Beginner post

Hi! my name is Mariah and I am completely new user here. I am a graphics designer, mainly edit and enhance pictures. I am from some few months wondering what can be done so that I can learn how to make a logo. I never made logos, how to get amazing ideas of logos ?

There is far more to logos than you seem to be aware.
Logos are only one part of an overall branding package on which hinges the success or failure of the client; the making of which require education, knowledge of marketing, knowledge of output methods and a lot of experience in what will work and what doesn’t. The software used is important as well because it is possible to make a logo that is not reproducible or may cost your client a lot of extra money in set up fees for output if you don’t do them correctly. Ideas and amazingly pretty pictures are secondary to that.

Logo designers should have to buy malpractice insurance.
There is that much riding on the success of logos


^^^^^ YES!

This whole phenomenon that has emerged over the past few years about designing logos is weird and unsettling in that it takes a small part of a much bigger field and reduces it to a one-off specialization performed online in a poorly paid crowdsourcing environment.

If you’re in a country where making a small pittance from competing with others over fast designs commissioned by naive business owners is a way to earn a living, have at it, but I’ll still suggest aiming for something better.


What you’re doing with photo retouching is far from logo design in the grand scheme of ‘arts’ to really say that you’re ready to start doing professional work. I would do a lot of research and watch a lot of youtube videos on the design process for logo design before jumping in as it entails a whole company vision and branding rather than just a ‘nice logo’.

@PrintDriver pretty much covered most of it though. I would start small and focus on the company or brand’s ‘identity’ and gather notes before even sketching. Moodboards help the brainstorming, as long as the moodboards are accurate to the company or brand’s theme.

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I always recommend Adobe Classroom in a Book for Photoshop and Illustrator. They are inexpensive, come with downloadable lesson plans, and review 1 major tool each chapter.

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If anyone is “doing logos” in Photoshop, they are doing it wrong.
Vector lockup first. You can play with bling only after that part is done and only for specific usages.

I do not know how to thank you for your amazing reply. I learned so much from you, I even did not have any idea that anyone would ever help me or do me a favour by replying to my post. Thanks a lot. The first thing that I observed is that there is a big copy right issue that happens in logo business. The main problem is that, suppose ai have created a logo from scratch and did not took any sort of idea from any logo and somehow it got matched with other logo that had already been established, what should I do then?. What is the policy of checking that whether or nit my logo is similar to others ?. I cannot check all the logos in the world right ?.

I totally agree with you, here is the thing that I do not like. Making a logo is not an easy job and most of all I realised that finish a logo takes lots and lots of creativity. The hard part is after that. The first part is the creativity, we have to think and think and somedays there is no idea that comes to my mind and I get frustrated and as I am just a beginner, things are very tough. I do nit know how people even try this and make money out of it. The whole logo making takes a lots of time and we are underpaid as there are lot of freelancers over the world. These are the mains reason that I do nit like about logo business.

Sprainkes, hi thanks for replying. What you have said really do make sense and I understood because what I do is really different from what I want to do now. I am facing many problems as I am new, but can you tell me what should I do ? should I quit ? because I am seeing no hope in this market. A lot of people are doing logos and I guess they are doing this and making money just because they are creative. Logo making is all about creativity and nothing else, which I guess I have lacking of. Sometimes I think that I am making a mistake and it is not my field of work. Some people are giving me hope and sole are discouraging me, I really have to think about it. I have completed some logos and I though I did it well but seems like they are nit good and not professional. I cannot make borders properly. Can you guys tell me at least hoe many months does it actually takes to learn and do logos ?. I think it will take a lot of time as I am having so much problems and nothing I can do about it. If you are telling me that what I did before was very different from this, then should I quit?. If not please help me and teach me some tricks so that I can learn it fast. I though about doing different sectors but creating logos seemed like the easiest one and yet it came out to the toughest. I really do not know what to do. Some times I think I should go back and keep doing what I was doing before.

Logos are NOT about creativity.
Logos are about the company they represent. Creativity is secondary to the purpose.
A logo represents a brand. It is the actual “face” of the brand, something that, over time, develops into a recognizable symbol that people associate with a product they know and love.

Look at something like the Nike brand. They sell all kinds of athletic wear, not just sneakers. People will where a sweatshirt with just the swoop logo on it. There are people out there who will wear nothing but Nike sneakers. Because they love the brand, not necessarily the logo. That’s why logo Trademarking is so important. If someone steals the Nike logo and puts it on poorly-made junk, that dilutes the Nike brand and gives them a bad name. That’s why they have a whole department of lawyers always on the lookout for counterfeiting of their logo.

Professional business people who buy logos are not going to buy them from a crowdsource site. A lot of time and development goes into doing a branding campaign right. In order for a business to succeed, they have to have a strategy, one that starts with an actual need for the business itself, travels through marketing demographics, theme development, presentation to the public, and constant brand reinforcement over years. It isn’t picking a logo off a stock site or crowdsourcing a pretty picture for $5.

I work in a high-end sign shop. We rarely see crowdsourced logos, but when we do, we usually end up sitting down with the business owner and going over what we can do do make reproduction of their sign more affordable. Inappropriate use of gradient fades, glows, fuzzy dropshadows, raster imagery, and worst of all, content license infringement are all very costly issues to overcome when realizing a sign in 3D.

Colors? If there are no standardized spot colors used in the logo, the logo on the banner I print is going to look quite a bit different than the sign shop down the street. And both of us are going to look different from the stationery company who prints the letterhead. We have no color guide so whatever our machine profile thinks the color is, and every machine is different, that’s what you get. With a standard, we will all be on the same page.

