A modern industrial logo can serve as a visual shorthand for your business and what it stands for. Since your logo will often be the first point of contact that people have with your brand, it’s crucial to design a good one.

Think about Nike, McDonald’s, or Mercedes-Benz. You could probably picture their logos in your head as you read their names. A good logo becomes synonymous with a company and its product.

We’ll go over how to design an excellent modern, industrial logo — but first, we’ll look more closely at why it’s so important to have a good one.

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Why is a good logo important?‌

Good branding is especially important for industrial businesses that are just getting started and trying to bring in more clients. Your logo will end up on everything from business cards to buildings. It can communicate subtly who you are and what you sell to people. Take this logo by the designer bo_rad:

Logo for Swirl features an image of a dish of soft serve to the left of the name, white on hot pink
The design of this logo is lighthearted and immediately tells you what’s being sold. Image source: 99designs.

You can see immediately that this company sells frozen yogurt. The color and font design also have a whimsical and fun tone, and they encourage the viewer to identify those feelings with this brand.

Your logo creates a touchpoint that conveys your brand’s identity and reminds people who you are, despite the barrage of advertising-related imagery they experience daily. A well-designed logo can:

  • Help you stand out when you’ve got limited time to convince someone to pay attention
  • Help people remember you so that when they need what you sell, you’ll be top of mind

A logo doesn’t necessarily have to be funny or unusual, just recognizable — like this one for an energy company designed by moonlighter:

black and white image of the letter "P" in a circle surrounded by lightening bolts
This logo for a renewable energy company is modeled after vintage signage and hints at the company’s purpose. Image source: 99designs.

How do you design a modern industrial logo‌?

Every logo design process will follow steps similar to these: 

  • Understand why you need a logo
  • Define your brand identity
  • Research your design and scout the competition
  • Pick your design style and logotype‌
  • Choose the color and typography
  • Integrate your logo into your overall brand

Initially, the work of creating a logo is mostly strategic. You’ll do more conceptualizing and planning than drawing.

Understand why you need a logo‌

Here’s artist and writer Antonia Gesch describing a business logo in an article: “…think of your logo as the picture on your dating profile. It’s what’s going to make people take interest and try to learn more about you (or swipe left because you’re not for them).”

Your logo helps make that killer first impression. It gets them curious to find out more about who you are and what you do.

Define your brand‌ identity

Ask questions about what defines your brand — because your responses will help shape your logo:

  • What is your core message?
  • What is it that your business does better than anyone else?
  • What ethical principles do you stand for?

For example, imagine that you own a cement company. You want people to know that your product is tough, durable, and can stand the test of time. You want to convey the message that you stand behind your work. Those principles could lend themselves to a minimalist logo. Simple, strong, well-made, and without any frills — just like the product of a cement company. The logo may look like this design by RedLogo:

Image of a mountain or large rock in grey with company name, lower half in grey and the "skyline" in green
This logo for Grey Rock concrete is simple, rugged-looking, and to the point. Image source: 99designs.

Research designs and scout the competition‌

Browse through design websites for logos from similar companies to yours and see what inspires you. Don’t steal a logo design, but see what others are doing that you feel conveys the right message.

It also helps to scope out the competition. Answer the following questions: 

  • What are the bigger companies in your field doing?
  • What do their designs look like?
  • Do they say where they got the inspiration from?

This phase can also include making a mood board, holding brainstorming sessions, and putting yourself in the audience’s shoes. If you can, bring in focus groups and see what they say.

Pick your design style and logotype‌

The style and type of logo you choose will do a lot to convey the feeling of your brand. For a modern industrial logo, you should go more minimal and clean as opposed to something complex or frilly.

Some common logotypes include: 

  • Lettermarks or monograms. These logos usually just use letters, like the company initials. H&M is a prominent example.
  • Wordmarks or logotypes. Use the company name as the logo and focus on interesting typography.
  • Pictorials or symbols. Use a recognizable symbol for the company logo. Think Nike. 
  • Abstract logos. Create an entirely new abstract symbol to use for a brand. 

Other commonly used types include combination marks and emblems, which combine symbols and interesting lettering. Modern logos also often use white or blank space, have fonts with few embellishments, and use simple designs. Take this logo designed by artsigma, for example: 

Original shape resembling something that could be Celtic, brown on white and white on brown
This design is typical of modern logos: clean, minimal, and lots of white space. Image source: 99designs.

A logo contradictory to people’s expectations might help you stand out, too — especially in the industrial space. Your brand’s message is more important than doing what everyone else is doing, so think about that when designing your logo.

Choose the colors and typography‌

Certain colors will convey certain moods and emotions. The human brain will process color before anything else, and many companies take advantage of that with their logo. 

McDonald’s uses color psychology in its logo to inspire happiness and subtly stimulate the appetite. When choosing the colors for your design, think about the feelings you want to inspire. Is it strength? Solidity? Ruggedness? Color can communicate a lot, so don’t neglect it.

The font you use will also convey a subtle message about your brand. A swirling script font can feel fancy and sophisticated. Sans serif fonts are great for a more modern look. Display fonts combine typography and symbols to create something highly stylized and different.

Integrate your logo into your brand‌

Once you’ve got your concepts and preferences, you can create your logo and integrate it into your brand design. You can use a logo maker tool, hire a designer, or contact a creative agency to bring your vision to life. Then put it on signs, business cards, email branding, and wherever else it makes sense to do so.

Ready to design a striking logo for your business?

When designing your logo: 

  • Brainstorm your ideas first. Think about brand identity, why you need a logo, and what it will say about you. Try constructing a mood board and getting feedback from different people.
  • Move on to the design elements. Choose your colors, fonts, design, and logotype carefully.
  • Turn your inspiration package into the final design. You can go to a professional or use a logo maker tool to try and build one yourself. 
  • Get your logo integrated into your branding. Put it on everything. You want people to associate your logo with your business right away.

After following the steps above, you should have a great modern industrial logo that is timeless, unique, and memorable. It will stand out and catch people’s attention without being garish, and it will reflect your brand identity.