the complete guide – WAU
The logo, or just logo, is a visual representation, composed of symbols and words, which aims to identify a specific brand.
The identity of a brand is one of the main 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 that it is consistent with its segment.
However, for this to be possible, it is necessary that there is a mechanism to externalize all these aspects visually to the public, external and internal, and the solution found is the creation of the famous logos.
For this reason, we will explain throughout the text what a logo is and everything you need to know to create one for your business. Check out!
What is logo?
The logo is an identification sign through which the public will identify its products and services amid 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 in the Nike logo (when there is no written word) and in its logo (when the symbol is joined with the word “Nike” written).
What few know (or give importance) is that, behind the creation of a logo, there is an extensive research work, a development that starts from theoretical assumptions of design and psychology, involving semiotics, color, composition, concept, etc. .
For this, a designer takes a long time to reach the ideal symbol, which is beautiful and functional for the specific need of the client.
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How to create a logo?
To explain how to create a logo, we selected X tips that can also serve to understand how the process of creating a logo made by a freelancer is.
It is also important to remember that there is no “cake recipe” to create a logo, each designer has his own method. We will then give an overview here on how to create a logo. See what they are!
1. Be simple
First, we must understand that the logo must be simple.
The logo is a graphic representation of your company and this must be synthesized so that it is easily identified, without unnecessary information.
Very decorated logos, full of elements and effects, convey a feeling of disorganization.
You don’t want your company’s image to be that, right?
As can be seen better in this article, logo is when we unite the icon that gives the face of your brand to its title / name.
This means that your logo is half “design” and the other half text.
And sometimes, in addition to your brand name, some supporting text or slogan is added. Therefore, this simplicity must also be maintained at the school of the source who will write this text.
Note that “source” was mentioned in the singular. Using more than one font in a logo is not recommended.
A uniform typography in your logo generates visual conformity, things match better and you record your brand name written in that specific font in your customer’s visual memory.
And that makes all the difference.
Think for example of Coca-Cola, Adidas, Disney … All logos of these brands have in common a typography that makes us immediately identify the product.
Even when the font is used to write something else.
Many mixed sources confuse. Keep it simple!
2. Perform a thorough search
A very important part of creating a good logo, research is a first step.
Have you ever heard that “nothing is created, everything is copied”?
That’s not exactly the way it is, but having good references is essential to creating an interesting logo.
First, think about the logos you like best. Those logos that you catch your eye and know exactly what it is about.
Examples like Nike, Coca-Cola and Apple are always cited since it is indisputable that these brands are market leaders in their segments and easily recognized by their logos, right?
Let’s take the Coca-Cola logo as a base. See below for a comparison between the evolution of the logo of this brand and that of its main competitor over the years.
Note that 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 notice that the Coca-Cola logo has only been briefly aided and has remained almost the same for all these years – except for the crazy strategy of 1985 in which the company completely changed its brand in a strategy that many say was all 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? Coca-Cola.
However, these examples are extreme. Famous brands that have achieved excellence through many years in the market. Therefore, also search for other references.
3. Research your competitors
Are there 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 different, draws more attention and is better resolved than the competitors.
4. Know your persona
Different audiences demand different logos. Make a detailed analysis about the type of persona that your brand wants to reach.
Search for the logos of the brands that your person most identifies with. You can do this with a verbal survey, chatting with friends who fit your persona profile, asking on your social networks, creating forms.
Collect this data to better target the final result of your logo.
Don’t know what persona is? We have this article explaining in detail what it is!
And if you prefer another form of content, Peçanha recorded the following video explaining everything you need to know about this concept:
Do you already know what a persona is but have difficulty creating it?
Click here and use the free tool Personas Generator to create your company’s!
5. Know what trends are
After getting to know what your competitors are up to, update on what has been done in relation to design. Design is something that is constantly changing.
What was done in the 90s is completely different from what was done in the 2000s, which is different from what is done today.
Therefore, researching logos made today and taking them as a reference prevents you from creating something old-fashioned or very far from current standards.
It may seem like a good idea to do something outside the standards to stand out easily, but that way you associate your brand with something very old-fashioned or “tacky”, without care about the visual identity, which is terrible.
Recalling also that there is not only “a trend” in effect. Trends coexist, blend, 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 separated some good sites to search for references of beautiful logo designs for you to check out:
Remembering that some of these sites are specialized in logos, but others are for design references in general.
If you know any more cool referral sites, be sure to let us know in the comments!
6. Think about your logo concept
With all this data collected 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 pass through its forms.
This may seem very subjective, but having a closed concept can result in a logo that expresses – even if subtly – the service provided.
A good example of a logo with a very well thought out concept is the logo of the American company FedEx.
Your brand concept should refer to your mail and parcel delivery service. Look:
Few notice that there is an arrow in the white space between the letters “E” and “X”.
This arrow represents that things leave one place and go to another, in addition to representing dynamism and agility.
Another important detail of this logo is that all letters are connected. Realize 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 to connect people through your services.
It looks like it was by chance, but believe me, it wasn’t. Sometimes chance helps, but when you think about these details first, the job is much easier.
7. Make an outline
Research done, closed concept. It’s time to stare at 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!
