How to Design a Logo for Beginners

Hi everyone, today’s question is,
what is the best way to design a logo?

Well, there are lots of
different ways of doing it…

but what I’ll do today
is I’ll show you my way.

So this is where we end up today,
in this episode…

but it’s not so much how
to draw this logo here…

but more about how I got to this point.

My process, from computer analysis,
mind maps, mood boards…

and finally some actual
drawing in my notebook…

through to refining one of
these drawings on my laptop.

Now creating your very first logo
can be pretty overwhelming.

I remember it well, when I got started…

the kind of vastness of the internet…

and looking at other people’s amazing logos
and being being kind of paralyzed…

and not even getting
started on my own work.

Now logo design is part of a kind
of larger branding exercise…

but for this particular video we’re going
to kind of focus down on the logo…

and let me show you,
we’re going to focus on this…

like the logo itself,
the kind of pictorial mark…

the logo symbol, the brand mark, this,
kind of, like the pixely imagey bit.

In other videos I will
discuss fonts and colors…

but we’ll focus on this part in this video.

Step number one, go and read the brief…

that you spent ages crafting,
and getting ready, I’ll wait right here.

You don’t have one, do you?

Now creating a brief,
especially when you’re new…

is probably one of the suckier parts…

of being a creative designer…

but not having one is
probably the reason…

why you are finding it so hard
to kind of get any sort of boundaries…

and narrow what you are doing with
your kind of creative focus…

but let’s carry on,
like you don’t have one…

and I’m going to show you some tips…

to kind of at least have
a pseudo brief for yourself…

especially if you’re doing work
on your own, for yourself…

you don’t have a client to go out
and get a brief from…

so let me show you some of the tips.

Now let me describe the client that
I am working with for this video.

We are working with a teeny tiny business,
it’s a husband and wife team…

they have an existing bike shop already…

they sell mainly road going bikes
in a village near me…

and they are both the best
and worst kind of client.

The worst, because they
have really no idea…

about what they want their brand
to do or communicate.

So I’m kind of left guessing,
so they have no values…

they have no mission statement…

they’re not really sure who their
client is, nothing formalized, anyway.

So there’s a little bit of discovery…

in the first coffee that
I sat down with them…

and they are also the best
kind of client because–

check out their existing logo.

Now there is nothing particularly
wrong with this logo.

The owner, John made it quickly
in Powerpoint, or something like that.

He’s not particularly fond of it,
or proud of it…

so it’s, I feel like we
can build from here…

like sometimes you get given brands…

and they’ve actually got a pretty
amazing kind of brand and logo…

and they’re just sick of it…

and those are harder jobs
where you’re trying to…

like be better than the last person…

or change it enough, where I feel
like there’s room to grow here…

and I don’t think there’s going to be
much with being through to the next one.

Sometimes it’s nice to like bring
parts of the old logo through…

but, I don’t know, this bike here…

it’s not really saying,
road going athlete…

and Copper Plate for the font…

we’re not going to do fonts on this one…

but I doubt we’ll bring it through
in the next version, maybe a Serif…

but Copper Plate, does it
break the rules of design?

I think it does, put that down on your
list of, like fonts to never use…

and if you’re going to use it,
never ever capitalize…

I don’t know, that drives me mad…

and I guess the weird outline thing.

Anyway, I think– we’ve got places to go,
let’s go make it arguably better.

So that is my client,
what I want to do though…

is make this video a little
bit more interactive.

So if you are following along, and you
don’t have a client you’re working with…

and you want to build
something for portfolio…

practice what you’re learning, what we’ll
do is we’ll pick a company name…

I’ll show you how to do that in a second…

and I’ll set some exercises
throughout this video…

and I’ll show you a place
you can submit your work…

to get a little bit of feedback as well.

So let me show you name picking.

All right, step one to picking
your fictional company…

that you’re going to be working on…

is pick your last name, so my
name is Daniel Walter Scott…

so the company that I’d pick
would be called Scott…

and we’re going to be selling–
go to this url here…

I’ll leave a link to it
in the description…

basically it’s an object generator…

and this is what you’re
going to be selling.

So in your head,
think of your lucky number…

and then hit this button that many times.

My lucky number is 3,
I’ll click 1, 2, 3…

and you have to, have to pick
something out of that six there.

Now let us keep going,
spending half the day clicking ‘Refresh’…

until you find something you like,
or an industry you already know.

So have to pick something from here…

in my case it’d be
Scot’s Eggs or Scott…

we just sell eggs, lime, can of peas,
beef, perfume, butter knife…

so I’d probably pick, I don’t know,
Scott’s Eggs, or Perfume, be interesting.

