Learn how to make your own logo by following these 4 steps:
Self-branding is a practical skill for a professional in almost any field. If you are trying to design a logo that represents yourself you first need to define what you stand for. For example, san serif script lettering implies a sophisticated brand while letters that are tilted to create a sense of movement will suggest a more playful one. The purpose of a logo is not marketing; it is identification. This means you should disregard aesthetic trends and really focus on your own personal values.
Not only must you consider yourself but you also need to consider your audience. You must select a style of typography that tells the client what you want them to know about you. Think of your logo as your first impression.
If you are struggling with this first step you can ask others to define you. By doing this you can draw a better picture of people’s perception of you. It’s also important to research logos of other brands in your industry. They might reveal certain graphic trends. Whether you want to keep or break these trends, it’s important to be unique.
Pen & Paper
When it comes to starting your design, the first think you should do is write out variations of your name. There is no wrong way to depict your name. It can be your initials, a nickname, your full name… anything you want. You should write your name in various ways repeatedly. Begin to feel how the letters work together. Try to find a flow that feels right. If you are creatively struggling, you can type up your initials in a standard font and trace over them using tracing paper. Then play around with the letters, overlapping them to try to produce designs that are unique to your letters. By doing this with multiple fonts you can collect more and more inspiration however it is wise to stick to the common typefaces available on most computers. You’d be amazed how much you can do with classic typography. Baskerville, Gill Sans, Futura, Didot, Caslon, Bodoni, and Helvetica are good to start with. A good place to find fonts is https://www.fontsquirrel.com.
Don’t forget to consider the negative space. The negative space is perhaps equally as important as the logo itself. It’s really easy for a designer to disregard negative space but a viewer may pick up on something right away if it’s visually unappealing. They say, “good design is invisible.”
Even though logo’s are vectors, this step should be done entirely by hand. By the end of this step you should have multiple pages of sketches.
Sketches from a logo I am currently working on.
Once you write your name or initials enough, letters and words become more like shapes. This is the process of you becoming your brand, which is entirely represented in that logo. At this part of the process you may start to see shapes develop that are not totally legible as letters. That’s okay, too. Often some of the greatest logos are derivative of letters. Abstraction can still be professional.
Try to look objectively at your designs. Perhaps ask a friend what they think. Narrow down your designs. You should keep in mind that a effective logo is:
- Versatile: It should be scalable meaning it should read well on both billboard and a business card. Because of this, simpler is often better. A logo should never rely on color.
- Relevant: As stated in the first step, the logo should imply your brand image and give a hint at what you do.
- Balanced: Keep in mind design principles. By thinking about weight, negative space, and proportions you can create a logo that is aesthetically pleasing and therefore more effective.
These three pages of my sketch book show the development of the logo used on this blog. You can see that I really started to pick up and emphasize the curves of both the lower case and upper case g’s.
After you narrow it down to a few ideas, you should computerize your sketches. You can do this using any program you like; I usually start in Photoshop then transfer my final design to Illustrator to make it into a clean vector. If you aren’t familiar with the Creative Suites you can clean up and scan your sketches. The important thing is to see your potential logos on a screen. Computer screens can drastically effect how you perceive an image.
Here are some digitized sketches of the logo I’m currently working on.
Another great source regarding logo design is this video featuring graphic designer Aaron Draplin. I Hope you enjoyed “how to make your own logo!” Feel free to leave a response below.