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How to make a logo

14 May 2019

Designing a logo can be a tricky audial, luckily we’re here to help!

Logo ideation

1. What do you stand for?

To create your logo you need to evaluate what it is that your business stands for. For example, if you’re a honey producer then there is no good having the same ethos that a clothing brand would have as your business/hobby is very different.

This is a very simple step to start on when thinking about a logo as it helps define boundaries before your imagination can go wild!

2. Get inspired

A brilliant way for anyone starting off is to look around at other companies, look for those market leaders or similar smaller businesses that are already in your chosen market. If you’re making candle then look at what others are doing and you’ll see that a typical theme will occur which orientates itself around elegance and prestige. Whereas sports brands will tend to lean towards sharp and bold colours as-well-as simple shapes (Look at Nike and Adidas for examples).

It may seem hard at first but just jotting down what you like or creating a mood board (a lot of professionals use this method of ideation) will certainly help you on your way. Use Pinterest, Instagram, Image search, ETSY, etc. What some famous designers like Philippe Starck will have a mood board, rip it apart, glue it randomly back together and look at it upside-down. This is where creative methods and thinking outside the box comes into its zone.

3. Choose a design style

A good logo will be recognised even without your product being there as it’ll speak for the type of product it represents. Nailing this next step will progress your logo creation much faster than if you were to just guess.

You could choose a Classic, Retro or Vintage, Modern and Minimalist logo, the list goes on for the endless variations that can occur when scrolling through Google Images. Referring back to ‘Point 2’ where you need to do your research. It may seem to be good to vary from the norm but there’s a reason that brands and other businesses keep to the same theme and consistency that others follow within their market. Each of these design styles has specific feeling that subconsciously come with their style. Handmade aesthetics will get a sense of care as Fun and Quirky logos will gravitate a younger audience to your brand.

Taking Yankee Candle as a good example of a candle brand; they’ve chosen a classic design route with just using their name; the same design elements as other market competitors.

Using Timberland, a clothing brand as another example, where they’ve gone for a Retro style (which is the style of brands started in the mid 1900’s) that primarily utilizes an icon which uses basic shapes making it easy to distinguish against other competitors.

Logo ideation

4. Choose the right type of logo

Now you’ve chosen a style it’s time to move onto the meat of the designing process… what do you want to show? Are you leaning more towards an emblem or feeling classic with Slab Serif text? This is where the prior steps really help; understanding your ethos; core business; researching and mood board creation, all these steps will make this next one easy.

Parks Candles have used the design tactic of creating a logo that also has an icon with it. Therefore, able to use both interchanging the whole logo for just the icon. This is a very popular decision for a lot of brands. Avery’s own logo can be seen at times just using the red square as it’s a copyrighted feature of our logo (essentially meaning no one else can create a logo with the same colour, shape, orientation and size).

Icon based logos:

Don’t go overboard with this, the simpler the better (take McDonalds – it’s more recognised than some religious symbols!). Confine yourself, can it be scaled up and down, can it be recognised from a distance? Challenge all of your decisions until you can’t challenge it anymore.

Text based logos:

Names are great, having a strong name as your brand will more-than-often be good enough! It’s great having the name now choosing the font is the next challenge (remember your target audience and market when choosing this). Younger the audience more modern or playful the font, older audiences will tend to prefer traditional font types. NEVER USE COMIC SANS!

Text & Icon based logos:

Like Nike, Adidas and many more they will use a design that is recognised with both element or individually. More typical for manufactures and brands to follow this style as it offers a wider range of flexibility and usability for that logo – like the example of Parks Candles.

When designing your logo it’s advised to design in black and white first as this’ll show flaws in your design the best, only when you’re happy to move on you can choose colours. A great way to choose colours is by looking up colour pallets or using colour wheels like this one over Sessions College.

Common pitfalls for designing a logo it to follow the obvious route; I’m a candle maker so I must use a flame or I’m a mechanic so I must use a wrench, definitely not! Being create enough to think outside of these biases will make your logo unique from the rest.

5. Challenge the logo

Using everyone around you, ask them what they think. Do they like it? Can they understand what you’re selling? Is it legible? There are million-and-one questions to ask but it’s crucial to get all points of view on it.

This may be hard for you now but detach yourself from this logo as soon as you ask people what they think. It’s natural that they will have comments and their own opinions, even yourself; you need to be critical otherwise it’s not going to work. A method that I and other designers use is to pretend it’s someone else’s design as friends and family will become more critical of it – Just remember not to take anything personal as anger and emotion will subconsciously show through onto your design.

Logo ideation - Barking Mad

6. Your finished

Congratulations, from going through this vigorous process you have now just designed your very first, or better yet, your very last logo! Designing a logo doesn’t always need you to be a graphic designer as there are great online programs which are completely free to use like Canva and other sites (just be sure that the designs you’ve either bought the design after designing it or if its free that it actually means free to use, not just to download).

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