Simple but Thorough Steps in Creating a Logo (and some tips)

In every business, organization, or anything that is established by a group of people for the intent of serving the public, there should always be something to represent them for identification purposes and also to be differentiated from the competitors. This representation should be unique, appealing to the public, and convincing enough to entice the public to avail or at least make inquiries about the products and services being offered by that business or organization. This is where logo designs come in.

Logos are simply those adjectives in the previous paragraph used to describe how a business or organization should be represented, these are unique graphic symbols or images used for the purpose of creating a sense of appeal for the people and inviting them to avail of your products or services. Aside from being a tool for identification, logos are also used to create the impression that the organization using it is stable, professional, and can definitely be trusted.

But creating a logo is no walk in the park, you don’t just make one out of nothing or solely relying on pure imagination. Designing a logo requires extensive thinking and research, which is why a process should be followed to make it organized and easier for you to make your own logo. You may refer to this collection of PSD logo designs if you think you are ready to make one without reading the steps. Otherwise, scroll down and check out a list of different steps on how to create a logo design.

Step Number 1: Decide on the Function of the Logo

how to make logo

The very first step when designing a logo is to decide its function. Before you can even start to make a design, you should already have a comprehensive to a simple yet very informative question, “What is this logo for?” If it is for a business, you may want to check out our collection of business logo designs.

In life, a purpose is what drives us to do something, and if we set an objective, then the chances of succeeding are mostly higher than when doing something without a driving source of motivation. Same can be said when making a logo design, to be able to make a good and effective logo, we should always determine its purpose and function in the company.

This way, the decided function of the logo will serve as a guide and will pave the way to the next steps in the process.

Step Number 2: Determine Your Target Audience

how to make logo

The next step is to determine the target audience for your logo, or to make it easier to understand, the people who your logo design is intended to be understood.

If your target audience are children, then your logo design should be something colorful to capture their attention, and if your audience are business people, then your logo design should appear formal and professional. And, if your audience are middle-aged to old people, then you may want to see our gallery of vintage logo designs.

This is just a matter of appropriateness wherein your logo should look appropriate or applicable to the people who you want your logo to be noticed by.

Step Number 3: Choose Which Type of Logo You Will Use

how to make logo

Let’s say you have already made up your mind regarding the function of your logo and who your target audience will be, now it is time for you to choose which style to use from among the five different types of logos. To those who have no idea what these are or who have forgotten the types of logo, here is a list of those types with a short but informative description for each.

  1. Icon logo. Also referred to as the symbol logo, this type of logo uses only an image that reflects either the name of the company or their functions and responsibilities. Some of the most common businesses that use this type logo are Apple Inc., Twitter, and Royal Dutch Shell.
  2. Lettermark logo. A type of logo which uses only a letter or letters to shorten the name of the company. When deciding to use a set of letters for this type of logo, it would usually serve as the initials of the company, wherein only the first letters of the complete name of the company will be used. Companies such as Facebook and McDonald’s are just some of those that use a lettermark type of logo.
  3. Wordmark logo. A longer version of the lettermark logo, wherein the whole name of the company is used, but written in an artistic or creative way. Examples of companies that use this type of logo are Google, Nestle, and Visa.
  4. Combination logo. From the name itself, this type of logo uses the first and either the second or third type of logo. To make more sense, combination logos make use of both symbols and text to come up with the logo design. This type of logo is usually used by companies that are unable to make a graphic representation of their company and may need to include a text to support the symbol.
  5. Emblem logo. An emblem logo is almost as similar as combination logos, but the only difference with these is that the text is written within the symbol, whereas with the combination type, the text is written separately. Some of the most notable companies using this type of logo are Burger King, and BMW.

Step Number 4: Gather Ideas from Logos of Other Companies

how to make logo

Like the header title said, “gather ideas” from other company logo designs, most especially those with a similar nature of work with your company. You may take notes on how they did their logo, how they mixed and matched colors, the shapes they used, and the arrangement of the symbol and/or the text.

Take down notes, gather ideas, but NEVER copy their design. As much as possible, create something that is unique and totally different from other’s logos to easily get distinguished from your competitors.

Step Number 5: Sketch a Draft of Your Logo Design

how to make logo

Some guidelines may include this step, and some may not, but for our opinion, we strongly recommend that you make a rough sketch of your logo design before taking it to the digital format.

Let’s face it, no matter how good you are at using Photoshop and/or computer tablets, making sketches using pencil and paper are a lot easier to do and customize. While this may seem time consuming at first, but it will actually save you a lot of time on the next step, which is to take your sketch to the computer table.

Step Number 6: Computerize Your Sketched Logo Design

how to make logo

As we mentioned earlier, making a sketch will actually save time when transitioning from paper format to digital format since you already have a clear picture of how your logo may possible look like.

