While some logos may look simple, the process of getting the perfect icon typography combo takes a lot of time, thought, tweaking, and trial and error. Every new designer is in the pursuit of creating that perfect logo to represent their unique design style. To help with this process, we’ve created a breakdown of what makes a great logo and how to accomplish this.
A couple of other useful resources you’ll wan to check out are 101 Essential Online Resources for Graphic Designers and Five Place to Boost Your Creativity Other than Pinterest.
A show stopping logo won’t come in a matter of a couple hours. The first step is to be open to all of your own ideas and interpretations. Seek different resources for inspiration, concept ideas and style, both online and offline.
When starting the logo design process it’s important to look at what’s already been done. A designers worst nightmare is creating a logo that resembles another. This can be easily avoided through extensive research and the analyses of other logos.
Researching your competitors will allow your logo to standout. Once you’ve seen what’s out there, you can design your logo to overpower the competition. You’ll want to draw inspiration from aspects of your competitors’ logos that relate to the target market, although the best logos think differently and contrast trends.
Now that you’ve gained a solid understanding of what’s already out there, it’s time to start sketching! Grab your sketchbook and draw out anything and everything that comes to mind. Think of the brand concept and what you want to convey through this logo. How do you want people to feel when they look at it? Does it convey your brand’s personality? It’s easy to get stuck on one idea and keep illustrating slightly different versions of this, although we suggest that each sketch is different.
After you’ve drawn out everything you can think of, it’s time to narrow it down to your top 3. From there you can continue to tweak and iterate until you’ve found your favorite. This process is an important step to assure you’ve looked into every possibility and what you’ve chosen is the best.
It’s important to remember that branding consists of more than just a logo. With this in mind, you’ll want to think about how the logo interacts with the rest of the brand experience. Take into account, the website, packaging, signage and stationary. When someone discovers a new brand, the logo is not necessarily the first aspect they’ll encounter as all customer touch points are equally important including your website, social media, and customer interactions through phone and email.
When used properly, an icon in a logo can help convey your brand’s story and be memorable. An icon may be simple, although there are many aspects to take into consideration when designing. We’ve laid them out below for you.
This is a question every designer should ask themselves when designing a logo. There’s a video on Youtube of a 5 year old expressing their first impressions of famous logos. This video emphasizes which brands have successfully created a memorable logo, that even a 5 year old recognizes.
When designing a logo, you want to think to yourself, “If someone looked at this logo, then looked away would they be able to draw it from memory?” Of course, the drawing won’t be perfect, but will they be able to convey the general shape.
When designing your logo, you want to avoid being sucked into any design trends that could be replaced within a year. Your logo should be effective for at least 5 years so you’ll want to consider how times will change and if your logo will last through these changes.
We suggest researching examples of logos that are and aren’t timeless and the aspects of each. Overall, think of how much time you put into designing your logo. You don’t want to be doing this every couple of years.
A logo can be placed anywhere from a large billboard to pens and envelopes. This means it must work and be powerful in all sizes. Most logos will work large, although it’s the small areas like on pens that will be challenging. The best way to double check this is to print the logo out small. Based on the print you can refine the logo so even the smallest details will be seen when printed on smaller items such as stationery or business cards.
The most effective logos will take 2-3 messages and wrap it up into one. Think of the 3 most important values of your brand and how this can be conveyed through an icon.
Having multiple meanings in your logo will add interest and give it the “ohhhhh!” factor. This is another great way to make the logo memorable. People will be talking about a logo that cleverly combines 3 aspects into one beautiful symbol.
If you’re stuck on how to do this, we suggest playing around with the negative space. You could use these areas to create a shape that will stand out and highlight your message.
One of the scariest aspects about creating a logo is the potential for it to be misinterpreted as something that looks inappropriate. Once the logo is complete, you want to triple check that it isn’t offensive to anyone.
This is where your friends and family can be extremely useful. You may have looked at this thing a million times, but a fresh set of eyes will see something that totally flew over your head. Better safe than sorry!
The word mark can be easily forgotten, although it is equally as important as the icon. Text is another opportunity to slip in your message and make the overall logo a memorable one. Although you may be exhausted after creating your perfect icon, it’s important to spend time tweaking the word mark as well. We’ve added some helpful tips on creating an eye catching word mark.
