Brand identity is one of the key elements that support the creation of a consistent and recognized company in the market. For this, it is essential that it is aligned with the business purposes and consistent with its segment.
However, for this to be possible, there needs to be some mechanism to externalize all these aspects visually to the public, external and internal, and the solution found is the creation of famous logos.
For this reason, we will explain throughout the text what is a logo and everything you need to know to create one for your business. Check out!
What is a logo?
The logo is an identifying sign by which the public will identify your products and services amidst a sea of competitors.
When a logo has text support, we call the complete logo symbol. This means that it is the integration of a logo and a text. For example, this is very clear on the Nike logo (when the word is not written) and on your logo (when the symbol is joined with the word “Nike” written).
What few know (or care about) is that behind the creation of a logo there is extensive research work, a development that builds on theoretical design assumptions. and psychology, involving semiotics, color, composition, concept, etc.
For this, a designer takes a long time to come up with the ideal symbol that is beautiful and functional for the specific needs of the customer.
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How to create a logo?
To explain how to create a logo, we have selected X tips that can also serve to understand what a freelancer logo design process is like.
It is also important to remember that there is no “cake recipe” for creating a logo, each designer has their own method. We will then give you an overview of how to create a logo. See what they are!
1. Be simple
First, we must understand that the logo should be simple.
Logo is a graphical representation of your company. and it must be synthesized so that it is easily identified, without unnecessary information.
Beautifully embellished logos, full of elements and effects convey a sense of disorganization.
You don’t want your company image to be that, right?
As can be seen better in this article, logo is when we attach the icon that gives the face of your brand to its title / name.
This means that your logo is half “design” and half text.
Note that “source” was quoted in the singular. Using more than one font in a logo is not recommended.
Uniform typography on your logo creates visual compliance, things go better, and you record your brand name written in that specific font in your client’s visual memory.
And that makes all the difference.
Think for example Coke, Adidas, Disney… All logos of these brands have in common a typography that makes us identify the product right away.
Even when the source is used to write something else.
Many mixed sources confuse. Stay simple!
2. Perform a full search
A very important part of creating a good logo, research is the first step.
Have you heard that “nothing is created, everything is copied”?
This is not exactly how things are, but having good references is essential to creating an interesting logo.
First, think of the logos you like best. Those logos that catch your eye and know exactly what it is about.
Examples like Nike, Coca-Cola and Apple are always cited since it is undisputed that these brands are market leaders in their segments and easily recognized by their logos, right?
Let’s take the Coke logo. Below is a comparison between the evolution of this brand’s logo and its main competitor over the years.
There is even a certain similarity between the first Pepsi logo (from 1898) and the first logo printed on a Coca-Cola label (in 1900).
But note that the Coca-Cola logo has only been briefly aided and has remained almost the same for all these years – except for the crazy 1985 strategy where the company completely changed its brand into a strategy that many say was all over. made by involving a change in the famous soda formula.
Meanwhile, Pepsi adopted its famous colors – red and blue – 50 years after the creation of the first logo, which has been modified several times.
Who is the market leader? The Coke.
However, these examples are extreme. Famous brands that have achieved excellence through many years of market. Therefore, also search for other references.
3. Research Your Competitors
Are there any companies / brands that offer the same (or almost the same) as you? What are the benchmarks?
Have the logo of these companies as a reference.
Do not copy them, but analyze the elements used, the colors, and try to create something that makes your logo differentiate, draw more attention and is better resolved than competitors.
4. Know your persona
Different audiences demand different logos. Make a detailed analysis of the type of persona your brand wants to target.
Search for the logos of the brands that your person identifies most. You can do this with a verbal search, talking to friends that fit your persona’s profile, asking on their social networks, creating forms.
Collect this data to better target the end result of your logo.
Don’t know what a persona is? We have this article explaining in detail what it is!
And if you prefer another form of content, the Peçanha recorded the following video explaining everything you need to know about this concept:
Do you already know what a persona is but have a hard time creating it?
5. Know what trends are
Once you know what your competitors are doing, keep up with what has been done about design. Design is something that is constantly changing.
What was done in the 1990s is completely different from what was done in the 2000s, which is different from what is done today.
So researching logos made today and taking them for reference prevents you from creating something outdated or far from today’s standards.
It may seem like a good idea to do something out of the way to stand out easily, but this way you associate your brand with something very old-fashioned or “tacky”, without regard to the visual identity, which is awful.
Also remembering that there is not just a “trend” in force. Trends coexist, mingle, divide.
