How to Stand Out: Logo Design Inspiration

A well-crafted logo has the potential to become as recognizable as its business’s name. Think of some businesses that have logos with instant recognition, such as Target, Nike, and Apple. Most anyone can conjure the image of their logos within a second of hearing the brand name. These logos have become part of each brand’s identity.

For small businesses, having a logo that reflects the values and character of the business is incredibly important. Why is it so important? Oftentimes, the logo is a customer’s first interaction with a brand. Ensuring that a logo communicates the right message is part of its intentional design.

Today, we’ll look at a handful of companies for logo design inspiration. Each logo conveys a specific design tenet that small businesses should consider while working on their logos. Keep reading to learn more about excellent logo design and to get inspiration for your own business.

As a refresher, below are the five principles of lasting logo design:

  • Simple
  • Timeless
  • Memorable
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate

Five great sources of logo design inspiration:

Simple: Bare Tea Company

The Bare Tea Company’s logo is a perfect example of simple design. From the leaf graphic to the font choice, the design is straightforward and uncomplicated. From looking at the logo, a person can quickly discern what the business is about: simple tea products.

image courtesy of Bare Tea Company

If you dig in a bit further, the business is about delivering uncomplicated quality tea to people so they can slow down and enjoy life. The logo’s simplicity conveys these values all from four words and a small icon. The color choice and use of white space also play into the brand messaging. Each component works together seamlessly, and the result is a logo that is easy to understand and reflects the business’s brand promise.

Timeless: Coca-Cola

What’s more iconic than the Coca-Cola logo? This logo has stood the test of time and keeps customers coming back year after year, so it’s a great place to look for logo design inspiration. The color and font are part of the brand identity and are recognizable assets of the business.

Although Coca-Cola has iterated its marketing and advertising designs over the years, its logo has remained consistent because it is timeless. No matter the trend or decade, this logo remains relevant. Now that is a winning logo!

image of courtesy of Coca-Cola

Consider these components when designing your business logo. As Coca-Cola has shown, a great logo can last a lifetime.

Memorable: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

When you think of zoos and aquariums, naturally animals come to mind, but the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium created an outstanding logo that is unforgettable. The complex design, which changes based on where you focus your attention, communicates the brand’s mission statement and is a beautiful representation of the organization.

image courtesy of Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The contrasting green and white allow you to either see a lush tree with birds flying in and out of it or, alternatively a gorilla facing a lion. Both images speak to what the organization strives to protect and honor. Zoos and aquariums can be lumped together, but with a logo design like this, you’re not likely to forget that this image is connected to the Pittsburgh Zoo.

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Versatile: Unilever

Unilever’s logo is the definition of versatile. In design terms, versatile means that a logo can be resized, reversed in color, and printed in one color without losing any of its gusto. This logo checks all of those boxes largely because it is a vector design – which means it can be enlarged without losing its shape or sharpness.

In today’s world, a logo must be able to work on printed products, such as business cards and flyers, as well as digital marketing products, like a website, social media profiles, and email templates. Having a logo that maintains its integrity despite various resolutions and pixel ratios is part of good logo design.

image courtesy of Unilever

The logo is also capable of being printed in reverse, where the white and blue flip roles, so the background would be blue and the icons and text are white. Regardless of the color switch, the logo’s integrity is mainta

Lastly, because the logo is printed in one color – white and black are considered givens for logos – it has the ability to print in black and white without issue.

If you’re uncertain if a logo is versatile or not, consider if the logo can print:

  • In one color
  • In reverse
  • On a billboard
  • On a business card

If the answer is “yes” to all four statements, you’ve got a versatile logo. If not, go back and tweak the design to fit the above criteria. Keep versatility in mind to develop the perfect logo.

Appropriate: Tostitos

A good logo should be appropriate, meaning it is relevant to its industry and audience. Tostitos did a fantastic job of creating an appropriate logo that is fun and speaks to its mission. The brand name is easy to read and the color palette is reminiscent of a party. The bold colors play into its parent company’s brand colors, but in a subtle way that allows Tostitos feel distinct.

image courtesy of Tostitos

The design twist falls in the middle of the logo. The two “T’s” look like people holding a tortilla chip and the dot of the “I” is a bowl of salsa. This quirky design reinforces the brand’s commitment to providing excellent snack food and contributing to a party atmosphere. By understanding where and how consumers use their products, the business was able to tailor its logo design to their consumers’ specific needs.

While all products may not lend themselves to this kind of creativity, knowing what fits for your brand, industry, and audience will help you craft an appropriate and unique logo.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but we hope these five examples give you new ideas for designing a logo for your small business. Keep the five design principles in mind and let your creativity flow. You can always check out the latest logo design trends if you want more inspiration. Do you love your logo? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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