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How to Design a Logo: 50 Tutorials and Pro Tips
How to Design a Logo: 50 Tutorials and Pro Tips
One of the biggest design misconceptions is that it is easy to make a logo. To begin with, a logo is much more than just some colors, fancy fonts, and graphics put together. A logo is an essential part of a brands visual identity.
Creating a logo demands critical thinking, creative input, and methodical planning. Simply put: you dont just sit down and create a logo while binge-watching your favorite Netflix show.
So, how do you make a logo worth remembering?
Weve compiled 50 inputs a combination of rules, tips, and tricks on how to create an awesome logo. Read on, digest the guidelines, and put them in action.
Make sure to dive into ourlogo templatesto help push your design along faster.
Inspiration that jumpstarts the flow of creative juices can come from anywhere. When creating a logo, the obvious sources of inspiration are design-centric websites like Logo Gala. Expand your research to other creative sites such as Dribbble or Deviant Art. Offline, observe your surroundings. Anything that makes you fired up or happy is a potential root of an awesome idea.
An effective logo is unique, sensible, visually enticing, and delivers its intended message. In its basic form, a well-designed logo is a form of brand identity. However intricate or time-consuming the design process gets, the end product must always be simple to understand, memorable, enduring, versatile, and appropriate.
Every designer has his or her ownapproach, and its almost never linear. However, a majority of them follow a general branding process. This consists of the following:
– interviewing the client and making sure you get all the information you need.
– learning more about the industry/niche, as well as the clients history and competition.
– checking out design inspiration related to what the client needs, as well as looking at the current design trends.
– sketching and developing the logo around the given brief and the research youve made.
– letting the idea mature following a quick design break.
– choosing a couple of design options to show the client, as well as getting feedback and doing some edits until the design is complete.
4. Set up your price system accordingly.
How much for this design?is arguably one of the most frequently asked questions, especially during the briefing process. Its also a question thats hard to answer, since every client has different needs and requirements. You need to learn business skills especially if youre a freelancer to price your work accordingly. Look into the different factors involved in designing a logo. These include the number of concepts to present, the number of revisions to make, the degree of research needed, and so on.
The best way to handle this business aspect is to draft a customized quote for every client. In doing so, you will learn how to put afinancial value on your designs(which is a different topic altogether).
By understanding how other brands made it to the top, you will get tremendous insights on logo-making as a whole. At one point or another, this awareness will you help you become better at what you do.
Designing a logo is not just about creating an appealing visual. Your main objective is to build up a brand. You also need to set up a communicating position between the company and its target audience. This is why market research is important. Its highly recommended to involve the client at this stage since your take on the brand may not be the same as theirs. Its critical that youre 100% clear on the message before you start the creative process.
Ahead of doing logo sketches, invest some time compiling information about the client: who they are, what they do, how they work, and what their target market is. Study previous versions of their logo (if available), and think about the upgrades needed to fully represent the brand. Then, make a list of dos and donts pertaining to what the client needs before you get the ball rolling.
Its a common practice for designers to come up with anumber of sketchesfor a single project. Even if youre able to pinpoint early on which sketch to develop, dont discard the others as they can be valuable resources in the future. Just because the other sketches didnt work for one client doesnt mean they wont work for another. Revisit them whenever a new project comes in to find a seed of inspiration.
If youre struggling with ideas or concepts, look up keywords associated with the brand online. You can also search through Google images for visual inspirations.
These kinds of tools help filter the ideas in your head, and mix up various images and concepts. Work with keywords and word alternatives to accumulate a variety of inspiration using different sources. Place them in one giant mood board to see how they work together.
This is in connection with the tip above. Make a mood board of logos related to your project. Evaluate what made them effective. Afterward, tear the board apart and use your assessment as a guide to make your own unique creation.
Every couple of years or so, a new design fad enters the ballgame. Study the styles – you can even use some of them – but avoid jumping on the bandwagon if the new idea is basically just a rehash of an old one.
Creating a versatile logo goes a long way in ensuring its longevity. If the logo looks great on posters but awful on novelty items, it can limit its popularity. Versatility plays a huge role on how you select the elements of your design – colors, fonts, layouts, and the likes.
