• Sarah Gullickson

My Logo Design Process

In a world of trends and conformity how can you make your logo design stand out from the rest and help push your brand forward? How can your logo stand the test of time? There’s a lot to think about, but it all comes down to creativity.

As an artist who has designed a few logos here and there, I’ve decided to share my personal process. I’ve found that I love to hear the process of different artists to see if integrating some form of their process can help my work. For this blog, I’ve included process photos for a logo I designed for Your Birth. Let’s jump in!

  1. I begin by having a consultation with the client to find what their brand voice is, what styles they are drawn to, and the demographic they are seeking. Once I have those ideas in my head, I will then create a mood board.

  2. A mood board consists of images, colors, textures, and typefaces that reflect the overall brand feeling of the business. This is very helpful to make sure what you learned during the consultation phase is translating in the right direction to art. I try to be really thoughtful about trends within textures and typefaces as well. Something that’s hot right now may not be relevant in 10 years. To have a logo stand the test of time I try to integrate typefaces and textures that feel timeless. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a brand refresh, but it can affect your brand loyalty if you’re constantly changing. Customers don’t necessarily follow every change you make and may have a hard time identifying your company.

  3. Once the mood board is finalized, I begin to brainstorm themes and imagery that can be paired together. The beauty of a well designed logo is the infusion of themes or a deeper meaning. You can list out themes, letters, words, or icons that would make an interesting integration with the brand.

  4. After I have a good list of ideas to pull from, it’s time to begin sketching. And you can expect to sketch a lot! I always create a lot of bad designs before I land on something good. And there’s usually a few good logos before I land on something that’s mint!

  5. Once there are an abundance of sketches, I move into Adobe Illustrator to create vectorized versions of my sketches. If you want to learn more about the difference between vector and pixel art, and when you should use them, you can view a fun video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtOWdfdXEo&list=PLwo0lFAWVwQZMEVDyWOvKpIz49_Q504z8&index=6

  6. Now, when I submit the first round of logos to a client, I always provide three, and I provide them in grayscale. Why? This is so clients aren’t distracted by color. They can look and judge the logos on the design themselves, not whether they like the fucsia I chose. In my process, I ask a client to choose the logo they like the most, and what refinements they would like to see.

  7. Here’s where the color comes in! During this time refinements are made to the grayscale logo and a color version is created. Both versions are presented to the client because both have use in different scenarios. We then go through another round or two of refinements, before… we finalize the logo design!

  8. With the final logo submission, I also include logo use guidelines. Clients can then share them with other artists in the future, internally for their marketing team, and you can have peace of mind that your artwork won’t be unintentionally mauled to death by comic sans.

And make sure to practice! Something that I find fun, and this could very well be the design nerd in me, is to make logos for fake companies and brands.

An example of this is a great assignment I had to take on in college. We were tasked with a full branding package for a faux company. We were given a letter which would be the first letter of the company name, as well as a company type. I was given the letter “A” with “architecture”. Luckily, I had the opportunity to come up with my company name. I researched architecture to find phrases or vocabulary that would apply and ultimately landed on Anchor Architecture.

And this is where the real fun began. How could I infuse the theme of architecture with an anchor? I ended up designing an anchor made up of buildings. I loved the end result because initially the viewer may not have put the two ideas together, but given time and thought it revealed a refreshing surprise.

Do you have tips and tricks for logo design? We would love to hear them! And if you have questions or would like to learn more, feel free to contact sarah@westslopecreative.com

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