How to make a logo that rocks? So you’ve decided to go freelance, you’ve got yourself a name for your brand, but no logo yet. So how do you craft a great logo? Let’s find out!
How To Make A Logo That RocksA logo is not a brand and a logo is not a visual identity but it is an essential part of both your brand and your visual identity. By the end of this video, you should have a solid understanding about how to craft a great logo that will seamlessly integrate your overall visual identity and your well defined brand. Now creating a logo is a crucial step in establishing your brand, and there are two approaches to this:
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Approach #1Approach number one: is when you want to do this yourself, and obviously if you’re in the graphic or web design industry that shouldn’t be an issue. But there are also people not in the industry that are good at this.
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Approach #12Now approach number 2: is when you and design is a bit like dogs and cats, so you may want to outsource this part, but even if that’s the case, I still encourage you to follow along. This way you’ll know the process involved and you’ll be able to create a better brief for the creative professional that will work on your logo, so all in all, you’ll end up with a faster and cheaper process. For approach number one, you can create your logo in your preferred software, like Photoshop, the Gimp and many other great pieces of software, free or premium. Personally I fell in love with Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. These two apps are just so blazing fast, they’re available on both Mac and Windows, and they’re like 50$ each. No monthly payment plan, just a one-off. And if you are interested in getting those apps, I’ve put a link the description below. I personally use both apps and I love it! And by the way, this video is not sponsored by Affinity but I just happen to love their products. With that out of the way let’s get started!
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Step oneThe creation of a logo is a vast topic. Now I could do a full course on this topic alone, and probably will in the future, but here is a quick crash course. First we need to define the type of logos, and although it can be broken down to seven types, I‘m just going to simplify and categorize it as such:
- pictorial logos: usually use a shape
- wordmark logos: here the font is the essential element
- lettermark logos: are wordmark logos but stripped down to initials
- combination mark logos: which are a combination of pictorial and wordmark logos
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: What a good logo isNext, we need to define what a good logo is. This is not a universal truth, but just my own subjective view as a digital alchemist with a sensitivity for design and branding: So in my opinion, a good logo is:
- looking as good in black and white as it does in color
- can be easily replicated with a pen and paper
- looks good when sent over on a lousy printer
- and finally, a logo looks as good on a giant billboard as it does on a tiny pen
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: What a good logo is notIn one word: complicated. Too many times do I see complex logos, with gradients, 3D effects and so on, and while it may look good on screen, how would it look on leather, on fabric, or on metal? How would it look replicated in the sand and filmed with a topdown view from a drone?
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: My creation processSo at this stage, usually I use my brand statement and associated keywords and just type each keyword in Google Image. And if you don’t have a brand statement, I strongly suggest you watch episode number one of this module. Now I’m NOT telling you to go and steal images from Google Images! Instead, it just provides instant imagery for inspiration. So what I do is I save each image, and then I create a giant moodboard in Affinity Designer, Illustrator, Photoshop (or whatever software you prefer). Then I paste those images. I mentioned Google Images but Pinterest is also a great resource. So, once I have my moodboard, I will create a new file with like twenty artboards, usually in Affinity Designer (but you could use Illustrator if you’re an Adobe Illustrator user). And then I start experimenting concepts, in black & white at this stage, by going back and forth between this file and the moodboard file. Then I use a similar process that I outlined in the previous episode in this module, which is the episode about how to find a good brand name. Once I have a selection of logos, I will copy my selection on the artboard to the right and progressively eliminate one proposition at each stage until I’m left with three propositions.
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: getting outside opinionsOnce I have my three propositions, either there is a clear winner and it makes me wanna pop a Champagne bottle, or if I love all three propositions, I would then ask the help of a panel of minimum 10 people (more would actually be better). Preferably in your target market, and conduct a simple survey like:
- for each logo, please describe 3 keywords to associate with
- for each logo, please describe what product or service you think it is associated with
- for each logo give it a numeric value, 1 being your favorite and 3 being your least favorite
- I would then ask for the participants to share any other comment they may have
The idea behind the surveysThe idea here, is not to let others decide about your logo, but simply to get outside opinions, preferably from your target market. At the end of the day, you want your audience to connect with your brand so you may as well get a feel about how they feel about your logo. What I would avoid is asking my family and friends because they’ll have a hard time telling you if your logo propositions suck. Now, love affair politics would require you to at least ask the opinion of your loved one, but one trick here is to only show the final chosen version, versus a crappy proposition. But you really need to make the crappy proposition really really crappy so that there’s no chance your loved one will choose it. If the worst came to the worst and they chose it, you could still show them the survey results to extinguish the diplomatic incident.
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Step two
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Finding a color palette.If you’ve played along by the rules, at that stage, your new and shiny logo is in black and white only. Now unless you intend to keep your color palette black and white, now is the time to look for the perfect color palette. There are many tools out there, and many ways to craft a color palette, but once again, this could be an entire course alone, especially if we start talking about the psychology of colors. So watch out for an upcoming course about this topic, but in the meantime here are one hundred gorgeous palettes, courtesy of Canva! You’re welcome! So at this stage, I just scroll down through the list and when I see a color palette that I like, I save the image or make a screen capture. Next, I start experimenting by creating a new file in my preferred software, and create variations of the logo with my chosen color palettes. Then, as we did for the logo creation process, I just start copying my selection on the artboard to the right and progressively eliminate one proposition at each stage until I’m left with 3 propositions.
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Need outside opinions?Once I have my three propositions, once again, either there is a clear winner, or if I love all three propositions, I would then conduct a simple poll in my target market. You can easily create such a poll with Google Forms. So after that you should now be set, with a great logo, and a nice color palette that will be used not only in your logo, but in your overall visual identity.
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Color agnostic?Now there is one more thing I must talk about on the subject. Some brands are color agnostic. You may want to change the color palettes depending on your target markets, seasonality, or line of products. For example, I couldn’t tell you what is the color of Nike or Adidas, while on the other hand I can easily associate colors with the Mc Donald’s or the Ferrari brands. There is no good and bad choice here, you just need to make a choice. But whatever the choice, you will need a color palette to start with, and now you’ve got all the tools and tips to craft one. So, now you should have all the tools to create a great logo, but should you always do it yourself or should you outsource it? And if you do outsource, where do you find great designers? That’s approach number two that was briefly introduced at the beginning of this episode.
How To Make A Logo That Rocks: Outsourcing The ProcessWell, first of all, even if you know graphic design, it does not mean that you are the man or the woman for the job (unless you are a talented graphic designer of course). What I mean by that, is that design is subjective, and sometimes I stumble upon people that create their own logo because they know how to use a graphic creation software. But that being said, they don’t have great design skills. Obviously if their plan is to sell their services as a graphic designer, that would be an issue, but for other types of freelancers, there’s no shame in outsourcing the logo creation process, and there are actually several benefits:
- the first benefit is the time and energy you won’t spend on the logo creation process, thus giving you more time to focus on all the other tasks involved with creating a business
- the second benefit is that if you choose your designers wisely, you’re are sure to get professional quality for your brand