Create a custom logo from scratch (Part 1)

Creating a custom logo from scratch is extremely simple if you know how to do it. In this post, I will explain step by step what the basic stages to making a successful logo are. Are you ready? Let’s start!

Before creating a logo, try to understand what its goal is

A logo is a graphic element that is at the center of all graphic design. It has three fundamental roles: identification, distinction, and communication. A classic example for this is the famous Amazon logo which has symbolically incorporated a very important message.

custom logo

Did you get that?

The Amazon logo contains a yellow arrow that represents a smile, but did you notice that this goes from A to Z? On Amazon, you can find anything from A to Z. How to create a personalized and easily identifiable quality logo

A logo that wants to be immediately identified must appear simple and obvious. There are many successful logos that break these rules, generally speaking, a good logo must consist only of essential elements, in order to be remembered more quickly. Take a look at these famous logos, and see how simple and easily recognizable they are.

 custom logo

If you want to create personalized logos of success you must remember that simplicity is one of the fundamental requirements. It is a determining factor that makes a logo easily memorable and therefore able to last over time.

But let’s see other features that you need to consider when creating a logo that works:

A logo:

  1. must be simple, but not simplistic;
  2. must be versatile and adaptable to any project (business cards, posters, signs, flyers);
  3. must integrate the name of the company;
  4. must be effective even without color and also work in black and white;
  5. must guarantee visual integrity even in the event of shrinkage;
  6. must be adapted to the target audience ;
  7. must be original and unique. With so many logos all over the world you have to make sure that you don’t inadvertently look like someone else.

Before creating a custom logo you need to know your client, by understanding his ideas and the positioning of his company.

One of the fundamental aspects of the creative process of a logo is the brief. The brief is simply a document containing all the information that outlines the results and objectives to be achieved through a given project.

How to create a brief?

To generate a brief you must know your client and therefore you must ask him the right questions in order to avoid future misunderstandings.

So, before you start sketching your logo, you need to invest time interviewing your customer by asking the right questions.

Below I will show you what are the important questions you need to ask your client:

  • What type is the job? Is it a single logo or a series of sub-brand logos?

 custom logo

  • Should the logo be designed from scratch or should a rebranding of the current one be performed? Rebranding means renewal or restyling of the existing logo. If it is a restyling, which elements need to be changed and which are preserved?
  • Why did you choose that particular name for your company? Does that image evoke? In general, the shorter the name, the better, even if you don’t necessarily have to use the complete company name in the logo. For example, Apple computer has become Apple while Adobe System has become Adobe.
  • What is the target audience? What is the audience that the company addresses?
  • What values ​​should the logo communicate? A logo should convey the essence of a company, its philosophy, and its soul. In order to define what the essence is, I advise you to write together with the customer a list of adjectives that define his activity. Here are some examples: a programmer’s logo: technical, a graphic designer’s logo: creative, a bank’s logo: solid, a plumber’s logo: an architect’s logo: modern.
  • Which are the main competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them? it’s a good idea to take a look at competing logos and see if there are elements in common.
  • Finally, the last question, but not the least: What is the budget for this project? It is very important to clarify this aspect from the good go. It won’t be easy, I assure you, but having the answer allows the customer to think about their investment and to understand if you really want to work with him.

How to start creating a custom logo: take paper and pencil

When I am going to create a custom logo, I always start with a sheet of paper and try to put all the ideas that go through my mind in black and white. So, if you haven’t done it yet, I advise you to take paper and pencil, start throwing out sketches and try to imagine the final brand. Working directly on the screen with the help of software is a huge mistake that greatly limits your creativity and imagination.

At this stage, you will need to stimulate your creativity so I advise you not to miss the next paragraph.

How to find the right inspiration to create a successful custom logo.

Below are some ways to help you find the right inspiration.

 custom logo

Two sites that you absolutely must consult to get inspiration are Dribble, Behance, but you can aslo check out Deviant Art or Pinterest.

  • Look at the old customer logos (if they exist)

custom logo

Discover all your client’s previous logos, this can be very useful for taking inspiration.

  • Ask the customer what the plans are for the future

It is very important to ask your client if there are new projects for the next 12 months or 5 years. Will there be any special product changes? Will new ones be added? These are questions to understand if these developments can affect the logo you are designing.

  • Ask for an opinion from a friend

It may be useful to ask a friend for an opinion, someone who is not involved in the project. The opinion of an outsider can often be very useful and valid.

  • Take a break and take your mind off the project

Often disconnecting and doing something different helps our brain generate new ideas. Go see a good movie, go out with friends or play sports. It’s amazing how moving the mind away from a project even for just a few hours can provide inspiration.

Let’s get serious: what is the best program to create logos?

There are different programs to create personalized logos , but there is one in particular that is used and appreciated by most graphic designers and designers from around the world. I’m talking about Adobe Illustrator, a professional software, versatile and intuitive, ideal for designing logos.

Illustrator is the perfect program to create logos from scratch as it is an advanced, easy and intuitive vector graphics software. With it, you can get both simple logos and complex brands in a 3D style that can be infinitely scaled.

The choice of a typeface makes the difference in making a custom logo

The choice of typeface (font) plays a fundamental role in creating a logo as it communicates the identity of a business to its audience.

Some famous logos are in fact composed only of typographic characters without any illustration or pictogram.

custom logo

It is therefore possible to create logos of strong impact using only and exclusively the typefaces.

Once you have chosen the font to use within your logo you have to decide which variant of the typeface to use :

  • Will your logo consist of lowercase, uppercase or both?

custom logo

  • Will the name be differentiated by a space? a color or a style (Bold or Italic)?

custom logo

  • How much space will there be between one letter and another?

custom logo

  • Will the text be on two lines? And in this case, how much space will be there between lines?

In Illustrator you can generate text using the appropriate text tool in the left panel, while all the font variables can be easily managed through the Character Panel (activated with the CTRL-T / CMD-T key combination).

If you can’t find the font for your logo, take a look at the Creative market portal, you can find fantastic collections of really interesting fonts!

custom logo

Change one or two letters to give originality to a logo

By observing the following logos, you can see that through a single change to the character of the writing, it is possible to obtain original and impactful results. Often the best logos have only one feature that helps them stand out in the crowd. If a logo has too many peculiarities it is too hard to memorize.

custom logo

If you have already chosen the font of your logo and decided which variants to use, try changing a single letter by removing or adding some elements.

Other possible changes follow that you can make in the letters simply by adding, modifying or removing items.

All it takes is a little imagination to make a successful custom logo!