Once you’ve scoured the internet for the perfect typeface, don’t be scared to play with the letters and make it your own. We suggest adding character to the text rather than simply downloading a typeface, typing out your brand name and calling it a day.
The best logos will have a word mark that they’ve added personality to and convey a solid meaning that reflects the brand.
Can’t find what you’re looking for online? Why not draw it out yourself? Often times you may have a specific style of lettering in mind and the best way to express this is through your own hand lettering.
Hand lettered word marks are no doubt unique and won’t be found in any other logo. This is a great way to reassure your brand will stand out from it’s competitors.
Setting up type perfectly can be tedious, but in the end it’s worth it to create an eye pleasing word mark. It’s important to take the time to adjust the space between each letter. The word mark should read smooth and seamlessly. After all, this text will be everywhere so you want the typesetting to be perfect.
Your color scheme can play a huge role in conveying your brand’s message. Color is a great opportunity to add feeling to your logo and persuade the viewer’s emotions. It’s important to explore all color schemes and narrow it down to the most effective combo.
This may be something you learned in kindergarten and now it will come in handy! When designing your logo, you’ll want to take into account complimentary, triadic, split complimentary and tetradic color schemes. There are many great color scheme resources out there that we’ve listed in our 101 Essential Resources for Graphic Designers blog post.
Be patient when deciding on a color scheme since it could take longer than anticipated. Once you’ve got it, you’ll know and will be stoked to show it off.
Whether you realize it or not each color subconsciously affects your mood and conveys an emotion. To understand the meaning behind colors, you can research into each color and how it effects our feelings.
Once you’re knowledgeable on the topic, it will be easier to pick the perfect color or colors for you logo and branding.
Your logo will be placed on all different color backgrounds, whether that be dark or light. It’s important to have a logo that is equally as powerful in black and white as it is in color.
Ask yourself if your message can be conveyed through the symbolism and shape alone. Although color is another important layer in communicating your brand’s message, your logo and word mark need to be strong and relatable to your audience even without the use of it.
As a graphic designer, I realize the importance of having access to the most current fonts, graphics, tutorials, photography and anything else design related. Useful design resources are vital for getting those creative juices running and staying up to date.
I’ve scoured the internet far and wide and have put together a comprehensively awesome list of 101 graphic design resources that will come in handy when you’re conjuring up your next fantastic project.
Whether you’re a student creating your custom portfolio book, a pro working on a fresh website or branding project, or you’re gathering some inspiration for a personal project, this list supplies a ton of graphic goodies at your fingertips.
Take a look and find everything you need from a fresh color scheme to that game-changing typeface.
I hope you find what you’re looking for.
Cheers to creativity,
The Noun Project gives you access to 100,000 free icons. Simply search the keyword of what you’re looking for and hundreds of icons will be available to download as well as groups of icons relating to the subject you searched, created by a designer for your use.
Explore Vecteezy’s largest vector community for icon inspiration or download your own free icon to keep the ball rolling on your current design project. Vectors are especially helpful for the production of your portfolio book since this is the format that laser engravers use to produce the highest quality etching.
With Vector Me, you can search by “Vector”, “Logos” or “Icons” depending on your design needs. Scroll through thousands of vector art and download your favorite, for free. Vector Me will also show you similar vectors based on what you’ve chosen.
Patterns can be time consuming to create on your own. Subtle Patterns offerers 414 patterns to designers all over the globe! Scroll through the options and download the perfect pattern for your design project.
Creative Market is the go-to place for all things design! From photos to fonts, the folks at Creative Market have provided designers a place to go for inspiration and easily download templates, graphic, fonts etc. to use in their creations.
You guessed it! This site contains infinite icons for you to search through and find just what you’re looking for. They are continuously growing and adding new icons.
Design Instruct offers tons of free resources for designers such as Photoshop actions and vectors. They also have a wide variety of useful articles that are worth the read.
Here you can download free Photoshop brushes, textures and effects to help create the most rad images.
