Many companies use promotional items such as mugs, pens and t-shirts to get their brand name out there, however, if they want to create a truly lasting impression they also need to consider putting their logo on such products.

Think of the biggest brands in the world – Apple, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike and Facebook – all have effective, recognisable logos which people across the globe are familiar with.

So if you want to cement your brand and design a logo which will look great on an array of promotional products follow our handy tips below.

A picture says 1,000 words?

The famous saying is that a picture says a 1,000 words and this is certainly true when it comes to logos. An image is easier for customers to remember than a lengthy blurb and the right picture can give a real insight into a brand.

Take Apple for example, its small apple logo was clearly chosen because of the brand name, however the simple unfussy image which graces all of its products also gives an insight into its brand ethos – slick, stylish and minimalist.

However, companies don't have to abandon words altogether, teamed with a logo the right catchphrase can really enhance promotional products, think Nike's “Just Do It” or McDonald's “I'm Loving It”.

Go bold with colour

You need to carefully consider the colours which you include in your logo design as they go a long way to helping create a visual impact.

The colours should be striking rather than muted but remember not to use too many or opt for clashing tones as they will make the logo look messy.

Whatever colour you use, putting it against a bright white background can really make it stand out from the crowd.

It is also important that a logo does not solely rely on colour to be effective as there are some instances where it may have to be produced in black and white.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

The key to an effective, memorable logo is to keep it simple. Anything too busy or cluttered won't be instantly recognisable.

Also think about the fact that the logo will have to be used in a variety of places, including on websites, on company literature and on promotional items so it has to be something suitable for all these purposes.

One simple, bold image often works best, for example the Nike tick or Chanel's intertwining Cs. These can them be combined with other images or modified for special marketing campaigns depending on the season or product.

Common mistakes to avoid

While these are all the things which companies are advised to do when designing a logo there are also a number of things which are best avoided.

For example, companies are best steering clear of design trends which will become quickly outdated and clichéd. A good logo should be timeless and preferably last for the lifetime of a company. It can obviously be updated but it is far better if companies keep some consistency.

Relying too heavily on trends also means that companies risk producing a logo which is similar to another firm's.

Companies are also advised not to use stock art, as again they run the risk of producing something similar to another business.

It is well worth getting a professional in to help design a logo as it may well be one of a company's best investments.

Just remember that a logo should represent what the company stands for and the image it wants to present to the outside world.

Posted by Robin McCrink