Boring. Tired. Uninspired.
You wouldn’t use any of these words to describe your business, would you? Take a moment to ask yourself what you do want your logo to say about you and your company. And then read on as we share three tips that will help ensure your winning logo conveys what you want it to – and is anything but ordinary. By investing a bit of time and energy at the outset, you can maximize your contest’s potential and quickly learn to tell a distinguished design from one that’s a dime-a-dozen.
#1 – Do your homework!
You might not know exactly what you’re looking for when you launch your contest, but you can make sure that you know what not to look for! One way to stir up some ideas is to do a Google Images search for logos in your industry. For instance, if you own a coffee shop, search in Google Images for “coffee shop logos.”
Are you a vet? You guessed it – search for “veterinary logos.”
You’ll be amazed by the variety – and sometimes, by the similarity – of the designs you’ll encounter in virtually every industry you can imagine. Take note of what design elements you like, what you definitely don’t like, and the fonts and color schemes you find appealing – and be sure to save your favorites to upload to your design brief.
Also, take some time to browse design blogs and online publications to see what’s out there. Again, a quick Google search will bring you to them. Investing the time to do your homework before launching can help you better manage both your contest and your expectations, and help you develop a designer’s eye for once those entries start rolling in. If you’re unsure where to start, check out this informative article on the 99designs Designer Blog to get your feet wet. A few other good articles include How To Create A Logo (Entrepreneur), 5 Key Points In Logo Design (GraphicFusion Design blog) and 5 Cliché Logo Design Trends to Avoid (Design Shack).
#2 – Check out other 99designs contests
Spend an hour or two browsing submissions to 99designs contests and you’ll quickly be able to spot the difference between ordinary, generic designs and those that are truly inspired. To get started, visit 99designs.com/contests and choose the “logo design” category on the right-hand side of the page.
After a while, you may begin to notice a degree of similarity between certain types of designs, and those will be the ones to watch out for. Once you’re done, not only will you have a better idea of how to find your winning logo, you’ll also gain loads of insight into how to manage the 99designs contest process. An added bonus is that you’re likely to come across a designer or two to invite to your contest!
#3 – Keep your design simple – but not too simple!
While simplicity is the key to a well-designed logo, a simple logo doesn’t mean a dull one. Rather, it’s one that isn’t overly designed but still has lots to say. One good way to approach obtaining a unique logo is to avoid designs based solely on very basic or generic shapes. For instance, you may want to project the star qualities you’re offering up, but don’t get stuck on relying on an ordinary star itself to get your messages across. This isn’t to say you can’t use common shapes in your logo – you certainly can! It’s just a matter of making sure you use them in a way that is uniquely “you.” Spend some time looking at how companies have successfully incorporated shapes into their logos – again, a search on good old Google Images for phrases like “star logos” or “triangle logos” will allow you to see thousands of logos featuring these shapes. Chances are, you’ll quickly be able to discern the compelling ones from those that just don’t say much.
The simpler the design, the greater the chance that it’s been done before. So look for designs that communicate your company and its values at a moment’s glance, but are also dynamic and inspired. Once your contest is underway, identify the designers in your contest who have clearly taken the time to read your brief and have delivered a design that resonates with your business. Once you begin to interact with these designers, you’ll be well on your way to landing a logo that isn’t the least bit boring.