How to design a logo: the essential guide

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20 Jun
13 Jun

One day, you may scroll through endless feeds, bombarded by companies fighting for your attention. Suddenly, one logo pops out — it’s sharp, memorable, and perfectly captures what the brand is all about. Intrigued, you click. This power of a well-designed logo signals that brands need to make a lot of effort to be recognized in the market. But how do you do it?

The truth is that designing a logo can feel like a daunting task. Symbols, color palettes, fonts — it’s enough to make your head spin! More importantly, the design has to capture brand essence — what makes you unique and why customers should choose you. To help you deal with this ton of information, we’ve prepared this guide. Here, we’ll break down the logo design process into bite-sized pieces, providing you with tips to craft a visual masterpiece that will make your brand stand out from the crowd!

What is a logo?

Before we begin, let’s get some basics out of the way. A logo is a graphic emblem representing a business’s character and values. It can take many forms, from texts to images, incorporating colors, typography, and elements central to the company’s personality. Creating this symbol is the very first step in building a visual identity — something that grabs attention and reminds customers of your brand when they look at it.

A logo is the profile picture of your brand

A well-designed logo goes far beyond the first impression. Take the Nike swoosh, for example. It’s not just a fancy checkmark, right? That emblem gives you a feeling of movement as if someone is in full flight — and it perfectly embodies Nike’s identity as a sportswear brand. A logo’s true power lies in its ability to tell your brand’s story in an impactful and memorable way.

10 steps to an effective logo design process

Alright, now that you know how a logo affects a company’s prospects, it’s time to uncover the best way to make one. Some may consult an expert in the field, while others want to take the lead and do some research themselves first. With clear instructions and a sprinkle of creativity, we’re about to break down 10 easy-to-follow steps for a logo that will turn heads. 

1. Determine why you need a logo

Simply put, having a logo is similar to adding a profile photo to your Instagram. A photo helps people recognize and follow you, and a logo works the same way for your business. It should catch people’s attention and let them seek more about the brand and products. The emblem doesn’t necessarily have to make the audience fall for your brand immediately but at least stimulates interest for further actions.

To create your business logo, you need to ask yourself the following:

  • Where will you put it?
  • What benefits will you get from it?
  • What sort of information (name, product, service, or quality) will be included in it?

These questions allow you to generate a vague concept for the future logo. Some consist of simple initials of the brand name (for example, HP), an object or animal (think of Shell), and a metaphoric image related to the product (like Starbucks). The ideas are endless, and it’s up to you to decide which works best for the business.

2. Think about who your target audience is

Putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience is the best way to make a logo. Particularly, you can make a list that describes your customers’ demographics, hobbies, social media usage, and buying decisions. Some questions to ask include:

  • Do they belong to the elderly or young crowds?
  • Do they enjoy watching a movie alone or hopping bars on the weekend?
  • What social media are they mostly into? 
  • Does price or quality most affect their decisions?

To establish connections, a logo should encompass aesthetics, values, and beliefs that resonate with your audience. This way, you can visualize a mark symbolizing these ideas to attract customers. Again, there is no common formula, but you need to understand your brand identity and target audience to the core for the best results.

The best logo is the one that connects your brand to the target audience.

3. Discover ideas

Staring at a blank page is the worst, especially when it comes to designing a logo for your awesome brand. That’s where gathering inspiration from everywhere — websites, magazines, even that cool coffee shop sign down the street can help you fill the screen with ideas. Act as a collector, searching all sources for the best logo creative spark.

Look at competitor logos

Don’t feel guilty about searching your competitors’ logos for inspiration. Learning from others, especially those in the same industry as you, increases the chance of creating a perfect logo for your brand. You’ll gain insights by checking out your opponents’ online profiles and seeing what their logos look like. Some of the best marks may have the same patterns or elements — do not neglect that and make a note for reference.

Conversely, ask yourself what sets you apart from these competitors. Following trends is fine, but standing out from the rest is exceptional. The logo must emphasize the uniqueness of your brand, such as an uplifting color in contrast to the industry’s neutral tone.

Take part in brainstorming sessions

Whether you’re working on the logo yourself or have a design team working things out for you, don’t shy away from talking to people. Get into deep conversations with colleagues, designers, or anyone willing to discuss logos. There are no good or bad theories, so you or your team should note everything down. The more perspectives you have, the better the end result will be. Also, don’t immediately disregard what might seem like “crazy” ideas — that’s how you come up with something innovative and never seen before.

