Using a Grid-system in Logo Design

In this story, I’d like to explain why and how I use a grid-system in each of my logos projects. When I started to design my first logos, I always began with a simple sketch with a pencil or pen. Then scanned or photograph it and traced objects within my Adobe Illustrator. I always thought this was the only way on doing this. But over time, I found out different ways to do this. There might still be ways to do this differently, easier, etc. but this is my process in how I like to make these first steps in logo concepts and explorations.

I believe ‘Logo Grid Systems’ are a must if you’re into logo design. Although not all grids you can trust 100% optically, so it’s sometimes needed to change parts by eye too. It has to look good too!

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A-team logo concept by Jeroen van Eerden.
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ZEN identity design by Jeroen van Eerden

ZEN IDENTITY DESIGN
Recently I made a design named ZEN and uploaded it on my portfolio because it went unused. I felt the concept really worked in this specific design and I decided to capture a short video l on how this design could be made technically. Note: this is a “how It can be done within Adobe Illustrator video”. Pretty fast and rough, but just to make clear how I use my grids in this program.

ZEN identity design — Grid System by Jeroen van Eerden
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Fishtanq — Logo Design by Jeroen van Eerden

In the above video, I focused only on how I made the logo as a final vector. When I want to add typography to my icon design, there are other elements I need to think of. Here is an example of a recent project, where I also calculated what the sizes need to be in order to keep things balanced. As you can see in the size of the icon, there is a negative space that I used as the top size of my lettering.

I like to work with all sorts of geometric shapes (I might have a small obsession). It helps me in finding the perfect balance of an simple but unique looking visual. For me, It’s an ongoing mission to succeed in having my marks as balanced as possible, not only in the grid, but also on the eyes.

Sometimes a grid can even be giving too many boundaries to be creative and playful in. In the next example you can see this same technique used differently. Most of my designs are based on a simple grid because I think It’s important to don’t overdo a logo. It needs to be understandable in smaller sizes as well, so make it scalable to fit in small and large sizes.

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Fisheye Media — Logo Design by Jeroen van Eerden

Swipe Ventures
In one of my recent projects, founder and CEO of Tinder Sean Rad asked me to create an identity for their new side-project called Swipe Ventures. This design was created 100% in grid system within Adobe Illustrator. Check out some of the exclusive details on this project here. Especially the ‘optical illusion’ the S mark is creating makes this design worth a look.

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Swipe Ventures — Logo design by Jeroen van Eerden

On each logo project I spend only 20% sketching on paper and the other 80% I do directly in Adobe Illustrator. Because I know how to controll each tool, It’s get easier to create a more complex design starting from a grid.

I believe that these grid systems are a good starting point to create balanced shapes in making identity works. In the next examples I’d like to share some other bastic techniques I use in almost every project.

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INTUO Logo Construction by Jeroen van Eerden
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Lily Logo Grid Construction by Jeroen van Eerden
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NorthMech Logo Design Grid Construction by Jeroen van Eerden
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Hubstaff Logo Re-design Grid Constructions by Jeroen van Eerden
Monogram Design — Tutorial about how to make this while using a grid in Adobe Illustrator by Jeroen van Eerden

I hope these examples gave you a nice insight on how I like to work and what a simple construction gives your logo designs. Keep in mind that good logo design is all in the details. I prefer my Logos to be simple, attractive and sometimes with the power to tell a story you somehow need to discover. So make a concept that is worth looking at and don’t feel too generic (which isn’t easy).

Please give this post a if you liked it. If there are questions please let me know in comments below and start a conversation with me.

Jeroen.

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