So you have to pick from
something from here…

and even if there’s– even if it’s
all lame, pick something from the list…

because you– I bet you’ll find more value
out of this exercise…

branding a company that you don’t–
already know the industry…

you’ll get more value out of doing that…

than trying to pick
something you already know.

All right, pick a name, let me
know in the comments what you’ve got…

and I’ll see you in the next step.

So we have our client name,
mine is Adare Bikes…

yours is whatever yours came up with…

selling baked beans or whatever it is.

So we know the name,
now we’re going to assume…

we don’t have a really
rigorous brief to work from.

You should go and learn how
to make a rigorous brief.

It’s out of the scope of this course,
but let’s say we need to move on…

and we don’t have that amazing clear brief.

For me, I need a kind of a pseudo brief…

I really just need two questions answered,
so that I can keep moving along…

and I’m going to ask
the client two questions…

and it’s going to be who their ideal
client is, and who their competitors are.

Often they can answer those pretty easily.

If you’re working on your own kind
of self-generated project…

  Starting The Branding Process

pretend you’re the client
and answer those two questions…

write it down, and let’s
move on to the next step.

All right, the next step
is competitor analysis.

It’s a fancy word, but really we’re just
going to grab other people’s logos…

competitors in the same
sort of bike space as us.

So it’s going to help us
do a couple of things…

one is it’ll just allow us
to see how other brands…

are communicating their
values in an industry…

that we might not be really– understand…

Bikes, I kind of understand…

but if you’re doing baked beans,
it’s really interesting…

to see if there’s some sort
of consistency as well…

across what types of
logos that they are…

the way that they develop, the colors
they use, the fonts they use…

and probably its biggest perk
for competitor analysis…

is to really add some boundaries
to your kind of creative work.

I talked about it before,
like the designer kiss of death…

is to say, “Hey, design me a logo,
I don’t mind, just make it cool,”…

and you’re– instead of like,
like creative freedom…

which it feels, like it should be,
it’s like…

I don’t know, panic and vague looks…

wandering around,
not really getting anywhere…

because you haven’t
given some boundaries.

So that’s what we’re going to do
with our competitor analysis.

Let me show you kind of the process.

So the client gave us these businesses,
that are local to them, that are competing.

So I just went through them all,
Googled them, found their websites…

and then went and kind of did a screenshot,
and grabbed up all of their logos…

then dumped them on a page.

You can put them in anything you like…

just something that you can
kind of move them around…

and start grouping them in a second.

I’m using Adobe Illustrator…

but Powerpoint, Google Presentation,
Photoshop, whatever you’ve got.

So next up is going and finding
some other competitors–

sticking locally is pretty limiting,
so let’s go and have a look…

at the international stage of bike shops…

“bike shop”.

You can just type in “bike shop”…

what I find really useful, is doing
stuff in different countries…

just so that you don’t get…

like it’s only going to show me bikes
in my local area in Ireland…

it’s actually defaulting to Dublin,
but type in “London”…

type in your city, type in “New York”…

and just get a feel for a bunch
of other ones…

and all I do now is start clicking on them
and opening them up in separate tabs…

and just doing screenshots,
all the different options…

and grab a bunch of them…

don’t stop, like just give yourself
like 30 minutes, and say…

“I’m going to get as many
as I can in 30 minutes,”…

and just dump them all into a document,
and I’ll see you in a sec.

So scratch, half an hour, this took
me about 15 minutes…

I was able to pick a few cities,
get a few screenshots…

dump them in here, and then spend time…

kind of moving them around quite quickly…

mainly because bike shops– there’s
just so many around, so much choice.

If you’re doing my baked beans example,
you might have to search a lot harder…

and it’ll take a bit longer,
but I’m happy with this amount.

What I’ve done as well, is I have
put them on two kind of spectrums…

well, one spectrum, and groups.

So my spectrum along the top here is…

I’ve got radical at one end
and simple down the other.

Now this gauge will depend
on your industry…

there’s no, like absolute one.

You might have one in traditional.

I’m not sure the way the camera works…

but one in traditional
and the other one, radical…

or you might have conservative at one end,
and whatever is the other…

whatever metric seems to work good for
the industry that you’re working on.

So down this end, really simple…

and down this end,
super radical for the industry.

So that’s important,
if I’m doing a skate brand…

that’s not radical for skate brands,
that is quite traditional.

So it’ll depend on the type
of work you’re doing.

