How to Design a Logo: The Ultimate Guide

Written by:
Orana Velarde

how to design a logo - header

That time has come in your business to start cementing a visual brand. You need to begin the journey of your visual footprint and generate the leads to help you grow. It’s time to learn how to design a logo.

Visme can help you create a logo that will represent your brand story and values. Using this guide and our professional templates, you can have a memorable logo in no time.

It’s important to remember that a logo is not something you can design carelessly . There is a lot of preparation involved in creating a meaningful logo. We suggest you do the prep work instead of jumping in blindly to design a logo you might regret later.

Ready to dive in and start learning how to design a logo?

 

Why You Need To Know How To Design a Logo

Every visual aspect of your brand will need your logo in it. For example, business cards, letterheads, reports, proposals, advertising and much more. Having a logo is a necessity for a business of any size. Even your home-based freelance business can benefit from a logo. 

It's still important for someone who's a non-designer to know how to design a logo, especially when budgets are tight and you're starting a new business or rebrand.

The main purpose of a logo that represents your brand is to have a visual tie to your digital and physical footprint on the world. It’s a way for people to recognize you in any instance your business is involved in.

how to design a logo - beelicious logo template
Customize this logo template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Your logo is not your brand; it’s an important building block.

A business’s brand has two intersecting paths; the background story, values and identity, intertwined with the visual representation of all the conceptual aspects. A logo holds the visual capacity to share your business widely. 

What it doesn’t do is tell the whole story. 

Your logo must at the same time, represent your brand and spark interest for further interaction. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that your brand is not your logo.

Essentially what this means is that you can’t rely on only your logo to represent your brand. As important as it is, this visual mark is only part of the bigger picture. 

With that said, it’s time to start working on your logo. Here is a useful video to help you come to grips with the process.

 

1 Define Your Brand Identity

Your logo is infinitely tied to your brand. For that reason, you need to define your brand identity before finalizing a logo. 

The first step to defining a brand identity is to tell your business story. This is the mission statement for your business. 

A mission statement is a short paragraph that defines the following:

  • What your company does 
  • Why you’re doing it
  • Whom you’re doing it for 

Furthermore, you’ll also need a vision statement. This is a second short paragraph detailing your vision for the future of your business. This short text states the following:

  • What are your future dreams for your business?
  • What problems are you solving for the greater good?
  • What change do you inspire in people and your community?

The reason why you need both a mission and a vision statement is simple. When you create a logo, you want it to last as long as possible. Of course, you could eventually rebrand but it’s best to have a strong logo from the start. 

Don’t limit your business potential. Instead, create a logo that grows along with you. Stay away from visual trends and go for a timeless design. 

 

2 Look For Logo Design Inspiration

Once you have your mission and vision statements drafted, you can start visualizing a logo. The best way to start is by getting inspired. Look at logos used by your competitors and businesses you admire. 

Take notes and keep screenshots of your favorite logo examples. Also, keep records of some logos that you don’t like. 

If you don’t know where to look, you can start with our collection of 40 logo designs to inspire you. Or, take a look through our logo template library below.

Logo Templates

Create a stunning logo online quickly and easily by getting started with one of Visme’s premade logo templates. Start a new business or work through a rebrand. Find a logo template that you can easily customize for your own business.

Get to know the different types of logos.

As you look for inspiration, you’ll notice that logos come in different shapes and styles. In fact, many logos have variations of the same design. This is a common practice so that a logo can be used in different channels and locations. 

All variations are classified into one of the following categories.

Wordmark

A wordmark logo is the most common of all types. It’s essentially the wording of your business in a nice design and font. The words can be arranged in different ways and can include unique customizations in the letters.

The reason this type of logo is called a wordmark is because it has no visual element that isn’t part of the actual words, like you see below.

Lettermark

A lettermark logo is made up of the initials of a business name. This type of logo makes perfect sense for business names that might be too long or if you’d like people to know your business by its initials.

For example, businesses like UPS, NASA, DHL. The arrangement of the letter can be done in any way that is readable and easy to understand.

Brandmark

A brandmark logo has no words in it. It’s only a visual element that represents the brand. A great example of a brandmark is the Nike swoosh. This type of logo isn’t the best choice for a brand that’s just starting.

The brand name must be recognized first along with the visual. Also, this design must be unique and not in use by anyone else to be worth it.

how to design a logo - brandmark logo example

Combination

A combination logo is the most common type of logo around. These are made up of a visual and a wordmark or lettermark. This style of logo is perfect to start with. Here at Visme, we have several logo templates in this style that you can use right now.

how to design a logo - combination logo example
Customize this logo template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Emblem

An emblem logo is the last type of logo on the list. These are logos that are usually bound inside a shape with a visual and the brand name in a neat composition. Sometimes the words are rounded to fit in a circle, like the Starbucks logo. 

how to design a logo - emblem logo example

Pinpoint a preferred visual style.

In your notes, you’ll notice a personal preference for a particular style of logo. It might be one of the five logo styles or a specific design style. You might notice that you prefer logos that fit inside a shape or that have a strong icon or visual. 

