How to build a logo design from scratch
Building a logo from scratch can be scary and it can be confusing to understand from where we should start. If you’re a beginner or you would like to compare how you do with other professionals, this post is for you. We will also show you some exceptional “behind the scene” photos of the creation of our logo.
How to start? First, Try answering the W questions.
1Who is it for? Which kind of company needs this new logo? Which kind of clients will it have?
2 What is it for? What product or service is going to be delivered?
3 What are the requirements for the logo? Is there any? It can be colorwise, shapewise…
4 Where is this logo going to be used? YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Printed adds, TV?
5 Think about the story, the WHY. This will help to define the shape, color and typo of the logo.
To sum up, it is important to think about words that describe your brand the best, as well as other related words.
You may have noticed we have not spoken about “When” in this section. This is normal. “When” is not written because a logo should be timeless.
The 3 basic tips that are sometimes forgotten.
1 A logo has to look easy for the user.
2 Most of the time a logo that worked years ago, should also work now. This is what we already said about the “when” in the previous section.
3 A logo creator should avoid visual cliché and too much used symbols.
Time to start drawing drafts!
Now, you need to start checking out visuals and then use previous sketches to find new ones. Think about what works and what does not work in each sketch. You may already have an idea but it will also help you to improve the idea even more by finding others. You can also write remarks about what could still be missing. And no need to use an eraser. Once the ideas are put on paper, take all the rubbish away and keep only the best.
A good exercise idea: aim to draw 50 abstract ideas in 1h.
Time for some more tips
- You can get ideas from nature, outside, or even other logos. For the last one, just be carefull on only getting inspired by logos of the competitors and not copying them 😉.
- Again: keep your logo simple ! Sketch the main components in maximum 7 seconds.
- Use preferably geometric shapes.
- In order to change your style of ideas, change your location for 1 hour. It will really help you to express yourself in another way.
You have your drafts? And then what? The rules of 3
During this part, you can switch anytime to electronical drawings by transferring your logo(s) to your computer. A simple photo taken right above your piece of paper will do. After this, open your “logo maker” software. If you do not have one but you do not feel like buying one, you can download an open source one, completely free. Krita, for example, is a popular one in this sector.
1 It is then time for a choice: take only up to 3 logo sketches and draw maximum 3 different variations for each. More than 3 will be too much to handle. Less than 3 are fine too. Although, sometimes, you do need to have more than 1 logo so you can show the client that you worked, you explored different options and 1 option is better than the others.
2 Afterwards, choose no more than 3 colors. And choose them wisely. You will want here to select colors that complement your brand’s vibe.
3 A last step that can easily turn your back on you if you forget it: ensure your logo’s scalability by testing 3 sizes of the logos you prefer amongst all the variations. For example, you can test the 3 following: full screen, Instagram avatar’s size and Favicon’s size. You should however choose the sizes that will correspond to the different uses of the logo.
The feedback phase: a precious stage that we all need
This phase is important. Always. And even more if you are a beginner. Even though pro Designers should not under-estimate it as well. It is time to test your top 1 or 3 sketches with your buyer persona or similar clients. It is also possible to share the draft with friends, family members or colleagues whom you trust. Every feedback is gold. That does not mean you MUST apply it, but if you hear one that resonates with you, or one that pops up almost all the time, you know you have something to improve.
This enables you to refine the sketch. But there is something that can also help with this: you can take the lists of W questions you did earlier and try to go through it, looking at which terms this sketch does not show.
Perfect your logo.
Once all the feedback are given, either by your client, friends or yourself, you enter on the last stage of this process.
- Check Colors. Is your logo going well with a black or/and white background?
- Check the font. Is the meaning you want for your logo represented by the font?
- Flip and reflect logo design, or try ripping it up. Is the logo still nice? If not, annotate parts that you do not like and retouch them.
- Exaggerate the space. Is the “negative space” a little larger than positive space? It should be in order to equilibrate the logo.