Do your vectors overlap? That’s a clean up charge.
Do you use the dreaded white box to cover over things you don’t know how to get rid of in the software? That’s a cleanup charge.
Does part of the logo contain an element that can only be printed for proper reproduction on a sign? That’s a limitation of how the brand can be presented.
Does the logo contain stock art photography or vector art. Most EULA’s for stock art of any kind, including those displayed as logos, specifically states the imagery may NOT be used for corporate logos. The reason? You cannot trademark stock art. And, as an end client, if you cannot trademark your own logo, you cannot protect yourself from the brand dilution I described above.

Sure, go ahead and do low end logos for the folks that use them on one-and-done projects. Someone needs to feed the need. Just remember, the people doing the art in those crowdsourcing things are NOT the people making the money. The owner of the site gets paid. And maybe the one person in 500 that made the winning pretty picture gets paid. The other 499? They make nothing for their time. Might as well work retail. At least you get paid for your hours at that.

But the true path to working in this industry as a professional is 4 years of school during which you do as much intern work as possible, learning from others, not on your own. Followed by 5-10 years of actually working for someone who knows what they are doing and can pass it on to you. Only then, after that 5-10 years should freelancing become a possibility.

I realize other countries have different paths. But like any other profession, if you don’t have the basic foundation skillset (the theory behind the art) you haven’t much chance of progressing beyond the lower ranks of the industry.

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Each of us might be using the word creativity a little differently, but logos are about much more than creativity. If they’re about any one thing, they’re about brand recognition and marketing.

Designing logos, of course, involves a great deal of creativity, but it also take research, negotiation, planning, comprehension, hard work, frustration, aesthetics, psychology, compromise, execution, strategy and, in general, thinking through the entire scope of the branding problem from concept to implementation. When it comes right down to it, a logo itself is just one component in a much bigger puzzle. At least that’s how it should ideally work.

Each of these things, of course, requires creativity. Melding them together into a cohesive whole involves a huge amount of creativity of the kind that extends way beyond making something that looks nice or is clever. Instead, it’s the kind of creativity needed to solve a special kind of complex business problem.

Hey Just B thank you for your reply. You made a lot of sense and what you wrote is absolutely right. Logos are about the concept the company is running for. We cannot make a logo without knowing what the company actually does. After researching about its true depth purpose we can create a logo. So my question is as you said it is a lots of hardship are logo designers getting enough money for what they are giving or doing for the company ?. Now a days if your look at the offers that are made for making a logo it seems completely absurd. I did not knew this before and decided to go for it without thinking anything. What is the reason behind this ? arent they aware of the fact that making logo is not an easy job ?. Why do they put such an offer for something which is so important for their company. They need to realise that a logo is what describes their company and it has to perfect. If they offer less than obviously they would also get that kind of service. First if all I think the main reason is that there are too many free lancers now and they do the job with whatever the price they are offered with. That made all the companies to trow their absurd offer as they know they will ultimately find someone who will need the money and do that job for them. You know what ? there was a time when people were looking for free lancers and they did not get any. The world is developing, people are getting skilled and so does the company profits. So as all things are increasing they should also increase their offer as well. That thing is stopped forever I guess.

As B said, we’re talking different kinds of creative.
The first thing all new designers need to learn is Graphic Design is not about THEIR Art. It’s all about THE CLIENT and their end goal. Personal Creative Art should not enter into it. For students who do their own thing all through school,that can be a bit of an eye-opening jolt when on the first job. Some embrace the challenge. Some never recover.

But yes, client requests require creative solutions, just maybe not ones that fall within your comfort zone as an artist, or maybe not ones as creative as you want to be. If you can work outside that, you have a head start on others in the crowd.

On the point of people seeking low cost designers, my take on that situation is, having these crowd sourcing sites and gang printers online keeps that kind of client out of my hair (what little I have left after 20+ years in the print industry.) They are a match made in heaven.
Just know there are clients out there that will pay money for solutions, but if you don’t have the chops to work at that level, without the experience and industry contacts, it is very hard to break through that glass ceiling. The opportunities are there, but competitive. For every job opening there are, no joke, hundreds of applicants.

I don’t know what it is like where you live, or what your challenges may be as far as schooling or industry mentoring. All I can say is, if you want it bad enough, you need to find the path that takes you to your goal.
Good luck!

Good logo designers are creative, but there’s a big difference between a logo that’s nice to look at and one that also communicates something more than a name. That’s where ‘design’ comes in.

Design is about communication, and successful logos are designed to communicate a lot of information and/or emotion on behalf of the company or product they represent, while still remaining relatively simple graphics. Are they a new, edgy company or older, more traditional (or just want to look like one or the other)? Are we targeting kids? Adults? Seniors? Farmers? Bankers? How much of that can I communicate using as little as possible?

It takes research (market, industry, style, competitors, etc), plus the skills to filter through it all and successfully craft something simple, memorable, recognizable… and also works on press. :wink: Good working knowledge of a vector program like Illustrator will also be key, as well as knowing about spot colors, and what file format should be used in any given situation.

Dime-a-dozen logo ‘designers’ are already out there saturating the market with logos that all look the same and say next to nothing. Don’t be one of them. Find job briefs and design based on those briefs. Study, practice, challenge yourself, study and practice some more. I’m still improving after 15 years. :smile:

Good luck!

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