What is logo design?
As the face of your business, logos play an important role in how your business is identified or symbolized. Logos imbue your brand’s overarching messaging, feeling, or story within one graphic or glyph.
Think of the world’s most recognizable logos, Nike’s swoosh, Chanel’s double C’s, or McDonald’s golden arches. These familiar logos have become synonymous not only with what the company sells, but also with how the company makes them feel.
What is the logo design process?
Behind every great logo is strategic thinking, industry insights, and a whole lot of creativity.
During the strategic phase, designers get clarity on your business goals, key audiences, and the core brand elements.
The brief outlines the creative approach and requirements for your brand. This helps guide designers throughout the creative process.
Moodboarding helps identify the most effective direction for your brand. They assemble a collection of various branding styles and examples for inspiration.
Sketches allow you to explore many potential directions and iterations for your logo and then present the most promising concepts to you in digital or hand-drawn form.
Black & white concepts
Shortlisted sketches are then detailed into more polished black and white concepts. This is also where designers start to refine icons, lettering, and other visual elements.
Colour is introduced and applied for the first time into the design. The identified colors are added to top black and white concepts and further fine-tuned in the details.
Style tiles represent how the colour concepts could feel in various contexts. These are tailored to possible use cases for your brand.
Once the primary colour palette is decided, the secondary colour palette is created for accents and highlights and neutrals.
Typographic elements are styled to the voice and the message of the logo.
The finished logo should be provided in various file formats, variations, and brand guidelines to apply your logo out in the wild.
Types of logo elements
Also called: logotypes, wordmarks
Wordmarks are one word, one line, text-only logos with typographic treatments of the company, product or institution name.
Examples: Kleenex, Crate&Barrel, Zara
Logomarks (also called pictorial logos, or brand marks)
Logomarks are standalone visual elements (symbol, shape, image) from your main logo without text. Abstract logomarks are seemingly unrelated, geometric shapes and symbols used to represent a brand.
Examples: Nike swoosh, Dove bird, Pepsi shape
As the name suggests, combination marks bring together both the wordmark and logomark into one cohesive logo.
Examples: Nike title and swoosh, Dove title and bird, Pepsi title and shape
Lettermarks (also called monogram logos)
Lettermarks are abbreviated typography logos, displaying the company initials or acronym text.
Examples: HBO, UPS, H&M
Letterforms are one-letter logos that display the first letter of the business or brand name.
Examples: McDonald’s, Netflix, WordPress
Mascots are often dramatized, illustrated characters created to represent and convey the personality of the brand.
Examples: Wendy’s, Honey Nut Cheerios, Geico
Emblems are a distinct form of a brand mark, illustrated in a traditional crest, badge, or seal style. Hailing from medieval times, emblems historically symbolize values, families, or nations. Today, brands use emblems to evoke a feeling of legacy or heritage.
Examples: Harvard University, Paramount, Ferrari