It is not necessary to be Leonardo DaVinci to have a good logo. But scribbling a piece of paper to organize ideas is a very effective technique.
Not even the most experienced designers skip this step and go straight to the computer. The shortest distance between your brain and the paper is to use a pencil or pen.
And even if your sketches are just scribbles, they help in finishing the logo.
See the examples:
As much as the drafting process must be free and fluid, everything that was scored during the research must be taken into account.
Let the concept inspire you. Think of it as a starting point and let ideas emerge on paper.
Start scanning the logo
Anyway, it’s time to sit down 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 digitalization process when creating a logo can also be called vectorization.
The term curves soon 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 that 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 such as Illustrator or CorelDRAW.
Some sites that create logos for free are:
They are all in English.
Although there is this kind of facility, the ideal is to create this in appropriate software.
There are several graphics software on the market (the most famous ones are Photoshop and CorelDRAW), however we recommend that you create your logo using vector software.
Why? Because as already seen here, vectors are infinitely scalable!
That means it doesn’t matter if you are going to use your logo on a 9x5cm business card or if you are going to have it sticky a cargo ship with a length equivalent to 4 and a half football fields: your logo will be perfect in the final art!
Having understood that, we will now see the most suitable software for digitizing 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 out one below!
You can download this software by visiting the official website of the developer by clicking here.
This is the market-leading program for vector images. It is possibly also the most robust and efficient.
It’s 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, therefore, it presents a wonderful integration between its other programs (that work with bitmap images, video editing, animations, web design, etc.).
The problem with this program is that it is paid, but you can use it for free for 30 days by downloading its trial version by clicking here.
You can find several tutorial videos about Illustrator too, like the one below:
This software has been the market leader for many, many years, but today it is just an ugly duckling among professionals in the field.
Its multiple functions were its downfall because, trying to supply all the needs of the designer in one tool, it became unstable and not very reliable.
He burned his own film, as it caused professionals to lose hours of work due to their operating errors.
It is not bad software, but it is not viewed favorably.
If, for some reason, you prefer to use this software, our highest recommendation is: never send your logo with the native extension of the program which 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 will be needed.
But knowing how the process works, you will be able to convey to the professional with much more property and accuracy what it is you need.
Surely the result will be an incredible logo!
8. Choose the typography
Okay, you have a blank canvas open in front of you, some sketches drawn on a piece of paper and some ideas in your head.
So let’s start with the written part of your logo.
You may not have thought of exactly what type of font (font) to 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 sources, but undoubtedly a characteristic that separates sources into two major groups is the serif. What is the serif?
Serif are these extensions in the corners of the letter. Therefore, fonts can be serifed, or not.
Regarding the serif, follow these two simple rules:
- Serifs make more sense in serious and / or classic logos;
- Use font sans serif in relaxed and / or modern logos.
We still have several types of sources, but detailed explanations remain for a next article.
In choosing the font for your logo, a law that cannot be disregarded in any way is: readability.
Do not choose heavily decorated fonts. Nobody will understand your brand name.
Check here several sites to download free fonts.
To help you in this difficult choice, here are three tips that can already eliminate some of the many options right away:
- Never use: Comic Sans, ZapFino, Papyrus, Chiller, Monotype Corsiva.
- It is not recommended: Arial, CooperPlate, Myriad, Impact.
- Use without fear: Helvetica, Bebas, 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 already helps to prevent your brand from being generic, without personality, and / or a laughing stock.
See below the renowned Chanel brand logo and its replica using a font considered “bad”:
Did you see the difference?
It is not an easy task to decide which is the best source for your logo. To do this, write your brand name, make several copies and apply different fonts to each one.
But let’s leave the typography aside for now and go to the creation of our icon / symbol!
Perhaps the right font will only appear after that, as it will be the one that fits the drawing best.
9. Draw the symbol
Take all those doodles you made and reproduce them in the graphics software of your choice.
If you know how to deal with programs, you know that there is a tool that adds points and manipulates them to form solid elements. This is usually the easiest way to turn your doodles into a logo.
To do this more accurately, scan or take a photo of your drawings and play this into the vector program. You will then be vectorizing your logo.
This is a process that can involve a lot of patience if your drawings have very complex shapes. But practice breeds perfection. Try to manipulate the vectors until the final shape really satisfies you.
It is at this stage that the technical knowledge and precision 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 make your logo with the desired precision.
Searching for materials on some of the previously listed sites – Squarespace, Logo Garden and Graphic Spring, especially – or searching for free icons on sites like FreePic or the Noun Project can be good options too.
You can find sophisticated and extremely well executed icons to use in your future logo. The problem is that, because they are free sites, other people can use the same icons.
An intermediate option would be to download these icons for free and modify them in the graphics software.
Customization is always a good alternative and, working with ready-made files, you can learn a lot about how they were made.
10. Work with the grid, guides and alignment
Since we were very small we have contact alignments.
When we are being literate we use calligraphy notebooks to train writing, leaving the letters proportionate and with adequate spacing.
In elementary school we have contact with ruled notebooks, of which we use the lines to make all content more organized and readable.
In geometry or geometric drawing classes we have contact with rulers, squares, compasses, protractors and, pr