What I’ve also done is I have
grouped them in terms of…

kind of like logo style,
so here, this is a word mark…

and basically just letters, stylized…

so that– stylized in a way that
signifies the brand.

So there’s quite a few of these
as far as my research has gone…

so that’s quite popular.

It helps kind of direct
where I might be heading…

or where I might be rebelling.

So these ones here as well, these are…

kind of more the– this is what
I want to go for, this particular.

so I want to go for this kind
of pictorial mark, all these–

Let’s have a look, all these kind of
like logo style imagery in here…

these are technically combination logos…

they’re a bit of both,
this one here, especially…

it is a bit of kind of a word type,
and with a branding kind of logo mark.

So that’s kind of where I went–
want to go with this particular course.

What I’ll do is I’ll ignore
font for the moment…

just to separate it out for another video,
same with color.

We’ll spend a bit more
time on that later on.

Branding can be big or small,
we’re going for just the pictorial mark.

So this is the kind of area
I want to be in here…

and the nice thing about it is that it’s…

it’s clearly something
the audience is expecting.

Down here we’ve got some kind of…

like emblem logos,
there wasn’t many of those around.

So if I wanted to be like completely
different, I might go down this route…

just to kind of be different…

if I felt like my client was
ready for it, or asking for it.

You see down here, there’s a–

I wasn’t sure what to put with that one…

that was in our kind of,
like combination logo…

down this kind of radical,
was a bit strange…

in comparison to the
rest of the industry…

and same with these ones down here.

Real common when we enter,
like skate brands, or drifting…

or something like that, tattoo parlor…

but quite radical when
it came to a bike shop.

So where do I like to end up,
if I zoom out here…

I like to end up about here
as a rule, generally…

kind of, I want, I don’t want to be…

like I know my client’s not going
to hang out here in radical.

I’ve had very few clients that do–

I get the impression from
them they want to…

like do something completely different.

Normally what we want to do is find out…

where the industry sits in the middle…

and be just a little bit
more progressive…

just to be different and be cutting edge,
and be now.

So this kind of two-third mark,
now it doesn’t help you too much…

in terms of making your logo…

but what we should be able to do
once we’ve done some concepts…

is grab it, and if we were unbiasedly
going to put it somewhere…

it would fit in here, not really simple,
but nothing too crazy.

  3 LOGO DISASTERS

So I find that process, it doesn’t
take very long, super helpful.

It’s, like it’s almost as helpful
to know what not to do.

We didn’t see many kind of, like crest
logos or mascots, or anything like that.

That’s what I used to do
when I was younger.

I used to turn up to meetings, have one
of every different style, and kind of…

“Which one do you like?,”
whereas now I can go in…

I’ll take my competitor analysis,
and it does a couple of things.

It helps you present something
to get started with…

and it helps, like show that you care,
you understand the industry…

and where your logo is positioned.

So it gives it context, and obvious–

often, instead of, like giving it to them,
and they go…

“I don’t like blue,” or,
“that looks like something else,”…

you can have different
kinds of conversations…

because you can relate back
to the competitor analysis.

Always have it open and just show
where you position them, and why.

It’s also really helpful…

even if you decide,
you’re like, this logo…

the client wants to be like way out
of here, wants to be different…

she’s got to do something completely
different and disrupt the industry.

You need to know where the industry is
to be able to disrupt it..

So it’s really useful for that too.

Next step on our amazing logo
design journey is a mind map…

boring old mind map, super useful,
quick to do.

I’ll show you mine now.

The thing to do though is to keep in mind
your customers– customer…

their ideal customer,
keep them in your mind…

and also their competitors.

“Is he ever going to show us
how to draw a logo?”

So this is how I get started.

I just list out all of the words
that relate to both my…

the customer’s customer, and looking
at the competor analysis…

what I get, vibes I get from the client…

and just start listing out
all of those words.

I need the Thesaurus online to help me.

I just kind of go until I feel
like over– running out of ideas.

So this is how far I’ve got in this one…

then I go through and have
a reread of them all…

and I pick out three that
I feel, like the most–

has a nice connection
to what I want to do…

tough engineering and vitality…

then I kind of make
more of a mind map…

where I go through and say–

put stuff in the middle and then kind
of like spread out from there about.

I forget about
Adare Bikes and the client…

and I just think about the word tough…

and add all the words around it.

Same with like engineering and vitality…

I just kind of add all the words
that I feel connect those…

and then once I’ve done those
I start to look for…

what I’m really hoping for
is some sort of object or–

I do things, like object,
animal, color, shape…

to try and kind of think
of different ideas.