Scroll through hundreds of textures and patterns or search a keyword to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Have a colour in mind? Narrow down your search in Pattern8 by selecting the colour you’re looking for along with a pattern that you love.
For anyone looking for that perfect science or education icon, this is the place for you.
Jolly Icons offers designers 400 hand drawn icons, in the same style, that will bring personality and joy to your project.
Browse through this set of 500 icons that have all been inspired by Helvetica Neue. Who knew icons could be designed based on a typeface?
The perfect resource for all your business and office icon needs. The set displays 340 hand drawn icons for you to choose from.
This is a free downloadable app for Photoshop that allows you to search for icons and then click to make a new layer shape that you can edit.
For only $10 a month Pixeden offers you unlimited downloads of various mockups. This site provides mockups you haven’t seen before so you can stand out from other designers.
Graphic Burger is most famous for it’s wide variety of free mockups. Simply download the PSD file and place your design on the proper layer. Graphic Burger also features a variety of icons at your disposal.
The guy behind Design Lazy has created design essentials for all to use including mock-ups and web design templates. You can also browse through the inspiration section if you’re experiencing a creative block.
Media Loot supplies a wide variety of free mock-ups as well as fonts, icons, templates and patterns.
The folks behind Pixel Buddha are offering designers free graphic resources to help excel their design projects. They update their site each week so the resources are fresh and current.
The only clothing mock-up site you’ll ever need. Find fresh mock-ups and add your design for a stunning display!
An easy and efficient way to find the HTML code for symbols. You might also want to check out their web design resources for featured deals on web hosting, WordPress templates and more!
Not a web developer? Neither am I! Webydo’s got us covered. This site allows you to create a stunning website without code.
Scroll through a variety of wireframes to get your site going and the best part is, it’s free!
Squarespace makes web creation as easy as 1,2,3! Select one of their templates and replace everything with your own content, et voila, you have a beautiful professional site.
For anyone building dynamic web content this is a great resource. The blog features news, editorials, podcasts, resource links, code examples, and more.
Searching for web and app design icons? Look no further! Sketch Active offers 360 icons made specifically for web and app design.
This site has provided developers with a variety of flat colours for their latest web development project. You can also search through their collection of website inspiration.
Cameron McEfee created this photoshop plug in to solve the problem of calculating the width of navigation elements in designs every time clients made navigation changes. Guideguide allows you to create your own guides on canvas, artboards, selected layers, or your selection.
Working on app design? Then this is just the resource for you! Simply create app icons of all sizes in one click.
UI Cloud is the largest use interface design database in the world. Search by category and find just what your looking for to complete the perfect site.
Size Marks is a photoshop script for web developers that converts rectangular marquee to labeled measurement marks.
An awesome resource that allows you to browse through what’s hot and trending in website development and help start the process of designing your own site.
A free online resource that covers all areas of web typography. If you find it useful, which I’m positive you will, why not give them a little donation as well.
UI Space offers high quality, hand crafted PSDs, vectors, fonts and mockups perfect for all your web design needs. Search for what you had in mind or take a look at the editor’s choice for inspiration.
Design an awesome website, using Photoshop. Choose a template off Velositey and edit it until you love it in Photoshop.
O’Reilly holds a number of web resources both free and paid for web developers every where. Submit your own questions and browse through responses as well as video content to help drive your site.
An app for Photoshop that supplies you with 13 filters identical to the ones from Instagram.
Unsplash releases 10 new high resolution royalty free photos every 10 days.
This site is great for their abstract stock images which are free to download for commercial or personal use.
Find all your nature and city shots here and free commercial use stock photos.
Gratisgraphy adds new photos weekly and specializes in humorous and high contrast photos.
Find free high resolution landscape and nature focused photography as well as 7 new photos added every 7 days.
Starting a blog? StokPic has thousands of awesome lifestyle photography and adds 10 new photos every 2 weeks.
While this site might make you hungry, it contains hundreds of food photos that are perfect for any food related site.
Getrefe contains stock photos that aim to be “real life”, meaning photos you’d take of your morning coffee or snuggling up with your cat by the tv.
This site delivers a fresh batch of stock photos straight to your email each month that are free for commercial or personal use.
