Design

How To Design A Logo If You Are Not A Designer

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

If you are like most people and have no idea where to start, designing a logo can seem scary and overwhelming. You may see incredible logos around and you think to yourself, “How can I get a logo that can look like that?” or “Why didn’t I think of a logo that looks like that?” The good news is, it isn’t too late. Keep in mind that your logo is just an iconic representation of what your brand stands for. Once you know your brand, you will be able to create a logo with relative ease, regardless of how much creative and design juice is flowing. Read on to see how to define your brand, if you haven’t already, and where to go from there.”

 

WHAT IS YOUR BRAND?

Before creating a logo, you need to clearly define what your brand is and what it stands for. Write down the qualities that would characterize your brand. These are words such as playful, focused, meticulous, etc. that will help drive your logo design in the long run. If you feel like you haven’t defined your brand yet, then you should download our ebook below on the 4 components that make a strong brand (Link below). This will help you understand where your brand is and where it can go. You may have a good idea of what your brand is like in your mind, but maybe it conjures up different ideas for others. Ask trusted people around you (business advisor, friends, family) about what they believe your company stands for. If they aren’t aligned with what you think your brand stands for, you may want to tweak your messaging or brand a bit so that it expresses exactly what you want it to.

 

DO SOME RESEARCH

While you are gathering feedback about your company and the image that it currently has, your next step should be to do research on logos that you love. Start documenting these by taking pictures, screenshots, etc. and noting what you like about each logo and why. You do this for two reasons: 1. You will start to find a trend in the styling that you like. 2. If you aren’t designing the logo completely on your own and may bring in somebody else, these images can help you get on the same page (which is HUGE in creating a unified vision). Try to compile at least 10 different company logos throughout your research. The logos may be completely different such as bright and colorful, modern, or random; if you like it, save it. You will start to find that you have an aligned vision that matches your brand and your messaging. Once you have your brand feedback and you have finished your research, now comes the fun part.

 

DESIGN A LOGO

Forget the design programs, Powerpoint, Paint, iPads, all of the tech. Put it all away and grab a piece of paper and a pencil. When it comes to designing a logo, it needs to be a fluid experience of thought, unobstructed by keys, clicks, and buttons. Some people create logos on massive pieces of paper while others do better in a notebook that they always have with them. These details don’t matter as long as you have the freedom to draw and make mistakes. Start by drawing anything. It can be a logo that you loved throughout your research or something completely unrelated. The key is to get the creative juices flowing and the pencil moving. Then start to think about your company and draw as many different ideas as you can think of. They can be letters, the name, icons, literally anything. If you do not consider yourself a designer or creative, this will most likely be the most difficult part. But I encourage you to stick with it. You will find that you will start to find some designs that you like and logos that you could see on your company website or on a billboard. Once you feel satisfied (it could be a few hours or days), it is time to refine.

 

DESIGN, REFINE, REPEAT

Take your logo that you have drawn, and start to show it to the people that you trust with your brand. Tell them to be as brutally honest and detailed in their feedback. If you decide to collaborate with someone that has some design experience, see if they will create your drawings on a design program and then show the preliminary designs.

 

PRO TIP:

Always, Always, ALWAYS create your logo in black and white. As tempting as it is to add color, the best logos are ones that can stand alone in black and white.

 

Gather the feedback about your logos and see how you can best refine the design of either the best logo designs, or the top one if there was a clear favorite. Go through the process of refining your logo and repeat the process of creating and gathering feedback. This process is exactly the same as editing a document. The rough draft may be headed in the correct direction, but the final product will be a lot better after revisions. You will finally get to the point (there is no set number of revisions) where the logo is the best that it can be and it is exactly what you want. Now is the time to have it professionally designed and colored. Check out the blog post on adding color to your logo here.

Always remember that your logo is a part of your brand as well. So double check that it matches your brand qualities that you defined in the beginning of the process. While it is possible to change your logo down the road, you want to try to keep your logo relevant and representative of your company for as long as possible. If you are constantly changing your logo, people will lose sight of who you are as a company. However, by creating a strong logo that reflects your company in a truly comprehensive way, you will captivate others with a logo that will identify your brand for years to come.

Marketing
Featured Post
Written by:
Steve Cassingham

The Power of Story for Brand Growth

Stories remain to be one of the most important pieces of society. Throughout history, stories have been a way for cultures to pass on values, ideas, and concepts. While there are many mediums to share stories in today’s culture, the principle remains the same: make it memorable. So what makes a story a memorable and why is it paramount in modern marketing?

The Hero’s Journey

Many are familiar with the hero’s journey. The idea that a protagonist must overcome an antagonist, whether it be a person, a challenge, or an internal struggle. When we feel close to the hero, we want to cheer them on to success and we feel empathy. This is extremely powerful because it means that we care about what happens to the hero, which encourages us to see the journey through to the end. Stories usually have a climax at the end which is the culmination of the buildup and ultimately the lesson learned by the hero. If you were told the result of this climax at the beginning of the story, you probably wouldn’t care as much about the story. This is because it takes time to develop a certain level of care for the story and the characters within it.

Stories in Modern Marketing

In today’s culture, we are constantly surrounded by brands, marketing, and media. More time is spent in front of a screen than ever before and most of that time is spent being exposed to brands. Traditional marketing with short one-liners and a sales pitch are not as effective as they used to be. This is because people do not care. Brands have lost touch with the consumer while chasing the bottom line. While growth and sales are important, the strategy and building a loyal audience is crucial. When a person cares about a brand and the journey that they are on, it is hard not to cheer for the success of the company. This simple concept, while more complicated to implement, is the key to driving sustained growth for years to come.

Implementing Stories Into Your Brand

To put it simply, share your story. Building a company and a brand is not always fun and games. There are struggles, challenges, deadlines, and decisions that have to be made. While it might be tempting to only share the successes, sharing the journey of the ups and downs is the game-changing strategy. This doesn’t mean that you should suddenly try to publish on every platform available (if you can, do it) but make a conscious decision to be more thoughtful in what you are creating for the current platforms you use.

Take a step back from your brand and look at the goals you are trying to accomplish, the mission of the company, and where you visualize the company in the years to come. Take that vision and craft a story around it. Who are the characters? What is the big challenge that you are trying to overcome? What lessons can be learned along the way?

Take these answers and implement it into everything that you share. Before posting, writing, or recording, think about if what you are doing will help push that story along. Then take that content and integrate that thinking into everything you design, write, and say. Over time, you may find that you are now the protagonist that everybody is rooting for to win.

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