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A Complete Guide on Logo Design for Beginners

Author: Evan Brown

Logos are part of what defines a company. These designs are seen by long-time purchasers and potential customers, they are used to promote product, and ultimately contribute to what the target market should feel. Unfortunately, if a logo is unattractive, people may be less likely to associate positive emotions with it and, by extension, the company with which it is associated. Companies, such as Nike, Facebook, and McDonald's, have globally recognized logos that don't need words to describe them – they are memorable and unequivocally attached to the brand, and consumers have been trained to create that strong association that is critical for brand awareness. It's important to take the time to decide how you want your logo to be seen – will it be a single, simple image, or will it be a highly structured design that's acts as a story in its own way? Learn how important colors, themes, and pre-planning are before you tackle the design head-on, with these provided resources, so that you can make a meaningful logo that has real impact.

Pick Logo Colors

The color(s) applied to a logo are a representation of the company with which it is associated and will define how consumers feel about the product or service. When these customers look at your design, the first thing they notice may be the color, and because different colors are associated with different emotions, it is important to choose those that best reflect how the company wants to be perceived. Color psychology plays an important role and the science has been proven affective. For example, blue largely represents confidence and dependability within the mind of the consumer; because of this association, blue is a popular choice for those in the financial sector.

Get Inspiration from Famous Logos

There are tried and true principles of logo design that major companies and logo designers consistently apply to their designs. Referencing famous and well done logo design is a great way to draw inspiration and key into design principles that have worked well. That being said, it is equally important that your design be original and avoids infringing on existing logos and copyrights. Applying design best practices and effective use of layout, colors, shapes, and so on will help create effective logos that invoke the intended consumer response. Draw from the following for inspiration:

Pick a Common Theme for your Logo Design

Incorporating a clear theme within your logo design is another way in with the desired response can be pulled out of the intended audience. Typically, a when in the beginning stages of logo creation, a theme will be decided on; this can be a thought, connotative message, or symbol. That theme is then applied to one or more logo designs in different ways, from there, the process of narrowing down what is approved or declined in terms of style, colors, etc., can begin knowing that the overall theme has still been applied in one form or another. For example, if one was to design a logo for a surfboard manufacturer, they may choose to focus on waves and harmony; that could be done by including a clear image of a wave alongside a company name or integrated into the company name itself through the use of creative typography, whichever direction is taken, the theme is still present.

Draw Logo Samples on Paper

Once all information related to preferences in colors, approaches to design, and theming has been obtained, it's time to begin drafting and sketching out potential designs. This step may make the actual digital design process much easier by allowing for an exploratory, free-hand approach, prior to putting in the meticulous work needed to make an idea a reality. After trouble shooting potential design flaws on paper, you'll be more prepared to create a digital draft. Tangible sketches are also a helpful reference that can be used to ensure that all logo concepts and requirements are carried through conception to production without losing any key points.

Get Colleague and Customer Input

Constructive feedback and critique are an important part of any commercial design or logo design process; because opinions and approaches to a single problem may vary greatly, there may be several important "buy-ins" that need to be cleared prior to the final draft being implemented and integrated into the company's identity. Professional critiques are also a way in which the client can feel that they are involved in the decision making. To meet the needs of the client in the most effective way, consider all provided feedback and apply it as needed. If there is, as is likely, a difference in opinion, it's important that any suggestions that may compromise the effectiveness of the design be addressed and clearly explained for the benefit of the client. Likewise, it's important that the designer keep an open mind.