So, you want to make a logo. Now that you are going forward with your branding plans and making a business, you need a logo that will become your first impression for all new customers. Although logos are simple by design, they are surprisingly difficult to make if you don’t know what you are doing.
No, you don’t need a degree in graphic design to make your own logo. You simply need some know-how. Guess what? You’re in the right place.
By the time you’ve gotten through this article, designing your logo will seem way less daunting. Let’s get started.
5 Things To Aim For When You Design Your Own Logo
Regardless of what kind of business you run, you need to employ five simple elements to ensure you create a design that will become iconic. Graphic designers use the same components whenever they design logos, so follow their example.
- Simplicity – avoid over-complicated and cluttered designs
- Relevance – the logo should contain a theme found within your industry or brand
- Memorability – can people use the logo to identify your brand or differentiate it from others?
- Timelessness – the best logo is one that uses no fads or trends and will be able to undergo simple changes without losing integrity
- Versatility – logos should look good in a number of colors, backgrounds, settings, as a digital image or on print, and scaled to different sizes
Now that you know the five qualities of amazing logos, let’s look at how you make your own.
Creating Your Own Logo
1. Know Your Design Goals
The first step of making a logo is to figure out your goals, such as your business goals and what design you want the logo to have. Grab a sheet of paper and list some adjectives that describe your business and your brand, your mission, and so on. Some examples include “calmness,” “wholesome,” “family-oriented,” “outdoorsy,” etc. Next, jot down some symbols that allude to the adjectives you selected. For example, you might represent “outdoorsy” as a pine tree or hiking boot. Lastly, select some colors that match the mood of your adjectives or the image.
You now have some ideas for your logo.
2. Look At The Competition
Studying logos from your competition is going to give you a sense of direction and inspiration. Ask yourself what makes the competition’s logo good and bad. Note what you like and don’t like, such as the following elements:
- Lines, shapes, illustrations that communicate value or a message
- The fonts the logo contains or is made up of
- The symbols incorporated into the logo and how they are presented (color, layout, placement, opacity, etc)
- Colors used and how those colors make you feel or the message conveyed
- Negative space
3. Get The Programs and Fonts
There are two ways to come up with a logo. You can either use Adobe software to design your own on your desktop, or you can use programs available online with free or paid options. The choice is yours. If you are using Adobe, you have a slew of graphics and fonts are your disposal already, so go ahead and jump to the next step. You are also able to look around more font files online that you can download and use within Adobe Illustrator.
Other programs include Canva, Krita, Paint, PlaceIt, and Envato Elements.
Krita is entirely free but requires some knowledge of the program before you can begin. Canva and PlaceIt have the smallest learning curve, and both have plenty of free and paid elements to add to your logo. Envato is a great replacement for Adobe Illustrator.
Next, you can get the graphics you like, play around with vectors in a drawing program, and mix and match all the fonts that you want. Make several pairings of fonts and colors and layers. Eventually, you will start to narrow your selections. Go for a few different styles, such as simple letters, one using your favorite graphic, or ones that look slightly more formal. Remember to look back at the list you created for more inspiration.
Over time, you will make one (or two) you absolutely love.
5. Reflect and Revise
Once you have selected your design, take a break from it and come back after several hours or a few days. Look upon it with new eyes to see if it still has the same effect on you that it did before. Reflect on the elements you like and don’t like. Pass it around to some friends, family, and colleagues to see what they think. Ask other people questions about what kind of feel the logo has, what kind of business they think it represents, and what adjectives they would use to describe the logo or the business being represented.
Making your own logo is time consuming but also rewarding. You will find that experimentation is key, but you should also be flexible in your design—because the logo you once envisioned might not actually fit your business image. Don’t stop until you are 100% pleased!