In preparation for the debut of your new firm, you realize you need a logo but lack the funds to employ a professional designer. Where do we go from here? Do-it-yourself solutions to the rescue!
Designing your own logo from scratch may be a fun creative exercise. Yes, you read it correctly; doing so does not require any prior knowledge of design.
We say this with no intention of dismissing the importance of professional graphic designers’ expertise, hard work, and dedication. Eventually, once your company expands to a certain point, you’ll need to have a logo designed by a professional that’s consistent with the brand’s current image.
However, a do-it-yourself logo can bridge the gap between having few funds and a burning desire to see your idea through. Even at its most complex, a logo is still merely a symbol, a means of identification.
Don’t forget that many logos out there are obviously amateurish and full of rookie mistakes.
To avoid falling into this trap, it’s important to keep in mind that there are tried-and-true methods for creating a logo design that looks and functions as professionally as possible. In fact, that is the article’s main focus.
We need to first identify what makes a good logo. If a logo doesn’t look professional, why bother spending time and money on it?
Table of Contents
Features Of a Great Logo
An efficient and well-designed logo won’t be complicated, but it will be easily recognizable and useful for a variety of purposes.
Let’s take a quick look at both.
Some of the most well-known companies in the world all have rather straightforward logos. Nike and Apple are two companies whose logos are excellent examples of this; they are both simple and highly complicated.
In order to stay relevant and adapt to the changing landscapes for logos, some of the world’s most prestigious corporations have adopted the minimalist logo style. MasterCard, Burger King, Warner Bros., and KIA Motors are just some of the more recent ones.
To learn more here are 4 Reasons Why Minimalism in Logo Design is Such a Hot Trend.
It’s preferable to have a simple logo, as this will increase the likelihood that your target audience will remember it. If your ad appeared on a billboard, how easy would it be for a passing motorist to recognize and remember your company’s logo?
Some Guidelines to Follow?
When developing logos, it’s best to avoid adding unnecessary flourishes or glitz. They’re pretty at first, but they’ll date you quickly and make you less memorable. Try not to get swayed by the latest logo trends. Major corporations are, as we’ve just indicated, streamlining their logos to be more in keeping with modern tastes.
Companies in the modern day must conform their visual identity to the stringent sizing and display requirements of websites and social media in order to reach their online audiences.
Keep the color palette to a minimum; two or three hues is plenty. Keep in mind that a basic logo may still be seen and recognized even when it is extremely small or reproduced in a different medium (this will be discussed in further detail in a later section).
In addition to the practical advantages, a logo that is kept deliberately basic is also far simpler for you (a non-professional) to replicate on design software.
Simply put, a logo is a graphical symbol that represents a specific entity, such as a business or an organization. A logo’s primary function is to stand in for the organization it represents without drawing attention to itself by using the name of the entity it stands for. That’s why it’s important that your logo is special.
Logos that stand out from the crowd are more likely to be remembered. Logos that are too similar to those already in use are simple to forget since they look like a lazy rip-off. Logos with memorable designs are easily retained since they trigger the brain’s visual memory cells.
The difficulty lies in finding a means to make your logo distinct from the millions already in existence. When this occurs, standing out from the crowd becomes less of a challenge.
A logo’s unique traits might include many different things. Ideas can be adapted from well-known companies. Examples of iconic logos include the simple yet effective Nike Swoosh and the quirky but instantly recognizable Twitter bird.
Apple’s bite (or byte, depending on your preference) off — an excellent mnemonic device; FedEx’s clever use of negative space; McDonald’s’ epic golden arches; Coca-iconic Cola’s custom script font; and Batman’s distinctive shape are all examples.
Therefore, play with font, color, and shape. Use negative space and other mnemonic devices where possible.
It is possible to incorporate your own signature, even if it is hand-drawn, into a logo design. The photographic and entertainment industries are particularly prone to this.
As an example, Walt Disney’s first logo (which featured the founder’s signature) has been updated and modernized to stand alongside the company’s current logo as a universally recognized symbol for the company.
Good logos, above all else, are those that are tailored to the audiences that the companies serving. It’s true that a logo’s primary function is to serve as a visual identifier rather than a means of communication, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t convey anything about the brand’s character.
Coloring your design is an excellent technique to accomplish this. Your brand’s personality can be conveyed to your target audience by using the perfect color palette to evoke the appropriate feelings. Brands aiming to attract young consumers might consider using cheerful, upbeat hues that convey feelings of vitality and excitement.
