Guidelines for Designing a Company Logo With Deanna Murray

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Hello, my name is Deanna Murray and I am a marketing and branding specialist who helps businesses realize their true potential by making their brands come to life.

Designing your company’s logo is one of the most important creative processes you will go through. There are tons of guidelines out there but I’m going to give you some of the key items you should commit to memory.

Your logo has to represent your company. It seems like an obvious guideline. But it is easy to get caught up in the possibilities of logo design. While possibilities are endless, your company has a very distinct purpose – a goal and a mission. This should be at the forefront of your mind when writing a logo creative brief and when you are looking at concepts.

Take an active part in the design. Some creative forms might tell you to step back – that you, as the business owner are too close to make objective decisions for brand. But I don’t agree with that. You know your business. You know your brand best. If you go into a design meeting armed with data to back up your market assumptions and business models, then be assertive in your design wants.

Avoid too much detail. The simplest logos are the ones we remember. In fact, we’re more likely to recall logos than we do an actual brand name. So don’t go overboard. Visualize your logo in a variety of different sizes and then you can see what types of visuals actually work.

Tip: Ask your design team to show you each logo created in large and small sizes. It’s important you understand how it will convey in many different use sizes.

Use color sparingly. Too many colors in a logo detracts from a brand. Color should be used to accent and entice. Also, remember the price for four-color printing is quite a bit more expensive than that of 1 or 2 color printing.

Tip: While you are getting your logos in a variety of sizes, don’t forget to see how your logo stands up in black and white. A great logo looks good either way.

Don’t date your logo. Giving into trends, tricks of the trade or gimmicks in logo design is the same as putting an expiration date on your brand. Evaluate each element in your logo and consider whether or not it will still be representative of your company a few months from now.

Choose Readable Fonts. Just because you found a really cool font doesn’t mean it is right for your brand. An elaborate font can detract from a brand’s imagery and a font that’s too plain can make a logo seem out of balance.

Find a font that compliments the logo design and also is easy to read in a variety of sizes.

Lastly, when taking delivery of your logo, make sure the designer gives you files in jpg, png, eps and gif formats. If at all possible, also get a layered file in case any minor changes need to be made to your logo.

Tip: Once you have a logo in hand, ask the designer who created it write a brief outlining some basic dos and don’ts for the logo usage. This brief should state what fonts are used in the mark as well as the pantone and hex values of all the colors in use.

This design brief will become the beginning pages of your brand style guide.

I sure hope this information helps – leave a comment or a question – I’d love to hear from you! And if you get a chance, check out my weekly blog on
This is Deanna Murray saying see ya — and we’ll talk again soon.

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