How To Design A Logo: A Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

In today’s competitive world, a logo is an essential aspect of any business or brand. It is the face of your company and represents your brand’s identity.

A well-designed logo can help you stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on your customers.

However, creating a logo that captures the essence of your brand can be challenging. In this article, we’ll guide you through making your logo, providing valuable tips and tricks to help you create a memorable logo representing your brand. So let’s get started!

What Is A Logo?

A logo is a visual representation of a brand, company, or organization. It is a graphic element that serves as a symbol to help people identify and recognize the entity it represents.

Logos often incorporate text, images, or a combination of both, and they are an essential part of branding and marketing.

Difference Between Logo, Symbol, And Icon

DefinitionRepresents a brand or company.Represents an idea.Represents an app or function.
ComplexityIt’s simpler and more abstract.It can be used in different contexts.Very simple and minimalistic.
PurposeCreates brand identity.Conveys specific concepts.Provides quick recognition.
FlexibilityVersatile for various materials.It may not be associated with a brand.Used in apps and interfaces.
Brand IdentityIntegral part of a brand’s identity.An integral part of a brand’s identity.Primarily for functional use.
ExamplesNike’s Swoosh, Apple’s Apple logo.Peace symbol, recycling symbol.Smartphone app icons.

Why Do You Need A Logo?

A logo is a fundamental component of a brand’s visual identity and plays a crucial role in conveying a company’s identity, values, and message to its audience. Here are several reasons why a business or organization needs a logo:

  • Brand Recognition: A well-designed logo helps people quickly recognize and remember your brand. Think of famous logos like the Nike swoosh or the Apple icon. They are instantly recognizable, which helps in building brand loyalty.

  • Professionalism: A logo gives a business or organization a professional and polished image. It shows that you’ve invested time and effort into creating a distinct visual identity, which can instill confidence in customers and clients.

  • Differentiation: A unique logo sets your brand apart from competitors. It’s a visual symbol of what makes your business special and can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

  • Credibility: Having a logo can add credibility to your business. It suggests that you are established and take your brand seriously. This can be especially important for newer or smaller businesses looking to gain trust.

  • Memorability: People tend to remember images better than text. A logo can make your brand more memorable and recognizable, which is crucial for repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.

Types Of Logos

1. Wordmark (Logotype)

wordmark logo

A wordmark, also known as a logotype, is a type of logo that primarily consists of text, usually the company’s name or brand name.

These logos are designed to be highly typographic, and the choice of font, style, and color plays a significant role in conveying the brand’s identity. Famous examples include the Coca-Cola and Google logos.

2. Lettermark (Monogram)

A lettermark logo is a design that features the initials or acronym of a brand in a stylized, creative manner.

This type of logo is ideal for companies with long names, making it easier for customers to remember and recognize the brand. Notable examples include IBM and HBO, which use their initials as their logos.

3. Pictorial Mark (Logo Symbol/Icon)

pictorial mark logo

Pictorial marks are logos that consist of a simple, distinct visual symbol or icon that represents the brand.

These symbols are often abstract or representational and are designed to be easily memorable. Famous pictorial mark logos include the Apple logo and the Twitter bird icon.

4. Abstract Mark

abstract mark logo

Abstractmark logos are unique, non-representational designs that don’t directly depict anything specific. They rely on shapes, colors, and patterns to create a visually appealing and memorable emblem.

Abstract marks are versatile and can be used to convey a brand’s personality or values. An example of an abstract mark logo is the Adidas logo.

5. Combination Mark

combination mark logo

A combination mark is a hybrid logo that incorporates both a wordmark or lettermark and a pictorial mark.

This type of logo provides the advantage of conveying the brand name and its visual identity in a single design. Examples of combination marks include Burger King and Lacoste logos.

6. Emblem

emblem logo

An emblem logo is characterized by a design where the brand’s name is enclosed within a symbol, creating a unified and intricate mark.

These logos often have a traditional and formal appearance, and organizations, schools, and government entities commonly use them. A famous emblem logo is that of Harley-Davidson.

7. Mascot

mascot logo

Mascot logos feature a character or anthropomorphic figure that represents the brand. These characters are often friendly, memorable, and relatable, making them suitable for companies targeting a younger audience or seeking to establish a personable brand image.

Notable examples of mascot logos include the KFC Colonel and the Michelin Man.

