5 steps to creating your own logo
Do you have a new business idea that is just a tiny spark of excitement? No budget, no idea, no plan but lots of drive?
Yep. that sounds a bit like us 2 years ago. We started Betsy & Francis as experienced designers… We quickly learned that being experienced designers was a teeny tiny drop in the ocean of what we actually needed to be to run a business successfully.
We had no clue about business, finance, marketing, project management, budgets, heck, I didn’t even know how to write an invoice (thank god for google) We knew we had to learn it all and we had to learn it fast.
Did we invest money we didn’t have into a business that wasn’t making a penny? Nope! We read blogs, watched videos, listened to podcasts, searched YouTube and gawped at Skillshare classes, anything that would help us to DIY our business until it made enough that we could invest into it properly.
You might have an amazing idea for a business and one day very soon, you will need to invest in it, but until that day comes, you are on a budget my friend and you need a logo.
Below is the process we follow every-time we create a logo for a client as part of our brand identity package. Follow this process to create your own logo, we hope by supplying this information, we can help you to get a little closer to that dream of yours…
FIRSTLY, WHAT IS A LOGO?
Having a fantastic logo is the first step to building an incredible brand for your biz. Before you can begin, you need to make sure it has the following: It looks amazing (obvs), tells a great brand story, communicates with your audience, is easy to understand and has a 10+ year shelf life….
Download our free checklist
This step is probably one of the most important, it contains everything you need to consider before you start the design process. Download our logo checklist here
2. Create a mood board
Gather all the relevant and necessary information you have complied from following the checklist and start to research similar businesses and companies to see what they do. If it’s a yoga business, go and visit a yoga wear shop, look at their logos, labels, tags, website. Research everything about your competitors, what are their logos like? What makes them unique, professional and effective?
You then need to get online and gather as much inspiration as possible. Our favourite tool is Pinterest, we use it create a board for each one of our clients. Other sites we use regularly; Dribbble, Instagram, Behance and Designspiration.
With everything you have gathered, start to create various mood board. This is a great step because it can help you to capture the tone of the design you want to create as well as exploring trends in the industry and other competition.
Don’t be afraid to take an existing logo and annotate it with your notes, highlighting parts which you like (or dislike) about a certain design, all of this will help to guide you when you start the design process.
3. Conceptualize and iterate logo options
Once you have all your yummy design inspiration, go and grab a sketch book, A3 preferably (that way you can go a bit wild). We usually have all our research and inspo printed out and on the wall. Having it there on hand is a great way to guide you during the process.
Note: It’s equally as important to spend some time designing without any creative around you. It’s easy to be influenced by other designs. By having a go without the inspo around you can also give you a freedom which could lead you to creating something completely unique and distinctive.
It’s a good idea to develop a few ideas, you can do this with multiple art-boards in Illustrator or keeping to your sketchbook. The reason for exploring multiple avenues is that you never know where you might end up, there have been many times when we have chosen a direction we didn’t think we would just because we explored it further through sketches.
A wise word: when it comes to using fonts, the best thing to do is stick to one or two. Any more than that and you’ll have a logo with multiple competing elements causing much confusion. Typewolf is an excellent resource for when it comes to choosing fonts.
4. Sleep on it and review
Never underestimate what taking a break can do when designing a logo. There have been evenings when we have been sure we have the winning logo, we then wake up and choose the one we didn’t think was as strong. Artwork has a way of changing, it grows on you and quite often you’ll find yourself changing your point of view after some beauty sleep.
At this point you may want to narrow down your explorations as you start to get closer to the final design. Don’t be afraid to make notes on your designs of things to change or ask friends their opinions on certain styles. That doesn’t mean taking every comment to heart but asking others is a good idea to gauge how your designs are taken.
5. Create the final design
Now you are on the home stretch, you need to focus your attention to colour, type, kerning and the overall mood and feel of your logo.
When designing a logo, a good rule of thumb is to start in black and white. By maintaining a single colour, your focus won’t be on other components of the design, you also won’t chose a design simply because of the colour. When it is time to add colour, try and stick to no more than 3 colours, you don’t want to confuse your audience.
For the overall composition of your logo, don’t forget about the power of grids. A grid can give a sense of structure to your design. When it comes to the overall composition of your logo.
“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.”
– LINDON LEADER
It’s easy to get carried away with ideas and before you know it you have an overcomplicated design. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Simplicity is key, remember that and the rest will follow.
Notes to take away
Before you do anything, fill in the checklist. It will set you up for success.
Spend as good day researching ideas and inspiration before you start.
Always start the design process with sketches using pencil and paper.
What font you use for the logo, never use it across the rest of your brand.
Always remember - The simpler the better.