Win one of 3 free access codes to my beginner’s logo design course worth $45each
All you have to do is add a comment saying why you would like to win a copy of the course and I will pick 3 winners next Thursday 2nd August
In the course you will learn how to design a logo from brief to completion. You will watch as I take a logo design from the client on Skype and then I will break down the whole process into simple steps.
You will learn:
how to generate initial ideas
how to use sketching to get your ideas down quickly
different ways you can come up with ideas through a step by step process
about different fonts
about common logo text positioning
about different colour options
how to work up the best ideas in Adobe IIlustrator
how to send the ideas to the client
You will also learn the more practical side of logo design, how to quote for a project and things to be aware of. This course also includes a bonus 60pg ebook guide of how to design a logo including warm up exercises and sample logo project.
3. Sometimes a moodboard will help you find the right feel for a logo
You may find the odd project where you really struggle for ideas or to work out the right sort of “feel” for the logo. This is where moodboards can come in.
If you haven’t heard of moodboards before they are traditionally big boards (pieces of mountboard or card) which are filled with images, bits of type, perhaps colours and anything which you feel is in the direction of the type of design you are trying to achieve.
When I produce moodboards I generally get together any leaflets I have lying around, buy magazines which I feel fit with the type of market or niche I am designing for and rip out bits and pieces that I like and then paste them on to a big board. I might also include images, logos and type that I find online and print out. There is something about the act of getting away from the computer and really looking at other images that really helps to get you mind going again. Once the moodboard/s are complete you can then use them alongside your brainstorms to stimulate logo ideas. Perhaps you might really like the way a piece of typography works or a colour combination on some of the bits you have torn out.
If you are pushed for time (and I use this method too) you can always create digital moodboards or image collections. The simplest way is to simply collect together images you find on the web download them to a folder on your machine and then pull them all in to a program like iphoto so you can view them all at once (a bit like a moodboard). If you prefer you could alternatively drop the images into layout design software, or if you are using an iPhone or ipad use an app like the aptly named Moodboard.
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This is the second logo design tutorial, which is again aimed at complete beginners. The exercises are designed to break down the thinking behind designing a logo into bite size chunks. Don’t forget to check out the first logo tutorialtoo.
This logo design exercise will allow you to concentrate on another important aspect of logo design which is to start looking for suitable fonts/typefaces. As with the first logo tutorial we are again going to use the two words we used previously. If you didn’t do the previous exercise choose 2 words which are different to each other (ie. Dog and cat, angel and devil)
Logo Design Tutorial Exercise 2
1. Think about what sort of typeface/font might represent the words well.
Taking the word “angel” for example we might look for typefaces/fonts which are very round, or light weight or simple. The word “devil” on the other hand conjures up a much harsher, perhaps heavier or angular typeface/font.
2. Try out different fonts
You can of course look through the fonts on your machine and test out different fonts, but for this exercise I am going to suggest you go over to Dafont.com which offers variety of fonts free to download. The great thing about Dafont is that it allows you go type in your chosen words (you have to first choose from one of the type categories) and then see how they look in each of the fonts.
3. Always remember as with most things simple is generally best
You can see below some more unusual fonts used to spell out Devil. Some look really interesting in themselves, but remember to use them sparingly. In most cases it’s best to avoid crazy over the top fonts, especially especially Comic Sans and stick with much simpler ones.
4. Download a selection of the best fonts
Once you have found several fonts you feel are appropriate download them and test them out in Illustrator (Inkscape is free vector software you can use and an alternative.) Why not also experiment to see if you can combine them with some of the elements from the first logo tutorial.
Hopefully this exercise has got you thinking more about choosing appropriate fonts. There is much more we can delve into regarding using fonts in future logo design exercises.
Note: If in future you intend to use any of the fonts from Dafont for paid commercial use make sure you check the licenses on the fonts – not all fonts may be used for commercial work without permission.
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.
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
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.
