What is a logo?

A logo is the identity of the brand. It visually communicates the core values, vision and beliefs the brand stands for. It comprises of a combination of symbols and texts and should be easily recognizable. In today’s times, it is essential for brands to have an impactful logo to stand out from the competition. Logo plays a key role for the audience to decide whether the brand is suitable for it or not. While it’s not an easy task to come up with a creative logo overnight, this article briefly explores the step-by-step process of creating a logo for your own business or your client.

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Logo Designing_©Volusion

Get the Brief Right

It is important to create a brief from the beginning of the logo design process and gather as much information from the client as possible. List out the services/ products provided by the brand. Ask the client about their value propositions and competitive advantage, what kind of emotion the brand associates with, what colour suits the brand most and what their competitors’ logos look like. It is beneficial to prepare a questionnaire for the client to get the brief right. At this stage you also need to discuss the timeline and budget with the client to maintain transparency.

Conduct Background Research

Research is as essential as brainstorming ideas for the design. Find out the existing industry trends, opinions, and statistics to delve deeper into brand insights. It can be a good practice to visit the brand’s website or physical stores if any to understand the business from a closer perspective.

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Background Research_©UXNess

Understand the Target Audience

The logo is to attract the target audience. Needless to say, it is important to identify the characteristics of the target audience like age, gender, preferences, demography, occupation, literacy rate etc. Once you have outlined the profile of the target audience, it becomes fairly easy to decide the kind of images, fonts, look and feel of the logo in the upcoming steps.

Gather References

After collecting enough information about the business, it can be handy to look at other logos for reference. It can also be a few ideas that the client has already provided or the ones that align with the client’s needs. This step helps in defining the theme of the logo. If necessary, you can go one step ahead and create a mood board of the references to get a clearer picture.

Create Mind Map for Inspiration

In order to avoid logos which are literally an image of the service or product of the brand, create a mind map of words that are relevant to the brand. Consider Nike’s swoosh logo. In no way it represents sportwear in literal sense. But it symbolizes swift movement which is ideal for any sport that is played. For an effective mind mapping, write down words that identify with the name of the business, its services, goals, ethos and related metaphors. The aim is to get as creative as possible with the words. For example- if it is a fast delivery service, one of the associative words can be a cheetah owing to its speed.

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Brainstorming Ideas on Paper_©Layers Magazine

Always Start With a Pen and Paper!

Once you have the references and inspiration ready, it is time to draw those ideas on paper. Start with rough sketches and develop them into refined designs. It is a good exercise to do multiple iterations with different words and then narrow down to the logos worth developing further.

Original Sketches_©Layers Magazine

Create Digital Versions

Once you have at least three sketches finalized, these can be conceptualized further on a digital medium. Adobe Illustrator is the industry-relevant software for this. Most of the time, the logos are kept basic so that they are legible even when they are scaled down to mobile icon size. 

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Experimentation results in Illustrator_©Layers Magazine

Explore With Black and White

While you are working on the digital logo, start with black monoline without any splash of colour as it can either make or break a good design. This will enable you to look beyond colour and put more emphasis on the message that needs to be conveyed through the logo.

Add Finishing Touches

Once you are satisfied with the main design, you can add finishing touches like colour or gradients. One-colour logos are quite a trend because of their versatility. For example- the Coca-Cola logo can be used on cans with various coloured backgrounds. This helps Coca-Cola to launch new flavours without spending extra money on redesigning the logo for each flavour.

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Versatile Logo Design_©Jay Moye

Don’t Forget Digital Mockups

At last, while presenting to the client, always create digital mockups so that it is easy to grasp how the logo will look in the real world. These logos can be designed on t-shirts, coffee mugs, packaging cartons or stationery. Freepik.com website is full of such impressive mockups which can be downloaded and edited for free.

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Mockup of Bottle_ ©Layers Magazine
References:

Creative Bloq, 2014. Get started with logo design: 10-step guide. [Online]
Available at: https://www.creativebloq.com/logo-design/get-started-7112864 [Accessed 22 October 2022].

French, K., 2022. How to Design a Logo in 10 Steps (With Less Stress). [Online]
Available at: https://www.columnfivemedia.com/how-to-design-a-logo/ [Accessed 22 October 2022].

Gesch, A., 2022. How to design a logo: the ultimate guide. [Online]
Available at: https://99designs.co.uk/blog/logo-branding/how-to-design-logo/ [Accessed 22 October 2022].

Inkbot Design, 2021. Professional Logo Design Process From Start To Finish. [Online]
Available at: https://inkbotdesign.com/logo-design-process/ [Accessed 22 October 2022].

Author

Shreya is an enthusiastic interior designer. Bringing a positive change in the society through meticulous research and design is her ultimate goal. She is always on the lookout for broadening her design perspective through experiencing and reading with a keen interest in sustainable design methods.

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