Visualize the best logo ideas

It’s much better to visualize your ideas on paper, which you can give others for feedback. You can just pick up a pencil and draw whatever appears in your mind. Sometimes, a spark of thought may lead to the best logo.

In case you’re familiar with image apps like Pinterest, it’s also a wonderful resource for illustrating thoughts. You can pin any logo concept that looks appealing to your collection. Compiling images helps you determine the general appearance of your future mark and makes the creation process more straightforward.

4. Consider what type of logo you’d prefer

Did you know there are different types of logos out there — from wordmarks that let your name shine to symbolic icons that pack a punch? Let’s explore the most common variants to help you find the perfect fit for your brand.


You’ll find wordmarks as simple and classic ones with only text — the brand name. Take a look at logos like Google or Coca-Cola, they all depict company names without the presence of slogans or symbols. So, if you have a short, distinctive name, a wordmark is applicable when showcasing the business.

Moreover, you’ll have a chance to play around with typography to achieve the desired effects. Whether it’s the font, color, spacing, or shape, there are numerous ways to elevate the audience’s mood through your logo.


Acronyms are amazing solutions for long company names. Imagine trying to remember “International Business Machines Corporation” every time. That’s where monogram logos come in to save the day. A company like IBM uses a nickname because it’s short, sweet, and super memorable — just like the swoosh for Nike!

Monograms are minimalistic and easy to pronounce, including only 2-4 letters that are typically initials. Some of the most recognizable logos include HBO, CNN, H&M, LV, and so on. However, the downside of monograms is that they might not immediately convey the type of business, especially for new companies. Over time, with strong brand recognition, a monogram logo can become just as powerful as a more illustrative design.


Abstract logos give more room for imagination compared to the above. Comprising geometric shapes, these signs can express sophisticated principles that make up your brand. They spark conversations about the hidden meaning, which consequently draws more attention.

Often unique and customized, abstract logos exude an unconventional character. For example, the Adidas logo, with its three stripes, can represent movement and progress. Mastercard’s overlapping circles evoke a sense of connection and security. While abstract logos may not be immediately self-explanatory, a well-designed one can become highly memorable and powerful over time.


Looking up all types of logos, you’ll see ones that contain only symbols. These are brandmark or pictorial signs, designs that employ only colors and shapes to trigger excitement or memories. Whether minimalist or complex, you can choose an image that connects to your brand in a meaningful way.

While highly recognized brands like Apple or Nike can be identified solely by their brandmark, it’s important to consider brand awareness when choosing this route. For new companies, a logo with both symbol and text might be more effective for initial recognition. Over time, a well-established brand can leverage the power of a brandmark for a simpler and more impactful visual identity.


An emblem usually integrates word and imagery elements for a classy or vintage vibe. It contains a certain image or symbol related to the brand story, philosophy, or values that the company wants to communicate to the audience.

The text and images of an emblem are encapsulated in a frame, which gives off the appearance of an old-school stamp. Popular brands with an emblem logo are Warner Bros, Starbucks, Porsche, and Volkswagen. 


Less common than other types, mascot logos feature a fictional cartoon character that represents your company. These symbols are typically colorful and friendly to children, given the approachable and playful personalities of the mascots.

This type fosters connections with the audience by personifying the company. Some mascots include Pringles, KFC, and Duolingo — those appeal to families and kids. Plus, mascots act as ambassadors to the brand, and you’ll find this type of logo among sports teams as well.


As the name suggests, combination logos mix multiple features from the above types for a unique and versatile representation of the brands. They’re the most popular among new companies that hope to communicate their name and symbol.

In design, images and words are located on top of one another, side-by-side, or incorporated into a graphic icon. A common combination is wordmark and abstract shapes that you can find in LG, Burger King, Paypal, and Dove logos.

5. Choose a desired logo style

Once you have an idea in mind, it’s time to select a logo style. There are countless designs you can check out, but remember to go back to your brand identity and core values to find the best match. For instance, if your business appreciates tradition, a classic style must be one of your first options. In contrast, a young start-up might take an interest in a minimalist design.

Choose a logo style that communicates your brand essence

Some popular styles to consider are animal-based, which is a playful way to represent your brand (think Lacoste’s crocodile or the panda in WWF’s logo), hand-drawn, adding a personal touch and a sense of craftsmanship (think the Starbucks mermaid), or black-and-white with stark contrast and elegance (think The New York Times or fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent). You don’t need to follow just one style, feel free to mix and match them as you like.

6. Define which colors you want to use

Upon deciding the type for your future logo, you’ll need to consider the colors next. Psychology studies claim that different hues stimulate diverse emotions and meanings. Thus, it’s crucial to learn about color theory and how to utilize it for optimized user reactions.

