How to Design a logo - Step by Step Logo Design process

7 minute read
August 6, 2021

Something that has helped me improve at logo design is having a clear process to follow. Sometimes when you are in the thick of it and feeling stuck, it’s great to have a clear structure to fall back on and remind you where you are up to and what is next!

Before we start, it is good to set the foundation and remember a logo is more than just a picture! It will be the visual mark of the brand, so it needs to represent what the brand stands for, make sense in the industry they are working in and be able to translate across all mediums.

If you do not have a client currently or you are just starting out you can practice with spec work. These can be used as a portfolio items that will help you get clients!

Some places to visit for ideas for spec work for logos HERE

Let’s jump into the process!

1. Work with clients

First off you need to work with the client to fully understand their brand. When starting out in logo design a questionnaire is a good place to start, however an even more advanced model would be a strategy workshop!

Questionnaires can be sent over email or completed face-to-face. I do find that doing them in person that it is easier to extract the feeling and meaning of the brand - who they are? What they stand for? What is their ethos? What makes them unique?

The information you extract here is your blue print and will help you either smash it out of the park or risk completely missing the mark.

There is a lot more that could be said about helping clients and understanding brands, but this blog will focus more on the actual design proces.

2. Research

Engulf yourself into the project, and start researching competitors and other logos in the industry. Ask the right questions and you will get a clear understanding of the industry, trends and their target market.

How do other brands present themselves, what do they do well, what do they do badly? Are there patterns or styles they all follow? Are there colours you should be staying away from in that industry? Are they all using icons or does everybody have word marks?

Is there a specific kind of client who uses this product or company? Are they all males who are from the constriction industry at the age of 25-35, and if so, what might they relate best to?

3. Idea generation

Once you have researched everything, organise it, create some mood boards, or stylescapes (To find out more about stylescapes check out these blogs HERE & HERE)

By looking at the moodboards you create, you should start to get a feel for the direction you are heading, and you can assess whether this lines up with the blueprint you laid out in step 1.

As you create your moodboard - Does it feel premium or cheap? High class or local and approachable? Handmade or mass produced? Feminine or Masculine?

4. Sketching

Once you have sufficient research and you understand their brand and their goal for this branding/rebranding, now it's time to start SKETCHING!

Yes, you read that correctly, good old sketching with paper and pen.

I find paper and pencil best to start getting the creative juices flowing quickly, and it doesn't have to be perfect!

Once you move to computer you can start to feel the need to make everything 'pixel perfect.' You won't try that random idea you are only half sure of because it doesn't look perfect straight away and so might miss out on something amazing!

Procreate is also a great app for sketching ideas. The important thing here is to generate ideas quickly and not worry about them being ‘perfect’, it's just to get the things from your brain on to paper.

It's vital to keep referring back to your research or brief here - sometimes you can get caught into tangents and realise where you have ended up is missing the mark and going off in the completely wrong direction.

5. Change your perspective

Once you have a few solid concepts this is a good time to change your perspective.

I mean this literally sometimes! This is a good point to stand up take a stretch and look at it from a different perspective walk to the other side of your table, walk further away and have a look, does it still look good? Is it starting to look like something it shouldn’t? Flip it upside down what does it look like now?

Edit and update as needed!

6. Take it digital

I like to choose the concepts I think I can move forward with and take them digital, jump into Adobe Illustrator the best choice for designing logos.

Start refining your concepts, see how it looks paired with different fonts, choosing fonts for a logo can be an entirely different discussion though!

Keep refining see what comes out of refinement can you remove something? Could you change it slightly, You want to make sure your logo is strong in black and white before relying on using colour for it.

When you refer back to your research is it still following the right path? Does it make sense for the industry you are designing for? These are all questions you need to keep asking yourself as you move forward!

7. Give it time

You’ve been staring at the screens for hours now possibly even days, sometimes you might start to feel the doubt creep in. You might start to feel stuck or none of your ideas are working out.

This is a good time to take a break, go for a walk, if you have other projects work on something different for a short period, doesn’t have to be a long break, go make a coffee and come back later with fresh eyes!

You would be surprised coming back with fresh eyes at how different it looks, sometimes there is something amazing there but you missed it or sometimes you will come back and it will all just make sense and what was taking you hours you will smash out in 30 minutes now!

8. BONUS Client side (Ongoing)

Make sure during the entire process you are communicating with the client, you do not need to show them every pencil stroke you make, and don't send a half baked design to the client there is a higher chance they will reject it as they can not visualise it!

Make sure when you are presenting you have a solid presentation showcasing the logo in all it’s aspect showing mockups and referring back to your strategy of why you made those choices.

9. Refine Refine Refine

Once the client has picked a direction keep refining until it is perfect! You would be suprised with giving yourself a little more time how you can improve things, don't rush it and just go blah it's done, be proud of your craft and make an amazing logo you KNOW is good!


Designing a logo can take a varying amount of time, but having a solid process is a great way to cut the time down. With practice and adjustments that fit your work style better, you will designing amazing logos in no time!