Designing logos is a part of every graphic designer’s day. Whether you’re leaning towards designing intricate and complicated logos, never dismiss the power of a well executed minimalistic logo. In this article we’ll show you a few simple steps that you need to take in order to make a simple, yet powerful and outstanding logo.
Step 1: Answer the question: “What is the one image that describes this business the best?”
This is a crucial step! The quality of the logo you design will mainly depend on the decision you make at this step, so take your time and really think this through. Here’s an example of the though process that you should go through: let’s say your client is a construction company and they want you to design a logo that shows exactly what they do, without using any words (a tough task even for professionals). Okay, now think what is the first image that pops into your head when you think of a construction site? Bricks? Trucks? Sand? Concrete? Make a list of the 5 items that best represent that business. Now, it’s time for google to do its magic. Browse the photos of each of the 5 things you wrote down. Look for the simplest photos that best show that item from your list and download it. 1 photo for 1 item. Now, the hardest part. Choose one (maybe 2) photos that show that business the best. Once you’ve done that, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Simplify
Okay, so now you’ve got your image of an item that you want to turn into a logo. What’s next? Simplification. Take that photo and open it with any photo editor you prefer (Paint works just fine for this step). Outline the parts of that image that you think are essential to the design of the logo. Don’t overdo it! Try to keep the lines to a bare minimum, as you don’t want your logo to be overcrowded. Think you’re done? Good, now delete the original image and only keep the lines you drew. Does it look good? Would you put something like this on a wall of an office? If the answers to these questions are “yes”, move on to the next step. If not, bring back that image again (Ctrl+Z should do the trick) and improve your design.
Step 3: Recreate
Take those lines you drew on the photo and recreate them in a vector format. This is a must, as all logos should be sizable.
Step 4: Choose the right color combinations
If the business that ordered your services already has their colors then this step is the easiest one of all. If not, this can get really hard and it’s easy to mess up. Luckily for everyone, there are a few steps that will make this task way easier. First of all, look at more photos of the item/items that you decided to use for the logo. See any reoccurring colors? If so, use them. Chances are, other people also associate that item with the same color. Are all the colors random and you don’t see any reoccurring ones? Then broaden your search. Let’s take the same example of that construction company. What is the color someone would always see when they’re in a construction site? Grey? Light brown? Red? Choose around 5 colors that represent that business the best and see which ones match together the best.
Step 5: Finalize your design
Now that you have the shape, the colors and the rough sketch of the logo, go ahead and make those final adjustments. Are the lines not too thick? What could be moved around for a better esthetic view? Maybe the logo needs to be taller?
When you’re happy with your creation, send it to your customer and ask for feedback. If they like it, great, your job is done. If not, they’ll probably give you some instructions about what they need changed. Make those changes in a timely manner and forward the recreated logo as soon as possible.
Creating a logo from scratch could be a daunting task, if you just go at it without any idea of what you’re doing. Taking these steps will prevent you from redoing your design over and over again and getting frustrated in the process.
P.S. never delete a design you don’t like. Keep a copy, just in case.