How to Design a Logo, Part 1

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Thinking about designing a logo or hiring someone to design one for your business or organization?

Here’s an overview of my logo design process, as taught at TechShop Chandler.



We’ll start with defining what a logo is and what makes it successful or unsuccessful.


A logo is a graphical mark that represents something: an individual or organization. A great logo embodies everything about what it represents in a simple way. A brand is the perception of something through any of the senses: touch, sight, sound, hearing, or smell. The logo is the visual representation of the brand. Make sure to pay close attention to the difference between a logo, a brand, and what both of them represent: you, your company, or your organization.

Generally, there are three types of logos:


  • The symbol or gem that represents the company or identity
  • What most people think of when they hear the word “logo.”
  • Sometimes, this logo can stand alone without any type
  • Examples: Nike, Target, McDonalds, Apple


  • A particular arrangement of type that stands for the identity
  • Examples: Coca-Cola, American Apparel, IBM, ToysRUs

Illustrative logo

  • An illustration that usually includes the identity
  • Examples: sports team and league logos, usually with a mascot; breweries

Combinations of the above

  • TechShop
  • Subliminal images: see below


Aaron Draplin, from Draplin Design Co., gives a great introduction to designing a logo in this video from He covers all the steps that come next in this blog post, including:

  1. The client brief
  2. Brainstorming and sketching, including research into comparable brand logos and stock logos
  3. Evaluating & refining designs using the elements and principles of design
  4. Digitizing sketches
  5. Branding Guide: showing context
  6. Finalizing logo designs and presenting


Next: Client Brief >

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