How to Design Your Own Logo: A Step-by-Step Guide
There are many things that can act as an extension of your brand: your blog, your social media, your website, the mug you use every day at the office, and of course, your logo.
Your logo is the tool used to identify your business or brand and to convey its message. There are three different types of logos:
Type: A font based logo (like Adidas)
Illustrative: A logo that has an aspect of it that illustrates what it is the company does (Dunkin Donuts)
Graphic Symbol: Purely a graphic that embodies the company (Apple)
With each of these, time is spent figuring out what best represents what the company is trying to convey. So here are some of the basics for getting you from A to B(adass) logo.
1. Make a List of What Your Company Stands For
Do some mind mapping and list-making to hash out what it is exactly your company stands for. What message do you want to send? Who do you want your audience to be? What objects relate to your company or brand? Ask yourself as many questions as you can to have as full of an understanding of your brand.
2. Do Some Recon
This is the part where you get to pretend to be James Bond. Look up logos from people and industries that are similar to you to get some ideas. What types of logos are being used by successful competitors or brands you would like to be affiliated with? This will also ensure that you don’t accidentally knock off anyone else’s logo.
3. Start Sketching
Put that brainstorming to paper. Draw, sketch, and doodle as many ideas as you can. Don’t worry about if they’re stupid or not; keep them all. Make at least 25 so you have a wide variety to choose from.
4. Narrow it Down
Now that you have all your ideas out of your head, circle your top picks. What is jumping out at you? What makes you puke a little? Take a look at the details for your favorites and see if you can blend the best parts from each to create one super logo.
5. Get Into the Details
Draw more detailed versions of your top ideas. Remember, you don’t have to be Michelangelo here, as long as you are able to explain your ideas. Make notes about why you are making certain choices, and put question marks around details you are more unsure about so you can explore more ideas later.
6. Ask for Feedback
Get feedback from your nearest and dearest, especially those who may be part of the demographic you are trying to reach. A fresh pair of eyes can help a lot — it’s always harder to critique yourself than have someone else do it for you.
7. Get Building!
Once you’ve got your logo design just where you want it (or as close as possible), it’s time to make a prototype. There are several ways to do this, so no need to stress if you aren’t Don Draper or a graphic designer.
Use Tools (Free or Otherwise)
Canva — For an easy to use drag and drop design program, check out Canva. They also offer online courses.
Adobe Illustrator — Yes, most of the time anything with the word “Adobe” in front of it can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out your local schools and community centers to see if they offer a weekend course in learning Illustrator or Adobe Creative Suite. Bonus: it looks good on your resume, too. And if cash is tight, you can always get your idea as close as possible and then download the free one-month trial
Hire Someone — There are a lot of people out there who are looking to build their own portfolios. Ask around to see where others got their work done. If there aren’t any aspiring designers in your extended circle, check out Freelancer, an online freelance community, to find your perfect fit.
So there you have it, a few tips and tricks to get you started. Along with Canva, you may want to check out other DIY design websites like Logo Garden, Logo Maker and Logo Makr. And once you have that beautiful logo you’ve been dreaming of, place it ever so lovingly on your website to share with the world.