How to Design a Logo: The Ultimate Guide

How to Design a Logo: The Ultimate Guide

That time has come in your business to start cementing a visual brand. You need to begin the journey of your visual footprint and generate the leads to help you grow. It’s time to learn how to design a logo.

Why You Need To Know How To Design a Logo

Every visual aspect of your brand will need your logo in it. For example, business cards, letterheads, reports, proposals, advertising and much more. Having a logo is a necessity for a business of any size. Even your home-based freelance business can benefit from a logo. 

It's still important for someone who's a non-designer to know how to design a logo, especially when budgets are tight and you're starting a new business or rebrand.

The main purpose of a logo that represents your brand is to have a visual tie to your digital and physical footprint on the world. It’s a way for people to recognize you in any instance your business is involved in.

Designing a successful and memorable logo involves a process which progresses through various stages.

This article will reveal exactly how top logo designers of today’s modern age create their logos.

Step 1: Create Design brief- Exploring all the “W”s.

Its all about getting the right amount of details and having a clear understanding of brand and the company is the most important factor when starting a new logo design.

Conduct a questionnaire or interview with the client to get the design brief by exploring all the “whats” about the brand and company.

This will help you and your clients become more on the same page. While creating your questionnaire keep following 3 things as your primary goal.

1.1 Client discovery

A great logo is an expression of the company values, culture and people. Think of it as an employee and represent the company in the best possible way. What would he look like? How would he feel like?

You need to get answers to such questions from the questionnaire conduct.

That’s why professionals logo design projects emphasis on some good, quality conversations with the client. They aim to learn as much as possible about the company culture, values and the way they do business, and then inject that message when they design a logo.

1.2 Industry & Customer discovery

Once you get to know the client, you’ll need to find out more about:

Who is the logo for (the audience)?

Who you’re up against (the competition)?

Knowing the audience will give you some clues as to where you need to take the logo, style wise. For example, if you’re working for an elderly market, you’ll probably need something mainstream, soft, simple and gentle.

That’s why you need to ask the client as much as information about the customers they are catering to. The more you know about the target audience, the easier it will be to create a logo, to fall in love with.

The second, and the most important part of this process is researching about your client’s competition. You need to see who else is there in the market and how their logos look, so you avoid doing something similar, or identical. As the your logo has to set the client apart from everybody else in the market, so take the list of all key competitors you need to consider from your client

3. Application discovery

This phase is about exploring one simple thing: how and where will the logo be used most of the time? Different usage of the logo is typically referred to as “logo application.”

This is really essential for the logo design process because it tells the designer what can and cannot be done from a design point of view.

Airline companies need their logos visible on tail fins — an important thing to consider before jumping to the design stage.

Another example are web-based companies, who do most of their business from Mobile Apps. In this case, designers might decide to use full RGB spectrum for the logo also needs one icon representation which can be used as App icon. On the other hand, this would be a very bad choice for a company who does business offline and has to print a lot of stuff.

For all such reasons, always consider, where their logo will be used, so you don’t waste time on ideas that cannot be executed.

By completing this step, you’ll create a logo that wont loos like a stranger to your client and stakeholders in the company.

Questionnaire should include questions such as,

What product or service does your business offer?

Who is your target audience and who is your most ideal customer?

where they live, what they buy, how they dress.

Who are your competitors and how do you differ from them?

What was the idea behind the business name?

What keywords should best describe your brand?

What type of logos typically appeal to you?

What are the company’s existing design style guides (company colors, typefaces, etc.), if any? and more

Step 2: Research

This is research not into the clients business, but into the actual logo style.

This is where you seek out a look, a style, an approach or attitude, usually to attain a style that you are unfamiliar with. Look at emerging trends in the marketplace, review the logos of your client’s competitors.

For example, let’s look at the classic Nike Swoosh (above). This logo was created by Caroline Davidson in 1971 and it’s a great example of a strong, memorable logo, being effective without colour and easily scalable.

Not only is it simple, fluid and fast but it also has related symbolism; it represents the wing in the famous statue of the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, which is a perfect figure for a sporting apparel business. Nike is just one of many great logos, but think about other famous brands that you know and check out their logos — what makes them successful?

Step 3: Sketch to build Concepts

Once you have done your research, you can get on to the fun part of the logo design process. Developing the logo concepts is where creativity comes into play.Let your ideas run free and get them down on paper. Come up with thousands of concepts, because — the only way to separate the good from the bad is to have a lot of options to pick from.

Is this sounds hard? as it may sound, this really isn’t that lengthy of a process. Sketching a logo with a pen and paper takes less than a minute; with all the thinking in between, you can easily sketch 10 in under an hour.

Never get fooled by thinking your first ideas are your best.

Sketch, then sketch some more, so you can really separate the wheat from the chaff.

That’s how professionals do it.

Step 4: Feedback and Review

Step back from your work, take a break, and look at it later or even the next day. It is so easy to get tired of a project and this is why logo designers take breaks.

By resting, your ideas mature and develop in the back of your head. When you go back to your project, you have renewed enthusiasm, insight and opportunity.

If you have come up with a lot of logo design concepts, focus on the stronger ones and discard the weak ones. Now is a great time to get feedback from colleagues and other designers, and possibly even from your client.

TIPS: Don’t take critiques personally. Be open-minded to the opinions of others and experiment with the suggested changes

Step 5: Digital implementation

After you’re done with the feedback in sketching process, pick 5–7 of your best ideas and

create some initial designs in Illustrator or other vector based apps, so that they are easily scalable and retain consistent clarity.

In the early stages of the process, do not add color until you have decided on a couple of ideas that you feel are successful or the client would like to see more of. This allows you to focus more on the mark itself — a good logo should work well in both black, white and color.

Step 6: Presentation

Once the Digitalisation of few concepts are done with their colour variants, it’s time for a formal presentation to your client.

You can choose whether to show the client a huge variety of logo design concepts (if it is hard to gauge a clients taste) OR present only the best 1 or 2 concepts.

Hopefully, they will love the logo concepts you present to them but, as a professional, it’s up to you to take on board any comments they might have and resolve any issues if need be through a design revision process.

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