My Top Six Blog Posts of 2018

I can’t believe 2019 is here! 2018 was the ride, mostly a terrifying roller coaster, but I’ve learned a lot and I hope I was able to share some great content you enjoyed. I want to take a look back at my favorite blog posts I wrote in 2018. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I hope you do now! If you have read them all, which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

I’d also love to know what kind of content you’d like to see in 2019.

The Post: Three Ways To Improve Your SEO Right Now

Why i love it: This post offers three really simple solutions that you can do to improve the search engine optimization of your brand online.

The Post: 30 Day Social Media Plan

Why I love it: When you post a lot on social media like I do, it can sometimes be hard to come up with new ideas to freshen up your posts. This post gives you 30 easy ideas you can do to ramp up your social media, and hopefully inspire your own ideas for ramping up your posts.

The Post: Seven Ways to Fight Your Creative Slump

This was actually a guest post from Ashleigh York, the owner of Smokes and Sparks Creative. She gives some really great tips for boosting creativity when you feel in a rut.

The Post: Three Easy Tips for Building Your Instagram Audience

The reason I love this post is simple, these tips actually work! I got a lot of great feedback on this post and that’s always a bonus.

The Post: Comparison is the Killer of Creativity

This was pretty much a stream of consciousness post I had in a moment of inspiration. I love the realness of it and I often go back and look at it to remind myself when I’m feeling down.

The Post: Setting Healthy Boundaries in Your Freelance Business

One of the most important things I really learned about and pondered this year was the concept of boundaries. It started out thinking about boundaries in terms of my personal life, but when I really began to deep dive down the rabbit hole, I realized that boundaries are extremely important in a freelance business. To be able to recognize your boundaries and enforce them is one of the greatest strengths you can have.

Logo Design 101: Types, Styles and Colors

Aside from a stellar business plan, coming up with a logo is an extremely important step when it comes to building your brand. Your logo is the visual representation of what your brand is about. It needs to catch people’s attention and convey who your brand is in the few seconds that someone might see it. That’s a tall order. So when it comes to dreaming up your brand’s logo there different things to take into consideration like the type and style of logo you want.

Let’s take a look at the the three biggest parts of logo design: logo types, logo styles and logo colors.

 

Part I: Logo Types

There are four main types of logos: lettermark, wordmark, pictorial and combination. Let’s take a brief look at each of these.

Lettermark Logos


Lettermark logos are also called monogram logos. They are often used if a brand has a long name and wants it shortened for everyday speak. Lettermark logos usually consist of the company’s initials. Here are some examples of famous lettermark logos:

British Broadcasting Corporation | Example of Lettermark Logo

British Broadcasting Corporation | Example of Lettermark Logo

Hennes & Mauritz AB

Hennes & Mauritz AB

Entertainment and Sports Programming Network

Entertainment and Sports Programming Network

 

Wordmark Logos


Wordmark logos are similar to that of lettermark logos in that they both contain a variation of the company name, however wordmark logos usually contain the full name of the company. These are good for companies with shorter more recognizable names. Here are some examples of companies with wordmark logos:

Google Logo

Google Logo

Pandora Radio Logo

Pandora Radio Logo

Jeep Logo

Jeep Logo

 

Pictorial Logos


Pictorial logos contain an image that represents the company rather words or letters. The image can be more abstract or more literal (but we’ll dive into that a little later). This type of logo relies on using a customer’s brand awareness to associate the image with the brand name. This is why you see a lot of top name companies with pictorial logos because they are already well established in the minds of consumers. Brands usually start out with combination logos, which we’ll talk about next, while building brand awareness and then eventually being using the pictorial logo instead of the combo logo or interchangeably. An example of that is Apple. They initially had a combination logo, but eventually switched over to the pictorial logo you see below. Brands like Nike and Target use both their pictorial logo and combination logo. You can see either of their logos and be able to associate it with the company.

Apple Logo

Apple Logo

Nike Pictorial Logo

Nike Pictorial Logo

Target Pictorial Logo

Target Pictorial Logo

 

Combination Logos


Combination Logos are pretty self explanatory - they use a combination of the logo styles listed above. These types of logos work well for all types of businesses because they typically tell you the brand name and also give you an idea of what their brand is about. Here are some famous examples of combination logos:

Wendy’s Logo

Wendy’s Logo

The Wendy’s logo is also an example of a mascot logo, where the logo is based around a company mascot. Other examples of mascot logos include KFC, Aunt Jemima, Planter’s Peanuts (Mr. Peanut), etc.

Betty Crocker Logo

Betty Crocker Logo

Toyota Logo | Combination Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
 

To recap, lettermark logos are suitable for companies with long names that need to be shortened down for easier public recognition; wordmark logos are suitable for companies with shorter names that are easy to remember (especially if they already describe the services or goods your company offers); pictorial logos are suitable for companies with a strongly established presence in the consumer marketplace and usually stem from the use of a combination logo first; and finally a combination logo is suitable for any type of business.

