How Do I Make a Logo?
By: Tori Calvert
When you are ready to bring your business to life and show it off to the world, one of the first things you should consider is the logo that will be representing your business. You may be asking yourself: can’t I just make my business’s logo myself? Yes! You can! If you don’t have the resources to hire a brand designer or would rather do it yourself, there are resources to make a DIY logo. You might be tempted to use a free design website like canva or logomakr, but don’t get too attached to these designs. Most free websites will allow you to download a low resolution .jpg or .png of your logo for free to use on websites. However, these free websites do not allow you to copyright the logo you create. You cannot use them for commercial purposes because you do not have ownership rights to the logo. How then, do you make a logo that you can use freely? Logo design can take a lot of time and effort, so if you plan on designing your own logo, make sure to put aside some time to work exclusively on this project.
There are several steps to designing your own logo, so let’s get into it.
Make a plan.
Your logo will be the first impression clients and potential clients will see about your business, so it is important that your logo represents your business well. Decide what elements of your business you want to show in your logo. This can be as simple as your business’s name or a symbol that represents what your business does. It’s a good idea to research trends in logos, especially logos within your business’s field of expertise, and decide if you want to follow some of those trends with your logo. Download a graphic design platform. We recommend using Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard and can be used for all of your graphic design needs. Adobe Illustrator can be purchased individually or in multiple Adobe Creative Cloud monthly subscriptions. If you plan on creating your own logo, branding, and graphics, Illustrator is worth the investment. Something to note is that Adobe also gives discounted rates on their plans to students and teachers.
Sketch it out.
You might have an idea in your head that you want to immediately translate onto your computer, but drawing your logo first will save you a headache. You don’t need to be a talented artist to sketch out your idea! Keep your sketches simple and play around with the structure of your idea. Give yourself options to work with and choose a few options you want to give life to. Play around with different ideas and get creative! Don’t be afraid to use different colors, sizes, pictures, and fonts. Again, your sketch doesn’t need to look professional, this is just for you to see what you do and don’t like. Don’t take it too seriously; the best ideas come when you let yourself be creative and don’t hold yourself to a specific idea. Sketching your logo idea might seem arbitrary at first but we always recommend doing this before you go to the computer, especially if you are unfamiliar with Adobe Illustrator. There will be a learning curve when using Illustrator and you don’t want to forget your idea when figuring out the program or spend all your time creating one logo that looks different than it did in your head.
Take to the computer.
Once you have a few sketches that you really love, bring them to the virtual drawing board. Like I mentioned before, if you are unfamiliar with Adobe Illustrator there will be a learning curve at first, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes you a minute to catch on to the way things work within the program. Google and Youtube will be your best friends during this process. Adobe Illustrator has some in-app tutorials too. It is important to know that you can search almost any question or problem that you come across in Illustrator and there will either be a video tutorial or online forum teaching you how to resolve your need. As you are using Illustrator to recreate your sketches, more ideas might come to you! Go ahead and add these to your sketches and see if you would like to give them a go. This step will likely take the longest and have the most bumps in the road. Creating a logo is a big feat and it is okay for it to take a minute if you’ve never done it before.
Finalize your favorites.
After you have done the hard work of bringing your ideas to life through Adobe Illustrator, it’s time to finalize your favorite potential logos. You can do this by creating mockups of your logos. A great resource for this is a site that we use at Designed for the Kingdom called smartmockups.com. There are countless free mockup spaces from t-shirts to coffee cups to billboards that you can put your logo on to see what it would look like in the real world. Figure out what you love and what you want to refine about your design and take that back to Illustrator. This might take a few tries but refining your logo is an important process that will lead to a happier product.
Launch your logo!
Your logo has been through the full design process! Great job! Now it’s time to use your business’s logo! This part looks different for every business. You may want to rebrand your social media with your new logo or you might order some new business cards. However you launch your new logo, give yourself a pat on the back. You did it!
These steps may be daunting and time consuming but creating your own logo is more than possible! Here at Designed for the Kingdom, we specialize in branding and web design. If you would like to work with us, instead of designing your own logo, we would love to work with you! Contact us here to talk to someone about taking your next step in branding your business.