I was coming up with a logo for my new podcast which is called “Popular Demand” and wanted to think of something that looked clean, modern, and simple. As I was doing it, I jotted down a few different ideas for people in my situation. I came up with a few different ideas for logos and ended up just going with something simple. In my experience, simple works best. A logo is less important than the content itself, and often, the content is so good that over time, the logo gets recognition anyway.
It’s less often that a company gets attention or is successful just because they have a nice logo. Except Nike. Just kidding – Nike products are high quality and amazingly comfortable. But I will keep buying their shoes because I like the check, probably forever.
Here are the ideas I came up with for developing a simple logo. Try some of these!
1. Use letters or initials, and think about how they fit together.
That’s what I ended up doing with the Popular Demand logo. A lot of companies do this too. I basically figured a lowercase ‘p’ and a lowercase ‘d’ both share the same line/circle shape – so I put a circle in the middle, with two lines coming from each side. It also has the “vibe” of something you’d listen to, like a headphone brand or music brand or something.
So I just stuck with it. Just start sketching things down on a piece of paper. Draw the letters next to each other, both in upper case and lower case. Then just start thinking about how the letters can be situated or connected. Do they look good stacked, side by side, somehow fused together?
2. Try to think of a symbol/shape that makes sense for your brand.
I love these types of logos. Where you think more deeply about your brand. Ask yourself things like – what are some of your most important core values? What things that set you apart from what’s already out in the market? Base the logo off of those things.
One example that always comes to mind is Evernote. At first, I was like why in God’s name would they ever make an elephant with a curled trunk their logo? For a split second I actually thought it was just random or the founder loved going to the zoo. But it now makes sense – Evernote’s product helps people remember things. It helps people save things from the internet to go back to later and use. Elephants are known as animals with the best memory.
It just makes sense for the brand once you think about it for a second. And it’s unique because a lot of other competitors in that space might have less interesting looking logos – more just simple, text based, or looking more like a software company. Evernote decided to stand out and still stick true to themselves.
3. Be literal about it.
Looking for an extremely simple logo idea? Literally make a cloud your logo if your company is “Sky Media”. Just make it a cool-looking cloud that somehow is different than other cloud logos. Running shoe company? How about some sort of shoe logo with an interesting box around it, or drawn some interesting way?
Again, logos are very important, but as long as the brand as a whole makes sense and is cohesive, you’re good to go. Literal logos are fine as long as they are executed properly.
4. Use Canva and pay for the premium version.
I talk about Canva all the time and how much I love using it for my personal brand. I would strongly recommend designing your logo in Canva if you don’t know how to use advanced design software.
Pay for the premium version ($119 for an entire year) because it allows you to export your images with a transparent background. You will definitely need your logo to be in color, black, and white, and with a transparent background so that you can place it on anything like a website header section, a social media photo, a blog title, a printed brochure, or anything.
Another tip I have: export the Canva file as a PNG with a transparent background, open the file in Adobe Illustrator, and re-export it at a high DPI such as 300. This will make sure the quality stays perfect when you scale the size up/down.
5. Use Adobe Illustrator.
This is the best option for most graphic designers because Adobe allows you to do basically anything you want. Creativity is limitless.
If you outsource your logo to somebody, there’s a good chance this is what they are using. I would recommend watching a bunch of YouTube videos and figuring out the basics of Illustrator because it’s a powerful tool if you know how to use it correctly.
6. Keep in mind the realistic use cases for the logo.
Remember that your logo is going to be used in many different areas. On your website, on your business cards, on your social media, on your blog posts (maybe), on printed items, in advertisements, on billboards, and the list goes on. Make sure your logo is simple enough to work flawlessly for any scenario.
If not, come up with a few alternative versions of it and make sure you have your bases covered. For example, maybe have a version that’s just the symbol. Have another that is the symbol + words. Have a stacked version. Have a long drawn out version. Might as well play it safe so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.
7. A color scheme should go hand-in-hand with a logo.
Color psychology is something that has been super interesting to me lately. Most people know that different colors make people feel different emotions, and often bring different feedback. Red is often passionate, love, or anger in some cases. Green can represent life, envy, good taste, and sometimes even financial meanings. Blue is trust, corporate, professional, and good quality. Purple is loyalty and power.
A color scheme can completely make or break a logo and a brand. I recently did a color scheme for a senior living company in Tampa and the colors I chose were different shades of blue and green. Green because the company stands for providing a great life to elderly citizens, and does it in a very professional, high-quality, and experienced manner. Blue and green just fit those for the type of company.
For a nightclub or taco restaurant, I would have chosen something else.
8. Consider hiring somebody to make one.
If you aren’t comfortable with any of the above list items, or you just don’t feel creative enough to do it, hire someone to. Hire me to do it. I’ll make you one.
I genuinely think people are better when they are open-minded and collaborate with other people, especially from a creative standpoint. If you don’t “have it”, you can’t just generate creativity.
I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself the most creative person in the world, but I have a good enough eye, combined with practicality and knowing marketing use-cases that I can generate a quality logo that makes sense for a brand name. My Popular Demand podcast logo might not be up there with the Evernotes of the world, but it gets the job done and makes sense for its purpose. Here it is below:
That’s it! Reach out to me if you need any help or advice to get started.
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Heard my podcast yet? It’s called Popular Demand and I interview people with influence in the digital space. We talk about business, marketing, social media, and anything else that just happens to come up! For example, so far I’ve interviewed Drake’s blogger and Gary Vaynerchuk’s health coach – so you can see it’s a wide variety. I’m on Apple Podcasts (here), Google Play (here), and SoundCloud (here) so far. Spotify and Stitcher coming soon!