Now let’s move on to logo styles!


 

Part II: Logo Styles

Once you’ve chose the type of logo you want to have for your brand it’s important to think about the style of the logo. The style of logo you choose is arguably more important to brand perception than the type of logo. Let’s break down the different types of logo styles and what they represent.


Logo Style: Feminine vs. Masculine

When creating your logo it’s important to keep in mind your ideal customer. Do you sell beauty products? Then you probably don’t want a masculine logo. Do you sell men’s clothing? Then you don’t really want a feminine logo. If you’re product or service is unisex than you want to balance the femininity and masculinity of your logo so that neither is dominant. Feminine logos often tend to incorporate smooth lines, script fonts, florals and other sterotypically feminine elements. Color wise they tend to gravitate towards softer colors like pinks and purples or use pastels to soften the look even more. Feminine logos tend to look more “beautiful.” Masculine logos often incorporate sharp lines and edges, fully saturated colors or monochromatic color palettes and thicker, bolder fonts. Gender neutral logos combine the best of both of these by sticking to neutral colors and fonts. Let’s look at some examples:


Feminine Logo Examples:

Barbie Logo

Barbie Logo

Thirty-One Gifts Logo

Thirty-One Gifts Logo

Anastasia Beverly Hills Logo

Anastasia Beverly Hills Logo

 

Masculine Logo Examples:

Harley-Davidson Logo

Harley-Davidson Logo

Axe Logo

Axe Logo

Lacoste Logo

Lacoste Logo

 

Gender Neutral Logo Examples:

eos Logo

eos Logo

Marks & Spencer Logo

Marks & Spencer Logo

Starbucks Logo | Gender Neutral Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
 

Logo Style: Young vs. Mature

Your audience age is also an important factor when designing your logo. Are you targeting the younger crowd or the older crowd? Younger audiences tend to gravitate more towards color and bold design whereas mature audiences tend to gravitate towards classic, less showy design.

“Young” Logo Design Style Examples:

Nickelodeon Logo

Nickelodeon Logo

Fortnite Logo

Fortnite Logo

Hasbro Logo | Young Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
 

“Mature” Logo Design Style Examples:

Harry and David Logo | Mature Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
Estée Lauder Logo

Estée Lauder Logo

Tiffany & Co. Logo | Mature Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
 

Logo Style: Budget vs. Luxury

Does your target customer base have a lot of money or do they live on a budget? If you are a luxury brand, you don’t want a logo that looks like you’re thrift shopping. You want something evocative of taste and exclusivity. Luxury brand logos typically use less color, but if they do it’s often gold, silver or another metallic color. They also tend to use less bold typefaces than budget brands. If they use pictorials logos it’s often something that recalls traditional, royal or mythology. Budget brand logos tend to be flashier and bolder. Take a look at some examples:


Budget Brand Logo Examples:

Kmart Logo

Kmart Logo

Dollar General Logo

Dollar General Logo

Walmart Logo | Budget Style Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
 

Luxury Style Logo Examples:

Versace Logo

Versace Logo

Rolex Logo | Luxury Style Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
Hermès Logo

Hermès Logo

 

Logo Style: Modern vs. Classic

Modern vs. Classic styles are very similar to the young vs. mature logo styles. The only real difference is that modern logos tend to to embrace geometric patterns and simplicity. Modern logos don’t mind embracing color They tend to use more casual sans-serif fonts. Several big name brands have modernized their logo over the last few years to refresh their look. Classic logo design tends to use serif fonts with muted color palettes.

 

Modern Logo Style Examples:

Mastercard’s Modernized Logo

Mastercard’s Modernized Logo

Pepsi’s modernized logo

Pepsi’s modernized logo

Airbnb Logo

Airbnb Logo

 

Classic Style Logo Examples:

Berkshire Hathaway Logo

Berkshire Hathaway Logo

J.P. Morgan Logo

J.P. Morgan Logo

United Healthcare Design

United Healthcare Design

 

Logo Style: Playful vs. Serious

Playful style logos are often for brands that market products and services to children. Serious style logos are often used for professional services. Playful styles can be more colorful and use fonts that are bolder, blockish and less structured.


Playful Logo Examples:

Kidbox Logo

Kidbox Logo

Crayola Logo | Playful Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
LEGO Logo

LEGO Logo

 

Serious Logo Examples:

Cravath Logo

Cravath Logo

Farmers Insurance Logo

Farmers Insurance Logo

Edward Jones Logo

Edward Jones Logo

 

Logo Style: Loud vs. Quiet

Loud logo styles often include bold colors, fonts and generally have a lot to the logo design. Quiet logo styles tend to use more muted tones or single colors and abide by the less is more adage.

