How to Design an Online Store Logo

At Shopify, we find that online stores that have gone the extra mile on branding and awesome online store logos bring in a significant amount more in revenue compared to those that haven’t. 

The fundamentals to creating and running a successful online business are taken care of by Shopify, offering up a fast and reliable service worldwide, with quality themes to make the shopping experience really enjoyable. What Shopify can’t do, is give your shop a personality, deliver a message, or make your brand really stick out from the competition. That's where branding and a great online store logo come into play.

The importance of online store logo design

There’s no better way to give your site an immediate personality than with an awesome logo. For the average shopper a brand is just a product identifier — it isn’t just another iPad case, it’s a DODOcase. The logo is a pivotal piece to this branding, and shouldn’t be overlooked. Fret over the details with it, make sure it appeals to your target market and conveys your primary message. Logos are best kept simple; great typography or a pictogram is often more than enough.

How to Create an Online Store Logo

Of course, everyone isn’t a designer, and even some designers have difficulty with branding. So how are online businesses going to get a timeless, quality logo? Here are 3 resources to help you design a logo for your ecommerce store:

1. Hire a Designer

The best quality will always come from a one-on-one contract with an experienced designer. We’re not talking about your uncle’s twice removed step-father who has a ‘good eye for this kind of thing,’ we’re talking about a real designer with an actual branding portfolio. You can find plenty of great designers in Shopify Experts.

2. Crowd-Sourcing

Although somewhat frowned upon by many designers, crowd-design sites like 99Designs, and LogoTournament are a resource that can't be ignored. The concept is simple, all you have to do is describe your target audience, style preference, slogan or mission statement, and provide a budget. Several designers will create their vision of the logo, and you pick the winner. Many designers get their start working in the crowd-design scene to get lots of relevant work experience at a relatively fast pace (LogoTournament helped my logo skills immensely when I first started), so this is a solid choice for those with a smaller budget.

3. DIY Online Store Logo

Plenty of Shopify folks are natural DIY’ers, and if you follow some simple guidelines and put the time in to learn something new, there is no question that you can make a decent logo for free. Most logos are made in vector, so you’ll need some software to work in this format. In perfect DIY form, you’ll want to pick up InkScape, which is an open-source project and quite feature-rich for a program that is entirely free. The key to creating a great logo is choosing a great typeface, so head over to sites like Lost Type Co-Op or The League of Moveable Type for some amazing, hand-selected fonts that are pay-what-you-like. The rest relies on your creative juices, so get them flowing.
Here are a few examples of effective logos from Shopify stores:

LuhseTea

Luhse Tea's online store logo design

LuhseTea’s logo is only the very beginning of the amazing things they are doing to create a strong brand, but this simple circle logo starts them off on the right foot. An art deco font, a grainy texture to give some tactility, and a simple tea cup silhouette. It screams artsy, classy, and most importantly conveys that they sell tea. It pairs perfectly with their “Tea Bag Prohibition” slogan, resembling a glowing moon in the night sky.

Twelve Saturdays

Twelve Saturday's online store logo design

Twelve Saturdays’ logo is as exemplary as they come. This clothing brand is attempting to fuse college football with great fashion for women — and this logo nails it. It’s a playful choice of type with sporty influences like a swooshed ‘y’ similar to those found on baseball jerseys, and a football shape for the twelve.

CXXVI

CXXVI's online store logo design

The CXXVI site creates a tactile feel like no other. This hand-drawn logo by Brooklyn artist Jon Contino, known for his 1930’s chalkboard style typography, gives the brand that perfect hand-made feel. The anvil isn’t as literal as the previous two examples, but it works well with the tailored goods ideology.

26 comments

  • Matthew
    Matthew
    February 14 2012, 01:12PM

    I feel like #1 and #2 contradict each other. Hire a designer…or hire a bunch but only pay one.

    Crowd sourcing is never okay.

    http://antispec.com/

  • Skyler
    Skyler
    February 14 2012, 01:24PM

    Also disappointed to see #2 on there. As you said in #1 “The best quality will always come from a one-on-one contract with an experienced designer”.