Choose the primary color

You can pick a color you like, but it’s best to have one that signifies your brand identity. Regardless of the industry, some hues have a general meaning. Below, we’d like to share this list so that you can make your universal choice. 

Subtle tones form a strong identity
A color that closely denotes your brand’s core value would be the top selection.

Think of the color accents — mix and match

If you’re not interested in monochrome, try mixing and matching different tones to make your own palette. Think of a color wheel — that handy circle with all the rainbow colors. Based on this, there are three main ways to pick your perfect color combo:

  1. Complementary colors. Ever notice how red and green seem to pop against each other? That’s the power of complementary colors — they sit opposite on the wheel, creating a high-impact contrast that grabs attention instantly.
  2. Analogous colors. Try picking three neighbors on the wheel, like red, orange, and yellow. They create a harmonious and pleasing effect, perfect for a logo that feels balanced and friendly.
  3. Triadic colors. This scheme uses three colors spaced evenly around the wheel, forming a peculiar triangle. Think red, blue, and yellow — they create a bold and dynamic look, perfect for brands that want to stand out from the crowd.

7. Pay attention to typography

To complete the logo design, you also need to pick a font that gives it a personalized look. Understanding the power of typography, below we listed the five best font types with brief descriptions of appearance and usability.

Serif fonts

A set of traditional and elegant fonts, Serifs feature tiny tails at the bottom of each letter. They are suitable for brands that embrace classic, vintage, or old-fashioned styles, namely McKinsey&Company, L’Ocitanne, and Burberry. Well-known Serif fonts are Times New Roman, Courier New, and Georgia. If you want to expand your knowledge, check out our dedicated article with 24 best serif font examples.

Sans-serif fonts

Unlike Serif fonts, Sans-serifs are sleek and playful — an ideal selection for modern and minimalistic brands. Given their clean design, companies like Google, Jeep, Spotify, and Airbnb all employ these fonts for their logos. Common ones are Arial, Helvetica, and Calibri.

Script fonts

These fonts imitate handwriting and breathe a humanistic character into the logo. You can select from a variety of scripts depending on the message of your brand. Ranging from relaxed to cursive forms, Script font examples are Lobster, Pacifico, and Dancing Script. You can check the logos from Ford, Cartier, Kellogg’s, and Coca-Cola for reference.

Display fonts

The most decorative and eye-catching fonts out there must be Display fonts. They tend to look lavish and bold, delivering a strong impression on the audience. If you aim to draw attention to your brand, a logo with Display typography is ideal. Pay attention to Bebas Neue, Raleway, and Impact. Some examples of Display logos include Disney, Lego, and CNN.

Modern fonts

Basically, they’re Sans-serif fonts with an extra touch of sophistication. Modern fonts are present in the logos of tech companies, targeting a younger population of audience. Some of the examples are Helvetica Now, Nueu Montreal, and Open Sans.

8. Choose the shape and logo symbols

Once you have set your mind on the typography, let’s move on to shapes and symbols in your logo. You can start by drawing an outline using geometric, organic, or abstract elements. Squares, triangles, circles, flowers, sun, birds, or something that doesn’t even make sense — all of them may become parts of the future design.

Remember that shapes and symbols produce a huge impact on how the audience perceives your brand. A tip is to pay attention to visual weights as you want the main component of your logo to stand out. Otherwise, everything may smudge together and the audience will struggle to recognize or decipher the meaning behind it.

9.  Help your designer understand the idea of your business process

All of the above points require creativity, skill, and quite a bit of work, honestly, so you are likely to hire a designer to implement your ideas in reality. Help them by communicating your brand identity, vision, and the nature of your business. Ask yourself something along the lines of “why I started the business,” “what my company can offer to the customers,” or “what makes my product special.” Then, discuss your business process with the designer and set the expectations for the future logo.

Specialists help consult on the technicality of the project. Whether it’s about the symbols or colors, they possess the expertise and skills to navigate through the process and deliver a customized, attractive design for you. Clear and direct descriptions of your business are a big plus in creating a great logo.

10. Think about where you’ll use the new logo most

Logos are used on a variety of platforms, from company websites and social media pages to product packages and marketing materials. You may need to determine which ones you’ll use the most to engage with the target audience. Does the logo look good on your profile page? If not, who can fix it, and how?

On the other hand, some logos have too many details, and it might be wise to simplify intricate details for smaller applications, such as business cards while maintaining the core identity. Consider consulting a branding specialist who can help you navigate these considerations and ensure your logo looks remarkable across all communication channels. Remember, a well-designed logo should be versatile.

