How to Design a Logo

By Shelly McRae

  • Overview

    Designing a logo is like creating a story that must be told in a few seconds. To create a logo that will capture the attention of consumers and make a lasting impression, you must first know whom your story is about. Businesses of all kinds need a logo. It's a company's identity, and how consumers recognize its products among all the products available. As a designer, you need to understand the psychology behind colors and shapes, and how to make colors and shapes tell your client's story.
    • Step 1

      Spend time with your client in a face-to-face meeting. Ask questions about the business and product or service provided, the type of customers he wants to attract and about what he perceives his company's public image to be. Take good notes in this meeting.
    • Step 2

      Sketch out some ideas. If the business has an existing logo, get a sense of what works and what doesn't work about the logo. Sketch out new versions of that logo as well as logos that are decidedly different. This is the brainstorming session of the process.


    • Step 3

      Think about representing the client and her business with color choice, font, shape and image. The imagery can be realistic or abstract, of photographic depiction quality or highly stylized. The shape of both the imagery and the font should work together to convey unity between the name of the business and the image. The color should be psychologically appropriate. For example, if the company sells canned fruit, the colors should be fresh and natural.
    • Step 4

      Scan your top five ideas into your computer and open them up in your preferred illustrating or imaging program. Save a copy of each one in a separate file.
    • Step 5

      Tweak these options. Try various color combinations and fonts. Alter shapes. Incorporate the name in various ways. When an option fails to reach its potential or just isn't working, save the last version and go on to the next one.
    • Step 6

      Keep doing this until you have reduced the five options to three. Focus on making those three equally viable options for your client, ones that tell your client's story at a glance.
    • Step 7

      Make sure these three options can be applied to websites, letterheads, labels, billboards and advertisements. Be sure that all three options have scalability and can be accurately reproduced at a reasonable cost to your client.
    • Step 8

      Create a presentation in which your client can consider all three options as logos for his business. Use each logo in different applications so your client can see how they will appear to the public.
    • Step 9

      Close the deal and move onto the production end of the project once your client chooses the logo design she wants.
    • Skill: Moderate

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