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Visualise Your Vision | How To Effectively Design Your Logo

Brand Identity
min read
In this article

Getting a logo and making it perfect can be the most stressful part of building a brand identity for creators. This one design element is the thing that holds a lot of people back from starting their business, and stops them from sharing their work online. 

If designing the perfect logo really is holding you back and stopping you from getting your products out there and selling your services, then please don’t worry about it! On social media especially, a photo or illustration of you will work amazingly as your profile image, and you don’t need it on your posts. Instead, focus on building your audience and sharing your work. Then, when you feel ready to tackle your logo, or invest in a designer to help you create one, you can make that happen. 

But if you are ready to design an aligned and effective logo, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Let’s dive into this iconic part of the brand design process and look at how you can create your own logo!

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

1. Understand your brand first

The best way to design an effective logo that will keep your brand consistent and help you stand out for years to come is to be intentional about how and why you’re designing it. 

Before you dive into creating your logo, first get clear on your identity, your audience, and your unique voice. This will give you everything that you need to ensure that the logo you create is communicating the right things to the right people. 

2. Find inspiration

Once you have clarity about who you are and what you want to communicate to who, you can curate a useful moodboard for your brand that reflects your vision. This will give you an overall visual direction for your brand as a whole. 

While those moodboards focus more on the big picture mood and direction of your brand, it’s also useful to find specific inspiration for the layout, typography, and other elements of your logo. This isn’t about finding logos to replicate, but finding elements that will inspire your own logo. 

You can use Pinterest, Behance, Dribbble, or Instagram to find inspiration, and pull it together into a document you can reference as you work on your logo. 

Here’s my logo inspiration Pinterest board jam packed with ideas to get you started!

3. Choose the right kind of logo for you

There are 7 unique logo types, each serving a different purpose and working well for different brands. Ideally, you will have a suite of different logos that allow you to apply them in many situations and make the most of your logo everywhere you need it.

But for now, you can get started with one of the following types of logo:

  • Wordmark/logotype
  • Monogram/lettermark
  • Brand mark/symbol/icon/pictorial mark
  • Abstract logo mark
  • Mascot
  • Combination mark
  • Emblem

You can read more about each logo type here.

This logo has three versions that can be used in various situations while keeping things consistent. Image via Joel Pringle

4. Sketch ideas

Once you know what you want to convey, have some inspiration to guide you, and understand the kinds of logos you can work with, it’s time to put pen to paper! You can do this by hand with a pencil and paper, or jump on an iPad or tablet and sketch digitally. 

The idea here is to get out as many ideas as possible that could work to represent your brand, and then you’ll narrow down your favourite ones to start digitizing. 

It’s important to note here, that a logo doesn’t need to explain, it just needs to identify. So as you’re sketching ideas, don’t worry about explaining your services in your logo, just focus on creating something unique and memorable that will identify your brand among others. That means as a photographer, you don’t need a camera in your logo! An artist doesn’t need a paintbrush. You just need to create something that stands out.

"A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like. The subject matter of a logo can be almost anything." — Paul Rand

5. Choose your software

When you’ve got some sketches down, you can jump into your software of choice and start making your idea a reality. There are a bunch of different design software options out there, so it’s just a matter of finding the one that works for you. 

Some popular options are:

Canva is the easiest and most accessible option if you are new to design. If you have some experience with design software, Illustrator, Affinity, or Figma are all great options, and you can always learn to use them through Skillshare or other classes. 

6. Start in black and white

Before you get super excited and start throwing fun colours onto your logos, you’ve got to make sure it works on its own. Colour is fun, but it can also be distracting when it comes to making an effective logo. I always recommend that you start in black and white and work that way until you’re mostly happy with the logo concept so that you can focus on getting the foundations working before putting on the paint! 

There are also situations where your logo may have to be shown in black, white, or one colour, so making sure this works is a great way to future-proof your design. 

7. Choose fonts that fit with your strategy

The best way to start creating your logo is with typography. Typography is so powerful in communicating meaning, especially when you’re able to use your brand strategy and choose the best fonts for your brand to convey your message. 

Different styles of typography feel different and create a different energy for your audience, so even typing out your business name in a font that’s aligned with your strategy will be an incredibly powerful place to start. 

Take your time to browse and find the best fonts for your brand, then you can start putting them to work, combining them together, and creating a logo that feels aligned with your brand. 

These logos all use typography along, but each look and feel completely different based on the different fonts that they’ve used. Images via LulaChristman, Scott Wilson, and Cocorrina

8. Choose elements that represent your brand

As well as typography, there are other elements that you can incorporate into your logo or logos. These could include: 

  • Icons
  • Illustrations
  • Shapes
  • Lines
  • Dots
  • Dates
  • Trademark/registration marks

When you’ve laid out some type, you can add in these elements to make your logo unique, and align it with your message. 

These logos all include different illustrations, shapes, and lines that make them unique. Images via Victoria Co Design, Jesse Bowser, and Rebecca Duff-Smith.

9. Ask yourself these questions to make sure your logo works

There’s no use having a logo if it’s not going to work for you and your brand long-term. You can use these 8 practical questions to ensure a good logo design.

  • Is it easy to read?
  • Does it work in black and white?
  • Does it work in one colour?
  • Do you have multiple versions?
  • Does it work at a super small size?
  • Does it work at a really big size?
  • Does it work on a variety of backgrounds?
  • Does it stand out?

10. Start using your logo!

Once you’re happy with your logo, you can export it and start using it! There are a bunch of different logo formats you can create depending on where and how you’ll be using it, such as: 

  • PNG
  • JPEG
  • SVG
  • TIFF
  • GIF
  • PDF
  • EPS
  • AI

This article will explain each logo format, what it does, and what to use it for. 

When you’ve got all the exported logo assets that you need, it’s time to get it out into the world onto all of your brand touchpoints so you can make the most of your new logo.

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March 24, 2021



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