Alternatively, you might notice that you prefer black and white logos over the ones with gradient colored shapes. 

Take note of these things and keep a visual log. 

Create a fully custom logo with Visme.

  • Find the perfect icon to represent your business
  • Browse templates and customize to fit your vision
  • Choose from our font selection or upload your own

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3 Learn About Shape, Color and Font Psychology

Creating a logo when you’re not a designer doesn’t limit you from great results. But it won’t hurt to first understand a little about how shapes, colors, and fonts make up the visual integrity of a logo.

Shape Psychology in Logos

It’s common for a logo to be inside a shape or have a shape as part of the design. There are two ways in which shapes are incorporated into a logo design; as a visual along with the words and as a bounding shape.

The most used bounding shapes for logos are circles, squares, ovals, and rectangles. In the case of emblem logos, the shape can resemble a shield, diamond, or stamp.

In the case of a logo without a bounding shape, the actual shape of the letters and symbol is important. Are there curves? Straight angles? Interconnected shapes?

Choosing the right shape and element shaping is key to the success of your logo. It might seem like something non-important but has a strong subconscious effect on the viewer. 

Take a look at our article on shape psychology for an in-depth analysis. Here’s a sneak peek:

  • Circles represent wholeness, a natural sense of completion. When we think of things shaped as circles in the world around us, there are so many things that we can name.
  • Squares and rectangles make us feel safe and contained. They give a sense of stability and assurance but also easily fall to the background, and the feelings they convey are mostly subliminal.
  • Triangles have two meanings depending on their position. When pointing up, they represent stability and power, when pointing down they become unstable. The triangle is primarily a masculine shape, but when inverted it also represents female reproduction. In spirituality, triangles represent the union of body, mind, and spirit.
how to design a logo - keep shape psychology in mind

Color Psychology in Logos

In the same way that shapes have a subliminal effect, so does color. The color choice for your logo is tied directly to the color choice for your entire brand. It’s important to analyze what your brand message is before choosing the colors for your logo.

Here's a tip – design your logo in black and white first. Once you like the font and shape combination, then add colors.

Designers do this because logos will not always be printed in color. In many cases, your logo will be in black and white or grayscale. It has to look good in every instance.

Check out our in-depth analysis of color psychology to understand the power behind the use of color in logos and your marketing in general. 

Here’s a sneak peek at how color is also important in a cultural aspect:

The color red becomes associated with firetrucks early on, the same as how the color yellow becomes associated with the sun and green with the leaves of the trees. These early color associations form the basis for everything color psychology is about.

In fact, these first perceptions of color are inherent in every culture. In the US, pink is associated with princesses and ballet dancers, while in Japan pink is the color of the cherry blossom and is perceived a bit differently.

Knowing these subtle differences can help you better tailor your marketing efforts, especially if your products and services are international.

The Coca-Cola logo is white over red—the bottle caps are red, the merchandising is red, and even the trucks are red. People know that red is the color of Coca-Cola.

Things like these eventually form color perceptions in the minds of people. Since they have grown up seeing the Coca-Cola brand around them, they will always recognize it as something that is part of life.

When they eat a particular meal, they will instantly look for the red fridge in the restaurant to ask for a Coca-Cola. The red vending machines in public areas will always be noticed fast and will be missed if not there.

If Coca-Cola's logo turned yellow one day, it would confuse lots of people.

The color red of the Coca-Cola logo is the essence of brand loyalty, which is what color psychology in marketing is all about. It goes deep into human behavior and how we interact with our perceptions of color.

For further color inspiration, check out our collection of logo color combinations to inspire your own.

how to design a logo - keep color psychology in mind

Font Psychology in Logos

The third psychological aspect to keep in mind when creating a logo is the fonts you use. The font used for your logo should represent your brand message to the core.

If you want to seem reliable and strong footed, you won’t want to use a sans serif handwritten font. Instead, pick a serif font with a strong base.

Find out more about how fonts are perceived in this article by Crazy EggAlso, check out this infographic for some great tips on how to choose the fonts for your logo.

how to design a logo - how to choose the right font infographic
Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

There are plenty of fonts in your Visme dashboard that will work great for your new logo. But if you want to use a more unique font, find one online and upload it to your Brand Kit.

There are many fonts available online for free and there are also other more unique fonts that require a licensing fee. 

Here are some of our favorite font collections:

 

4 Create a Moodboard

Now, you’re ready to start brainstorming what your logo will look like. A great way to tackle this is by creating a moodboard. 

The best things to include in your logo moodboard are:

  • A color scheme for your logo that reflects your brand
  • The general shape or shape styles you’d like to have for your logo
  • Possible fonts that match your brand message
  • Icons or elements to use in the combination logo type

How to Choose the Right Color Combination

Are you wondering how to create a color combination for your logo without copying from an existing logo? We thought you’d never ask. We’ve included this step in the moodboard section because you can do both at the same time. 

You’ve already collected logo inspiration, now it’s time to collect visual inspiration. Using your mission statement and vision statement, put together a collection of words that describe your business.

If you like mind maps or thinking maps, use one of our templates to start brainstorming.