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This post is a logo design tutorial following the logo design process I used to design a free charity logo (final logo at the bottom of post)
Last year I did a free logo design for a charity called Beach within Reach. Beach within reach aims to provide special wheelchairs capable of going onto the sand to disabled people at no charge for the day. Some of the people and children may never otherwise be able to go on to the beach due to the cost of hiring a wheelchair. The brief came from one the mums of a child who had benefited from the charity Debbie Fifield. Please check out their facebook fan page if you would like to offer your support to the charity.
First step was to send a list of questions to find out the type of logo they were looking for
The Logo Design Brief Questions
Your company name – as it should be used on the logo design
Strap line to go with your logo – if required
Please provide a little information about what your company does
Key words that describe your company – eg. friendly, reliable
What do you like/dislike about your current logo (if you have one)? Please can I see it.
Who are your competitors/Other Charities in the same field please give links if possible?
“Look and feel” required such as contemporary/traditional/brash/minimal/corporate/fun/
Any definite ideas you have about the logo design + examples of logo design you like/dislike (links if possible)?
Who is your Target audience?
Colour preferences if any. Should the logo be single colour/two colour/full colour/no specific preference?
How/where will the logo be used?
Any other information you would like to add
The questions were answered in the form of an email
To get more of an idea of what the wheelchair is used for, a google search of Landeez will bring up lots of videos and information. We are a fun, easygoing charity who’s aim is to get people in wheelchairs on to both the beach and into the sea, as many wheelchair users will never have experienced either. There is no-one in competition with us as it is a really unique charity providing a very worthwhile service. We need to continue fundraising to maintain the wheelchairs, purchase more as required (approx £4,000.00 each) and to really promote what we have. We also want to increase usage by offering them to schools/groups for the disabled within London and the South-East, then during Spring and Autumn a whole class/group of disabled children or adults could get to go on the beach which for many could be their first time ever. We really would like to have the beach on the logo and a fun version of the chair, but obviously all within a very simple form. I don’t think a strap line is necessary but we are open to any suggestions/help you have to give.
I have attached 2 photos of my son last summer, (I think the pictures say it all really) the wheelchair was absolutely vital to his enjoyment and when I heard the charity may have to dispand due to lack of interest from committee members, a couple of the mums and I took it on. The logo will be used on everything from collecting tins, t-shirts, flyers, right through to the website and everything.
Next step some basic research
The next step of the logo design process was to do a search to see the type of logos other charities use (above) and also find some images of the wheelchairs in question and some beach based images (below). I collected these images together and then dropped them into iphoto so hey were easy to view and print out.
Brainstorming for Logo Inspiration
Although I felt that the best route for the logo was probably was going to be an iconic/graphic version of someone using one of the wheelchairs I knew I needed to forget this for a least the brainstorming stage in order to try and not rule anything out. On the mind maps I used doodles as well as words to try an stimulate more ideas.
Logo Design Sketches
I worked at sketching out some possible options for the logo and scanned some of them in to work up.
Drawing up the logos in black and white in illustrator
I worked in illustrator to try work up the logos, first starting in black and white.Working In black and white let’s you concentrate on shapes and typography and not worry about colours which might distract. Don’t underestimate the helpfulness of showing your logos to a designer friend, I did. Usually a fresh eye can help you see what is and isn’t working.
Drawing up the logos in colour in illustrator
I then worked up my preferred logo design options in colour.
Showing the logos to the client
I showed some of the colour logos to the client and they picked the purple and cyan one with the addition of a strap line
My friend another freelance designer had recently started working with a new client who unfortunately had already had their logo design done by a cheap logo designer. He had now approached my friend to help with some design work after the problems they had had with the cheap logo. They had basically commissioned someone to do a really cheap logo, they were happy with the design and so had it printed on they stationery, literature and vans. The problem began when they found another local company in the same line of work had a very similar logo. I don’t know whether both logos were done by the same designer, or perhaps two different designers used some logo clip art, or the designer copied the other logo, but either way it was an expensive mistake. The cost of van graphics, literature and stationery could easily outweigh the costs of using a reputable graphic designer who charges realistic prices because they spend time thinking about and designing a logo and not just using clip art or copying designs.
Its a pretty embarrassing thing to be driving a van which looks very similar to your competitor too.