If you skipped the last step, then you may get stuck here between adding and removing elements on the design, which is more complicated to do than just using a pencil eraser. If you did the rough sketch, the process of designing the logo on the computer may go smoothly.

Step Number 7: Test Drive Your Logo

how to make logo

Of course, even if you own the company, you would still require some suggestions and feedback from those who have equal position as you or even from your subordinates. It makes perfect sense since to make your company successful, you would need help from others; thus the quote, “no man is an island.”

With business logo designs, show the finished draft of the logo (or logos, if you made more than just one design) to other people and acknowledge their feedback and recommendations to the logo design.

If changes need to be made, you may either still do it yourself and show the modified design to them, or you may also have them involved in the modification process.

Step Number 8: Finalize Your Logo Design

how to make logo

After making the necessary changes to the design and ending up with the final version, publish your logo and copyright it so that it won’t be copied by other companies. Once your done publishing your logo design, make it known to the public by placing it on all your products, services, advertising media, and everything that involves placing your logo for the sake of branding and identification purposes.

Congratulations! Now that you have read the steps to making a logo design for your own company, all you need to do is promote and market you business to the general public to be able to gain recognition. You can not just rely on your logo design to make your business successful, you also need to advertise it effectively. Just like movies; it will never become a blockbuster if no one even knows about it, proper advertising should always take place.

To further guide you on how to make your logo design more effective, we have a list of tips below on what you should consider when making your logo. You can even want to check out this list of logo design strategies for 2017.

Tip #1 – Avoid Trends and Clichés

Sometimes, or even most of the time, when you check out logos of other companies, you may notice that there is an ongoing trend with their designs, that even though each one is unique from another, similarities still become evident. If you want to stand out and be easily distinguished from your competitors, your logo design should be different and unique from others, and you can do this by trying to avoid what’s trending.

With regards to cliches, these are phrases that have been overused and people tend to have grown tired reading or hearing these phrases since they would want something original. Another consequence that cliches may do to your company is make it look unprofessional and unreliable, and people don’t want to make transactions with unreliable businesses. If you want to use a catchphrase for your business along with your logo, then come up with something unique and catchy.

Tip #2 – Make Your Logo Explainable

Your logo should make sense when you look at it, it should be able to provide audiences with an abstract idea on what your company is about just by looking at your company’s logo. Explaining your logo may happen during the advertising phase, or in business conferences, wherein you may need to provide a thorough description for each and every aspect of your logo. This way, if a logo is explained and is understood by the people, then it can easily be remembered.

Tip #3 – Colorful vs. Colorless

Don’t expect that just because your logo looks amazing with color, it will also look good without it. One possible outcome that may result from a colored logo awfully transitioned to monochrome is that it could end up looking like a silhouette of the actual logo. If a logo appears like this, then it would not be appreciated by the people and the message that you are trying to convey through your logo will not be delivered.

There may be instances that your logo may not come out as it is, to be specific, it may not be printed in color all the time. This may happen if you are on a tight budget and to be able to reproduce the necessary documents that bear your logo, you will need to do it through photocopying. Another instance that your logo may be printed without color is if your business is advertised through the newspaper.

When making your logo design, try to look at it in two different color schemes, colored and monochrome. A good logo design should not only look good in color, but also in black and white, and if you are able to achieve this, then your chances of failing through your logo is very slim.

Tip #4 – Just Keep it Simple

In the end, the most important thing to consider when designing a logo is to maintain simplicity. People prefer to look at logos that are uncomplicated and uncluttered because they are not only appealing to the eyes, but it also makes your company appear organized and professional. Flat designs may be considered as simple, and we may just have a collection of flat logo designs for you. Indeed, less is more.

To sum up, a logo should undergo a lot of planning and think first before proceeding to the actual designing of the logo. You may also be advised to draw inspiration from existing logos to learn a lot more on how logos should be made, just make sure not to copy their design, uniqueness is the key. Then afterwards is the actual designing of the logo, which should be done first on paper to make it easier and faster once the design is transitioned to the computer. Also, treat your co-workers equally and get them involved in the designing of the logo, brainstorming accomplish things easier and faster since more than just one brain is functioning. After finalizing your logo, get it protected or copyrighted to avoid others from using it illegally.

Logos are indeed important for the success of a company. If it wasn’t THAT important, then this article would have been irrelevant, but since we know that it is, this short but thorough and informative topic about how to make a professional logo is written to educate you.

These steps are simply guidelines, which means they are not compulsory and you may not follow every step specifically. What’s important is that these guidelines are able to provide you with an idea on what to do and how to do it, and a short rationale as to why those specific steps should be done. Indeed, logos require planning, but once you are able to make one effectively, then the more likely that your logo becomes memorable and be able to stand the test of time.

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