graphic design January 25, 2019

Want to be a logo designer? This is what you need

You’ve decided that you want to be a logo designer. That’s great! But what should be your first steps? Should you devour every book, there is about logos first or start practicing and selling logos right away? There are a million questions on your mind preventing you from starting or going further on this path.

Well, I have good news for you: you’re not alone. Lots of designers had felt that way when they started out. It’s part of the process, so don’t worry too much, you’re more than capable of doing this. Hopefully, this post will help you out, and you’ll get the push you need to get started as a logo designer.
Let’s dig in!

What’s a logo?

Before you become a logo designer, it’s crucial that you understand what you’re creating and why.
Logos have been around for as long as mankind exists. Sure, they weren’t logos as we think of them now, but they conveyed the same: communicating ownership.
Researchers found trademarks in both Chinese and Roman ceramics, and believe that they were used to differentiate makers and to prevent imitations. They were used as quality indicators.
Even though these can be considered the beginnings of the logo, was only in the 19th century that the logo as we know it was born.
The first trademark recorded was designed by William Bass in 1777 and registered in 1876.

bass-logo-designer
The Bass & Co. trade mark, registered in 1876.

The purpose of having a good logo

nike-swoosh-logo-designers
Nike’s swoosh is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. It was designed in 1971, but it’s still meaningful.

Logos is a Greek origin word that can be translated to “word, speech, or discourse”. If you think about it, a logo can be anything from a pictogram to a symbol, a word mark or a combination of more than one. Often times, it can replace the name of the brand itself.
According to Michael Evamy, in his book Logo, “is the focal point of any identity system and the key to its acceptance.” So it’s only normal that every kind of organizations in the world use this element for “easy recognition” or to “identify individual products and services.”
Having a good logo means that it will surpass design trends, colors and personal taste. It will represent the company for years to come, and it will become the first thing costumers associate with the brand.

How to become a logo designer

There isn’t a right or wrong way for doing it. But I would say that it helps to look at experienced designers’ work. Searching for logo designers will allow you to see multiple approaches and define which ones you like and dislike. Additionally, it will train your eyes and your brain to see and understand logos, instead of focusing on the aesthetically part only.
Logopond, logolounge, and logoinspirations are some of the sites that can help you discover new designers and approaches.

The second step would be to practice as must as you can. Go to workshops, do Youtube tutorials, online courses and enroll in challenges. The more you practice, the better you will become, and the quicker you will feel that your work is at the level that you wanted it to be.

Some of my favorite resources are Aaron Draplin’s and George Bokhua’s Skillshare courses, The Daily Logo Challenge and Logocore’s daily challenge.
Additionally, share your work and ask for feedback. Often times, more experienced designers will gladly give you meaningful inputs. Behance and Dribbble are great platforms for being a part of a community.

aaron-draplin-logo-designers
I frequently look at Aaron Draplin’s work for inspiration.

Additional resources

logo-modernism-logo-designers
A big ass book full of timeless logos.

Being a logo designer, just like with any other area of design, requires constant improvement and study.
So I decided to include a couple of more helpful resources:

Logocore course: all the foundations in one single place;
Logo Modernism: the biggest and most complete book with Modernism examples and a more complete history of logos;
Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes: a book you can carry everywhere for inspiration and reminder that logos can be timeless;
My First Logo eBook: a reminder that all designers started as amateurs and that they also worked hard to became the professionals that you admire.

Take your work one step further

After all this, you should feel ready and confident to work as a logo designer which may lead to the next level: how can you stand out? How do you make your work stand out to clients?
The answer can be animation. It’s becoming more and more popular these days and will make your logo more dynamic and better prepared for digital mediums.
Another great way to surprise clients is by presenting in a different way than what they’re used to seeing. Pitchproof is a tool that will help you stand out while still looking professional.

animation-logo-logo-designers
An awesome animation example by Sevilia Nariman-qizi.

Conclusion

It’s up to you to follow your passion, and you can find all the tools to do it. It’ can seem impossible or scary but you have to remember that everything takes practice and time; all you have to do is letting go of your fears and taking the first steps. Trust me, I’ve been there too.

Read my own experience here, and if there’s anything else that helps you and can help out others, let me know in the comments.

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