Building your brand can be one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of launching a new business — and that includes creating a logo that captures the essence of your brand in a single, memorable image. Here are a few tips every entrepreneur needs to know about creating the perfect logo.

Think Like a Designer

Your brand reflects not just what your company does, but also what it represents — a set of emotions, values and attitudes that resonates with an audience. Consider who that audience might be and what other brands they like. What cultural points of reference do they share, and what styles and colors are typical of those points?

Link Aesthetics to Feelings

Brands resonate with audiences because they trigger emotions, memories and associations, so good design depends on finding the right aesthetics to express those feelings. Create moodboards with images, colors and typography that reflect feelings visually, and use them to inspire your own design.

Include Design Essentials

A successful logo must be clear and well-defined, readable at any size, and instantly recognizable in any medium. Once you’ve decided on the feeling you want your logo to express, choose the design elements that will transmit that feeling at a glance. If your company has a special symbol or unique feature, you may want to make it a part of your logo design. Then select the colors and fonts that will express the identity of your brand.

Use the Power of Color

The psychology of color has a key role to play in logo design. From vibrant red to tranquil blue and earth-friendly green, color conveys emotions and values. For a strong logo design, use just two colors: a vibrant, eye-catching primary color, and a muted, but complementary secondary color. Explore color palette tools for ideas about effective color combinations.

Combine Fonts Creatively

Fonts used in logos need to be distinctive and memorable — but above all, they must be legible. Combine an ornate primary font with a simple, complementary secondary one to convey both emotion and information at a glance.

Compose for Clarity

A strong design depends on good composition. Use no more than three elements, and choose one of these to be the main focus. Consider drafting your logo in grey to avoid being distracted by color. When you’re satisfied with the composition, add back the color and make adjustments as necessary for focus and emphasis.

More than large companies, small businesses and startups need a strong visual identity. A striking logo sets your business apart from the rest — and helps to build a powerful brand.