Visual storytelling is the latest thing all over social media. But long before twitter, facebook, and Snapchat, designers were telling a company’s story with, essentially, just one image and maybe a few words: a logo.

A great designer will give your company a logo that tells people who you are from the get-go, will let them know what you do and give them a visual interpretation of what you stand for. Sound like a lot to ask for from that one image that will probably stay with your company forever? These steps will help you design a logo that will successfully make you a brand to look out for in the market.

1. Take the time to brainstorm: Think about the primary function of the logo, in other words, what do you want it to do. Firstly, the logo should be recognizable. In a massive market where competition is fierce, your logo should stand-out from the rest. If you get this right the logo should create memorability and this will stick with consumers, as they shop with their eyes and, over time, they will pick up your brand because they have learnt to associate it with your company. The logo should also create trust and create a feeling of admiration. An honest logo means the company behind it has integrity and this in turn will bring about admiration.

2. Consider your target market: Your logo should be customised to suit the needs of your target market. The shape, the fonts, the colours and the layout of the logo all have to fit the company it is being designed for but it should also talk to the customers who will be buying its products. The logo for a toy shop, for example, should be fun and colourful, while the logo for an airline should reflect safety, confidence and adventure.

3. Should the company’s name be a part of the logo: a company’s name has huge importance, it is after all the catch-phrase that will be passed from mouth to mouth but when it comes to logo design it is not always the best idea to have it incorporated. You could play around with it at first and see if it works, for example, if the size of the name fits in with the logo or if it will just get lost. If you are designing a logo for a new company then the name could help built brand recognition but if it is too long, does not stand out or if it does not translate well on a global stage, then the visual logo alone will do a better job.

4. Colour makes all the difference: If the company has already chosen out a colour scheme it is going with, stick to it. If the advertising campaign, company stationery and web presence has already gone with a certain colour palette, then the logo should also move in that direction. This will build on familiarity and brand loyalty. If you are designing a logo for a new, fresh company that is just starting out, then consider what the company does and research the psychology of colours to attract the right kind of feelings to your logo.

5. Look at what came before: Follow the example of other great logos, without copying them. Do your research, look at several other successful logos and figure out what works best on each one. This will give you inspiration, then doodle around, let the inspiration flow and remember that simplicity can be a designers best friend.