Creating Your logo in 10 Simple Steps
Creating and choosing a logo for your business or company can be a daunting process. The first thing that pops into people’s minds when they think of a brand is usually the logo. As such, it's incredibly important that you create a logo that best represents your brand. If you’d like to learn more about how logos play a significant role in the success of brands, check out our previous article article The Importance of a logo.
Image by Kelly Sikkema. Courtesy of Unsplash, 2021.
Creating a strong logo design takes team collaboration and communication so that you can form a logo that everyone is confident in (Column Five, 2021). So, here are 11 steps you can use to bring your team together and create an effective design:
Step 1 - Who needs to be involved?
The process should include any key decision makers that oversee your brand. Start by identifying who should be involved at each stage and ensure that you gain stakeholders approval before you move to the next stage (Column Five, 2021).
Step 2 - Review your brand strategy
Whether you’re collaborating with an agency or creating your logo in house, revisiting your brand strategy is essential so that everyone has a full understanding of who you are as a brand before you begin. This includes reviewing your purpose, vision, mission, values, goals, audience, messaging, visuals and identity. If you need assistance in forming a brand strategy check out our post How to Create a Strong Brand Identity (Column Five, 2021).
Step 3 - Form a creative brief
The process of creating a logo can get messy if your team can’t come to a consensus. As such, it's important that you form a creative brief so that your team has a specific list of points that you are working towards. This will help keep everyone on the same page. The creative brief should include an overview/purpose, budget, timeline, audience, key messaging and any other additional considerations (Column Five, 2021).
Image by Per Loov. Courtesy of Unsplash, 2021.
Step 4 - First brainstorm
Brainstorms are an amazing way of getting out ideas fast but they can also be incredibly chaotic. It's best to do a few different brainstorms with different purposes. A great way to start is a brainstorm of words. Gather everyone around a whiteboard and begin with five key brand descriptors. From here, everyone can add words that they associate with these descriptors. You can do this in the form of lists or bubble diagrams so that connections can be shown between the words (SKD, 2017).
Sketching logo design ideas. Kompleks Creative, 2021.
Step 5 - Choose your type of logo branding design
It is important to know the differences between the three main types of logo branding designs: logomark, logotype and combination mark. Each of these have their own unique advantages that can help to strengthen your organization’s image, competition and increase appeal to your target audience (Kimbo Design, 2018).
A logomark is an image or symbol used to represent a company. Since logomarks don’t have the company’s name attached, it gives the designers the opportunity to create a strong visual appearance for your brand and it’s identity. Excellent examples of this are the logomarks of Apple, Pepsi and Android. Depending on your budget and the type of business that you are, you may avoid using a logomark, particularly if you are a new, unrecognized company. However, once the company grows and becomes more established in the wider market, you may reconsider and change to a logomark (Kimbo Design, 2018).
Logomarks. Courtesy of Levelup Studios, 2019.
A logotype, also known as ‘wordmark’ in the graphic design industry, is stylised text or typography used to tie a brand’s visual identity to the company’s name. Due to the strong focus on text, you must carefully select a font as the colour, style and shape of the lettering communicates just as much as the meaning of the text. If you’re a new business that wants to have your name seen, then a logotype is for you. You may also choose a logotype due to the fact that it can help strengthen the tie between visual memory and name recognition. For example, Google, Disney, Skype and Facebook all use the logotype style and are easily recognised by people around the globe. Here, it helps if your brand’s name is simple and short. But, if your company name is long, it will look crowded as a logo, making it harder for people to remember. Also, if you don’t plan on updating your logo font in the future, this may be another reason to avoid logotype. If you happen to choose a certain font that may be a current fad, it will feel dated over time and your new generation of customers may not identify or relate to your brand identity. Even well-known brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi have updated their logo many times in order to stay current (Kimbo Design, 2018).
Logotypes. Courtesy of Levelup Studios, 2019.
A combination mark is the combination of a logotype and a logomark into one logo. Text and icons or images are combined here to enhance a brand’s message and to clarify its mission. It is important to note that there are stand alone and integrated combination marks. For example, the Starbucks logo is an integrated combination mark as the text has a graphic of a siren integrated, whereas the adidas logo has the icon separate from the text. You may choose a combination mark to represent your company as it offers the flexibility for the use of either or both the brand symbol and/or the brand name when it comes to marketing, ads and branding. Some excellent examples of this type of logo design include Adidas, McDonald’s and MasterCard. However, if your brand is focused on simplicity, it will be difficult to decide where to allocate and where it’s appropriate to place just the logomark or the logotype on things such as business cards or merchandise (Kimbo Design, 2018).
Combination marks. Courtesy of Levelup Studios, 2019.
Step 6 - Free sketch brainstorm
Next, have a free sketch brainstorm. Using the words that you’ve brainstormed, have the designer/s get to work. It's important not to be self conscious about it, just get all of the visual ideas onto paper. At the end, have the creative director choose at least ten concepts (Column Five, 2021).
Step 7 - Create vectors
From there, turn the rough sketches into simple black and white vector images. This is to make sure that the logos have a strong design foundation without the dazzle of colour (Column Five, 2021).
Creating a vector logo from a rough sketch. Courtesy of The Vector Lab, 2020.
Step 8 - Narrow it down with feedback
Through feedback narrow the designs down. Often it’s easiest to do this with a select group so that it's easier to come to decisions. Select five workable options and show these to the stakeholders to gather feedback (Column Five, 2021).
Step 9 - Present the favourites
From this stakeholder feedback, narrow down the designs again to three options. Remember that you’re looking for the logo that most effectively communicates your brand. To help choose, render the designs in colour for a more finished look. Ask the questions which designs make the most impact and which best reflects who you are and what you do? (Column Five, 2021).
Logo mockups for Affaire designed by Nnorth. Courtesy of 99designs, 2019.
Step 10 - Test it out
Next, it’s time to test the designs out. Create mockups such as packaging, landing pages and ads. This will help everyone get a fuller picture of how the logos fit your brand. Show everyone these mockups and gather as much feedback as possible (Column Five, 2021).
Step 11 - Finalize
Taking all of this feedback into account it’s now time to come to a consensus. It may take some time to come to a unanimous decision, but it’s important to create something everyone is confident in (Column Five, 2021).