A logo design for us takes time and is often something started, left, and then recommenced to ensure we capture all the elements for the customer.
On a side note, if you are starting a new business but don’t have the budget to engage a professional designer; there are plenty of free/cheap logo creator websites or even Fiverr – but just remember, you get what you pay for. If you follow our seven simple steps while using one of these cheaper alternatives, you can’t go wrong through.
Evaluate your Brand
The first and most crucial step to creating a new logo. You really need to evaluate and understand your brand, your goals, and your target market. Let’s face it, there is no one-size-fits-all for logo design, and understanding your own brand is key to successfully moving to step two. A good place to start is to sit down and write out your own design brief (a thing we designers use to make sure we get it right) – You will need to include things like colours, fonts, icons, images, and such; all things which reflect your brand as it stands.
Some questions you should ask yourself -
- Why are you creating a logo? Rebrand? New Business? What problem are you trying to solve with a new logo?
- If your brand were a person, what words would you use to describe it? (Clever, serious etc)
- If your brand were a voice, what would it sound like? (Formal, jokey, funny etc)
- What are your values? What is important to you?
- Do you have a unique value (selling) proposition? If so, what is it? How do you differ from your competitors?
- How do you want people to see or describe your brand?
Of course, you don’t have to do this – but considering your logo is your brand face; it’s a wise idea to have some of the questions above answered. At the end of step one, you should have a well-informed document or notepad full of answers to the questions above.
Research & Ideas
Though I have already mentioned it, I’ll say it again, there is no one-size-fits-all model for logo creation. Every business has different ideas and goals, and you should be no different. Research is extremely important in creating a great logo that reflects your brand. In this step, you will spend your time googling your competitors, images, logos and designs you like. Websites like Pinterest or Shutterstock are great for finding ideas and saving images and designs you like.
We also recommend creating some sort of mood board to lay out all the things you find in the research you conduct. You should be searching for the following things –
- What logos work in your industry? What logos don’t work?
- Are there any techniques overused?
- What techniques aren’t used very much?
- What sort of customers dominate your industry?
Although simple, finding answers to these questions can go a long way with making your logo stand out and be the face of your brand. Also remember, there are no right or wrong answers during research and your focus should be around generating ideas that will help your brand dominate.
Consider the uses
Just like your brand strategy, the digital and physical space that your logo will occupy should also take part in your design choices. If you’re not sure where you will be using your logo, to begin with, it’s a good idea to research where your logo may be used. Things to consider here are the complexity and layout of your logo; will you need to have a condensed and a regular version of your logo?
Let’s face it, if you are going to be using your logo on a large billboard you can afford to have more detailed text; whereas if you’re wanting to use it as a mobile application logo you might have to opt for a smaller, condensed version of your logo which still reflects your brand. One thing we know for sure is that your logo needs to be adaptable as no doubt, down the track you will want to be generating advertising, signs, banners, or even promotional products with your logo.
Another important factor is shapes and how your logo will fit into its surroundings. If we think about a business card, you may want more of a square logo; but a letterhead may want along with a rectangular logo (just a thought.)
Start with Concepts & Sketches
It can be easy to get started and jump straight into your logo design using a proper software or builder – but take my advice on this – start with concepts and sketches. That’s right, get your notepad out and start doodling some ideas and see how they come together. This is the cheapest and most effective way of brainstorming your perfect logo.
No doubt you have a few ideas in your head, so draw them all out and see how they look outside your head. This not only gives you some sort of vision of what your logo could look like, but it also gets your creative juices flowing – and when these start, you will start to notice themes and ideas that you like, and you can mix and match until you get the perfect design.
Once you have settled on your concept with sketching, mix it up a little bit and try different variations and layouts. Try some different icons, or text styles; make it slightly bigger or smaller – All things easy with a sketch pad. Once you’re happy, you can move to step five.
Okay, so you have your sketches mastered – now let’s turn it into a logo using digital vector software. If you’re not sure what this means – it might be time to bring in a professional and give them all the information you have compiled in steps one to four.
If you’re keen on doing it yourself, we prefer to use Adobe Illustrator for all vector work; however, if you don’t know how to use this or don’t want to pay for it you can start with something like Canva online which will give you some similar tools.
Once you have a solid draft, we recommend creating a presentation to showcase your logo. This simply involves presenting a flat logo along with any variations and joining it with your brand assets including images and mock-ups of the logo laid out in the real world. The goal here is to create a vision of what your logo will look like in a real-world setting. When you are happy with the presentation, you can move to step six.
Use feedback & Refine
I’m almost certain you would already know this – you do not need to be a designer to critique design work. Everyone will have an opinion. I’ll also tell you this for free, no matter how perfect you think your new logo design is, chances are that someone will offer some feedback.
Trust me, this is not always a bad thing. Having a second, or even a third eye go over your design will offer you a great deal of satisfaction because there will be ways for you to improve it and make it better suit your brand. When you show others feedback, encourage criticism, and show a large variety of people including people who would be in your target market, co-workers, friends, and family. New ideas will come from the most unlikely sources, and you will be glad for them. Another tip here is not only to wait for verbal feedback; also to gauge people’s reactions including body language and facial expressions when you show your logo – this could give you some good insight about it too.
Getting the feedback is easy – interpreting and acting on it is slightly harder. If you are unsure about something said, follow up and ask more questions to get a better idea. Remember, your logo is meant to represent your brand so make sure the feedback provided will help in doing this.
Finalise & Settle
Wahoo! You are almost there! You have made the changes from the feedback provided and now you are ready to finalise your logo! Great! This is the goal; you are now a few clicks away from publishing your logo.
We recommend ensuring you keep the source vector files safe and save them in a good spot just in case you want to make some edits. You should also include some basic variations including black, full colour, white and monochrome versions to make sure you have all uses covered.
Another tip, if you have used a basic or standard font you should always outline the text when your logo is final. This will stop the font updating from computer to computer and causing issues down the track when you need to send your file to another designer for some work. It’s also a good idea to note the fonts you use for your logo. If you have a brand guide – you should also add in all details about your new logo including text, iconography, layout, spacing, uses, sizing, and so on.
There you have it, seven simple steps to creating an eye-catching logo! We hope you have found this information useful, and if you would like any further details or are looking for a professional designer to get your new logo sorted – reach out and book a free, no-obligation consultation so we can discuss! Happy Drawing.