 

Loud Logo Examples:

Mets Logo

Mets Logo

Guns N Roses Logo

Guns N Roses Logo

20th Century Fox Logo (While this a more subtle version of their logo there’s still a lot going on in the actual image)

20th Century Fox Logo (While this a more subtle version of their logo there’s still a lot going on in the actual image)

 

Quiet Logo Examples:

Uber Logo

Uber Logo

Doterra Logo

Doterra Logo

White Barn Logo

White Barn Logo

 

Logo Style: Simple vs. Complex

Simple and Complex logos kind of follow the same vein of design as quite vs loud. Simple logos could just be lettermarks or wordmarks, or have minimal design elements. Complex logos contain a lot of design elements.

 

Simple Logo Examples:

Vogue Logo

Vogue Logo

Nike Logo

Nike Logo

Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo

 

Complex Logo Examples:

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Logo

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Logo

Canada Dry Logo | Complex Logo Example | Mill Creek Creative
 

Logo Style: Subtle vs. Obvious

When you include some icons or imagery in your logo you can choose to make it subtle or obvious. Subtle imagery hints at the meaning behind the logo while obvious logos are well…obvious. Check out some samples of each below.

 

Subtle Logo Examples:

Sony VAIO Logo

Sony VAIO Logo

Sony VAIO Logo Message

Sony VAIO Logo Message

This one is interesting…do you see a spartan helmet first or a golfer first? Spartan Golf Club Logo

This one is interesting…do you see a spartan helmet first or a golfer first? Spartan Golf Club Logo

FedEx Logo (see the arrow between the E and x?)

FedEx Logo (see the arrow between the E and x?)

 

Obvious Logo Examples:

Guitar Center Logo

Guitar Center Logo

Red Cross Logo

Red Cross Logo

Jaguar Logo

Jaguar Logo

 

Logo Style: Organic vs. Geometric

Organic logos tend to display imagery as you would naturally see them in real life. Geometric logos tend to be more abstract representations of an object. You often find organic style logos with food brands.

 

Organic Logo Examples:

Hunt’s Logo

Hunt’s Logo

Universal Orlando Resort Logo

Universal Orlando Resort Logo

Arm & Hammer Logo

Arm & Hammer Logo

 

Geometric Logo Examples:

Olympics Logo

Olympics Logo

Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo

Delta Logo

Delta Logo

Phew! That’s it for the logo styles. Let’s move on to the final part - logo colors.

 

 

Part III: Logo Colors

If you ever take a design or marketing class you’re very likely to talk about the psychology of colors. Different colors tend to evoke different emotional reactions in humans. That’s why it’s important to make sure the colors you choose for your logo complement your brand and don’t clash. Let’s take a look at each color and what they mean in design.

 

Color: Red

Red Color Family

The color red is very eye-catching and bold. It often represents energy, excitement and passion.

Often paired with: White and Yellow

Famous Red Logos

Famous Red Logos

 

Color: Pink

Pink Color Family

Like red, pink can also evoke feelings of passion albeit in a subtler way. Pink tends to lend itself more to love and femininity. It tends to be a more youthful and playful color, which is why you often see pink in logos for children’s products.

Often paired with: White

Famous Pink Logos

Famous Pink Logos

 

Color: Orange

Orange Color Family

Orange is a friendly and cheerful color. It often represents confidence, creativity and fun.

Often paired with: White and Black

Famous Logos

Famous Logos

 

Color: Yellow

Yellow Color Family

Just like red, yellow is an eye-catching color that demands attention. It often represents cheer, enthusiasm and positivity. It can also represent caution.

Often paired with: red and black

Famous Yellow Logos

Famous Yellow Logos

 

Color: Green

Green Color Family

Green in design often represents earthy, natural and balance. You often find green in logos for food based and environmental brands.

Often paired with: White and Yellow

Famous Green Logos

Famous Green Logos

 

Color: Blue

Blue Color Family

Blue is a very serene and calm color. It often evokes feelings of trust and dependability. You can often find the color blue in logos for technology and finance companies.

Often paired with: White, Red and Yellow

Famous Blue Logos

Famous Blue Logos

 

Color: Purple

Purple Color Family.png

Purple can convey mystery, royalty and passion and uniqueness.

Often paired with: White, Black, Grey (or Silver) and Yellow

Famous Purple Logos

Famous Purple Logos

 

Color: Brown

Brown Color Palette.png

Brown, like green, also signifies earthy and organic. It’s a a more serious color that can signify stability and integrity. You can often brown in logos for agricultural brands, transportation brands and legal services.

Often paired with: White and Yellow

Famous Brown Logos

Famous Brown Logos

 

Colors: Black and Gray

Black Color Palette.png

Blacks and Grays are elegant and formal. They often

Famous Black Logos

Famous Black Logos

Gray Logos

Gray Logos

 

That’s it! Thank you so much for reading this post about logos. I hope you found it helpful. Let me know if you liked the post in the comments and what you’d like to learn about next!