Logo Design Basics: Advice from Business Owners


It would be best if you realized immediately that I am not a logo designer but The Logo Handler. Though I have tried logo design, it is not my strong suit. My customers entrust me with printing and selling their logos. I won’t be able to make you a beautiful logo, but I can tell you immediately whether it will be a problem later. My professional life has been dedicated to creating and maintaining corporate logos. Not all logos are created equal. They may be pretty, but they cause much trouble when printing them.

One standard rookie error is providing too little guidance to the designer at the outset. They consult with a graphic artist, brief them on the business name, and ask them to create a logo. Typically, the instructions end there. There could be some suggestions about a possible emblem or desired colors, but that’s about it. The company owner has faith in the designer’s ability to meet his or her needs within the constraints of logo design. About half of the logos I see are designed purely for visual appeal. Although an attractive logo is critical, many other factors will play a more significant role in the long run.


If you have a friend or family member who has some experience with graphic design, you may be tempted to utilize them since they can create a logo for very little money or perhaps for free. Time delays and disputes over design aesthetics are more likely to arise. They may also lack technical understanding (bitmaps vs. vectors, bleeds, etc.). In the case of logo design, this is less of an issue, but it can become quite problematic. On the other hand, you shouldn’t discount these individuals. Aspiring designers and those that design as a pastime regularly impress me with their work.

You should always check a designer’s previous work and ensure they meet these two requirements before hiring them, no matter where you locate your logo designer.

Step one: have a designer create a vector logo for you. Change to a different designer if they can’t. Do not hire them if they have no idea what a vector graphic is.

2. Verify that you will receive the following documents:

– The source (vector) file from the design program.

– The logo as a (vector).pdf file.

– The logo in.eps format (vector).

– A 2″ wide, a 12″ wide, and a 24″ wide high-resolution.jpg version of the logo.

Even though you may not have software installed on your computer to open the first three files, you should keep copies of them at your office. These files will be necessary for printers and designers in the future. For more information on vector vs. bitmap images, see Images 101.


Make sure your designer follows these rules in addition to making a logo that looks beautiful and makes sense for your firm. You, too, should evaluate their designs concerning the factors above:


The logo’s color scheme is crucial. Colors should be kept to a minimum, shading should be avoided, and colors should be kept distinct. There shouldn’t be any problems when printing digital graphics in full bloom. Similar to a color inkjet or laser printer, digital printers can print graphical content. Digital printing is expensive and not usually an option for materials other than paper.

Limiting the number of colors used can help you save cash. Printing in color on garments, signs, and promotional items will be more expensive. Promotional items typically have a setup fee and a run charge per color. The cost per color for a screen-printed item will likewise increase. Create a logo that works in only one or two colors, or offer a monochrome option.

There may be problems with very closely registered colors. Tight registration is achieved when the colors are right up against one another. An excellent example is the text that has been formatted with an outline. This is not always possible with promotional items that have been silk-screened or pad printed. Photocopying in black and white can significantly exacerbate the issue of tight registration. When photocopied, two very distinct colors can appear to be the same hue and result in a massive black glob. The fast roll should be avoided, or an alternate logo without registration issues should be available.

Fading and shading of colors aren’t always possible to print. The vast majority of non-digital printing uses solid colors. You will need a new version of your logo if your solid color transitions smoothly into a deeper hue or another color.

Prices for unique hues can vary. Standard ink colors found in printers include red, blue, royal, dark green, yellow, and black. Most printers will charge you more if you need a custom color mix. Similarly, promotional brand goods only come in a few primary hues. There isn’t much variety in teal pens if that’s the color you chose for your company’s emblem.


Tiny fonts or lines that “disappear” when copied or printed are ineffective. The surrounding area can be filled in if the space inside an “e” or “a” is too small. Ensure your logo, or a variant, can be reduced in size to fit within a 1″ vast space. Your logo will not be printed any smaller than an inch.


There’s more to shape than just straight lines. White space is something that should be considered when designing shapes. It’s best to avoid design features that stick out too much. If you need to print your logo in a small area and your design has a lot of wasted white space, you might not have room for important contact information. Look at the example given below. Consider how the logo will look next to your business name and website URL. If you want your logo to show on business cards and letterhead, have the designer include a block with your address.

You shouldn’t feel limited by these recommendations, which may vary slightly across versions. For instance, a logo resembling contemporary graffiti might seem to defy all of the above suggestions, but if that’s what you want, you should have it. Have your designer create new versions to accommodate printing in fewer colors or smaller spaces. Some businesses I’ve encountered have elaborate branding strategies, including ten-page brochures and dozens of logo iterations. Get ready.

When deciding on a logo, it’s essential to consider its color, size, and shape. Additionally, it would be best if you had variants for various uses. Make sure you have the necessary print-ready files stashed away. Remember that the most successful logos are straightforward in design and use few colors. Develop and refine the logo until you are satisfied with it. Your logo represents your company; proudly display it.

Regarding questions about how to best implement your brand into everyday operations, go no further than Tara Bodansky, The Brand Handler. She also serves as President of AdVisibiliti Promotions and as the Founder and Creator of the CREEDS Program. Visuals accompanying this topic can be found at

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