  • @Shopify Warren Dunlop
    Warren Dunlop
    February 14 2012, 01:43PM

    To be clear, I’m not entirely pro-crowdsourcing. The best results have always, and will always, be via a designer with a style that matches the business mantra.

    That being said, I’m also not willing to openly bash it, as there is still some good that comes from these sites. Not everyone can afford the elite (or as I like to call it, the ‘holy-shit package’). :)

  • Al Herrington
    Al Herrington
    February 14 2012, 07:15PM

    I found this really valuable Warren, thanks for sharing.

  • really?
    really?
    February 15 2012, 07:17PM

    Never use crowd sourcing, no matter what people say. Puts us good designers out of business

    http://antispec.com/

  • Ivan
    Ivan
    February 16 2012, 11:35AM

    Lots of hate from the designers here, I am sorry but not every small business owner can afford to spend hundreds or thousands on a logo. So that only leaves the option to design one yourself or crowd source which I think is just fine. I have gotten logos done from sites like 99designs before and have had good success.

    I am not trying to downplay the importance of good designers, but you have to understand that spending a lot of money on a logo is not feasible for everyone.

  • Tim
    Tim
    February 16 2012, 03:03PM

    Although crowd-sourcing is a useful tool for those who don’t have the budget of a big corporation, companies should reach out to local designers first and then compare. You never know what you going to get on both ends. Don’t count us professional designers out so fast.

  • lol
    lol
    February 16 2012, 04:07PM

    @Ivan
    You get what you pay for, I’ll guarantee you any recognizable company didn’t get there logo from crowd sourcing. You’re better off waiting and saving to get a good product, not some $10 logo copied and pasted my MS Word.

  • John
    John
    February 17 2012, 08:19AM

    You will end up paying more for your poor crowd sourced logo in the end anyway.

  • Ed
    Ed
    February 17 2012, 05:17PM

    I have been using a digital picture as a logo on eBay for 10 years. Can’t we just download a picture?

  • Ivan
    Ivan
    February 20 2012, 06:39PM

    @lol
    You are in a way helping my point, I am not talking about the easily recognizable 5% big businesses. I am talking about the small businesses, the mom and pop shops.

  • Rick Metzger
    Rick Metzger
    February 23 2012, 12:13PM

    @Ivan

    Good Design is invaluable to all businesses, not just large national brands, and the bottom line is that you’ll have a better interaction and more attention when you work one on one with a designer.
    This is not to say that you can’t receive good work from companies like 99designs, but rather the end product will be much more valuable in working with a individual.

    I understand that it is not financially feasible for many small businesses to hire a large firm or a celebrity designer, but often it is not a stretch to hire a local freelancer to work with you.

    Spending $250 on a young freelancer is better than spending $500 on a crowd sourcing website.
    This is because people working on a crowd sourcing site don’t care about your business.
    They’ll give you exactly what you want, regardless of whether or not it’s it’s the best decision for your brand.

    This is simply because it’s not feasible on their end to spend any length of time thinking about your needs, drafting several concepts, and presenting a well thought out product, when they can’t be sure that they’ll even get paid for the job.
    So the end result is a lot of premature work, that hasn’t been properly thought out. This work might please you in the short time, but will ultimately hurt your business.

    Whereas any designer worth his/her salt will do a lengthy amount of research into your industry, your competitors, and your customer demographic before even approaching the drafting table.
    Then they’ll do their best to align what you want with what’s best for your business and your brand. A good designer will disagree with you in order to give you the best possible product for your needs, and they’ll explain their decisions and help you to understand how important your business’s identity is to your success.

    And what’s even more valuable than the immediate product is the relationship you gain with the designer. Now whenever you need design work, whether it be for packaging, collateral, or web design, you now have a resource whom is already intimately familiar with the needs and details of your business.
    Which is something you won’t receive with a crowd sourcing website. So while in the short run you might spend more money with a personal designer, ultimately it’s a better use of your resources.

