How to Design a Logo – Pt1: Branding
Many people want to know how to design a logo from start to finish. Let me address first, that logo design is not something that should be taken lightly and doesn’t come cheap. Not everyone can be as fortunate as Nike and get an effective logo for only $35. In fact, designing a highly effective logo takes expertise in many fields including advertising, marketing, and design.
This post is intended to help young and ambitious designers with resources to research, conceptualize, and design a logo. If you’re a business looking to hire a logo designer, you can hire me through my graphic design company, which offers full company branding as well as internet marketing and advertising.
Identify and Brainstorm
Before getting into the concept stage of logo design, you must first identify who your client is, what branding (if any) they have, and what demographic their business is targeting. These are all going to be crucial to the design and development of a logo.
To get started with the tools you’ll need to design, you need to identify the colors, fonts, icons, and images that will best represent the client. If they have a brand already you won’t have much difficulty doing this. However, if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to do some research just to setup your workspace in photoshop or illustrator.
Start with a color scheme and browse around for a while on colourlovers.com and ask yourself while you browse what is the demographic the client is targeting? I usually go by age, sex, and location to get started.
Then look at demographic by location to determine an even narrower selection of colors, often times you have to think backwards of what society has taught you, and stereotype people. Cultures can be very different and have different trends and styles that are attractive. Compare Japan to the US for example, and you’ll see a huge difference in color preference and design.
Next identify iconography. This is actually easiest to do with finding words that relate to the client. For example, pretend Nike needed a brand and the “swoosh” didn’t exist. In this phase I would identify words that relate to their business to use as a base for iconography:
Words Relating to the Company Name and Services:
- Running / Movement / Fast / Motion
- Sports / Tennis / Soccer / Football / Basketball / Baseball / Hockey
- Greek Gods / Victory / Active / Fast / Strength
- Shoes / Shirts / Apparel / Equipment
Finally identify font. Typography for a business is almost as important or sometimes IS the logo design. Occasionally this phase comes AFTER the logo design, but if it’s easy to identify in the beginning then do so.
Check back in to read the next part of the series How to Design a Logo, which will cover the actual Logo Design. For more reading on logo design, check out How to design a logo by Jacob Cass.