How to make a good logo: best practices 

Every process has principles, and so does logo design. Getting to grips with all this information may seem a bit overwhelming, but luckily, we know a thing or two about logo design, so we’ll break it all down for you step-by-step.

Logo design principles

Have you ever wondered what makes a logo truly iconic? Sure, there’s the creative spark and the visual appeal, but there’s more to it than that. Behind every memorable sign lies a foundation of strong design principles. Let’s explore these basics and discover the secrets that make a logo a powerful tool for brand recognition.


It’s always easier to recognize something simple yet impressive, right? Simplicity is the first principle of a great logo design. Think of the bitten apple or the swoosh — these symbols instantly spark recognition and embody the brands they represent. 

Simple logos are easier for the brain to process and store in memory, making them more likely to be remembered by potential customers. Plus, a clean design translates well across different mediums, ensuring your sign looks great, from tiny business cards to giant billboards.

The more people remember your logo, the easier it is to build a connection.


A logo should remain relevant through time. Although following trends may make you seem chic and modern, you can’t change your mark as trends come and go, right? A timeless design ensures recognizability as well as consistency of your brand identity.

Think about logos that have become practically glued to the company name. They’ve been around forever and instantly recognized by people worldwide for decades!  Coca-Cola’s curvy script, the Adidas three stripes, or IBM’s iconic letters — these logos are timeless champs. They prove that a simple design can stand the test of time and become a beloved part of a brand’s identity.

A timeless logo lives regardless of trends


Originality is one characteristic that puts you in the spotlight. It signifies a one-of-a-kind personality, making your brand stand out from the competition. Think about logos like TikTok’s vibrant note, the golden arches of McDonald’s, or the iconic Olympic rings — these guys are all about being original.

To stand out, don’t be afraid to experiment with symbols, colors, and fonts. Sure, peek at what your competitors are doing, but remember, you gotta do you. Maybe put a little twist on what’s typical in your industry, but keep it aligned with your brand’s core identity.  After all, you want your logo to be memorable, not mistaken for someone else.


Ever wonder why some logos stick in your head like a catchy tune while others vanish faster than yesterday’s news? Let’s make an experiment — close your eyes and picture a few logos. What pops up? The super simple ones or the crazy detailed ones? Chances are, it’s a combination of factors.

Simple designs and unique elements are like memory magnets. They grab your attention and make a lasting impression. So, next time you see a logo that you can’t forget, take a mental note. What colors stand out? What shapes are used? Let that knowledge inspire you when you design your own logo.  After all, the goal is to create something so memorable that it becomes a permanent resident in your future customers’ minds.


Don’t forget you’ll have to adapt the logo across different media channels. Thus, scalability is a relevant principle as you hope your design will work across multiple sizes. Can you print it on your shirt and fit it in the frame of your online profile picture? Having a vector file is a must to make your logo scalable.

One common mistake is having elaborate shapes. The elements will smudge as you scale them to a small size, like a logo printed on a pen as a customer gift. Again, thinking ahead allows you to reduce the costs of redesigning your sign later.


You may face a situation where your logo looks great on social media but terrible on printed products. This is why versatility is an essential feature of a good symbol. A useful tip for designing a universal sign is to have it responsive.

Imagine your logo is a sticker. You’ll want it to pop no matter where you stick it on. Even if the background is black or white or any mix of colors, adaptive logos can change in size, complexity, or color to accommodate a wide range of placements and positions. This ensures your symbol always looks sharp, whether it’s gracing a giant billboard or a tiny favicon.

How to avoid mistakes when designing a logo

The most obvious mistake is following trends without doing any research about your industry and audience. The sad fact is that things fade over time, and the next day you wake up, you’ll find your logo out of date. That’s the reason timeless signs survive the test of a long run.

Another fault is combining elements that don’t feel good together. For example, a brandmark and typography that create a contrasting visual may give the audience a confused perception of your brand. Too many styles and colors in the design are also something you should stay away from when crafting your logo. 

The logo design journey ends (but the brand story begins!)

Let’s face it — logo creation is a lengthy process that requires insight into brand identity and customer psychology. You gotta brainstorm styles, colors, and fonts — all to reach out to your target audience and invite them to learn more about your company. 

This essential guide provided exhaustive guidance on how to create a logo from A to Z. Hopefully, you have gained a better understanding of memorable symbol development, whether you’re working with a designer on your sign or creating one by yourself. As the final words, keep in mind that creativity is key to an effective logo design.

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