Let’s be real, it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, and what kind of industry you’re in. One thing everyone under the sun wants to be? Cool.
Having a cool logo can help you stand out, break through the clutter of competition, and show potential customers that you’re one of the cool kids, and that you’re a modern and fresh company they want to do business with.
But cool can mean so many things. So what, exactly, makes a cool logo? What are the elements of a cool logo design? And how can you infuse a sense of “coolness” into your branding—without straying from who you are and what makes you unique as a brand? These are the ideas we will explore in the article below.
In school, “cool” meant sitting at the “cool” table in at lunch, listening to the “cool” bands, and having the “cool” pair of sneakers, jeans, or lip gloss.
Thankfully, as adults, “cool” has a much broader meaning. When it comes to business and logo design, anything can be cool as long as it feels unique, visually interesting, and breaks away from the status quo.
So, when it comes to logo design, what exactly are some of the different versions of cool, or, in other words, what are the different characteristics that would make a logo fall under the “cool” umbrella?
A cool logo might be:
So, in a nutshell, an understated logo can be cool, but so can a logo that’s more in-your-face. A colorful logo can be cool, but so can a logo that’s monochromatic or black and white. A vintage logo can give you immediate cool points, but so can a logo that feels new and cutting-edge.
The point is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to designing a cool logo. As long as you don’t play it safe and, instead, design a logo that’s authentic, different, and uniquely “you?” The “cool” part will take care of itself.
So, now that you know what defines a cool logo, let’s talk about how to design one.
There are a few different design elements you’ll want to consider when designing your cool, new logo, including:
Choosing colors for your logo is so much more than saying “Hmm...I like red. Let’s make the logo red!” Color is an extremely powerful thing; people have strong associations with colors, and the colors you choose for your logo will inspire very specific feelings, emotions, and reactions in your audience, so it’s important to choose wisely.
Before you choose your logo colors, do a little research on color psychology, and then pick the colors that are going to inspire your desired reaction in your audience. Want to go for a sophisticated kind of cool? Try black, which people tend to associate with modern sophistication and glamour. Going for a more laid-back kind of cool? Go with green (which people associate with nature). Are you targeting kids (who, let’s be real, are the ultimate judges of all-things-cool)? Try bright colors like yellow (which is associated with cheerfulness, friendliness, and happiness) and orange (which is known as an energetic, fun, and lively color).
The main point to consider is, the colors you choose for your logo design are going to say a lot about who you are as a brand, so make sure you’re sending the right message.
There are a few different types of logos. All of them can be cool, but the type you choose is going to have a huge impact on the final look and feel of your logo design—so it’s important to understand your choices.
Some of the different types of logos include lettermarks (like IBM or HBO), wordmarks (like Visa or Google), pictorial marks (like Apple), combination marks (which combines letter or wordmarks and pictorial marks, like Taco Bell or adidas), and emblems (like Starbucks or the NFL). Think about what you design elements you want to incorporate (like your company name or graphics) and then choose a logo style that gives you the look, feel, and style you’re going for.
Canva has templates for every logo type under the sun. Just choose a template that matches your logo type—whether that’s wordmark (like the Black White Simple Animals & Pets Logo template), combination mark (like theBlue Truck Industrial Logo template), or emblem (like the Blue and Yellow Badge Basketball Logo template)—and customize with your color palette, graphics, and overall branding.
The different shapes you incorporate into your logo will also send very specific messages to your audience. Shapes with rounded edges (like circles or ovals) tend to be viewed as soft, friendly, and inclusive while shapes with hard angles (like squares, rectangles, or triangles) are seen as strong, confident, and powerful. If you incorporate any shapes into your logo design, make sure they’re sending the right message (so, for example, if you’re designing a logo for your yoga retreat company, rounded shapes would probably be a better fit—while more angular shapes would make more sense for a company that needs to be seen as strong and trustworthy, like a financial services company).
There are a lot of elements you can incorporate into your logo (colors and graphics and typography, oh my!)—but trying to cram too many elements into a small space can be visually overwhelming. Make sure your logo design incorporates plenty of white space to keep things from looking too crowded.
You can incorporate multiple elements—like graphics, color, and typography—without overcrowding your logo design, like in the Black with Utensils Icon Restaurant Logo template.
Unless you’re doing a pictorial mark logo, your design is going to include letters or words, and the font you choose for those words is important. Want a traditional feel? Go with a serif font. Going for a more modern version of cool? Try a sans serif. Looking for a more avant-garde-inspired feel? A custom graphic font might be the way to go.
The font you choose will do more than just display letters or words in your logo. It will communicate your brand personality, and likely be embedded into your brand kit further down the line. So make sure you choose a font that’s in alignment with who you are as a brand.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and that can definitely be true with graphic design. And in some cases, a graphic is all you need to design an impactful logo (just look at brands like Twitter and Apple!) So, if you have a graphic that says everything you want to say about your brand, you should definitely consider putting it front and center in your logo design.
Graphics can really take logos to the next level. If you’re looking to get that impact in your design without having to start from scratch, look for a logo template that already has a graphic that aligns with your brand (like Black, White, and Turquoise Headset DJ Monophonic Logo template, the Blue Crown Fashion Logo template, or the Bold Black and Yellow Logo template).
Alright, so now that you know what makes a cool logo, and how to design one, let’s take a look at what cool logos look like in action.
Going for a throwback kind of cool with your logo? One of Canva’s vintage-inspired logo templates (like the Yellow and Black Vintage Beauty Logo template, the Cream with Cassette Tape Music Logo template, or the White and Orange Cupcake Hipster Logo template) can help you nail that “retro cool” look.
Sometimes, you need a logo that’s not only cool but really grabs people’s attention. Get started with one of Canva’s bold logo templates, like the Black and Red Laser Game Logo template, the White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo template, or the Midnight Blue Yellow Sun Travel logo template.
There’s nothing cooler than a unique design—but you don’t have to start from scratch to get a one-of-a-kind logo! Start with one of Canva’s logo templates (like the White With Colorful Icon Computer Logo template, the Pink and Blue Badge Logo template, or the Green Calligraphic Logo template) and then tweak each element (like color, font, and shapes) until you have something that feels truly, uniquely YOU.
We’ve covered a lot of ground about cool logos—what they are, what they look like, and how to design when. But when push comes to shove, only YOU can define what’s cool for you and your brand. And as long as you stay true to who you are, whatever you design will be cool in your book—and that’s the kind of cool that matters most. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and design a logo that YOU think is cool.