Designing a logo - my process Designing a logo - my process

Designing A Logo – My Unconventional Process

When I first decided to create this website, the task of designing a logo was daunting. Not only did it have to identify the site and fit nicely in the top area of the page, it also had to look fantastic. This is a website about design, for designers. If the logo wasn’t good all credibility would be lost.

My task was especially intimidating because I haven’t spent the majority of my design career on logo and brand development. Primarily, its been in print production, publishing, social media design, and producing various marketing materials for clients. While I’ve done logo design before, its never been a major part of my job. Fortunately, in my previous job, my team was tasked with a variety of different logo design projects that really helped me understand the logo design process… which I completely ignored for this project.

For Lessons In Design, my process for designing a logo involved me skipping most of the common stages of a designing a logo, mainly because I already had those stages hidden away in the back of my mind.

The Quick Logo Design Process

My logo process was unconventional. Initially, I went back and forth in my head what I wanted it to look like. I looked at logo inspiration online and on Instagram but still couldn’t figure out exactly what to do. I had already launched the site with only a placeholder logo, so I wanted to get something up fast. For this reason, I skipped the sketching stage and went right to the computer.

I started in Affinity Designer because I’m trying to use it more often than Illustrator to get to know it better. I stared at the screen for a few moments before deciding to put on the isometric grid. I often use Affinity for isometric illustrations like this one on my YouTube channel, so starting off with that type of grid was more of a comfort thing than anything.

Before I even started to draw anything, it clicked. I love isometric type and illustrations so much, why not do an isometric logo? I had done isometric logos before, but they were never for actual projects, just fun. Maybe I should use those isometric type skills to make something new that really fit my brand? So I just started drawing.

The actual process of designing a logo went quickly. First I drew the letters L and D on the isometric grid, each on opposing planes. I really liked how they looked together when next to each other, but needed to add some depth to the shapes. Once I did that I realized I could also incorporate the letter I into the logo in a really subtle way as part of the D. Once I had everything lined up and made any necessary adjustments, I was pretty happy with the result. Next I just needed to decide on a colour.

Lessons In Design Logo Process

To make a colour decision, I wanted to pick the main accent colour of the actual site first. Doing it the other way around would probably result in me changing it multiple times until I was happy with how it matched the site colours anyway. After some deliberation, I ended up on a magenta colour. This is pretty on-brand for me if you’ve seen my YouTube channel, which is rather colourful.

Lessons In Design Logo Process - Colour

After finalizing the icon, I needed to choose a typeface that would work for both the logo and the site. This was a bit trickier because I’m very indecisive when it comes to typeface selections.

I stuck mostly to sans-serif typefaces and decided early on that I wanted ‘Lessons In’ to be smaller than ‘Design’ and in the same magenta accent colour. Of all the options, I liked the one with Norwester the best, so I used that for both lines of text.

Norwester is a free font you can download from FontSquirrel here.

Lessons In Design Logo Process - Typefaces

I’m still not 100% sold on the typography in the logo, so I might change that at some point. As I mentioned before, this logo was done very quickly, though I’m still happy with the icon itself and plan on keeping it for a long time.

Lessons In Design final logo

Designing A Logo – In Summary

My process for designing a logo for Lessons In Design was unlike any I’ve done before. Most of the time when I go straight to the computer I don’t get anything great and have to go back to the sketching phase. Fortunately, sometimes it does work and I come up with something I really love right away. In this case, it’s probably just because of how familiar I am with doing isometric typography.

If you’re interested in learning about logo design, the traditional way or my unconventional super sped up way, there are some great books that will help you learn. Once of my favorites is Aaron Draplin’s Pretty Much Everything, which is just a fantastic design book that everyone should read.

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What is your process when designing a logo? Do you always start with sketching or sometimes go right to the computer? Is there anything you would change about the Lessons In Design logo? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo Credits

Photo by Brandon Atchison on Unsplash

  1. When designing a logo, use a grid, and be sure to pay close attention to the details. To maintain the visual integrity of a logo, letters and icons must be proportionately aligned. As a result, you will be able to create a logo with both flexibility and a pleasing composition.

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