Logo are indispensable to any project, as they represent visually your brand and reputation.
The problem starting logo design and if you are a logo designer beginner, you may not have the skill to do a proper one.
And this is how appears a lot of homemade logo that are barely readable, with colors that don’t match, fonts outdated, ideas confusing and overdosing and so on. Those kind of logos destroy your visual identity and make you appears like an amateur deisgner, giving you a direct disadvantage in prospection, negotiation, reputation and so on.
The thing is that you don’t need to be a professional designer to make a proper logo that represent proudly and efficiently your mission. By following some basics guidelines you can create a logo that fit well to your brand or project, and I will show you how in this article. You’ll not need 1000 tutorials, we created a compact free course just for you, just check the “Course” page 😉
Meanwhile let’s see through this logo design tutorial for beginners the main steps for an easy and successful logo!
WHICH STYLE FOR YOUR LOGO?
To be efficient, a logo needs to communicate precisely and powerfully what the business is doing. As a logo designer amateur, your first job is to discover, understand and assimilate what the topic of the business. You can do that by many ways.
Talking with specialist, watching online videos, browsing websites of competitors, listing interviews of experts… Anything you need to be able to put the business in a simple symbol.
The second step is to understand your target. Who are your clients, for whom is this business built, who are the people you want to seduce with your logo?
During this step you want to put yourself in the choose of your target in order to build an adapted logo. You’ll achieve that by also doing some researches. You may discover some particularities, for example if you are doing a logo about trading and finance, you want to avoid the red that is a color associated with lost. Be also aware about cultural differences, similarities with others logo or any misinterpretation that could lead your logo to failure. Remember, your brand image and reputation are precious.
The last but not least task is gathering inspiration.
How do you do that? By looking for ideas on what competitors did.
Because an innovative idea is most of the time a combination of old ideas, having a look to other similar projects. The goal here is not to copy ideas, but to understand how your topic is materializing through different variations, designers, countries… From there you can choose to include or exclude some elements and therefore create your own version whom will be similar in some ways but also really different in many ways.
When it comes to design, remember that we look for efficiency first, we want our target to understand quickly what we do, so it’s not really recommend to go for something that breaks the code and reinvent the wheel.
You can look for inspiration on those website, just type the topic + logo and you’ll find plenty of similar projects.
II CHOOSING A FONT – LOGOTYPE
We are going to start with a logotype. We need to choose first a font. The font determines the tone of the voice. Bold font will be more imposing and therefore link to authority or power, handwritten font related to proximity, sans serif to modernism, serif to storytelling… It may sounds complicated to choose a font, but as many choices in design you will have to let your sensibility speak.
You can find free fonts compatible with commercial use on fonts.google.com, but wherever you download them make sure you ckeck the license agrees with commercial use. You can download in the description a pdf including a list of websites with free fonts.
Pick several that you like and compare them, witch one sounds to represent better your purpose?
Then check their readability, are they readable even from far?
III ICONS – PICTORIAL LOGO
After that we will create the pictorial logo. As this tutorial is for beginners we will not design it ourselves, but instead we are going to download a free one design by a professional designer.
I like to use FlatIcon but you can find more sources in our Free ToolKit with all the websites where you can find free and commercial use websites icons.
Colors follow some physics of harmony. Some colors vibrate well together others no. And if you are not a professional or have bad taste for this it can be really painful. But don’t worry we are going to see tools that will help us create wonderful colorful logos.
You can use a palette. It’s a set of colors that fit well together, selected by a professional designer (colorhunt.co) or an IA (coolors).
Next level is to use the chromatic wheel and create yourself the palette using different modes.
For a logo we will use a minimum set of colors. More colors you put more energy you bring and much chances are that your logo will be chaotic. If you show a serious identity, it’s better to stay to one or two colors. Some particular business needs more colors (like toy stores or creative products).
V HIERARCHY AND POSITION
Eyes are attracted by things that are big, that comport aggressive colors and are highly contrasted with their background.
The challenge is to create a relation between the elements of your logo. Using hierarchy, you can attract the eyes on the elements you want in the order that you want, you can also increase the memorability of some elements. The best advice here is to use several configurations and see which one fits the best. Try one element bigger than an other than the opposite, put it on top, on right on left. But remember, the goal is that the eyes identify quickly where to watch first and that we feel there is a relation between your elements.
THE 5 INDISPENSABLE QUALITIES OF A GOOD LOGO
Why some logos are successful while others a big fail?
The logo is going to be the icon of brand, he not only need to be aesthetic but also and most importantly, ergonomic.
That means that he will communicate efficiently the image of your brand for most situations. Let’s see what it means.
• Minimalist: Today most logos tend to be minimalist. It’s because the brain can memorize them more easily and have a bigger impact. Less is more.
• Memorable: It means people should be able to remember it easily even if they see it for a really short time because this is what will happen most of the time
• Scalable: It means it should work big or little, from far and from close, so you’ll be able to be used on all your communication materials
• Versatility: It means it should work on different textures, printed as digital, black as white
• Timeless: This point is a bit hard to master when you start logo design but in essence it means a logo that doesn’t look outdated. Keep in mind when you are designing that trend will evolve and the better way to keep your logo timeless is to keep it as simple as possible.
TESTING YOUR LOGO
Testing is super important when it comes to any kind of design.
It helps the designer to figure out if there is any misunderstanding and to spot problems and foremost to validate that the logo communicates efficiently and properly.
Here are 5 tests you can easily do and that will remove most of the common mistakes of your design.
A. Step Back
When we work a lot on something, we get used to it. We get also use to imperfections and we don’t see things like fresh eyes would do. The first step is to rest and wait for some days. This way when you come back you’ll be able again to spot what’s wrong. You can do it several times, until you feel there is nothing to change.
B. Print it
If you have printer, print your logo, if possible on several sizes. This way you verify first that your logo can be printed and second how it behaves on paper.
C. Move Back
Is the logo still clear from further? Do you still understand what is it about? Do you feel the little details you put are now confusing?
D. 1 sec memory test
Show to someone your logo for 1 second. Then ask them to redraw it. Doing this you can check if your logo is memorable easily.
E. Signification test
Show your logo to at least 5 people, if possible from different backgrounds and ages and ask them to guess what the company or the project behind this logo is doing?