Brown or black would-be good options for a corporation that targets adult males because of their strength and boldness. Pink might be more well-received by a teen girl demographic. No hard and fast rules apply; these are merely suggestions.
The logo’s typography should also be carefully considered. An individual’s unique character can be better defined through the use of fonts, which convey the brand’s voice and core values to the target audience.
Perhaps computer companies would benefit from thinner, sharper fonts, while jewelry and women’s fashion brands would do well with curvier, more feminine typefaces.
Finally, when creating a logo, you should take into account the psychological impact of various shapes. Choosing an appropriate icon for your company’s logo is an essential step in developing a memorable brand identity.
It’s crucial when establishing associations between your brand and the ideals it promotes. The logo’s forms, lines, and angles should be carefully considered.
The best logos are memorable because they have stood the test of time. Although it’s easy to follow the latest design fads and include them into your logos, doing so is ultimately counterproductive.
Logos that are designed in accordance with current fashion may be appealing at the time, but they will need to be updated soon after they are introduced. The objective should be to design a logo that would resonate with its target demographic of when it was created or what era it was inspired by.
McDonald’s and Coke both have successful logos in this aspect; their respective “golden arches” and “iconic word mark” have not changed in decades.
What do these cases teach us? Prioritize high-quality over quantity by ignoring the fluff and ignoring the noise to focus on what really matters. To paraphrase Sagi Haviv: “A brilliant logo is not about what one likes or dislikes. Not all eyes are on you. What matters is efficacy. So, our first order of business is to figure out: what issue is the customer trying to fix? ”
Keep your brand’s key ideas and ideals in mind while you search for the clearest approach to convey them to your target audience. If you want your logo to stand the test of time, simplicity in color palette is key.
Throw out your various palettes and gradients in favor of a more curated and original color scheme.
Since there are so many different file types, logos are able to endure. It’s important that a logo be adaptable in terms of size, color palette, and context. It’s not a good logo if it can only be downloaded in one size, as this severely limits how widely your brand may be disseminated.
If, on the other hand, your logo can be scaled up or down for printing or transferred to a variety of media formats, your brand will reach far more people.
The capacity of a logo to be scaled up or down is crucial in this regard. The best-looking logo in the world won’t do you much good if it can’t be read when shrunk for packaging or stretched for a billboard.
It’s important to consider the format you’ll be saving your logo in to ensure its adaptability. Whereas resizing a typical photograph may cause the image quality to degrade due to pixelation, vector files are made to be resized with no noticeable change in quality.
Sticking to a minimalist aesthetic and straightforward design can give your logo greater adaptability. Don’t clutter it up with too many shapes, lines, details, or hues. Recognize that there will be occasions when space is at a premium, and work to express yourself well while using as little as possible.
Now you know what makes a logo effective.
A lot of information to take in, huh? Then you should probably stick to the golden THREE: easy to remember, not too long, and suitable.
For maximum memorability, a logo should be both simple and unique. Don’t try to say too much or be too flowery; just make sure it’s appropriate for the business, market, and audience.
Logos are a rule of thumb: identification but not communication.
Now that you know what makes a good logo, let’s go over some guidelines to keep you on track.
Process — Steps to Producing an Excellent Logo
A prominent branding strategist and author, Alina Wheeler, states that the logo design process requires inquiry, strategic thought, and creative perfection.
While every logo designer has their own method, most may agree that there are standard practices that are followed by the industry’s best.
This section will guide you through the tried-and-true methods commonly used to design a genuine logo, with the hope that you’ll be motivated to improve the efficacy and efficiency of your own process in the future.
The stages outlined below should be followed by anyone supervising a design process, whether they’re utilizing a logo creator, professional software, or both.
Learning about the company, or “discovery,” is the next step.
The discovery process entails learning about the company, its background, industry, rivals, and target demographic. As a result, we shouldn’t expect to conjure up a logo from thin air by relying only on our aesthetic sensibility, since logo creation is not fine arts.
Because of the specific purpose, a logo provides for a company, it’s important to maintain objectivity during the design process in order to create something fitting for that purpose.
Since we hope to avoid brand redesigns in the near future, we should put out our best effort to create a logo that will stand the test of time.
This branding exercise will help you extract all the relevant facts about the project and provide a foundation for your creative exploration before you put pen to paper or launch your design software.
Keep in mind that your logo should serve as the focal point of all brand messaging. It’s ubiquitous, so you should want to make something that stands out. This is the foundation on which your logo design project will stand.