How To Design A Logo

Certainly! Here’s a detailed guide on “How to Design a Logo” with practical tips and examples for each subheader, along with suggested tools where appropriate:

1. Define Your Brand Identity

Start with a brand identity brief. Define your brand’s core values, mission, and target audience. Understand the unique selling points of your brand and the emotions you want your logo to evoke

Before you start designing your logo, it’s crucial to understand your brand’s identity. Consider the following:

  • Company Values: What does your brand stand for? For example, if your brand is eco-friendly, your logo should reflect sustainability.
  • Target Audience: Who are your customers? Your logo should appeal to your specific audience.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What sets your brand apart? Highlight this in your logo.
define your brand identity

2. Seek Inspiration

Look at a wide range of sources for inspiration, including competitor logos, design books, nature, art, and even everyday objects.

Create a mood board to collect images, colors, and styles that resonate with your brand. Gathering inspiration is a key step in logo design:

  • Competitor Analysis: Study the logos of your competitors to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Industry Trends: Explore design trends in your industry.
  • Mood Boards: Create a mood board with images, colors, and styles that resonate with your brand.

3. Determine Logo Style

Select the overall style for your logo. For example, consider using simple shapes and clean lines if you want a minimalist style.

If you’re aiming for a vintage look, incorporate retro design elements. Choose a logo style that aligns with your brand. Common styles include:

  • Wordmark: Emphasizes the brand’s name, like the “Coca-Cola” logo.
  • Symbol or Icon: Uses a recognizable symbol, like Apple’s apple.
  • Combination Mark: Combines a wordmark and an icon, e.g., Burger King’s logo.
  • Emblem: Incorporates the brand name within a symbol, like Harley-Davidson.

4. Decide On A Color Scheme

Colors evoke emotions and convey messages. Research color psychology and choose colors that align with your brand’s personality and message.

Consider the emotions associated with different colors. Colors evoke emotions and should reflect your brand:

  • Color Psychology: Research the psychological impact of colors. For example, red can convey excitement, while blue suggests trust.
  • Color Combinations: Choose a primary and secondary color for your logo. Tools like Adobe Color Wheel can help.
decide color scheme

5. Pick a Font

Select a font that matches your brand’s personality. For example, sans-serif fonts often convey modernity, while script fonts can evoke elegance or creativity.

Ensure your chosen font is legible, even in small sizes. Selecting the right font is crucial for a text-based logo:

  • Font Personality: Choose a font that matches your brand’s personality. For example, a bold font for a sports brand.
  • Legibility: Ensure your font is easily readable in different sizes.
  • Font Pairing: If using multiple fonts, make sure they complement each other.
pick font

6. Outline a Logo Shape

Determine the shape of your logo. The shape should fit your chosen style and type of logo. If you opt for a circular logo, it can convey unity and completeness, while a square logo may suggest stability. Decide on the shape of your logo:

  • Geometric Shapes: Circles, squares, and triangles can convey different meanings. For example, circles represent unity and perfection.
  • Custom Shapes: Unique shapes can make your logo stand out. Think of the Nike swoosh.
outline logo shape

7. Create a Logo

Begin the design process, either by sketching on paper or using design software like Adobe Illustrator or Canva. Experiment with various ideas and iterations.

Ensure your logo is versatile and works in different sizes and contexts. Now, it’s time to start creating your logo.

Tools that can help include:

  • Adobe Illustrator: A professional vector design tool.
  • Canva: A user-friendly online design platform.
  • LogoMakr: Offers logo templates and customization.
create logo

8. Refine the Results

Seek feedback from peers or a focus group. Listen to their thoughts and make revisions accordingly. Consider factors like balance, proportion, and symmetry. Refine the design until it’s polished. Review and refine your logo design:

  • Simplicity: Keep it simple and avoid unnecessary complexity.
  • Scalability: Ensure your logo looks good in various sizes.
  • Feedback: Seek input from colleagues, friends, or a design professional.

9. Make a Final Decision

Take time to review your logo. Ensure it aligns with your brand’s identity and conveys the intended message. Test it in various applications, from business cards to social media profiles. Narrow down your options and make a final decision:

  • Consistency: Ensure the chosen logo aligns with your brand identity and style.
  • Legal Check: Verify that your logo doesn’t infringe on trademarks or copyrights.
make final decision

10. Put Your Logo to Work

After finalizing your logo, create guidelines for its usage, including minimum size, clear space, and approved color variations.

Use your logo consistently across all brand materials for a unified and recognizable brand presence. Once your logo is finalized, put it to use:

  • Brand Guidelines: Create a set of guidelines that dictate how your logo should be used in different contexts.
  • Marketing Materials: Apply your logo to your website, business cards, packaging, and social media profiles.
put your logo to work

What Not To Do When Designing A Logo?

