Logo Design Tutorial Exercise 1 for Complete Beginners

If you are a complete beginner looking for logo design tutorials you probably have found a few different blog posts on the logo design process and even a few walk through tutorials showing the start and finish point of logo design. This is all very well but if you are anything like I was when I first started learning graphic design (years and years ago) it’s all a bit overwhelming. One of the things that could help you is to break down the logo design process into small exercises where you don’t feel pressured and you don’t have to show anyone (including a client) your logo design results.

Here’s one logo design tutorial exercise which could start your mind thinking more in the way a designer does when they are working on logo designs.

Logo Design Tutorial Exercise 1

1. Start by thinking of a couple of words, ideally that are the opposite or very different from each other
For example Dog and Cat or Devil and Angel

2. Quickly brainstorm each word – using mind mapping techniques.
You can do this by starting with your word written in the middle of the page and then spring off of that other related words. So in the case of the word Angel, I might have wings, halo harp etc etc. If you prefer you can use mind mapping software to do a similar exercise. You can also try other creative techniques to generate more ideas.

Angel logo design tutorial mindmap

3. Take these two words and sketch them very basically on a piece of paper or type them in on the computer if you prefer

4. Now by adding just one or two shapes or lines make these words have some resemblance or association to what they are.
These do not need to be polished, they can just be very rough and sketchy as mine are below :) . You are simply using this exercise to work out the logo ideas for your own benefit, just as a graphic designer would create rough ideas that the client would never see before they moved on to the more polished options they would present

Angel devil logo design sketches for tutorial

5. Repeat the exercise above to see how many options you can create. As a slight variance try to use just the first letter of the words in the same way.

6. Take your favourite logo options, scan them into your computer and have a go at working them up using a vector program such as illustrator
If you are looking for free vector software try Inkscape.

Don’t worry about using fancy typefaces, just use something basic for now like Arial or Helvetica. This gives you less to worry about and allows you to concentrate on the shapes. When you get more experienced you can experiment with fonts but keep it simple for now and concentrate on one thing at a time. Start in black and white and only when you are completely happy you can choose then to use one or two colours.

logo tutorial options worked up on computer

If you likes this logo design exercise you may want to check out my logo design course

Beginners may also want to check out the sample logo design briefs I have put together:

Design Exercise: Logo Design/Redesign
Sample Brief: Design a Garden Centre Logo

Posts with Logo Design Tutorials from around the Blogosphere

Smashing Magazine’s 60+ Beautiful Logo Design Tutorials And Resources
Logo Design Process and Walkthrough for Vivid Ways
The Logo Design Process of Top Logo Designers
Step by Step Logo

This entry was posted in For Design Students, General Graphic Design, logo design, Tutorials and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted November 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Some great ideas and methods here, I look forward to following more of these tips…thanks for sharing!

  2. Graeme
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Hello Tara,

    This is amazing, I’m going through the tutuorials very carefully and enjoying every moment.

    Thank you,

    Best wishes

  3. Posted November 10, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Thanks Graeme I am glad you are enjoying it

  4. Posted November 13, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    well, so now I know where to start.

  5. Posted November 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    This is a really great article Tara. Been awhile since I’ve done any logo work. Sometimes you forget the processes, especially when clients want it all yesterday!


  6. Posted November 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Paul, doesn’t look like you have much trouble to me ;) hopefully it might get newbies thing though

  7. Posted November 17, 2011 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Hi tara,
    Gud informative post..im new to logo design…thz article really helped me alot to design..thanx for ur sharing..
    i tried mind mapping software its simply gud to work…
    vl the words should be opposite?

  8. Posted November 17, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Hi estay

    I only really suggested words should be different or opposite as it makes you think differently about each. What you add to one might be much softer while another spikier or harsher.

  9. DaveB
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this awesome resource. I just viewed part 2 of this series and I’m looking forward to the rest. I’ve been designing logos as a novice for quite some time and this is going to be a great help!

  10. Posted November 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Dave, I am always open to suggestions for posts if you have any too

  11. Posted December 16, 2011 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    It’s always good to stick to industry standards such as Adobe Illustrator. You will find it’s basic tools invaluable to create anything you need, but it is also one of those programs that will help you learn more tricks as your projects get more complicated. Vector based artwork is the best tool for creating logos, as you can re-size them to any size without losing quality.

    However Adobe Illustrator is expensive. As an alternative, try using a Free Open Source program such as Inkscape http://www.sourceforge.org It’s multiplatform and complies with a number of standards. Secondly to repeat myself, it’s FREE!

    When using dedicated industry standard programs for your design work, it makes it far easier to share your work with professionals; especially if you want to pass these logos onto printers or sign writers.

    Whatever you do, don’t buy one of those off the shelf packages with templates, they all look the same, and the people that see your logo will notice the difference.

    Good luck and I hope you manage to accomplish your goal :)

  12. Posted December 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Very nice Tutorial step by step and detailed Video . useful for beginners :)

  13. Posted December 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Cool! Thanks for ideas =) Will use it for my new blog.

  14. Posted January 13, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Really great tutorial.. it will help me to design my movie logo


  15. Posted January 21, 2012 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Awesome tips for the creative process!

  16. Posted August 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Nice & Useful Logo Design Tutorial for Beginners like me :)

One Trackback

  • GDB Supported by

  • Subscribe to our Free Newsletter

  • Logo Design Course for Beginners

    how to design a logo
  • About

    Hi, this is Tara, I am a freelance graphic designer based in Northamptonshire UK. I have nearly 20 years design experience and I write this graphic design blog. Please take a look at my portfolio or contact me for more information

  • Ideas Uploaded Blog

    Check out my other blog www.ideasuploaded.com