May 19, 2024

There is a popular myth in the startup world that a good logo can help you to build a successful company says Peter Decaprio. But this statement is not true always. It often happens that many startups spend thousands of dollars on logo design and branding only to realize later that the logo wasn’t strong enough to identify them as a unique brand or didn’t convey their core message. Sometimes, even big companies launch products with poor logos and branding only to replace it with something better later! For instance – Microsoft launched its Zune music player with ‘dancing squircles’ – weird-looking psychedelic icons which looked like they were drawn by a six year-old-boy who was high on pot and ‘ready-made pizza’. A poor choice for Microsoft was known to be the most powerful software company at that time.

How do Logos affect your image?

Logos have a great impact on your image and branding in general. You can’t ignore it while building a startup or creating a new product. Your logo is the face of your brand and has a huge space where you can convey your core message with an aesthetic value. This might be one of the reasons why people often ask me about how to design a successful startup logo or how much does it cost?

Designing logos is not so easy, especially for startups that are crowd-sourcing their brand creation process. Here lays another problem – Most designers don’t think like entrepreneurs and many times their logo concepts are not strong enough to represent the company explains Peter Decaprio. Since entrepreneurs themselves don’t have much time and resources to dedicate to the design process, they often end up with amateur logo designs which are very bad for their branding activities.

How successful startup logos are designed?

Below given are some of my thoughts on designing successful startup logos – This list is based on my own experiences as a designer who has worked on many projects related to startup branding requirements. However, it doesn’t mean that I am right all the time or what I say will work for everyone! It’s just my point of view that might help you to make your own decisions while developing your own brand identity. Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section!

The logo should not be a ‘me too’ design. A new startup is always in a dilemma whether to make their logo similar to an already established company’s look and feel or go with something totally different? This is a question that pops up while creating logos for new ventures. In my opinion, if your startup is making a product that relates to Apple then it makes sense on spending a few hundred bucks on professional logo design.

But if you are building something on your own then do not try to replicate another brand’s identity. For example, two years ago I hear from one of my friends who was working with an online real estate portal in the US that asked me how much does it cost to hire freelancers at 99designs? He said that he will be happy if I can design a logo for his site similar to Zillow – a popular real estate portal in the US. I know many designers who are looking for these kinds of projects!

Use logos with variations.

Some readers might disagree on this point but here is why I say so- A startup spends thousands of dollars on building its brand image and they need to exploit it properly says Peter Decaprio. If your logo doesn’t look good when scaled up at high resolution then you are doing it wrong. It’s very important that your whole branding identity works fine when printed or displayed at any size without losing its original appeal. It’s totally fine to use different logos for different projects, Google has used three different logos in the past 5 years!

You can’t ignore the requirements of your clients. This may sound strange but it’s very important that you have to pay attention to what your client is asking for. You might feel that you are more experienced than your client and he doesn’t know what kind of logo his new venture needs. Here, I would like to mention a real project I worked on a few months back – We were approach by an education startup that already had their ‘logo-mark’ which was pretty nice by all means but they wanted us to design something different with some changes in it. After discussing with them on many rounds we realized that they only want their brand identity to look different from existing ones!


I know there are many designers who don’t like to work with startups because of the ambiguity regarding their requirements says Peter Decaprio. I want to tell you that all your doubts will be clear when you will actually start working for them. So, it’s better to keep yourself updated so that you can say yes to good projects instead of wasting your time on designing pro bono logos!

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