I bet you will find the best style to represent your brand. Think about what has more to do with what you want to pass on to your audience about yourself.
I’ve separated some good sites to look for beautiful logo design references for you to check out:
Remember that some of these sites specialize in logos, but others are for general design references.
If you know any more cool referral sites, be sure to tell us in the comments!
6. Think about your logo concept.
With all this data gathered during the search, it’s time to conceptualize your logo. What the hell is that?
Conceptualization is nothing more than determining what your logo will go through your forms.
This may seem very subjective, but having a closed concept can result in a logo that expresses – even subtly – the service provided.
A good logo example With a very well thought out concept is the logo of the American company FedEx.
The concept of your brand should refer to your mail and parcel delivery service. Look:
Few note that there is an arrow in the white space between the letters “E” and “X”.
This arrow represents that things move from one place to another, and represent dynamism and agility.
Another important detail of this logo is that all letters are connected. Note that there is no space between them, not even between the “d” and the “E” of different colors.
This shows that the company’s concept is that of connect people through your services.
It seems like it was by chance, but believe me, it wasn’t. Sometimes chance helps, but when you think about these details first, the work gets much easier.
Search done, concept closed. It’s time to face the blank sheet of paper.
Yes, that’s right you guessed it, let’s design our logo!
“But I don’t know how to draw!” You must be thinking of despair. Calm down, friend!
You don’t have to be Leonardo DaVinci to have a good logo. But doodling a piece of paper to organize ideas is a very efficient technique.
Even the most seasoned designers skip this step and go straight to the computer. The shortest distance between your brain and paper is to use a pencil or pen.
And even if your sketches are just scribbles, they help with logo completion.
See the examples:
As much as the drafting process should be free and fluid, everything that was scored during the survey should be taken into account.
Let the concept serve as inspiration. Think of it as a starting point and let ideas come to paper.
Start logo scanning
Anyway, it’s time to sit at the computer and turn the ideas you have on paper into a file inside your computer that can be used in all your materials.
This scanning process when creating a logo can also be called vectorization.
The term soon in curves It is also widely used to refer to a vector logo.
For this step, a notion of computer graphics and knowing how to use graphics software is essential.
If this is not the case, on the internet you can find some tools that can break the branch.
They are quite limited but can be a good solution for those who have no idea how to manipulate vectors in software like Illustrator or CorelDRAW.
Some websites that create free logos are:
They are all in English.
While there is this kind of facility, it is ideal to create it in appropriate software.
There are several graphics software on the market (the most famous being Photoshop and CorelDRAW), but we recommend that you create your logo in vector software.
Why? Why how already seen here, vectors are infinitely scalable! 😀
That means it doesn’t matter if you will use your logo on a 9x5cm business card or if you will have it sticked a freighter with a length of 4 and a half football fields: Your logo will look perfect on the artwork!
Understanding this, let’s now see the most suitable software for scanning your logo.
Inkscape is a free software and open source for vector manipulation.
You can find several tutorials on the internet teaching the basics about this program, check one out below!
You can download this software by visiting the developer’s official website. clicking here.
This is the industry leading program for vector images. Possibly it is also the most robust and efficient.
It is always the my first indication for those who want to work with vectors.
It is developed by the powerful Adobe (market leader in graphics software) and thus has a wonderful integration between its other programs (which work with bitmap images, Video edition, animations, web design, etc).
The problem with this program is that it is paid for, but you can use it for free for 30 days by downloading its trial version. clicking here.
You will find several tutorial videos about Illustrator too, like this one below:
This software has been the market leader for many, many years, but nowadays it’s just an ugly duckling among professionals.
Its multiple functions were its undoing because, trying to meet all the designer needs in one tool, it became unstable and unreliable.
He burned his own movie as it caused professionals to lose hours of work due to its malfunctions.
Not bad software, but not viewed with good eyes.
If you still prefer to use this software for some reason, our biggest recommendation is: never send your logo with the native extension of the program that is CDR.
Few professionals have “Corel” and will not be able to open or work this file.
Save as EPS or PDF to avoid inconvenience.
If you don’t get along with these programs or online tools, a designer is needed.
But by knowing how the process works, you will be able to convey to the professional with much more ownership and accuracy what you need.
Surely the result will be an amazing logo!
8. Choose typography
Okay, you have a blank canvas in front of you, some sketches drawn on a piece of paper, and some ideas in your head.
Let’s start with the written part of your logo.