It might be verbs, just something
to get the ideas going…

and I’m looking for something that
threads between all three of them.

That’s what I’m really hoping for…

and in my case, this particular one…

there’s kind of an eagle, or there’s
a local bird, it’s a Buzzard…

it’s kind of a bird of prey,
looks pretty cool.

It’s local to the area,
I thought that might be–

it’s through a couple of them…

and I think that might be a way to go.

goat

I don’t know what happened there…

I thought that was going to
be a good connection, but–

So that’s my mind map,
let’s get on to the next bit…

which is still not drawing;
all right, it’s homework time.

I’ve done my mind map,
you need to do yours.

So remember, list out, doesn’t matter
if it’s offline or digital…

just list out your company name
and then have your competitor analysis…

and have your client’s client
in your mind…

and then just start listing
out words, Thesaurus…

whatever you need to get a
bunch of words together…

then pick only three of those words…

place them out into their own page,
and then expand on those.

Once you’ve finished, go through,
circle the ones that you think…

connect to what you’re doing…

and then start to look to see if
there’s any kind of like threads…

that connect them all, or any objects…

or animals, or colors, or shapes
that start connecting them all…

and that’s going to be our
kind of starting point.

For our next step,
which is still not drawing logos…

we’re going to do mood boards,
let’s get on with that.

All right, this is my mood board,
this is what I ended up with.

So how I got here, is I went back
to my mind map…

I picked out– I’d probably pick out
like three or four different things…

and do them individually.

I’m just going to do one for this video…

just to keep it concise,
but I picked out this–

those eagles and crows,
and hawks and stuff in there…

and what I ended up finding out is that…

there’s a local bird, I know there’s
a local bird, it’s a Buzzard…

it’s a bird of prey,
looks really majestic…

and it’s local to the area,
so has a lot more connection.

So I kind of focused on that,
and then I go off…

to something like Google,
a mixture of Google images…

that’s where I found all the very–

I was looking for like dynamic
poses for the bird…

and then into something like Dribbble,
with three b’s, or Behance.

These two– generally I don’t go
much further than these, these days.

It’s just a wealth of good inspiration.

So my mood board is there to have a look…

to see what else is out there,
to see what I think…

might connect all the different parts…

that I’ve been kind of
developing for my customer…

and lots of screenshots…

and what I think, looks nice
and modern, and cool…

and fits in with my plan for
my competitor analysis…

and lots and lots of screenshots…

and then just dumping them into here.

So I searched for bird logo
on Behance and in Dribbble.

I just typed in “bird”, just went through
and found the things that I liked…

and then kind of combined them here.

They’re not really combined too much.

I try to group them a little bit…

these are kind of like vector
gradient styles but more line art…

really simple kind of outlines,
then more icon style…

and I just half put them
into some groups.

That’s going to be enough for me
to actually start drawing, yay.

Don’t think I forgot,
I kind of forgot…

you have to do your homework,
so go through…

create your mood board
and be ready for the next step.

All right, we get to start drawing now.

I generally do it offline,
just because it’s quicker and easier.

You don’t need to be a good drawer,
that comes up a lot…

nobody’s going to see these, okay.

I’m going to show you mine,
I’m not a bad drawer.

So I find it quite comfortable to do it…

but if you aren’t a good drawer
it’s not about the…

  The Logo Design Process

like final product, you will move this
onto the computer later on and tidy it up.

It’s all about getting the ideas out.

So have your kind of customer profile,
your computer analysis…

your mood board, all kind of,
with you, and start drawing.

Now you might be one of those people
who can start drawing…

and just kind of keep doing it.

What I need is a little bit of process.

I find myself getting stuck
at like drawing number 5…

and then not knowing what to do…

and then just developing one of those.

So to get past that,
I know through experience…

and people more experienced
than me have shown…

is that I need to kind of push
myself to do a minimum of 20.

So I do 20 drawings, keep them
short and quick…

because the first few are pretty…

like, I don’t know, the word
is obvious, that’s the word…

just they’re going to look exactly
kind of like they’re planned…

and then you get to about five or six,
and they start looking bad…

and you’re just going around
in the weeds…

trying to figure out what to do…

and that is an important
part of this process…

is to go into the, like murky icky…

“Oh, I don’t even know if this works”…

and you will find, eventually,
it might take 10 terrible versions…

that don’t really make any sense…

to come out the other side
and have a couple that actually–

you have to think about
in a different way.

So do push yourself to do more
than you would normally do…

so 20 is a really good number for me.

