Logo Design: Tutorial and Resources

Logo Design: Tutorial and Resources


It’s common for us to associate a brand with its logo, rather than the products and services offered. Designing a logo is deemed to be a crucial step for any business, as this can aid in public recognition. These logos can often be found in flyer examples, brochure examples, and any other marketing goods that they produce.

Although the success of a brand does not solely depend on their logo’s design, it still plays a significant role in customer perception. Some logos are merely icons that somehow represent the brand, while others contain words, likely made with a distinctively crafted typeface.

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As a designer, creating an enthralling logo can be quite challenging. You have to make sure your logo is comprised of timeless elements, bearing unique features that’s worth remembering. Additionally, you have to make sure your logo isn’t a knock-off version of an existing one, or you might face some serious backlash from your prospective audience. But doing so would require an extensive study on market standards, as well as constant practice in graphic design.

How to Design a Logo

1. Discover What the Logo Represents

A logo isn’t just a drawing used to establish a brand rather, it’s a symbol that represents what the brand stands for. There are a number of clever logo designs that carry hidden meanings for the public to decipher, these types of logos often build a stronger connection between the organization and its audience as well.

2. Get Acquainted with the Principles of Effective Logo Design

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An effective logo design must possess the following characteristics:

Simple. Simple doesn’t always constitute as boring, as a simple, beautiful design has the ability to captivate without being too over-the-top.

Memorable. An extremely detailed logo design can easily attract attention, but it can also be quite forgettable. Following closely behind the concept of simplicity, a memorable logo design can be attained by making your design meaningful and related to your brand.

Timeless. Just like any other trends in the market, the latest design trends will eventually fade overtime. You must produce a logo that can withstand the test of time, without losing its essence.

Versatile. It’s highly recommendable to design your logo in vector format, so it could be scaled to any size. Your logo must be able to work with any given medium and application as well.

Appropriate. Think of it this way, vibrant colors would work perfectly for a children’s toy store, but not so much with a law firm. Appropriateness coincides with anything from color schemes to font styles.

3. Learn from Success and Mistakes

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The good, the bad, and the ugly.

There’s a long list of popular brands that have gradually altered their business logos overtime, some for the better, a few others for the worst. But there are a handful of brands that still carry their original logo designs, such as Nike, Levi Strauss & Co., and Shell Oil. So, what qualities do these logos share? Simple. They all follow the principles of effective logo design. Remember, try not to get carried away when designing your logo, you might end up with something overbearing. It would also be best to have someone critique your work to gain a second, and hopefully honest, opinion.

4. Formulate a Design Process

Now that we’re familiar with what a logo is, along with the principles involved in a powerful logo design, it’s now time to begin with the step-by-step process. Although this is probably a whole other topic in itself, here’s a brief run through on what should take place:

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Briefing. The only thing that stands between a designer and his client, is the actual plan for the design. Clients often have a vision in mind for what they want their logo to look like, so it’s up to the designer to bring this image to life. In doing so, you must be able to communicate with your client to gain a deeper insight about the brand.

Sketching. A mental picture of a logo can be the exact opposite of what it actually is, so it would be best to sketch out the idea you have in mind first. Remember, the first logo you draft may not be your final choice, as this is where conceptualizing your logo comes to play. While your means of sketching is a matter of personal preference, using a computer to sketch is not advisable as this can cause you a significant amount of time and effort.

Designing. Prepare yourself for a few grueling hours in front of your computer, it’s finally time to get started. Although you must be dedicated to finish your logo design on time, take a few breaks in between to reflect on your output so far. This will allow you to assess every detail of your work, to make sure that you’re contented with even the smallest details. Bear in mind, when dealing with clients, you must be able to present more than one logo design for them to choose from.

5. Explore!

There are various software applications you could use to create your logo design, but Adobe Illustrator serves as the popular, industry-grade software to do so. However, you can’t expect yourself to become a logo designer extraordinaire overnight, as this would require a gradual learning process. To master the art of logo designing, you can start by recreating any existing logo design, and then slowly drafting one of your own from scratch.

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Tips for Logo Designing with Adobe Illustrator

  • Look for a reference. It’s always best to draft your logo alongside an image or artwork for inspiration. It’s not so much as copying another individual’s work, as you are only using it as a guide for sketching.
  • Always keep the client in mind. Remember, you’re creating a project for your client. Bear in mind the elements and features the logo must hold.
  • Experiment. Step out of your comfort zone by experimenting with different geometric shapes, colors, and typefaces. To create a unique logo design, taking a leap of faith can do wonders.
  • Simplicity is key. Gradient colors and well-detailed logos might seem enticing, but flat logos can also do the trick. Try not to go overboard with your design, as simple logos are often the most memorable.
  • Shortcuts save time. This is completely optional, but when you’re running behind schedule, keyboard shortcuts can be your best friend. You can find these shortcuts by hovering your mouse on the given editing tools.

Aside from Illustrator, you can also make use of other vector graphics editors, such as Affinity Design, Inkscape, and Sketch. Regardless of the application you use, an eye for design will always be your best weapon.