When it comes to designing especially using traditional techniques everything is about the grid. Case in point: the iconic logo of Shell Oil that hasnt changed much since its launch in 1971. When done right, the grid makes the design cohesive, put together, and timeless.
Even with the techy sketching programs available online, sketching using pen and paper is still the best way to flesh out ideas. Sketching out ideas enables you to experiment freely. It prevents you from being swept up from the finer details.
It doesnt really matter if your sketching skills are poor. As long as they deliver your ideas correctly, youre on the right track.
Right after sketching your ideas, proceed to the more technical aspect of design. The best way to save you time and frustration when you eventually edit your design is to create vectors. In this process, the Illustrator is your best friend as it can rescale your design without sacrificing its quality.
Typographyis certainly a key element to an effective logo. There are two main options for this: create a customized typeface or use a pre-set one. If you create your own typeface, avoid making it too trendy. Instead, keep it simple, readable, and classy.
This is in connection with the tip above. Avoid the temptation to make your logo shine by using gimmicky typefaces. The majority of gimmicky fonts are overtly fancy and excessively weak. If youre aiming for a professional yet unique look, avoid these fonts at all costs.
Naturally, there will be exceptions to this rule. But, as a common principle, using just two fontsis smart if you want your design to be distinct, sharp, and clean.
Every design has a story to tell, and logos are not an exception. If you see a logo as just an artwork or a structure of lines and texts, you wont be able to express the meaning behind it. Ideally, a powerful logo features two stories: one that is obvious and another that is hidden.
Most brands require an exclusion zone, which is the area surrounding the logo that isnt meant to be filled by any other element. This space serves as a protection to the integrity of the logo. When designing, think about how the exclusion zone should be used.
If you use a device within the logo to facilitate it, think about adding some movement to it. This movement isnt about adding animations, but more of the size, placement, and rotation of parts within the design. For example, a fish will appear in motion if its caught on a mid-jump. Additionally, you must take into consideration the direction of the intended motion.
An effective logo works in black and white and in color. If your logo uses color to express a message, consider the best way to show its meaning when the color is taken off. At times, this requires altering the contrast between the various elements of the design so they still express the same message when modeled in monotones.
Taking note of current logo trends doesnt suggest to mindlessly following them. But if you must break some rules to broaden your design options, to optimize a trend – or even start a new one – you must also know what youre up against.
If theres only one thing you remember from this article, make it this rule.
Colors make up the essence of any visual art. Quite often, designers disregard the value of the astute usage of colors. This is probably caused by the misunderstanding that a clean design only involves white.
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Innovation is a marvelous thing. This is how you can find ways to work around what you have, try things out, and come up with killer ideas for your design. But, all things have its own share of rules and restraints. Your innovative capabilities are countless, but their practical uses arent. Excessive experimentation can produce a logo that is lovely to look at, but isnt identifiable with the brand itself.
In terms of logo design, your fonts must be distinctive. A customized, hand-drawn typeface is more effective than most dazzling fonts easily available online. If nothing else, it can keep design plagiarists away. Also, custom lettering is more identifiable in a logo than a font downloaded off the internet.
Your design wont stand out from the crowd if it looks the same as whats already out there. Aim to design a logo that is somewhat unfamiliar yet still relatable. It should suggest something: a story, a feeling, or an action.
While having confidence in your ability is good, putting yourself in the best category can hinder your growth. Your brilliance is as good as your last design. If you keep this in mind, you will strive harder to grow as a designer.
This tutorial teaches you how to create a mascot logo from start to finish. It shows how to correctly structure a digital logo to be used for screen printing or embroidery. It also connects the designs vintage vibe into modern design.
The instructor highlights how simplicity in logo design shouldnt be underestimated. With basic shapes and colors, the tutorial teaches how to create a simple, yet strong, logo. It also imparts how to optimize communication with minimal and concise pieces of information.
This tutorial that runs for over an hour shows how to make a family crest. It tackles the art of designing this personal logo from background research and shape formation to font and color choices.
This tutorial, as the name suggests, is a step-by-step documentation of creating a logo. It imparts tips, tricks, and guidelines from design conception to completion.
The instructor recreates a video game logo using digital techniques every designer must learn. The video shows how to construct a grid background on an existing logo.