Maybe you didn’t think exactly what font (font) you will use in your logo, right?
Well, typography is a science that requires a lot of study, but let’s try to make things as simple as possible here.
There are several types of fonts, but undoubtedly one feature that separates fonts into two large groups is the serif. What is the serif?
Serif are these extensions in the corners of the letter. Thus fonts can be serifed or not.
About the serif, follow these two simple rules:
- Serifas make more sense in serious and / or classic logos;
- Use font sans serif in laid-back and / or modern logos.
We still have several types of sources, but in-depth explanations are for an upcoming article.
In choosing the font for your logo, a law that cannot be disregarded at all is: readability.
Do not choose heavily decorated fonts. No one will understand the name of your brand.
To help you make this difficult choice, here are three tips that may already eliminate some of the many options right away:
- Never use: Comic Sans, ZapFino, Papyrus, Chiller, Monotype Corsiva.
- Not recommended: Arial, CooperPlate, Myriad, Impact.
- Use without fear: Helvetica, Drinks, Grotesk, Gotham, Museo, Raleway, Soho, Roboto, Geomanist, Din, Bodoni, ChunkFive, Cocogoose, Futura, Lato.
Remembering that this is not exactly a rule. Taste is debatable and there are always those who find good applications for certain sources.
But following these tips will help prevent your brand from being generic, without personality, and / or teasing.
See below the acclaimed Chanel brand logo and its replica using a font considered “bad”:
Could you see the difference?
It is not an easy task to decide which is the best source for your logo. To do this, type in your brand name, make multiple copies, and apply different fonts to each.
But let’s put the typography aside for now and let’s go for the creation of our icon / symbol!
Perhaps the right font will only appear after that, as it will best fit the drawing.
9. Draw the symbol
Take all those scribbles you made and reproduce in the graphics software of your choice.
If you know how to handle programs, you know that there is a tool that adds points and manipulates them into solid elements. This is usually the easiest way to turn your doodles into a logo.
To do this more accurately, scan or take a picture of your drawings and throw it into the vector program. You will be then vectorizing your logo.
This is a process that can involve a lot of patience if your drawings have very complex shapes. But practice generates perfection. Try manipulating the vectors until the final shape actually makes you happy.
This is where the technical knowledge and accuracy of an experienced designer becomes extremely desirable.
Separating part of the budget to hire a good designer should always be an option to consider, but if there is no way, train hard and try to get your logo as accurate as you want.
Browse materials on some of the previously listed sites – Squarespace, Garden logo and Graphic springmainly – or search for free icons on sites like FreePic or the Noun Project can be good outlets too.
You can find sophisticated and extremely well-executed icons to use for your future logo. The problem is that, being free sites, other people can use the same icons.
An intermediate option would be to download these free icons and modify them in the graphics software.
Customization is always a good alternative and by working with ready-made files you can learn a lot about how they were made.
10. Work with grid, guides and alignment
From very young we have contact with alignments.
When we are being literate we use handwriting notebooks to train the writing, leaving the letters proportional and with adequate spacing.
In elementary school we have contact with lined notebooks, of which we use the lines to make all content more organized and readable.
In geometry or geometric design classes we have contact with rulers, squares, compasses, protractors and, mainly, with the checkered sheets.
The concern with alignment, positioning and distribution has been practiced by everyone for a long time, but in design – especially when creating a logo – this is almost a must.
Elements of a logo need coexist and complement each other harmoniously. And the best way to achieve this harmony is to always be aware of alignments.
Therefore, grids and guidelines exist to assist in this. See the example below:
We can see in this image a simple grid, which brings a beautiful balance to the logo.
Basically, it worked with two different distances that were applied throughout the logo.
In this second example, circular shapes were used to maintain the fluidity and simplicity of the shapes. Look:
Circular guides were also used on the Twitter logo:
And in the example below from Lotus Logo Design:
Another good example is the Shell logo, which was developed in the 1970s when the entire logo creation process was manual.
We can notice in the example that a checkered sheet was used and that all lines start from the same point. It just seems a detail but it makes a lot of difference to the strength of the logo.
Another example of a logo developed in the early days of graphic design, the Braun logo was ugly in the 1960s.
A simple grid aided by circular shapes forms an imposing logo. Also note the concern with symmetry.
McDonald’s has been using its famous yellow M for many years. Notice how the X and Y distances repeat in the logo, giving balance.
Also see how Gmail logo shapes are based on overlapping shapes that serve as guides, generating a striking and extremely balanced icon.