Perform Your Due Diligence and Study the Market and Your Rivals
Research focuses on delving further into industry analysis, performing visual analysis, and generating conclusions. The information obtained during the discovery phase will be evaluated further to glean insights that will be useful throughout the ideation phase.
Understanding the Context in Which the Logo Will be Used is Essential
To succeed in this area, you must have an understanding of what can work, what is appropriate, and how to set your brand apart from the competition. This is a vital phase since it will guide your future creativity and prevent you from making the rookie error of designing a logo that looks too much like a competitor’s.
Expansion of Thought and Determination of Aesthetic Course in Brainstorming
At this point, you’ll want to start outlining your strategy for coming up with logo concepts, using what you’ve learned from discovery and research thus far. The goal of this activity is to consider all potential avenues of artistic exploration that could help drive the creative process in the proper direction.
Seek out a visual identity that conveys the brand personality you hope to build. Finding an appropriate visual depiction for your logo should be aided by the brand personality, tone of voice, and keyword association exercises implemented in the preceding tasks.
Utilize platforms such as Behance, Dribble, and Pinterest to discover visually stimulating content that could serve as the basis for a compelling art direction.
Making Logo Designs from Scratch with Sketches
You may skip this stage if you’re going to use a low-class premade logos, but it’s still a good idea to have some kind of concept in mind.
The creative juices really start flowing at the sketching stage in logo design. Since you have done the groundwork, your sketches may be evaluated against specific criteria.
Sketching’s purpose is to bridge the gap between conceptualization and materialization. While there are some skilled designers who prefer to start on the computer right away, the vast majority of designers still start with a pen and paper.
Since it is simpler, to begin with, hand drawing, you should do so because it provides a quick glimpse of artistic expression.
The logo could be a memorable symbol or it could be a distinctive typographic logo (also known as a wordmark).
Logo design is a time-consuming process, therefore it’s fine to take a pause and regroup in order to come up with better concepts. You have surely noticed that our most brilliant ideas sometimes strike at the most inopportune moments.
Finally, when you’re doodling logos in your notepads, go for a quick, unstructured style. Nothing too complicated, and don’t get bogged down in just one thought. Discover what else is out there.
You’ve obviously created a ton of awesome logos by now. It’s time to put a few contenders through their paces on the computer.
Pick the Top Logos and Produce a Digital Version
A logo maker program, which attempt to produce AI-automated logo design responses, will be exempt from this again. Even so, these programs let you pick out some aspects of the logo’s style that you may happy with.
If you want a more personalized approach, though, design programs like Illustrator, PhotoShop, Affinity, or something similar can help you digitally realize your sketch.
You Have Complete Control Over the Situation
Evaluate the practicality of each proposed design. There should be no more gray areas around what will and will not work for your project. Don’t be in a hurry; take your time. Play around with the settings until you find the perfect combination of font, size, spacing, and alignment.
Finally, You Have Your Brand New and Exciting Logo!
We’re going to assume this isn’t a client project, as you’re not a professional logo designer. So long as this is the case, we can safely pause. Nonetheless, if you are carrying out this task on behalf of another person, you may require additional steps.
Please include the logo in a presentation spread and have them review it. If it passes, then congrats! Now, save the logo in a variety of file types, colors, and lockups so that it can be used in a wide range of contexts.
With Regards to Computer Programs, Which One do You Find Yourself Using the Most Often?
Traditional graphics programs like Illustrator, PhotoShop, Affinity, and others have a steep learning curve and might not be the best choice if you want to have your logo done quickly. Again, we’re going to assume that you’re completely in the dark about these resources.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a logo design, you can get some inspiration from a large collection of logo templates. You can instantly spice up your original logo design with thousands of free images, icons, and design components from Creative Fabrica’s extensive library of pre-made logos.
Suggestions to Bear in Mind, in Brief:
When designing a logo, the first rule of thumb is to keep things as straightforward as possible. The test of a good logo is whether or whether not it retains its visual appeal when shown in monochrome (black and white, without gray tones).
Make an effort to ensure that it is unique while also being easily recognized, useful, ageless, and adaptable. You’ve hit the logo design jackpot if you can include all of these elements in a single design.
The logo you design is likely to be the result of your process.
Professional designers think that the best way to keep organized during the logo design process is, to begin with, discovery, then go on to research, brainstorm, sketch, and design.
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*TIP – Looking to learn logo design? We recommend the Logo Design Online Masterclass, it will teach you how to plan, design and execute logo designs. The course has also had great feedback from the design community.