• brucemckinnon

How to build the perfect logo

Updated: Nov 12, 2021



In my last blog, we looked at what makes a logo a good logo, and here we are going to go through the options you have in developing your logo and the steps you can take to make sure it’s the best it can be.

The role of a logo is to act as a visual ambassador communicating your story, so its a strategic asset that you need to get 100% right.


Broadly, there are three ways you can get a logo designed: you can do it yourself, use an Internet template, or hire a designer.

Do it yourself. This means it will only cost you your time, you control exactly how the logo will look, but if you are not a graphic designer, even with the best intentions it may well end up looking like a dog’s dinner (which may be fine if you are launching a pet food brand!).

Use an internet template. This will deliver a logo based on how you respond to their prompts about colours, shapes, and fonts. These are very affordable (from £20/$25-£175/$250) but they don’t allow you to add any strategic direction in the development process so you may end up with a very professional looking logo that might lack a real connection to your brand.

Hire a designer. This is absolutely the best way to develop your logo as it allows you to shape its development, to work with a trained professional, and be assured that the results will be unique to your brand. For a rough guide, to work with a designer to create a logo and provide the files would be in a range of £200/$250 - £400/$500 a day and the task would take, in my experience, around three to four days. Design agencies are the next step up and are very useful if you have a larger organization with multiple design needs.

OK, so let’s say you have decided to commission a new logo, it’s important to give the designer clear direction as this will help in the design process and also give you a benchmark to know whether their recommendations reflect your requirements. You can do this by writing a design brief that is made up of three parts:

1. Define the Design Task. What is it that you need – a logo in this instance - and the role and placement of that logo across your operations. By being very specific about what you need, the designer will be able to give you an accurate idea of the time, and therefore the fee, to deliver it.

2. Distill the Brand Strategy. The second part introduces the core elements of the brand strategy – the brand vision, positioning, brand proposition, and values as well as an introduction to the type of sector you are in – its themes and challenges. You can add to this the tone of voice of the design you would like and any other considerations there may be – like your biggest competitor uses red packaging so avoid that colour.

3. Describe your Audience. This covers who you want to target and what you want them to do. So, you’ll describe the type of person or company you want the brand to engage with and what sort of response you want the design to elicit. If you have more than one type of audience, look for the characteristics they all share - your logo after all, has to be relevant to all your audiences.

You can, by the way, read more about this and how to generate the elements that go into a brand strategy by reading my book, What’s Your Point, which you can buy here.


Next up, the role colour plays in shaping how your brand is seen by customers.



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