Note down words that you feel describe your brand and business. Don’t only use adjectives, add some nouns as well.

Read through the color psychology post we mentioned above to see which colors best relate to the words you wrote down, take some notes on the colors you think might work.

Using these words and colors, do some searches on Pinterest and stock photo sites to find some visual inspiration for your moodboard. You can also use these terms to search inside the Visme photo repository for more visual inspiration. 

To create a color palette, take some of these photos to Colormind.io and import your favorite photo. The app will generate a color palette with hex codes.

You can choose different types of color palettes for each photo. Use a few of the photos to create color palettes until you reach the one that you feel speaks best for your brand.

Copy the hex color numbers on your notes.

how to design a logo - pediatrics logo template
Customize this logo template and make it your own!Edit and Download

How to Put Together a Moodboard

Create your moodboard in Visme with a template or with any size blank canvas. Upload the visuals you collected during the inspiration stages. Add the colors that you feel represent your brand values and message. Use shapes to add the color hex codes one by one.

There’s no limit to how you can set this up. Whatever is easily visual for you. Use an infographic template so it’s easy to make longer if you need to add more visual inspiration. Or use one of our templates.

Add in your mission and vision statements and analyze if the visuals are fitting to your message. Ask your peers, family members and even your potential clients for feedback on the moodboard you've created.

You need to know if what you are envisioning is the same as what people are understanding when they look at your moodboard.

When you feel that the moodboard represents your brand values, message, and goals, it’s finally time to get to work on that logo!

I know it sounds like a lot of legwork to get here, but you’ll be glad you did it this way. Your logo will carry the right message, look, and feel. It will hopefully be timeless and won’t need a rebrand for the next few years

how to design a logo - put together a mood board
Customize this moodboard template and make it your own!Edit and Download

5 Design Your Logo

Now it’s time to get down to business and finish the steps to design a logo.

Look at some logo templates in your Visme dashboard to get started. Select your favorite and change the elements according to your moodboard. 

If you aren’t using a font from the Visme repository, upload a new font via your Brand Kit first. Once inside the Brand Kit, we recommend you also create your color palette with the hex codes you noted.

Now, let’s look at the details. We’ll assume you’ve decided to create a combination mark, the most versatile of the logo styles. This means you have the name of your brand plus a visual or two and maybe a bounding shape.

To create a balanced logo you’ll have to consider the hierarchy of the elements and some Gestalt principles, like size and proximity.

Your point of reference for putting the elements together is the fact that it should be readable at different sizes. From the small version on your website menu to a larger version in a proposal or printed merch. 

For example:

  • If the letters and visual elements overlap each other, use different colors or a negative space effect. 
  • If the font you’re using seems a little tight between letters, add letter spacing for extra breathing room.
  • Is your element too detailed? Try a version with less intricate details so it looks good at different sizes.
  • Is the visual element capturing your brand properly? Make sure it’s not limiting you for the future.
  • Does the logo have space to breathe around it? Make sure there is empty space around the logo. 
  • Is the visual element too generic? Try adding some uniqueness by using shapes to create a new design.
  • Can your logo fit inside a circle? Social media profiles will need a logo image that fits in a circle and is easy to read. If it doesn’t, either edit it to fit in a circle or create a variation.
how to design a logo - smokey brothers logo template
Customize this logo template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Make Variations of the Main Logo

When you feel that your logo is finished and that it stands for your brand and your company, it’s time to make some variations. 

Why do you need variations? Because not every place you’ll use your logo will have the same proportions, size, or purpose. On social media, for example, your logo must fit in a small circle while still being recognizable. 

If your main logo is a combination mark and the name of your business is long, create an alternate lettermark for social media. If you created a unique visual element or icon, use that as a brandmark. 

Another variation you’ll need is the one with a transparent background. You’ll need this for adding to any project you are working without having to worry about the white background behind your logo.

Visme logo templates are available in both formats – transparent and with a background.

how to design a logo - logo variations
Customize this logo template and make it your own!Edit and Download

6 Add Your Logo To All Marketing Materials

Now it’s time to add your logo to all your marketing spaces. Upload it to your social media channels. Use it in your social media graphics and blog post feature graphics.

Add your logo to merchandise, uniforms, and gifts for clients and team members. Upload it to your website and email provider. Brand all the visual assets you use to communicate, share, and spread your content.

All the preliminary work you did before creating your logo is now at your disposal to further create your brand visuals. 

how to design a logo - sealife logo template
Customize this logo template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Create All Your Branded Assets With Visme

For the most productive brand experience, upload your logo and variations to your Visme Brand Kit. This is the perfect tool to create content that stays on brand and in tune with your company’s visuals. 

Use it yourself or with a team. Collaborate during the creation process with the collaboration tool. Design reusable templates for every aspect of your visual marketing.

In this guide, we walked you through the steps for how to design a logo. Now it’s your turn to take your brand to the next level with a complete suite of branded marketing materials. With Visme you can do it all.

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About the Author

Orana is a multi-faceted creative. She is a content writer, artist, and designer. She travels the world with her family and is currently in Istanbul. Find out more about her work at oranavelarde.com

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