While many people see logo design as an opportunity to make money, it can be challenging to break into the industry if you don’t have any experience or educational background in the field. However, it’s possible to learn how to be a logo designer in your spare time and become successful with the right set of skills, tools, and guidance. Here are 10 practical tips to help you get started.
1) What is a logo?
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed of the name of the organization (a logotype).
2) Why become a logo designer?
While logo design may not be as glamorous or lucrative as, say, being an artist or working in graphic design, it still carries some prestige with it. It’s also easier than you might think. Logos are typically quite simple and don’t need much artistic skill behind them. They need to be clear, easy to recognize and memorable—there’s nothing too difficult about that!
3) Do your research
Before you start designing, do your research. Learn as much as you can about your client and their brand. If they’re open to it, talk with them directly and get even more insights into who they are and what they need. Then use that information—their past and current logos, color schemes, website styles, marketing materials—to decide on your design style so you know where to begin.
4) Start with basic design principles
At its core, logo design is about simplifying your message and creating an image that represents it. That said, there are some basic design principles you’ll want to familiarize yourself with before you get started—this will help both in learning how to be a logo designer and in making sure you put together something meaningful and memorable. The first rule of logo design is that it’s always unique.
5) Develop an eye for detail
The logo design process can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to learn how to become a logo designer, take some time out of your schedule and visit places where logos are displayed—public buildings, storefronts, public transit centers, and businesses that you frequent. Get an eye for detail by really looking at what makes up a brand’s visual identity. When you understand how different elements make up a logo, you can see what makes one business stand out from another.
6) Know how to use graphic editing software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
To create logos or other designs that can be scaled up or down, you’ll need to learn how to use vector design software. Most logo designers use either Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW. When I design logos, I use both programs interchangeably (depending on what I’m designing). If you’re starting out with logo design, you should focus on getting comfortable with one of these two graphic editing programs first.
7) Get familiar with vector design software
Learning how to be a logo designer means knowing your way around graphic design software. If you’re new to designing graphics, learn about programs like Adobe Illustrator and AutoCAD. It takes time and practice, but with guidance from an expert or with good tutorials, you can become comfortable with these programs in no time. Vector design software is great for logo designers because it allows users to scale graphics up or down without losing image quality.
8) Learn about colour theory
Colour theory is a big part of graphic design. In logo design, it’s essential. Understanding basic colour combinations and their effects on human psychology will make you more creative and effective at choosing colours for your clients.
9) Learn about typography
One of the best things you can do for your logo is make sure that it looks good in as many different formats as possible, from business cards to billboards. As part of learning about design, you’ll learn about typography. The best way to become an effective logo designer is by keeping up with trends and new technologies related to what you do. Reading blogs and watching instructional videos are all helpful ways of doing so.
10) Practice makes perfect
To become an effective logo designer, take on logo design projects yourself. If you aren’t creating logos for clients, you can create your own logo and learn from your mistakes along the way. It may be helpful to ask friends or family members what they think of each project as you work through it. Also, if you have any artistic ability—whether it’s sketching or using graphic design software—the more practice time you put in, the better your logos will be.