Where to Start with Designing Logos
We are coming to the end of Personal Branding month, so it's time to work on logos! Wanna know the number #1 rule with logos? SIMPLICITY. So, I too am gonna keep this simple.
HOW I START THE LOGO PROCESS:
I'll have a browse on sites such as Pinterest, Design Inspiration and Behance all while thinking about what style I love. What stands out to me? I love simple and obscure logos - the ones with hidden meaning and cleverness, such as my logo! Or, I think 'wordplay' always stand such as the below... The ones that make your head tilt and go 'oh yeah' but in a simple way.
When I say I can't draw, I really can't! But it's a key step to the process. Step away from all screens, leave your phone in the other room and grab some dotted/graph paper and a retractable pencil. Loosen up and let your imagination run free! Honestly, the best designs are made when you make 'mistakes', computers can sometimes make things rigid and there are so many different tools in Illustrator, it can be very distraction/overwhelming - opt for hand-drawn!
TOP TIP: Dotted or graph paper is a professional way to start sketching. It helps you with form and when you digitalise your sketches it makes it easier to follow.
Once I feel like I have a few strong designs I will head over to Illustrator and start digitalising my sketches. You can do it by eye or you can scan in your sketches and use the Illustrator Live Trace tool — or literally trace over your sketch in Illustrator with the pen tool. You can easily do this by scanning in your sketch, dropping your opacity and going over it with the pen tool.
LOGO TOP TIPS:
- When you start to design your logo, ALWAYS start the initial 'sketching/exploration' process in black and white. You can get super blindsided and distracted with colours, prints and patterns. A good logo is one that still looks powerful when you remove all the 'fluff'.
- Always design in Adobe Illustrator, never Photoshop. Photoshop works with pixels (image-based) and Illustrator works with vectors (scalable). This article here explains it super clearly.
- Test your logo on digital and printed assets — and at multiple sizes. Your logo needs to work both on a tiny icon and a billboard.
- When designing your full logo it's great to have a 'logo mark' that you can use for smaller assets such as an icon. For example, when people cut their full name down to their initials or an icon such as this:
- When designing, think about what visually and symbolically represents you. If you were an icon or illustration — what would you be? As you can see in the video my logo is the Adobe symbol — why? Because my trade is graphic design, so that makes sense. FYI Features writer, Ellie, may have a typewriter stamp of 'E' as her logo — you see?
- There has to be a rationale behind your design decision — why that shape? Why that icon? Why that illustration? Even if you simply have 3 bold letters, that's amazing. But why? It means you are bold, simple, timeless and not one to mess around. Niceeee. The FYI Logo is 3 simple letters, why? To make a simple, uncomplicated, powerful impact.
- If you are not hugely proficient in Adobe, sites such as Canva do logo templates, however, I would stay away from these unless you are gonna really add your personal twist — you are not a cookie-cutter honey!
NOT PROFICIENT ON ADOBE?
- Ask a friend or drop a comment in the FYI FB Group — skill swapping is pretty powerful or you can offer £££ if you want it to be more transactional.
- Hire a freelancer via Fiverr or Upwork etc. Even if you have a £30 budget (a needed investment) you can great results!
- Ask your network — ask if anyone can help you design a logo in your Insta stories, post on FB or ask in your Uni FB Groups.
WANT TO GET SOMEONE ELSE TO DESIGN?
If you are asking someone else to help you, PLEASE ensure you go to them with some idea of what you want. Your logo needs to be a genuine extension of YOU and a stranger isn't going to be able to read your mind! Go with ideas, some references or a Pinterest board. But make sure you do all of the PB steps to ensure it is a collection of references that reflect YOU and not just other people's logos.
TOP TIP: The more direction and ideas you have for a designer — the cheaper it will be. If they have to come up with ideas that = £££
There has to be a rationale behind your design decisions. For example, you may fall in love with the reference below, but how can you make it more YOU?
When I first saw the above reference it looked like it was embroidered patch... So, if you were a fashion or textile student/grad and you asked a freelancer to make a design like this but to look like thread/embroidered — this would be perfectly rational right? Fashion = thread. Take this reference to a freelancer and say I want you to design something like this, but I want it to look embroidered and I want this green colour pallet.
I MADE YOU A PINTEREST BOARD...
Check out this Pinterest board with my fave logos for inspo! These designs are ones that you could achieve easily too — but remember they have to show your personality! Use them as a source of inspiration and a starting point. How can you inject YOU into what you see?
Did this help Honey?
If not, just post your question in the FACEBOOK GROUP and we will answer it within 24 hours. Better yet — you may even get other members responding with their prime knowledge!