How to make a million-dollar logo if you are not a designer

What to do when you want to make an awesome logo for your project, but you are not a designer? For the last ten years I’ve been a designer, that is why I could always make a logo for my own projects by myself. But how to make a great logo if you are not a designer?

Most people apply to a shirttail cousin who supposedly knows how to use Photoshop or just draws well. But I advise you to take the matter in your own hands, even if it’s going to be your first and last logo, it will be as good as Sony or Facebook! You will be proud to place it on your website, and nobody in the internet will be able to guess that you are not a designer.

Here are the two simple rules that I’ve come up with. They will enable you to create your own million-dollar logo by yourself:

1. Start your way to success with a type logo

2. Put a stress on your special style, especially on matching colors

Let’s start from the very beginning. What is a type logo? It means that only a type font part is used in the logo, and there is no symbol. Just like Google:

Why to choose a type logo? And what about the sign? It doesn’t look so great; won’t people laugh at me?

No panic! Using a type logo is like wearing a shirt and a jacket at a business meeting. Of course, you can try to match a sweater and jeans or wear a polo and loafers, but you need an excellent sense of taste, otherwise, you will look like a clown. The same goes to creating a logo — if you don’t have a professional identity designer, it’s better not to overdo it. Just check out these serious guys — all of their logos are based on the same font — Helvetica:

Can this be done only by huge companies which already know everything? I don’t think so — in my opinion, the most important things in logo are its high-quality graphics and general impression. For example, Jeep and Lufthansa have symbols, but their type logo looks solid as well. I believe in this method, and I myself used it beginning my first project. This is the logo we started with, and it didn’t prevent us from receiving our first orders:

How to select the right font? You can go to wordmark.it and write up the name of your project — the website will show it in all the fonts existing on the computer. If you think it is not enough, go to fontfabric.com, you will find a lot of new fonts. What is so wrong with free fonts? Nothing, use them away.

Which font is it better to choose? In this case I also advise you to follow the saying “modesty is the best policy”. Consider all options and try to feel which one represents the spirit and style of your project best of all. Don’t choose irregular job fonts — they stand out compared to others, but they mostly look inappropriate as if you put on Rio carnival feathers to go jogging.

Resist your temptation to use CAPITAL letters for your project name. At first sight they look more accurate than lowercase, just like a solid rectangle. However, it is really harder to read capital letters. If you decide to use only capital letters, make sure to increase the distance between letters — it will help to improve your logo readability, especially if it is in a small format.

I would call your house style as the second important factor for designing a project. I will tell you next time what it is, and how it can help your project to become noticeable and recognizable. The idea is that the logo is not the most important thing, and it won’t give you much just by itself. Whatever marketers may say, nobody has invented a single recipe for a successful logo that will bring you tons of clients just by its appearance.

I’ve described a simple approach that will help you make a solid nice logo and avoid commonplaceness. Of course, to make a high-quality type logo you need a designer, but at the beginning of your project you can skip it — later on you can both play around with fonts and come up with a symbol. If you think the type logo looks poor, and nobody will appreciate it, just take a look at Accenture logo, they invest millions of dollars in their house style:

Good luck with your project designs, don’t forget to subscribe to Logomachine — tons of interesting things are waiting for you there!