This class uses illustration to teach how to design logos using the Green type treatment. It also imparts tips and guidelines for eco-friendly treatments for other design elements.
Chris Spooner teaches us the techniques and tricks to finish off a logo design using Adobe Illustrator. It especially highlights font and color section to make a simple yet sophisticated end product.
This tutorial helps you effortlessly make a customized logo using stunning text effects. It also lets users test their logos using different colors and fonts.
This class, often recommended by top designers, delves deeper on how effects and textures can be used for logo creation. It lists down techniques and tricks that are very clear and easy to follow.
This tutorial, as the name suggests, is all about creating the Windows Vista logo using Photoshop. It provides a step-by-step instruction on how to properly create the mirror and glossy effects of the logo.
The designer offers tips, tricks, and techniques on how to create awesome logos with a vintage or retro vibe. The tutorial uses Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create a 70s type logo.
This tutorial demonstrates how to recreate the iconic Volkswagen symbol. It highlights several techniques like layer styling, radial gradients, and lasso selection to reconstruct the famous brand logo.
The instructor teaches how to create a logo intended for websites with a grunge style background. The tutorial focuses on tricks and techniques to make this type of logo pop.
The tutorial tackles how to use Warped Grids to make a logo more dynamic and flexible. It provides a step-by-step instruction on creating rainbow logos using the easy yet versatile Warped Grids technique.
The instructor teaches how to design and create a glowing or sparkling intense light three-dimensional logo. The tutorial shows different techniques and tips to produce the desired effect.
This tutorial teaches how to correctly present logotype. It underlines the use of a macro photo simulation where the logo is printed on paper.
This step-by-step tutorial demonstrates how to create quirky, out-of-the-box logo designs. It also provides practice on how to stop oneself from going over-the-top.
This is not a tutorial per se, but more of a case study on the makings of a logo. It focuses on the creative process of designing a logo from scratch.
This is a comprehensive take on how to create a logo from start to finish. It highlights how to discover, develop, and implement an image until it becomes a logo.
This is a detailed tutorial on how to create a virtual DJ design. It tackles more than just logo-making, but all techniques and tools can be helpful in creating an actual logo.
With these rules, tips, and tricks, were certain your next logo will stand out from the crowd!
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Really great post with some great tips for new designers. I question a couple of the tutorials listed though – they dont all seem to follow your advice in the sections above. s 35, 45 and 50 wouldnt, in my opinion, make effective logos for real world use.
Overall some very useful information and tutorials though! Thanks.
Great article. I know many of these tips, but all the advice in one place are very useful. Thanks 🙂
I love the logo creation, this is my passion, i love this post! +100
Thank you. Am looking forward to learning.
Really? Come on, youre showing examples of old trends, such as glossy, bevels, etc.. I expected that youd keep the recent trends in mind. And whats with the Windows logo? Microsoft changed it a long time ago, as even they didnt want to fall behind on design trends.
– Research design trends (critical!!!)
Im a designer, and this article just hurts…
I am a Multimedia Design student and I recently started following your blog and I am really inspired by your works. As a part of my assignment I will be creating a book on Logo Designing and your blog has given me the upthrust I needed.
Those are some really cool designs! I really liked the trick of mind mapping. Will definitely implement similar ideas for logo designing at my workplace – YourDesignPick. Thanks for sharing!
Great article! Especially the part about the logo telling a story. Our team at Nice Branding Agency put together a list of three key elements for logo design. Learn more here:
Great article! Very thorough and I love that there are some many links to other resources. The hardest part for me has always been a solid initial concept (as oppose to execution).
A book that has been hugely useful to me is one called Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko (you can find it on Amazon).
Its a big book packed with different ways to come up with unique ideas. Ive used it a lot and found it to make coming up with ideas fun and easy.
Great piece of text. All the cluttered information that I already knew put together. Tnx 😉
Thanks for sharing the importance of creating logo designs. I learned alot about from the tips and tricks, and the mistakes to avoid. I would definitely review the tutorials.
good article with good idea. Best logo come from creative minds and inspiration from everything unique like these tips on this article
Amazing collection of best logos , great inspiration
Thanks! This will be useful for my projects.
Very beautiful collection of logo designs! Thanks for sharing.
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