If you do need to, like set timers…

you’re not stuck on one, you can
do that on your phone easily…

just to kind of get through
and actually have a chunk done.

So what I’ll do is I’ll record me
doing my versions…

and I’ll set up the camera now.

All right, it is drawing time.

I probably normally use a pencil…

check out that sweet pencil,
it’s got Photoshop written on it…

oh, there’s a rubber at the end
but you can’t see that on camera.

So I’ll use a big thick pen.

All right, drawing time.

This is super hard even
when you are not watching.

So I’m just going to start.

So I’m kind of looking at my little
eagley thing, and…

it’s so bad.

I think it’s the beak that’s giving me
most problems…

so I Googled “shape of beak”…

okay, better wing, I think, better wing…

but some sort of kind of,
like linearty thing.

Kind of looks like the bird’s face,
kind of handlebars…

and that wing needs a lot of work.

There you go.

Again, I think maybe another
one of those, better wing.

Google “better wings”.

I think we made a basketball team.

I’m not sure I can keep going.

Yay, 19.

All right, 19.

All right, how long did that take?

We’ve been at that about
an hour and a bit…

oh, hang on, number 20…

and it’s a start.

I feel like it’s weird, that last one,
I feel like…

we might be something in that kind of…

negative space bike
or negative space sprocket…

but there’s some stuff to continue on with.

That’s logo doodling done,
I got 20 of them, yay.

That went okay, there were some
terrible ones at the beginning…

lots of terrible ones in the middle…

I felt like the helmet wearing buzz…

it’s probably not going
to win any awards…

but there were a couple in there…

that I think I can move along further.

Now it’s your turn, so go through,
draw your 20…

and what I want you to do is
take photographs of them.

Number them, take photographs of them…

then upload them to the Facebook group.

There’ll be a link
in the description for that.

Make sure you include context…

so mind map, competitor analysis…

and just make sure you remember
the bring your own laptop values…

if you’re new to us, and the group.

Creativity without limits,
ownership of your work…

that’s what you’re doing now
by getting involved…

and humility, humility when you
share and post on the group…

and when you respond, and add advice…

because there’s a mixture of people…

who are brand new to design,
giving feedback…

and it’s just as important to learn
as it is to actually present work…

but also there’s some experienced
people there as well.

So remember, humility, and then
we’re going to pick one…

and develop it here in Illustrator.

Do that now.

So I chose logo number 10 to develop
further here in Illustrator.

I just photographed them, imported them…

ready for lots of the dreaded Pen tool…

plus a bit of Shape Builder action
and the Direct Selection tool…

just to tidy up my initial concept.

Clearly, part of my time here
was to take my Buzzard…

and turn him into an angry
yet surprisingly feminine Flamingo.

Also, if you are new or self-taught
in Adobe Illustrator…

you might want to check out my
Illustrator Essentials or Advanced course.

You can click that card at the top there…

or you can check the links
in the description.

It’s getting a little
motorcycle brandish…

so I’m not sure what the client
is going to go for…

but I feel like we’ve developed a
concept from our kind of mind map…

all the way through to kind of this
slightly tidier version on Illustrator.

I think, ready for at least
discussing this with the client.

So now it’s your turn,
whichever one that you want to develop…

post to the Facebook group
to get feedback as well…

You can obviously
develop more than just one.

I’ve just done one for this one…

and what we’ll do is we’ll leave it there.

I will do some videos on font and color…

as it relates to this logo
in upcoming videos.

Once they’re out I’ll link to them
in the description.

There’s one last thing,
we all need to agree…

that we will all never speak
of Dan’s logo number 1…

Dan’s logo number 2,
and especially number 8.

What to do next? If you’re already
a subscriber at bringyourownlaptop.com…

go check out the exclusive podcast…

with Phil Van Dusen,
Victoria Barrydale, and Sarah Parkinson…

all about logo design and branding.

Those are well worth a listen.

Also, there are design challenges there…

there’s a couple of logo design challenges
there now, so go check out those.

If you’re not a subscriber
for bring your own laptop…

and let’s say Illustrator might be
something that you’re struggling with…

go check out the Essentials course.

Also, there’s an Advanced course
for people…

who have a little bit of skills
but want to go to the next level…

links in the description.

All right, that is going to be it.

Let me know in the comments what
you thought of the video…

and what other design topics
you’d like me to cover…

and I will see you in one of those videos.

Bye now.

We also probably need to
forget about the Flamingo…

the angry Flamingo…

that was also bad.

 

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