DIY Photography is a great place to go for tips and tricks on all things typography. Whether you’re just learning or already an expert this site will help you out with any questions you may have.
Don’t have a fancy shmancy DSLR camera? This site has got you covered. Read all about how to use your iPhone to take professional shots.
One of the best photography magazines out there. Read about interviews with professional photographers all over the world and check out the best international photography. A great place for photo inspo to get that perfect shot!
This is a site for photographers where they can add effects to their photos. It is easy and efficient to use, not to mention, it’s free!
Browse through palettes, patterns, shapes and colours until you find the perfect scheme for your project. Each post also shows the amount of “love” it got so you know whats hot and what’s not.
Adobe has provided a free site to experiment with the colour wheel and create palettes based on analogous, monochromatic, triad, complimentary and compound colours, as well as shades!
Find a design you like and select on of the colours from it to see more designs with that colour. An awesome tool to find that perfect colour scheme! You can even download the colour scheme from the design you like.
Coolors is a great resource to find the perfect colour scheme. Simply hit your space bar to browse through schemes and adjust once you find a colour or colours you love.
Colour schemes can be difficult to choose, we know. Scroll through Color Farm’s endless variety of designs with a wide array of colour schemes until you find the perfect one. Each example will also show the hex value for the colours.
Your go to place to convert RGB colours into CMYK, Pantone and more.
A great tool to find different shades and tints of a colour that you love. Specifically made for web designers and web colours.
A Chrome plug-in that allows you find a colour palette based on an image you found online. You simply, find an image you like, right click and select “Palette Creator” and retrieve the colours from the image.
Typewolf provides you with current type trends and a list of the best fonts based on various subjects such as types of fonts and where the font will be used. One of our favourite features is the font combinations. If you have one font of mind you can use this to find the best font to match.
This is most designers go to place to find thousands of free fonts and search by category.
Font Squirrel is a great resource for matching fonts. You can upload a .jpg of a font you like and the site will generate multiple options that look similar to the font you found. The site also features many free fonts for use.
Another great resource for finding just the right font. Whatthefont also allows you to upload a photo and the site will tell you what fonts resemble the image.
Fontshop is a great resource for learning type terms to brush up on your knowledge and sound like the professional you are.
The name says it all. Find a font you like and browse through examples of the font being used for inspiration on typesetting.
Typecast is a useful text editor for web development that allows you to style HTML text elements, make project wide changes in seconds and focus on more precise areas of the type.
The creators of this site set a goal to annotate a web typeface everyday and point out the beauty of the font that most people wouldn’t notice. This is also a great resource to explore typography terminology and learn new words.
Another great source where fellow designers highlight the beauty of a font. You can also find dozens of free fonts to download and appreciate based on what you read!
Search through hundreds of free fonts until you find the perfect one. Or submit your own font and and get your name out there while building up your portfolio.
Looking for a handwritten font? This site features 10 fonts that are beautifully designed.
Everything you need to know about typography and type design. This curriculum will answer all your questions and curiosities about the type world and how type is best used.
If you already have Creative Cloud, check out Adobe’s Typekit. It comes with Creative Cloud and offers a wide variety of fonts at your disposal.
A typography blog that reviews new typefaces and discusses typographic design. A great resource for all the type nerds out there who can’t get enough!
This is a type designers heaven. Scroll through multiple pages of beautiful type and you’ll be sure to gain inspiration for you latest typographic masterpiece.
The best resource for all things package design. The Dieline also offers a free downloadable PDF with a variety of packaging templates.
Your resource for all things packaging from industry news, packaging materials, production and effects processes, and examples of packaging design categorized by industry.
Ambalaj is the personal site of packaging designer Kristina de Verdier. If you’re interested in expanding your packaging knowledge we recommend checking out her blog section for some awesome reads.
It’s right in the title, Packaging of the World showcases beautiful packaging from across the globe that is useful for inspiring your own packaging projects.
Lynda offers thousands of educational courses for new designers. This site will help kick start your knowledge!
Adobe has launched a place to go and sign up for a course for beginners looking to learn and intermediates looking to expand their knowledge. As we like to say, there’s always more to learn and room for improvement!
