When you think about designing a logo, you have to know that there are a lot of things that go into the process of design. It isn’t just about throwing a bunch of colors and shapes, and you get a unique groundbreaking logo! No. You have to put a lot of thought, effort, and creativity into it. There are specific steps to design a logo, especially if you’re doing it from scratch. A good logo is the most significant part of any brand – it is the face of the brand and main representative. Just think of the most popular brands’ logos. You know that a logo is really good when you can tell which brand it is only by looking at it. Like the Nike swoosh, the vibrant three stripes of Adidas, or the apple with the infamous byte. You can spot them a mile away, and you’ll instantly recognize it – now that’s a mark of a fantastic logo. As a graphic designer, every logo your design has to be different and out there. Follow these steps to design a logo that people will love and never forget!
What Does a Logo Actually Mean?
A logo is a symbol or sign that represents a specific brand and brings out the brand’s identity. A logo could be a huge driver of business growth and increasing a customer base. It’s virtually impossible for a brand to exist without a logo. It’s very hard to build an identity and character – one of the most essential parts of business growth. This is because human beings are often visual creatures who react to what they see first. The first thing you see of a brand is its logo, and your brain registers its image before anything else! A lousy logo doesn’t even get to be registered. You just forget it as quick as you see it!
A logo provides a sense of consistency and professionalism for a brand. It creates representation, which helps with future marketing strategies and business growth. It also gives you an advantage in different competitions in your industry. If your logo is one that people can recognize at a glance, you have a definite edge. When you come across a brand that doesn’t have a logo or its logo seems sloppy, you instantly lose trust. It’s natural! That is why it is essential to build a trustworthy, groundbreaking, and unique logo! And it’s even more important to learn how to design a logo from scratch for an even more exceptional result!
How to Design a Logo That STICKS
To design a logo, you have to go through a few steps. Don’t worry, it isn’t intimidating. But, it is a process that you need to be fully committed to. It’s a process that requires that you get all your creative juices running to design a logo that is so good that it sticks in people’s minds! People rarely ever remember a logo they didn’t like; unless it was particularly horrendous. And you definitely do not want your logo to be recognized as a horrible logo. So, you have to know precisely how to design a logo that people will love! This is how to design a logo in 6 steps!
Understand Your Client’s Brand Identity
The first step you have to do when you design a logo is to understand your client’s (or even your own) brand identity. A brand identity essentially refers to the aspects of your logo that bring out a brand’s backstory, theme, and all-in-all mission. This includes everything from colors to typeface or font and all the elements that will go into the design. When you have a clear idea, you’ll understand how your logo will represent the brand identity and distinguish it from others. Understanding a brand identity means knowing the company’s values and distinguishing features. This helps you figure out what aesthetics will help the brand’s customers set it apart from other logos. You can start mind mapping and brainstorming different ideas about why the brand was built, their values, their mission, and what they want to bring to their customers or clients. It’s essential that your logo portray these things. You can’t choose a logo that gives off industrial themes when the brand campaigns green living, for example. So, get the creative juices flowing before you even get to the actual process and design a logo. This step creates the most unique logo that tells a story on its own.
Take Inspiration From Logos In The Industry
Every brand in every industry has its competitors, which can be very helpful when you want to design a logo. It’s okay to take inspiration from the market at hand – but never steal a whole logo, style, or even color palette. People on the web will know for sure, and they will bring you down! Trust us on this. The digital era makes it so much easier to discover plagiarised work, and people will call you out. Your brand will lose its credibility, and you won’t seem professional at all. But, taking inspiration and turning it into a logo of your own works pretty well – especially when you don’t really know where to start. You can check out established design methodology used in the market or industry that your brand (or your client’s brand) belongs in.
This step helps your logo better fit in the industry, but at the same time, it will stand out. That will depend on the actual design you create later on. But, when you get a grasp of how to design a logo catered to an industry, you’ll have an excellent foundation to start on. You can check other graphic designers’ works on social media and see how people react to them. Then take what you feel works for your brand, and change it up to fit your identity. Before you know it, you’ll have tons of ideas to choose from!
Know Where The Logo Will Go
The next step on how to design a logo is knowing where the logo will go – as in social media platforms, websites, advertisements, or whatnot. Knowing where your brand will want to place their logo helps you figure out dimensions, colors, and all-in-all shapes. You can understand better the type of people that will be subjected to the logo. You will know right off the bat that you have to create versions of the logo that fit different platforms. This step makes sure your logo doesn’t seem out of form when used in other places.
