Logo Design: Brainstorming and Sketching

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3. Brainstorming & Sketching

Now that we have a place to start, begin some sketching and brainstorming: this is meant to be fast and loose, and to collect as many ideas as possible. Can’t draw? No problem! Stick figures, weird lumpy shapes, and messy handwriting are all OKAY: just put everything down on paper. There are no bad ideas when sketching.

My design professor in college required 100 thumbnail sketches before we could begin a drawing. From those 100, we’d pick 5-10 ideas that had promise, create 5 iterations of those sketches, and finally pick 5-10 as final candidates for digitization. 100 is a little extreme, but the more ideas you collect at this stage, the more you’ll have to work with. You never know when a crazy idea might just be the perfect visual solution – write it down!

If you get stuck, look at stock images using the keywords from your project brief: Brands of the World, istock.com, Creative Market, and Shutterstock are all great places to browse for ideas.

A note about digital content: no stealing! Browsing for ideas using stock logos is a great place to start, but you’re stealing from an artist if you take a design without paying for the design or asking them for permission to use it. You could be sued! You’ll also be missing out on the opportunity to create a truly unique logo that represents your brand. For more information about copyright, licensing and Creative Commons licensing, visit creativecommons.org.

100 sketches for Ruby:

These sketches were created by withoomph’s online tool, helpful for some quick sketches if you don’t have a paper and pen:

Top 10 favorites:


Top 3 sketches:

[Coming soon!]

Next: Evaluating and Refining Sketches >

Back: Client Brief

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