised.
There’s also the mascot logo, often very colourful and representing drawn characters, for example, as well as the emblem logo, a kind of highly detailed seal much used by official organizations.
To start your own logo, choose a simple name: it can be your name, your initials, a word or even an image associated with your activity.
- Logo idea Pauline Anton Photography – Hubside
- Logo idea Praline & co – Chocolatier – Hubside
- Examples of different types of logos – Illustration @graphicburger
What are your tips for creating a logo that people remember?
I generally opt for simplicity! It has to be understood by everyone and, above all, quickly enough. Ideally, a logo should first of all be understandable without color, using just a simple shape. Another essential point is that it should be recognizable on both small and large formats.
When creating a logo, we think in three stages: name, typography and color.
There are also codes for choosing the typeface:
- Serif” typefaces use serifs at the end of the letters. They give your logo, and therefore your brand, a classic look and a professional image.
- Sans serif” typefaces use no serifs for a modern, human feel.
- Scripts” look like calligraphy, for a more creative and feminine image, but beware, they are often less legible.
- Logo design idea for MAHA SPA – Hubside
- Logo design idea – Amateur photographer – Hubside
Any tips on colours?
We recommend using no more than 3 colours and choosing one that’s “stronger” than the other two. One or two colours are more than adequate for a logo. To create your logo in colour, I recommend choosing complementary colours (which go together on a chromatic palette, found online here or here ), but also making sure that these colours carry a logical meaning in relation to the brand.
Colour palette – Snowing @Freepik License
- For a “mineral” or institutional brand, I’d opt for blue. Blue is associated with calm, water and clarity. Blue evokes stability, calm and confidence, and is therefore reassuring.
- Red is prohibition, but also passion and warmth. Red is clearly visible from afar. This colour evokes a sense of urgency and therefore the dynamism of a brand. Red is found in sports and technology, for example.
- Yellow is sunshine, warmth. Yellow is widely used by leisure and youth brands. Easily identifiable, yellow is also an instant brand, so it’s not recommended for banks, for example.
- Orange is a lesser-used logo color. Yet orange is associated with good humor and energy. It conveys the image of a dynamic company, with a modern spirit and always on the move.
- Green is, of course, about nature, but not only that! It evokes calm, serenity… So many brands in the financial and insurance sectors use it.
- Purple is a very feminine color. Historically, this color was associated with power, but today it’s found in creative companies, or sometimes those linked to new technologies.
- Pink immediately brings femininity to mind. This color can be associated with tenderness, romance or softness. However, beware of nuances: dark pink evokes self-confidence, while pale pink is associated with affect.
- A final example is black, which suggests high-end, disciplined living. In the luxury sector, black has proven its worth! It shows a powerful brand that doesn’t need artifice.
- So, for example, if you’re an electrician, your company is called Volt & Cie and you want a logo that conveys an image that’s both serious and dynamic, you can opt for :
- Logo design stage – Illustration @graphicburger
On the other hand, what are the pitfalls to avoid?
Pay attention to form, and avoid double meanings! Ask yourself whether someone outside your profession can quickly understand your logo. In all cases, it’s essential to avoid evoking a world that’s the opposite of your own, or making a misinterpretation.
Don’t forget that your logo must be timeless. Nowadays, designers often create their logo according to current trends. I’d advise against that! A trendy logo is one that doesn’t say much, and is above all impersonal. So avoid logos that are too clichéd.
Choose a typeface that reflects the brand’s history, not current typographic trends. It must be adaptable to several communication media: once again, your logo must be usable in all sizes without losing its quality.
It’s a personal opinion, but avoid having your logo designed by a friend who has a vague “mastery” of graphic design software. There are mistakes you should never make, such as using a very poor-quality photo: this will damage your brand’s image. Distorting typography in retouching software is also a classic to be avoided.
Do some research, on inspiration sites like Pinterest or Behance for example, and be aware that there are also free tools and applications on the Internet to create your logo, such as Free logo design, Canva, or Ucraft.
Last question: why is it better to have a logo on your site?
A logo on your site reveals your identity. It gives importance to your site and sets you apart from others. A site with a logo is more likely to be remembered than one without. It also announces the tone of your site, because people can already understand what it’s going to be about, without having started to read its content.
Okay, thanks a lot Merdy 😉
To sum up
- Think of your logo in three stages: name, typography and color.
- Do some research and get inspired by others by going on Pinterest or Behance for example
- No need to think complicated, a very simple logo works well
- Be very careful not to make double sense
- Don’t use a typeface or colour contrary to your brand’s image
- Don’t ask for help from a friend who doesn’t know your brand or the appropriate software