Logo design without a doubt is one of the most in demand area in Graphic Design. In our most recent video Martin explores 10 awesome tips to improve your logo design process. You can watch the full video below which includes both software and theory skills to get stuck into.
This blog will give you an easy to follow process to logo design that you can implement when it comes to working on a project may it be for self, client work or a live-like brief in the Pro Member subscription. As with everything creative, there is no one-fit-for-all design process. Don't think of this as a rigid structure you have to follow but as a starting point to creating your own way, that works the best for you to create killer logos.
It's essential to make sure you fully understand what the brief/client is asking from you as a Graphic Designer. Find out what deliverables are required, where will the logo design be used, a good idea of the deadline and what file formats the client would like to receive i.e Ai,jpg,png.
You also need to have a good understanding of who you are creating the work for. Learn about the business, who their customers are and their goals for the future. This is essential because the logo design you create needs to appeal directly to your client's target audience. Remember they will be the ones investing in the brand.
Below are some examples of contemporary logos I found on Pinterest which appeal to the right target audience. On the left Wild Bramble uses a rounded and relaxed typeface and organic style of illustration, these traits echo the nature of the business. The added details within the pigs silhouette give the design plenty of personality and a friendly feel. All of this paired with the natural feeling colours means this design is perfect for the type of audience who would want to visit a farm. What audience do you think the business on the right is aimed at?
Now you have an idea of the deliverables, timeline, who you are making the work for and what it needs to achieve you can start to research. Make sure you don't just look at one style or direction for the design. Look at plenty of references and gather them all in one place by creating a mood board either in Adobe Illustrator or on a site like Pinterest.
Here's some handy examples of different ways you can set up a mood-board. I always like to keep it to one page and choose between 5-10 images max but different Graphic Designers have different preferences. Find what works for you!
Here's a few places I like to go to for research: Type Topia, Good Type, Logo Bloom. However don't limit yourself look at the small details in poster & on packaging design. Or check out some old-style sign painting you can find inspiration all over the place.
Logo Ideation and Sketching
Once you have carried out plenty of research and gathered it into a mood board format it's time to start sketching out your ideas.
This stage is a bit tricky and incredibly rewarding. When you start to sketch think about the audience you are creating the work for, what service the business provides and if there is any imagery related to that service. I bet a whole host of items pop up when you think about a Farmers Market?
Just draw as much as you can. Look at how the illustration and typography could fit together. Don't expect to solve the brief right away, but rather allow your mind to create freely and see where your creativity takes you.
Martin creates some brilliant sketches in the video tutorial, watch to learn more about his process and the concepts behind the initial sketches. You can also watch as he creates each of these examples digitally in Adobe Illustrator.
Create the Logo in Adobe Illustrator
Once you have a set of promising options it's time to switch to Adobe Illustrator. There are plenty of different ways to create your sketches digitally. Martin sketches using Procreate sends a JPG to his Mac and brings it into Ai. This is very common method that a lot of designers use. It allows you to trace over the top of the shapes with the Pen Tool, Shape Tools or even the Pencil or Paint Brush options.
The tools you use will affect the final look and feel of the logo. For example, if you want the logo to look more modern and refined, than the Pen and Shape Tools are great. But if you are looking for something which feels more hand-drawn try out the paintbrush tool using a Wacom or the iPad version of Illustrator. The paths you create are live so you can always go in and adjust anchor points if you go wrong.
If you feel like something is not working then put down the mouse and go back to the sketching stage, this is normal and happens a lot. Logo design takes time, here's a few examples from Martins tutorial.
Feedback from a peer
I recommend you ask a fellow creative for some constructive feedback on your design. This practice opens up new ideas you may not have considered or reveals a fault in the design which you can then amend. Either way, it almost always leads to better quality work even if it's a little intimidating to ask initially!
Present the Work
Usually, it's good practice to create three different initial logo options for the client. Once you feel confident you have three designs that fulfill the brief it is time to put them into a presentation that can be sent to the client.
The quality of the presentation is really important. I would display each option in black and white, then in your suggested colour palette and finally on a PSD mockup. Include a few notes on why you have put each option forward so the client understands your thinking. Don't forget to create front and back covers that include all your contact info.
I found this project over on Behance and think it's a great example of how to display a logo professionally. A client can see it works at small sizes and on packaging. You can also see the different colours the logo looks good in which makes it flexible to use.
Delivering the Logo Design Project
Your job is not done until the client has all the right files for their new logo design. Make sure it's easy to upload to Social Media, on the Web and ready to be used in Print. Always clearly label your files so they are easy to navigate and if you have time include a few freebies. For example, some social media graphics to launch the new logo.
This is a nice way to end the project and usually encourages repeat work!
Remember! Don't rush yourself! The first sketches don't need to solve the brief. Take you time and enjoy the process!
In the mood to learn a little more? I recommend you to continue with our article on How to Create a Brand Style Guide!
If you want to step up your game as a Creative Professional, you can challenge yourself in our Pro Membership with individual and group project briefs - like Logo Design - and get feedback on your work. You will also have access on our entire course library to hone your skills. See the details here:
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