Discover over 20750 free tutorials as well as online courses for more in-depth explinations.
The place to go for web development tutorials and lessons. This site has a wide array of lessons for beginners and experts along with quizzes, examples and reference guides.
Find inspiration based on the best and most effective designers around the globe. Search through award winning work and gain ideas for your own designs.
Browse through articles about what’s happening in the design world, from trends to tips. Watch out though, you could get lost on this site for hours!
A great tool for creating mood boards with your design team and colleagues. Niice keeps everything in one spot so you won’t loose your train of thought.
Stay up to date on the latest design news and browse through fresh designs. You might also find your newest fav designer to draw inspiration from!
A great resource to browse through other designers portfolios and gain inspiration when creating your own.
Notch displays general inspiration that will trigger an idea or help move forward with an existing idea. You can also submit your own post and potentially be featured on the site!
We love Booooooom because it showcases artists’ work who are unique and have evidently put their personality in their work. This site is a great place to draw inspiration when you’re struggling on a project.
Behance is a an awesome portfolio site for showcasing your work and viewing other designers portfolios. The site allows you to “like” others projects and shows you how many people have liked yours as well as how many views each project has.
If you’ve already signed up to Creative Cloud you have access to a free portfolio builder. Adobe has provided an efficient and easy to navigate portfolio site builder that’s perfect for designers. No more worrying about code, it’s all straight forward here!
Showcase your work in a user friendly and flexible interface. You have the option to sign up for free, with limited uploads or pay $12 a month and uploads are unlimited as well as some member bonuses.
Coroflot is a site built by designers for designers who want to get exposure and showcase their work in a professional and intriguing manner.
If you’re looking to creative a beautiful online mobile portfolio, Viewbook is the place to be. Viewbook sites are mean to be natural and simplistic to gear all the attention toward the work.
Cargo Collective provides a platform for talented individuals to gain exposure through sharing through work and viewing others creations.
Moonfruit provides multiple fresh and stylish templates to get your website started. The editor leaves room for creativity so the site will be unique and personal to you.
Looking to bring your portfolio to life in the tangible world? You know the list isn’t complete without a shameless plug for Klo Portfolios. We make the highest quality screwpost portfolio books with the largest selection of rad treatments and materials and we’ll take care of you every step of the way so your final portfolio book perfectly reflects your own style.
No grid paper? No problem! Gridzzly’s got you covered. Make your own grid paper and print it out for free. Perfect for logo sketching.
Fribbble is a great resource for all things design. Draw inspiration from other designers work or download free resources to get your project going!
Skillshare gives designers an opportunity to learn from fellow designers or even teach a class of their own. Pick up new tricks or teach others your own hot tips to make designers even better!
Kaku is a free photoshop plug in that allows you to translate layers to the language of your choice. Perfect for dealing with across the sea customers or employees.
Read all about freelancing and learn some fresh tips on how it’s done. A great resource to excel your career as a freelance designer and get your name out there.
Have you ever found yourself spending hours looking through Pinterest only to come across images that you’ve already seen? While Pinterest is a great site and a definite go-to, we have a few more favorites we’d love to share.
It helps to utilize multiple resources when brainstorming for a design project or when putting together your custom portfolio book. Here are a few of the sites we love.
The first site we suggest is booooooom.com. Taken from the words of the of founder Jeff Hamada, “I like handmade things, anything imperfect, where the artist’s hand is apparent.” Booooooom has many unique artists displayed and shows you how they put their own personality into their work. The designs on Booooooom are all up to date and timely which is one of the most important aspects to consider when designing.
Next site we recommend is designspiration.net. Similar to Pinterest, Designspiration is a continuous scroll site with rows of images, although everything is design related. Rather than being distracted by recipes and cute outfits, you’ll be solely focused on design. Designspiration also allows you to create “collections” that you can add to when you see something you like.
With an intriguing site layout, notcot.org is another great site with creative ideas. Notcot displays a collection of the most recent and fresh designs. This is a helpful tool to see what is happening in design right now and how you can make your designs current. Another perk of Notcot is that you can submit your own posts and hopefully have your designs seen by many.