When designing a logo, there are several common mistakes to avoid to ensure that your logo is effective and memorable. Here are some “What Not To Do” guidelines:

  • Simplicity: Keep your logo design simple and uncluttered. A simple logo is more memorable and versatile, working well in various sizes and applications.

  • Originality: Strive for originality in your logo design. Avoid copying or closely imitating other logos to ensure your brand stands out and avoids legal issues.

  • Versatility: Design a logo that works effectively in different contexts, from business cards to billboards, and across various media. It should look good in color and black and white.

  • Relevance: Your logo should convey the essence of your brand, its values, or its mission. Ensure that it resonates with your target audience and the message you want to communicate.

  • Professionalism: Invest in a high-quality logo design. If your budget allows, consider hiring a professional designer who can create a logo that meets industry standards and reflects your brand’s quality and credibility.

Examples Of A Good Logo


  • Design: A simple, iconic apple with a bite taken out.
  • Why it works: The Apple logo is clean, instantly recognizable, and memorable. Its simplicity and symmetry make it versatile and suitable for various applications.
apple logo


  • Design: A swoosh (or checkmark) shape.
  • Why it works: The Nike logo is straightforward and suggests motion and speed, aligning with their athletic branding. It’s easily scalable and identifiable, making it a strong symbol.


  • Design: The golden arches.
  • Why it works: The golden arches are easily associated with the brand and are a universal symbol of fast food. The use of the color yellow conveys warmth and friendliness.
mcdonalds logo


  • Design: A distinctive red cursive script.
  • Why it works: Coca-Cola’s logo is iconic and easily distinguished. The red color symbolizes energy and passion, which are central to their brand.
coca cola logo


  • Design: The FedEx logo includes an arrow between the ‘E’ and ‘X.’
  • Why it works: The hidden arrow symbolizes speed and forward movement, reflecting FedEx’s core service. It’s a clever design element that adds depth to the logo.
fedex logo


  • Design: A playful, colorful wordmark.
  • Why it works: Google’s logo is friendly and approachable, which aligns with their mission to make information accessible. The use of colors represents diversity and innovation.
google logo


  • Design: An arrow that starts at ‘a’ and ends at ‘z,’ forming a smile.
  • Why it works: The arrow not only suggests the breadth of products (from A to Z) but also creates a friendly and welcoming impression with a smile. It’s a subtle yet clever message
amazon logo

Free And Paid Logo Design Courses

Free Logo Design Courses

  • GFXMentor: is a popular YouTube channel and online platform that offers tutorials and resources related to graphic design, photography, and video editing.

  • Gareth David Studio: is a design and creative studio founded by Gareth David, a designer and educator known for his expertise in graphic design and web development.

  • Creative Minds Factory: They Teach Practice Branding and Logo Design with 100% Real projects. We show how a Branding Studio does it. We Post RAW logo design video, which is very useful for Logo Designers

  • DesignCourse: Teach full-stack development! This means you will see tutorials regarding UI/UX, Frontend Dev, Backend Dev, Graphic Design, and more!

Paid Logo Design Courses

Top Designers To Follow On Social Media

  • Milton Glaser (@MiltonGlaserInc): Known for the “I ♥ NY” logo, Milton Glaser’s design prowess is unmatched. Keep up with his influential work on Facebook: Facebook.

  • Ellen Lupton (@ellenLupton): As a renowned design educator and curator, Ellen Lupton shares her design expertise on Pinterest, offering a treasure trove of design inspiration and resources: Pinterest.

  • Lance Wyman (@LanceWymanNews): Lance Wyman’s iconic work includes the 1968 Mexico City Olympics logo. Stay updated with his design journey on Instagram, where he continues to push the boundaries of visual identity: Instagram.

  • Luba Lukova (@lubalukova): Luba Lukova’s socially conscious and thought-provoking design work is showcased on Twitter, where she highlights the power of visual communication in addressing global issues: Twitter.


Designing your own logo can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to create a powerful visual identity for your brand.

By following these steps and considering the tips provided, you can create a logo that will stand the test of time and make a lasting impression.

How To Design A Logo FAQ

How much does a logo design cost?

Costs vary widely, from DIY for free to thousands of dollars for professional design.

How long does it take to design a logo?

The timeline can vary, but it often takes several weeks to create a well-thought-out logo.

Can I design my own logo if I’m not a designer?

Yes, you can, but professional designers often produce better results.

Do I need to trademark my logo?

You should have vector formats (e.g., .ai or .eps) for scalability and various raster formats (e.g., .png or .jpg) for different applications.

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