Sometimes a logo seems out of place when it isn’t optimized to different platforms. So, always be on the safe side and ask beforehand where the logo will go. You won’t waste time going through the whole process of designing a logo, only for it to look unfit for a specific platform!
Create Different Versions & Sketches
When you are in the process and thinking about how to design a logo, you will probably come up with a lot of different ideas that you cannot incorporate in one design. Your logo will seem all over the place, and it won’t look coordinated. This is why you can thankfully create different versions and sketches of a logo. Now, this might seem time-consuming, but creating a different version can give you an outside view and make it easier to make a decision. It also helps you get out all those ideas and place them in different mediums. You get to apply all your ideas and pick out the best. Besides, if you design a logo for a client, you have to give them options to choose from. It’s more professional, and the client will appreciate having the opportunity. You can play around with various themes and find out which better portrays the brand identity. It’s all about trial and error. Give yourself a chance to experiment, sketch out some designs, and narrow down your options.
The Color Scheme
This is the part where you choose the colors that best reflect your brand, with a number of swatches set aside. You will have to find the best color for your logo. Your logo’s color is fundamental because people are sensory; they react to different colors in different ways. The right color representing a brand could influence a customer’s decision more than you can imagine. The color will be the endgame for your brand. Keep in mind that the logo will be everywhere! Every color tells a story, and every color sets a mood! So, think this through. What color scheme represents the brand best?
At this point, you also have to have your typeface ready and chosen. Even if your logo doesn’t actually have any type of content in terms of text, you’ll still have to select a typeface. A typeface isn’t the same as a font, though. A typeface is a distinct set of typographical symbols and characters that define your stance as a brand. It could be a difference in thickness to portray elegance or authority. It could be different stress alignment to describe casualness or formality. It could be with various contrasts to look more modern, and it could even be the general mood! A typeface could really give off a general mood to the person seeing it. If you want people to feel like your brand is dramatic, serious, or calm, make sure your typeface says that all!
Digitize Your Versions
It’s time to bring your design to life and digitize your sketches. This is where you start to actually see how your design will look digitized and ready to use. When you design a logo based on a sketch, you will find that it might seem slightly different from what you had initially thought. This is an excellent way to understand what you really want to add or remove from your design. At this point, you’ve chosen the color palette that you want to go by, and your action plan is set in motion. So, after you have them all digitized, put them side by side, and give them a look. How do they seem? Do you feel satisfied with the way they are?
Review and Refine!
So, the drafting phase is over! And it’s time to reduce and refine. This is the most stressful part when you design a logo. After a whole lot of trial and error in the previous steps, it’s time to get down to the actual review. Feedback helps you test your logos and ideas on different people and see if it gives off your real vision. Sometimes when your work is reviewed by someone else, you get insight that you may have overlooked. When you’ve been working on something for so long, it’s difficult to see things clearly. After all these steps, you’re bound to be dizzy with typefaces and color palettes! So, choose people who fall into your brand’s target demographic, and take your logo on a test drive. Ask specific questions and figure out what they take from the logo. You can use this feedback to make different adjustments to your logo and perfect the smallest of details. When you are so heavily invested in a design, you might miss out on a flaw or mistake that you overlooked before. So, a fresh pair of eyes never hurts! The best thing about this step is that you can always go back and change things. When you review and refine. It’s time to choose your champion! You will be able to decide based on the design that got the best feedback and best review! And, that’s it. You’ve officially learned how to design a logo from scratch. You can now go ahead and begin your journey. Keep in mind that these things do take time, so don’t feel frustrated. Just take some time to understand why you’re doing this and what you want to bring out of this design.
The Don’ts of Logo Design
Sometimes when a graphic designer begins to design a logo, they can go overboard in excitement. When that happens, the logo can come out unstable and complicated. A simple design with coordinated color schemes is the best logo for the win. You have to create something that’s easy on the eyes. You don’t want people to get a headache just looking at your logo! So, keep it simple. Don’t choose too many colors or elements to go into your logo. The most famous logos in the world are the most simple ones!
You should also never create a different version of the same logo that is, well, too different! They don’t necessarily have to be twins, but they definitely have to be brothers!
The most important part, though, is that you should enjoy the whole process! If you don’t have fun when you design a logo, it definitely won’t come out as special and unique as you want it to be. You have to feel like you’re designing a logo to represent yourself. In essence, it will! When a logo becomes popular amongst people, so will you because you designed it. That’s why you should make sure to be all in and represent yourself in the logo. Every brand starts small, but they all start with a logo!