Logo design inspiration – ideas for designers-to-be
“Do good work for good people” is a great message for aspiring designers. We all want to achieve this very goal, right? However, the real deal is how to pull this off. The simple solution would be – to do it with INSPIRATION. Be it an individual or a team, getting and staying inspired helps a lot in design work.
Why on earth do I need inspiration? I’m a creative, not a copier.
In fact, you are just another lost soul. Now listen, you’ll probably create a piece of Sh** without having inspiration. They say “Good artists copy, great artists steal” …How come you are going to steal the essence of anything without having a lot of ideas in your mind?
And where do the ideas come from? Directly from heavens into your super-duper creative mind? The answer is a big NO.
Every great designer/artist is in the habit of seeing/reading and analyzing a lot of creative things. They always motivate them with great artworks and when they start designing anything these ideas in their subconscious mind emerge on conscious and the merger of hundreds of inspirations is reinforced with their own creativity and let them create the stunning piece of artwork.
Having said that, let me tell you what are the best resources for logo and brand identity design inspiration.
How do I start as a beginner?
As a beginner, you need to invest time to learn anything and everything that is helpful in logo design. Wait a minute…! You must be rolling your eyes, thinking – What exactly is helpful at this point? Let me list down a few things that could be the step stones for you:
• reading success stories
• analyzing and understanding branding work of other designers.
• Participating in Behance/ dribble community
• Online tutorials/ videos
• Logo Design Contests
Success Stories of famous designers
Reading about success stories will give you a good boost. Let’s take an example of Jacob Cass, who has earned the reputation of a multidisciplinary designer in the recent years. He has built an impressive portfolio by just doing what it takes to be a great designer. When it comes to sharing his secret of success, he simply puts it in these words:
“The biggest piece of advice that I would give an upcoming designer comes in a package based on the little things that I have learned over my short career as a designer. These would be perfect for someone just starting out: Don’t undervalue your work. Seek criticism, not praise. Always keep learning & don’t be a static learner: do this by reading books, magazines, blogs and by practicing. Collect & share things. Teach others. Never give up. Keep practicing. Again, keep practicing.”
There was a time when he started from the bottom, but now he’s famous for design work. He runs three popular blogs; Just Creative Design, Logo of the Day and Logo Designer Blog. Following his footsteps, you can feed your inspiration and approach your career in a better and effective way.
It’s easy to get started
Tips, tricks and advice, you need to be all ears and eyes for them. Before you get to work on your own design project, you need to be equipped with a strong knowledge base that would surely put you on the right path.
Start with a good research on different types of logos from different industries and fields. There are tons of design studio portfolios available online that you can check and pick a direction for yourself. A good lot of inspirational logos can be found at Fullstop360.
How-to guides, articles, and tutorials
How-to-guides and design articles by industry experts are a good source of information. Watch online video tutorials to learn different techniques and ways of working efficiently.
Use what you learned from previous customers on new clients
If you have had prior interactions with clients, their creative briefs are a good way to learn. You need to understand how clients generally perceive things and what they expect to be delivered. This is an essential part of the entire logo making process.
What should be your pricing strategy?
Asking for the right amount of money is tricky and difficult. Nevertheless, you need to carefully set the price. You are in the process of building your portfolio, so you can’t let go of your potential customers on the basis of heavy fees. On the other hand, you shouldn’t be charging so less that people would think of you as a mediocre designer. You have to get your pricing right anyway.
Keep in mind the target audience
Keep in mind the target audience of your client. It is important to understand the plausible customers base that you have to attract with that logo design.
Mapambo is black hair and beauty brand. That’s why it’s logo shows a woman with afro hair, which has two variations. In the first two images, the hair depicts the shea tree whereas the other two show shea nuts. The logo has the right feel for brand’s services and products. The target market of this brand is women. Hence, the design concept has used feminine elements in it.
Design Solution & Brand Value
Likewise, it is good to thoroughly study the particular brand for a better understanding of its values. Every brand promotes and promises to deliver a special set of services. You need to recognize the need of your client and give them a design solution that actually creates an impact and enhances their brand value.
Use reference for inspiration but create your own design
Check out the logos of other companies that your client has a competition with. That way, you can have a better idea how to create something which will stand out in the crowd. It will also give you an idea how you can design a better logo than others.
Studying the famous logos and design concepts is good for reference and inspiration, but you shouldn’t try to copy someone else’ work. Stay away from clichés and re-invention of famous logos. Create a logo from the scratch and use your own vision and creative approach.
Stealing ideas and copying someone’s work is never advisable. Always try to create something unique which has a fresh and modern look.
See the practical form
In order to see how different words and ideas work, you should create mood boards and word clouds. Different variations will show how they connect together.
Make something which is timeless in nature. Don’t stick with fleeting trends as they come and go.
Do not think the size doesn’t matter
A logo could be used on a small business card, on a website or on a massive billboard. It should be flexible to work with various types of mediums.
Despite all the modern gadgets available today, you should start the design process by putting a pencil to sketch.
Creating sketches is the first step. Next up, you need to use them in creating vectors that can be rescaled without affecting the quality.
Once you start the process, you are likely to make a lot of sketches during the creative process. The advice would be to keep everything safe. Do not throw them away because you might need to use some of them as a reference or help in other projects.
Fonts & Typography
Pay attention to the typeface as it plays an instrumental role in the overall look of your design. All good logos have great typography.
Using two fonts usually works better but there are not hard and fast rules. You should act according to the need.
Fonts and typography are also instrumental in making your design valuable. Using custom typeface to make your design outstanding.
However, don’t use a font which is ultra-trendy. When the trend is over, it will fade away and the logo will lose its charm.
Don’t make it boring, Tell a story
Fill your design with a story – all good logos attract the viewers for having special meanings and usually tell a story.
Making a good use of the unused space is also important in the logo design process. So, you need to pay attention to all aspects of the creative process.
Do not just make it stagnant or stationary, find the possibility to add the illusion of movement. It will sure add more value to your design.
Pay attention to the colors
Color psychology is another factor that you need to carefully treat. A good design shouldn’t lose its charm when putting into black and white. Rather you should always try it before finalizing your final product.
Avoid personal charm
Avoid personal charm and try to incorporate the elements that are required to produce an effective brand mark.
Try to make it simple but meaningful.
Be humble, don’t call yourself a great designer
The learning process should never stop. Don’t think that you have learned everything to call yourself a great designer (Let others do the job). When you practice design and make it your habit, you master the art of perfect logo design.
The Final Run
Let’s summarize the entire design process and all the things that we have discussed so far. Here’s the summary:
• Interview your client and get the Creative Design Brief
• Research on the subject matter – learn about brand and its values
• Get a Reference from other logos of the same industry/niche
• Create a Concept that has the ability to stand out in the crowd
• Go through the entire process again to see if there is any room left for improvement
• The final phase is to make an excellent Presentation
You can share your thoughts in the comments and if you have more tips and tricks, please do share them.