10 logo design inspiration tips fresher than Doug E. Fresh

Have you ever noticed how logo design inspiration and trends (especially popular ones) can get recycled so many times they start looking more tired than last summer’s overplayed one-hit-wonder? Don’t let your business logo get stuck in a rut like a B-list celebrity. Use these ten easy, fresh logo design inspiration tips to keep your brand image fresher than our boy Doug E. Fresh. And yes, we just went there. It’s 2016, after all : it’s time that your logo started looking that way.

1. Logo design inspiration starts with tone and color:

One of the cardinal rules of logo design inspiration is setting the tone of your brand. Your logo should capture the heart of your brand values and communicate the vibe of your products or services. Whether you want to channel exquisite service standards, casual comfort, or extreme luxury, color is one of the best ways to set tone. Color psychology is a powerful, scientifically backed tool that can instantly augment any visual cues you use in your logo. For example, blue is one of the most popular and comforting colors to the human eye, which is why so many brands choose shades of blue to establish a sense of familiarity or trust in their logos. Just think about this range of “blue” brands: Facebook, American Express, IBM, Volkswagen, General Electric, and Gap (as a start).

2. Use negative space to affirm brand values:

Many designers, rightfully, focus their efforts on creating strong primary typography or iconography when crafting a logo. But sometimes, leveraging negative space can add a subtle cue or affirmation about your brand that customers gravitate toward. FedEx ingeniously does this by creating a forward arrow in the negative space created between the “E” and the “X” in their name. The forward arrow captures the nature of their shipping business model while signaling speed and movement. Because the negative space is so subtle, customers subconsciously think about these values on their own without being told. When your logo is that good, you don’t even need a tag line. 

3. Sometimes you need to ditch the text for fresh logo design inspiration:

Our next piece of advice is somewhat risky and definitely controversial. Depending on your brand, you may be able to eliminate words all together. This is easier to pull off when your brand name corresponds to something literal, such as electronic giant Apple. On the flip side, having a nonsensical symbol can sometimes be a very powerful aid in creating unique, one-of-a-kind brand association (think: Nike), but you risk missing out on recognition in the early stages of your company’s evolution if you go this route.

4. Break the rules with animated logos:

It’s safe to say that animated logos are not the norm. Although digital marketing is swiftly becoming one of the most ubiquitous and important pieces of the marketing mix, traditional marketing techniques still inform most digital design principles. For this reason, most logos use static images and text … But true logo design inspiration can break the rules and push boundaries. Experiment with an animated logo that uses subtle movement to reiterate part of your brand or draw your customers’ eye to a certain feature. The trick is not using animation for the sake of animation; but rather, using it to make a specific point. Our team of designers can help you assess how risky to be with your logo to push the creative limits without risking your brand. 

5. Get playful and play on words:

Word play or tongue-in-cheek logos that incorporate images into lettering are light, whimsical ways to add something extra to a traditional text-based logo without deviating too far from clear brand-image association. Taking artistic license with lettering (think: turning a Y into a cocktail glass), using tasteful double entendres or homonyms, are all ways to express aspects of your brand without falling back on tired imagery or overused typography.

6. Understand typography to drive logo design inspiration:

In that vein, it’s important to understand the general best practices of typography if you decide to go with a text-based logo. Right now, monogram-style logos with thing, sans-serif font, rustic, hipster-esque circles, arrows, antlers or foliage are all the rage. These are all great visual elements and there’s a reason why they are popular. When searching for logo design inspiration, however, be careful not to lean too far into what is trendy or popular in the moment. Your logo should be uniquely you and stand the test of time.

7. Don’t be afraid to be classic with literal imagery:

If it’s not broke, no need to fix it. If you have a natural association between some aspect of your brand and a strong visual cue don’t be afraid to lean on that. Get creative, get a little abstract, or switch up the styling from time to time, but there’s no need to recreate the wheel if you have something that works. Let a professional designer, such as one of our experts at your Orlando-based marketing agency, help you come up with ways to freshen up the natural visual cues of your brand without compromising them. Classics are always in style – and inspired.

8. Invest, invest, invest:

Think of your logo as your signature. It’s your chance at a first impression with your prospective customers. It’s your first line of defense to help current customers remember your brand. And in that sense, it may be your most valuable asset. It’s a wonderful place to invest time and resources when prioritizing your marketing budget. Sometimes you really do need a pro’s help for true logo design inspiration to strike, and if we only had to pick a handful of places to invest your marketing dollars, we would list your logo near the top of our list every time. 

9. Opinions DO matter:

Normally, we let opinions roll off our backs without giving them a second thought. Live loud and proud. That said, your logo is one of those times when opinions really do matter. At least to your customers. What you may consider to be a strike of genius logo design inspiration may not resonate with your customers, so before you overhaul your entire brand strategy, do some user testing and seek validation from your real customer base. Their opinions are the only ones that matter.

10. Seek logo design inspiration absolutely everywhere:

And last, but certainly not least, we recommend that you seek logo design inspiration absolutely everywhere. Encourage all your team members to share ideas, conduct customer surveys, look to nature, watch movies, and seek unconventional ways to transform your logo and brand styling.

We don’t pretend that logo creation is easy. It’s arguably one of the most difficult tasks any marketer or business owner will tackle. But remember, our team is always here to support you along the way. We’re here as a sounding board, as a creative team, and as design junkies to guide you no matter where you’re at in your logo design process. Not convinced? Just click here to read more about some of the guiding design principles we use when creating any logo.

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