As one of the more commonly known sites, thedieline.com is a great source for what is new and current in the design industry. Thedieline allows you to select and scroll through specific categories of design. The site also allows you to submit your own work and man, could you image how awesome it’d be getting featured on this site?!
Our last but not least bit of advice for you to gain inspiration is to leave your desk! Get off the internet and go check out design in stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.
Go touch, feel, and see what designs look like in the real world. It’s much easier to appreciate a design when it’s tangible and you can interact with it, especially if you’re working on packaging. Plus, it’ll give you a nice break from sitting in front of the computer.
Hello fellow designers and soon to be design grads! My name’s Heather and I’m the Graphic Designer and Proofer at Klo Portfolios. As proofer I help you modify and tweak your custom portfolio design until it’s perfect. As graphic designer I have the pleasure to use my creativity to design many projects for Klo from packaging to display walls.
Being a recent graduate I have many fresh design ideas that I’m excited to put to use! I attended The Art Institute of Vancouver and graduated with a diploma in Graphic Design. It’s a 2 year intensive program so believe me, I understand the stress of having piles of work to do and not enough time to do it. I’d like to share with you 5 useful tips that helped me survive the last 2 weeks of school.
If any of you are like me, you tend to build up many lists of what you need to do and forget where you put them. This is where agendas can be SO handy. Keep all your lists and to-dos in one place and you’ll instantly feel so much more relaxed when you can read what you need to do on what day.
This tip ties in with using an agenda. If you can see what is due when and what days you have to work on what you can focus on one project or exam at a time. Rather than thinking about all the studying and work you have, try to zone in on what is due first and give that your full attention which will result in the best outcome for each project.
You may be thinking “But I don’t have time!”, which is how I always felt too. Spending 5 hours on the same thing won’t help you, trust me. It’s important to let your brain relax and eat some food or just do nothing in between school work. Not taking breaks will cause frustration and more stress. You’ll find that after a break you feel refreshed and have more of a positive feeling about studying and projects.
Again you’re probably thinking, “But I don’t have time!” and similar to taking breaks, sleep is essential to refresh your brain. You might think you can study the night away, but if your physically exhausted your brain won’t be able to register as much information.
This isn’t your first time going through the stress of school. If you’ve done it before you can do it again. You’ll want to curl up into a ball and cry at the time but remember that in two weeks you will have killed your exams and projects, and reached a huge milestone of graduating design school.
Meet Tami Faulkner, a Northern California based Interior Designer, instructor, and author of tfd illustrated, a series of books offering tips and techniques on hand-rendering for interior design students and professionals alike. Naturally we fell in love with her awe inspiring hand renderings and wanted to learn more.
As former university interior design instructor, she taught kitchen & bath design and other interior design studio classes and considers the years of teaching and associating with design students as one of the highlights of her career.
Tami’s experience includes commercial, corporate, healthcare, and residential design projects although her specialty is residential remodels: particularly kitchen and bath design. She also dabbles in furniture design and graphic design as well to offer clients the complete package.
We asked Tami to dispel a few words of wisdom for budding interior design students looking to make their portfolio stand out.
The best design advice I’ve ever received was from one of my art professors who told me to spend time daily being an observer of art and design.
This practice has been invaluable to me, it has enhanced my creativity and provided visual inspiration to solving both spatial and aesthetic challenges.
Tips I have for putting together a great Interior Design portfolio book are:
Advice I wish someone had shared with me when I started my career in Interior Design is tips on how to manage and organize the business part of design.
My inspiration for creating tfd Illustrated was as a former university interior design teacher I saw that there was a need for basic hand rendering tips for students that didn’t require them to be skilled artist. All the other publications seemed to be geared to those people who where already talented artist. My approach to teaching hand rendering, is simple and practical. TFD Illustrated was created as a supplement to the hand rendering classes I teach but can also be a stand alone resource.
My favorite tip/technique to improve hand rendering skills is use of line and shadow.
A design resource I can’t live without is Adobe InDesign. I use it for a number of different task but particularly for client presentation boards.
Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery
Sign-up to recieve exclusive offers and stay up to date with the latest products and materials.