  • manuel
    manuel
    February 28 2012, 04:49PM

    crowd is great, thank You so much……

  • Manuel
    Manuel
    February 28 2012, 04:52PM

    ……With Crowd You can be fearless and tell whatever You want without the feeling that maY be asking to much, to manY variants, You never want to hurt the designers feelings when you hire him alone……

  • Rick Metzger
    Rick Metzger
    February 29 2012, 08:16PM

    @Manuel

    “……With Crowd You can be fearless and tell whatever You want without the feeling that maY be asking to much, to manY variants, You never want to hurt the designers feelings when you hire him alone……”

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say.
    You can ask me anything, and if it’s outside the scope of the budget (or, too much as you say) then thats what I’ll tell you. If you absolutely need it and it’s still outside of the budget, 1 of 2 things will happen.

    1: We compromise; whether it be in features, time spent, delivery date, or a trade in good/services; in order to make it work.
    or 2: We can’t find a good solution/compromise so I refer you to another designer or firm that can better suit your needs.

    And to clarify, I’ve never had my feelings hurt as a Designer. Never.

  • Amy Guo
    Amy Guo
    March 01 2012, 08:10PM

    Our web logo was designed for $250. You can see it on our homepage (http://www.automaxstyling.com). We noticed that most of competitors have this no frills, block letter approach so that’s the direction we gave our designer.

  • Peter
    Peter
    March 02 2012, 06:39PM

    Great article. Thank you for giving us choices. I find it interesting how people come to defend their industry and thus only give one viewpoint- in this case designers. If you’re afraid of what these ‘aggregate’ design sites means to your business, you should be. Business models are changing, just as Shopify is affecting how companies choose to put up ecommerce sites – Simple and easy vs software developers for custom ecommerce development.

  • Rick Metzger
    Rick Metzger
    March 23 2012, 03:15PM

    @Peter

    I’m not sure if you read all the comments, because I clearly addressed why hiring a designer, vs an aggregate design service, is a better business decision.

    As for defending my industry, these type of sites do hurt Design as a whole, as it reduces the value of design. 99designs (and other aggregate sites) turns design into a cheap commodity, comparable to clip art, rather then valuing it has the skilled service industry that it is.

    But in all honesty it doesn’t really affect my business. Clients you use these types of services are the same people who offer me $10 for a logo design.

    Bottom line, I neither need, nor want these type of clients.

  • Reid Parham
    Reid Parham
    June 06 2012, 02:19PM

    #antispec

  • mamunbddj
    mamunbddj
    June 15 2012, 01:12AM

    These are great and just what I needed, thanks so much :)

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  • Kevin
    Kevin
    June 10 2013, 05:29PM

    Lots of butthurt from designers here. Odd.

  • Luis
    Luis
    May 01 2014, 11:55AM

    @Amy Guo

    $250 for that logo is too much. You could’ve gone to fiverr and get a ripped-off logo that at least is going to look pro.

    When you can’t afford an expensive logo, settle for a trinket.

  • Paul Wolfer
    Paul Wolfer
    June 18 2014, 10:56AM

    @Amy Well this just reinforces that you get what you pay for.

    That is a terrible logo. It’s incredibly generic and it’s very obviously not professional. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of logos in the auto parts industry using an RPM gauge.

    This is the stuff that makes professional logo designers cringe. “Make me look like my competition.”

    So then what about your logo makes it stand out from the competition?

    I guess this logo accomplished exactly what you told the designer though. This truly does look like ever other generic auto parts website out there.

  • Imran
    Imran
    July 04 2014, 12:08PM

    I find really creative logo work at www.logoitech.biz Simply amazing Logo Work! and affordable!

  • Dave
    Dave
    August 26 2014, 02:06PM

    Eff crowdsourcing design work. That’s an exploitative business practice that should never be encouraged. And Fiverr (mentioned in the comments) is even worse. Don’t be a part of the problem, Shopify.

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