Now look at the Uber typography grid:
Some logos have no icon and this is an example.
Showing these logos with the grid, it looks like the symbol was created from the grid, but this is actually quite rare.
The most common is that the initial “scribble” is enhanced and gains harmony, symmetry and fluidity from a grid created on top of the initial drawing.
And don’t forget, a symbol doesn’t have to be 100% based on a grid.
There are many amazing logo designs that use no grid, but there is certainly a concern about the alignments and spacing between elements.
11. Set the colors
Having finished designing your logo, it’s time to apply color.
It’s very important first think of your logo in a monochrome version (black and white).
If it works in black and white – which would be its simplest version in cases where your logo will be applied to some media that does not support the use of more than one color – it will work with multiple colors as well.
Choosing colors for a logo is a tricky one.
It involves personal taste, knowledge of your persona, your market, your own product … but one way to decide is to use knowledge related to color theory and psychology.
Click here to learn more about Color Psychology if you are not familiar with the subject.
12. Collect Feedback
Having finalized some options for your logo (it is very important to make more than one option), it is time to do some testing.
Call different people who fit your persona’s profile. Show off your logo and let them give their impressions of what they are seeing.
Analyze the different arguments and choose the logo that you consider to be the highest rated.
This step is essential for you not to end up with a logo that pleases you but does not talk to your customer and their persona, ie who will buy from you.
13. Test the different applications
Having chosen the winning option, it’s time to do some basic testing to determine the best ways to apply it.
It is very important that you think about the questions below:
Does your logo work vertically and horizontally?
Most logos have their horizontal and vertical versions.
You never know when your logo will need to be used standing or lying down, so be careful to make sure your logo works in both positions.
Take, for example, the NBC logo in its vertical, horizontal versions and just the icon:
What is the minimum size for your logo to be readable?
In your preferred graphics software, position your logo sequentially in different sizes, greatly decreasing.
Print this page and analyze how small you can identify all elements and read all words.
Measure with a ruler the option that fits this description and assume this as the minimum size for your logo.
And don’t forget to specify this size in your brand manual!
Does your logo work on all types of backgrounds?
First test your logo on white background and black background. If necessary, invert the colors of the logo.
Then test on colored backgrounds. And then apply your logo on photos.
If there is any case where your logo is completely unreadable, specify in your trademark manual that application is not recommended.
Serious designers usually follow the rules of a branded manual and this will ensure that your logo is always readable.
And since we mentioned the Brand Manual twice, it’s time to explain what it is and how important it is. Keep up!
14. Create a Brand Manual
As the name implies, the Brand Manual is a primer for your logo, which will ensure that it is always presented following a pattern.
Which is extremely important for strengthening any brand.
This document brings together – in addition to its logo – all variations of the logo, all applications, all its punctuated and explained peculiarities, all application rules.
And now that you know about the importance of the Brand Manual, let’s also explain what Briefing is and what it has to do with your logo.
If you are reading this article and are a designer, you may think this item is out of order, since The briefing is the first thing to do in the process of creating a logo.
But calm down, I will explain!
Briefing comes from the English word briefwhich means brief.
In design language, briefing is nothing more than an initial document, before the creation of any concept or form, about what the project will consist of.
The briefing is what gives the designer what the client wants and expects from his logo. (or any other design piece).
So if you’re not a designer, you’ve read this far and learned more about the logo creation process, but don’t consider yourself technically fit to execute it, I’m sure your designer briefing will be much more detailed and enlightening. .
Briefings by completely lay people on the subject are often very vague, full of contradictions and this results in a huge amount of work and rework for a designer.
Knowing all the steps explained in this article, I am sure the end result of your logo will reflect the knowledge you have gained now!
It is also worth remembering that the designer guides the client in relation to the briefing.
Usually the briefing has a form format, with questions that the designer thinks are pertinent to understanding the task to be performed.
But that may vary and each trader has his own method.
A conclusion and caveats
Logo creation is an extremely complex subject.
I have tried to give an overview of the subject to people who do not know the design world, but anyone who knows knows that many points have not been properly untied or even mentioned.
It is important to note that logo design is a very specific work within design and that even experienced designers – and extremely competent in other areas within design – face difficulties in developing logos.
And don’t forget: not everyone will like your logo! Accept it and be happy!
The important thing is not that everyone thinks your logo is beautiful. The important thing is that he represents your brand and gives it the right emphasis.
Did you like the content? Tell us in the comments, your feedback is very important!