Help! How do I design a logo?

From the first step to the perfect logo. In this quick guide I show you what you need to pay attention to.

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So, you want to create a logo? You may think, that a logo is easy to create, because it looks simpel. Keeping something simpel, outstanding and memorable is actually the difficult part and the logo plays a very important role for your project.

Let me show you some easy ways to design a logo.
Note that you can apply the principles to other designs too.

First step: Brainstorm a bit

O.k. Let’s make it easy. Grab some papers and a pen and meet with your friends. If you don’t want to it’s fine too.
Within 10 to 15 minutes write down and draw everything on the paper, that comes into your mind which could fit to your personal use of a logo.
If you have your friends with you, you then can exchange the papers, pick certain ideas and develop them. Repeat as often as you like. I recommend one round, but it depends on you.

Now you want to focus on one idea and develop the idea into a design. Still try to stay on the paper and draw as many variations as you can and pick the best. If you want to simulate typography and you know you want to pick a font later draw this part as some strokes and focus on the image part.

When it comes to pick a design idea, you can have one to an unknown number of sessions. Yes, at some point, you want to have results, therefore you pick the best draft.

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Second step: Digitalize it with a vector program

The logo should be available as a vector file. Don’t create a pixelated file. This will prevent you from being able to resize the logo from very small to very big. Speaking in technical terms: Resizing a pixelated file will compare nearest neighbor pixels which causes it to loose information. Since logos are used in various ways you will need vector information. Lines and curves connected from one point to another.

If you take Adobe Illustrator do the following:

If your drawings contain a very nice image that you want to recreate digitally take a picture of it or scan it. Place it into Illustrator. Create a new layer and grab the pen tool. Place and grab anchor points on the image and slowly create the curve information.

Once you are done with it you can choose a color and the typography.

Third step: Typography

Only a few logos work well as only-image logo. Apple, Windows, Medium, etc. are all strong brands that have the privilege to be so known that this works. All other logos I recommend adding typography to the image part.

There are two different types of typography related to logos: Typography that is created only for the logo and typography that exists as a font on your operating system — Or you download it from somewhere. The difference is made because a logo is supposed to be unique. Therefore unique typography has its extra meaning. But it is good and not wrong to use a normal font as a logo or as a part of a logo. Google for example has such a logo.

Fourth Step: Arrangement

If you many parts in your logo play around with them. The question is where to place them in relation to each other and what size they should have.

Fifth step: Spaces

Space plays a very important role. Objects that are close to each other relate to each other more than other objects. Objects that create an invisible alignment, because they are aligned in a certain way to each other also relate to each other. Use the space within the logo as well. Play around with it.

Define the spaces between the object of your logo.

Also use and define a space around the logo. Define the space between the logo and another random object which can also be the left and the top side of a page.

Sixth step: Color definitions

Define your colors of your logo. It should at least work in the color space CMYK (print) and RGB (digital), for print you can also use a full tone color like PANTONE. If you want to be save for web, define hexa 
decimal colors, as well (#ffffff is white). In Photoshop it should be easy to read them out by selecting the color picker and open the color palette.

Blue is to obvious, pink is to cliché, but there may be an idea coming from that greyscale version…

Define those colors in an extra document, available for everybody who creates something for you: design, development, marketing, etc.

When it comes to logos, you should stick to simplicity. So be careful when adding to many colors. You are completely save with one or two colors. It should have its meaning if you want to add more. Give it a reason. You still can play around with so-called neutral colors, the grey tones from black to white.

Create a black and an “inverse” (white) version of your logo. It should work in black and white, because this has its usages. You use the black version for example for daily printed communication and faxes, as well as the curve information for special designs on business cards and material prints. The white logo is used if you need to place your logo onto a very dark background.

Awesome!

You have created your own logo. Keep practicing. The more you exercise, the easier it gets. The logo is the first step to create a corporate identity and a corporate design.

Need some more help?

Just comment what you like to read about. Do you need more knowledge about typography, iconography or color theory? Whatever you feel like, just let me know.