Designing your logo can be quite a challenge, and if you don’t know the design process, it can be almost impossible! But it doesn’t have to be this way, because there are steps that professional logo designers take – a combination of investigation, strategic thinking, and implementation. While the process can vary from designer to designer, these steps remain the same.
Think of it as painting with dots. In this post, you’ll discover how to research, analysis, and apply the process for creating a logo design masterpiece. Van Gogh, anyone!
Evaluate your brand
Your logo identifies your brand to your target audience. To achieve this, it must embody your brand’s voice, personality, and goals. To make this happen, you start by evaluating your brand. It’s because you can’t buy a successful logo off the rail, there’s no one size fits all; it needs to have your brand’s DNA to represent who and what you are. And to help achieve this, logo designers start by asking, what impression does this brand want to put across?
Here are some questions that will help you find your answer:
- What problem is your brand trying to solve?
- What’s your unique value proposition? What do you offer that other brands do not?
- What is your brand’s voice? Are you serious, elegant, easy-going, or playful?
- What are your core beliefs and values?
- If your brand were a person, how would you describe them, which adjectives would suit them?
- If your brand were a celebrity, which one comes to mind?
The answers will give you a better understanding of your brand’s personality. A proven technique is to use a mood board, fill it with your answers, then have friends or colleagues provide you with their brand opinions.
Once you have an outline of your brand’s true identity, you can then refine it by using a technique known as mind mapping. This helps you take the impression you now have on your mood board and explore related ideas, enabling you to discover which direction you want your logo design to take.
Research your industry
Before you can stand out in your market place, you first have to fit in. It’s because your brand can’t afford to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the design elements that work in your market place. Your goal here is to embrace what already works, and then make it your own. This step is called the discovery phase. It works by evaluating the leading brands in your market and looking for common design trends throughout their logos.
Here’s what you’re looking for:
- Which logotypes are most commonly in use? – Wordmark, icon, or combinations.
- What colors are most prevalent? – You’ll soon notice that your market place has specific colors that are proven to send the right messages to its audience; use them.
- Which fonts are talking loudest? – There are ones that suit your brand’s voice.
- What customer demographic dominates your market place? – Your logo can only connect with its audience if you first know who they are.
Also, look for overused trends or any up-to-date ones yet to take hold on a wide scale.
By following this step, you’ll get the information needed to create a logo that has the perfect balance of being market-related but not generic, and this will give you what’s required for making your logo stand out from the crowd.
Know your logo’s habitat
The importance of knowing your logo’s habitat cannot be understated; this is why it’s step three in the professional design process.
The physical and digital spaces your logo is going to occupy will, to a point, influence your design choices. This is where logo versatility comes into play. Your logo has to look perfect wherever you use it, otherwise, it will only undermine your brand by sending the wrong message to the viewer. This step is called the application discovery phase.
Start by making a list of where you’ll use your logo; here are some possibilities for you to consider:
- Social media avatar
- Website icon
- Email signature
- Product packaging
- Business cards
- Advertising campaigns – physical and digital
You will soon know where you’ll be using your logo the most. If it’s online, then your focus should be on social media advertising, avatars, your website’s header, and email signatures for your marketing campaigns.
You can create versatility by using a responsive logo. It’s a design technique that enables you to break your logo down into separate parts, each one working independently while retaining your brand’s DNA.
Combination logotypes work exceptionally well with this approach as they provide all the information viewers need to connect with your brand. And they can be deconstructed into icons (perfect for avatars and email signatures) and wordmarks, which work great for your marketing campaigns’ physical side.
The graphic design process
To make all of the above steps come together, and create the type of logo that will get heads turning, you first have to develop a design process.
Here’s how professional graphic designers go about it:
- Review your brand – Find it’s DNA
- Give it a personality – Draw a mood board
- Research and discover what’s working in your market place
- Sketch alternative concepts – Use the mind map technique
- Develop these concepts – Bring market design needs together with your tastes
- Evolve and refine – Test your designs for versatility
By applying this process and practicing it throughout, you’ll increase creativity, maintain flow, and keep your project on course.
Doing it yourself? Your options explained
Let’s say you can’t afford to collaborate with a designer; what are your options?
First, you can use a logo making software such as Adobe Illustrator. It has long been the choice of DIY logo makers because of the host of great features giving you control over every aspect of your logo’s design.
However, the software is not a replacement for the design process. You must still follow the steps of evaluating your brand, researching your industry, and knowing your logo’s habitat. Only then can you apply what the software has to offer.
What about modern-day technology? You’re in luck, as there is now technology that enables logo creation with just a few clicks of a button!
These online logo making tools are driven by AI (artificial intelligence) and work by asking you for your brand and market details. They then go through their vast data banks of logotypes, shapes, colors, and fonts to provide you with numerous bespoke market-related options.
I’m an advocate of an easy process, who isn’t! So, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of designing your logo via an online tool:
1. Ease of use
There’s no easier way of designing a logo, and you can do it with zero design experience and with very little market research as the AI system already knows what works for each market place.
You can have a logo within minutes, who can argue with that!
3. Customizable according to your needs
The tools capable of taking in various factors to provide you with a logo aligned with your needs
4. Unlimited iterations
Unlike when using a designer, these tools provide you with unlimited iterations; the only limiting factor might be your patience.
You can create a logo for free using these tools, but of course, there are negatives attached to that. In comparison, the paid versions range from $20 – $100, which I think you’ll agree is excellent value for your money.
1. An unprofessional look
If you don’t follow the processes outlined in this post, you won’t know what you require, and if you solely rely on the logo maker, you could end up with a logo that doesn’t provide you with the professional look your brand needs.
2. Lack of originality
While their database is exceptionally well equipped, nothing replaces the originality that a top designer can bring to your logo.
3. Can be copied
Yes, this is an issue. If you allow the logo maker to make all the decisions for you, there’s the possibility that it’s already done the same for someone else.
4. Lacking the personal touch
As with originality, a logo maker is, after all, a machine. Great designers put their heart and soul into the logos they create because they reflect their talents. You can’t expect an AI tool to do the same. Well, not yet, anyway!
The last word
Now that the ‘impossible’ has been removed from the process of creating your logo; you can set about applying the steps that professional designers use. Whether you go through the process alone, use an online AI logo making tool, a designer, or a combination of all three, all you have to do now is join those dots. Just remember, it’s your logo, so think of it as a self-portrait and give it your DNA.
This is a sponsored post for Tailor Brands Logo Maker.