Logo design is not something for the faint-hearted. There’s a reason why the top graphic designers around the world charge what they do, as you’re paying not only for their talent but their experience, software and all sorts of other things. However, it’s not impossible to have a go at it yourself as a beginner, even if the results might benefit from input from a more professional contributor before long.
Nevertheless, if you need a logo right now, and don’t have the time, money or inclination to hire a professional – delete as applicable – we’re on hand with some great ways to bring something to life, even if you don’t end up building your entire brand around what you come up with.
1. Start with Inspiration
If you’re not a designer by trade, you might never have had to search the world around you for things to use as inspiration in your creative efforts. However, unless you have all the time in the world, you need to have something in mind in terms of how you want the finished logo to look before you start work on it. You’ll have encountered tips here on the site where we’ve spoken on setting a goal and working towards it in stages, and that applies just as much to the creative process as anything else.
You can browse the internet, read books, check out the competition or do just about anything else that comes to mind in your pursuit of inspiration. From there, you can visualise how you’d like your logo to look and get to work on making it happen.
2. Attempt to Educate Yourself on Logos
As you may have heard already, there’s more to a great logo than a pretty picture. Most of them have inherent meaning – the logos of the likes of Nike and Amazon are prime examples of this. A lot goes into the design of the ideal logo, hence the prices that designers charge. The more you know about the theory behind a design, the more creative options you have to bring your plans to life.
3. Think of a Creative Process that Works for You
What works for one person might not work for another, especially if you’re relatively new and inexperienced in the world of graphic design. One example would be to create a design brief like you were a client, then research what fits the bill. From there, you can set about making the logo happen while familiarising yourself with the process going forward.
4. Consider the Audience
If you’ve reached a point where you need a logo, the chances are that you’ve already considered which eyeballs you want on your website, products or services. There’s no harm in tailoring your attempts at logo design to this audience just as you would in anything else. While only general examples, you wouldn’t use a cartoon character to represent an investment company, and you wouldn’t want an old-fashioned font to represent your tech company.
While this step is not essential, it can be highly beneficial as it will guide towards an end goal in a way that some other tips might not.
5. Take Your Time
You might feel like you need a logo right now and without delay, but it’s often better to give yourself some leeway than to put together something that isn’t up to scratch. One thing that many people forget is that while they could change their logo in the future, they might lose some of their brand value in the process. If you make apps, a change in the logo might see people deleting it when they don’t recognise it. If you operate on social media, changing your logo can make you come across differently to followers and they might well unfollow you.
So, while you’re in a rush, you should still take your time and try to come up with something that will last a while.
6. Keep All Your Ideas – Even When You’ve Finished the Design
You might find that you have a passion and talent for logo design that you’d never explored before. You might not get your logo quite right and fail to include some elements that you’re actually quite fond of. There are plenty of reasons to keep hold of ideas, so don’t throw out your sketchbook even when your finished design goes live.
7. Remember the Internet Can Help
You’ve already turned to the internet for assistance once in arriving at this feature, so don’t forget that it can also be massively useful to you in the design process. If you’re short on ideas, you can type words associated with your business into Google Images. If you can’t get a part of the design quite right, you can seek out assistance on forums. If you take pride in your work, it doesn’t make the end result any less yours if you receive some help.
8. Use the Right Software
Most professional logo designers use something along the lines of Adobe Illustrator to achieve their best results. There’s no question that it’s the best software around for this purpose, but it doesn’t come cheap. If this is the only logo you’ll make for a while, we’d suggest a cheaper option. Something like Canva can get the job done, and for free at that. Of course, your design won’t be completely unique, and your options are limited, but it can get the job done.
9. Express Yourself if You Have too many Ideas
Once you indulge in the creative process and the ideas start to flow, you might find yourself having too many to handle. You should sketch out as much as you can, and write things down where necessary. Then, when the time comes for a final design, use a system to organise them so that they flow into the finished idea.
10. Never Forget the Purpose of Your Logo
How and where you use your logo is entirely up to you. However, you need to consider where it will be used and adapt accordingly. If it’s going on billboards, it needs to be recognisable from a distance. If it’s to appear on social media, it needs to be memorable. If it’s for a business, it needs a certain degree of professionalism or relevance.