6 ways to design your start-up logo to evolve with your company (as told by the business masters)

Logo design can make or break a start-up. It’s almost as important, if not more important, than a catchy, memorable name. We live in a visual society wherein Coca-Cola’s red backdrop is synonymous with Americana and McDonald’s ‘Golden Arches’ are similarly representative of terrible, drunk decisions.

The point is that designing and choosing a logo is not going to be an easy part of developing a start-up – especially considering that it might not be permanent. Earlier this year, Uber came under a hell-storm for changing their logo from a sensical ‘U’ logo to a poxy square in the middle of a circle, in the middle of a rounded square.

It made no sense and angered the tech world probably more than it should have. Anyway, here’s how to avoid making this colossal mistake. Courtesy of Mashable, here are six ways to design your start-up logo to evolve with your company.

Image credit: RexFeatures

Image credit: RexFeatures

1. Get your team on board (Hank Ostholthoff, Mabbly)

Like all creative decisions, the direction you pull the company should reflect the majority preference of your team. Make it easy to recreate by hand and explain so that when it’s brought to question, everybody is backing the icon as much as they’re backing the product/service.

2. Oversimplify responsibly (Blair Thomas, First American Merchant)

This is a slice of advice Uber could have used prior to their catastrophic rebrand. The icon should, in some way, represent the service you’re providing. Keep it simple by all means but don’t allow “investment in your company’s ‘ideologies’ to distort your visual message”.

3. Don’t stress over it (Wesley Mathew, High Level Marketing)

The Uber debacle actually happened to Air BnB last year (despite the change actually making sense). However, the negative feedback had no tangible effect on the quality of their growth. In the end, it’s the reliability of the service that keeps customers and therefore defines success.

giphy4. Consider global perception (Derek Capo, eFin) 

Think about how you can cater your design to fit certain markets and countries. For example, different colours are seen as attractive in different countries. Uber’s logo is red in China but exactly the same design as everywhere else.

5. The 5-year-old test (Brittany Hodak)

The mind of a young child is the perfect testing tool for logos because they are completely unaffected by outside factor. Think about stand-out fonts, colour balance and memorability. Show it to 10 young minds for five seconds and then ask them to recreate it, it’s a sure-fire way of testing if you’ve got a winner.

6. Crowdsource (Charles Moscoe, eFin)

There are a bunch of logo crowdsourcing sites where you can harvest the collective conscious of the internet for current trends, preferred colour schemes or just plain inspiration. It’s a short-cut that will pay off from a design and marketing perspective.