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Logo Design 101

Lesson 9 of 22

Thumbnail Sketches

Tim Frame

Logo Design 101

Tim Frame

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Lesson Info

9. Thumbnail Sketches

Lesson Info

Thumbnail Sketches

Draw bowl do shading yeah people watching at home to draw bullishly mike you're a dog's bowl they're probably all right everyone you're not done you're putting in your bowl look like this yeah yeah so the point that is people recognize um things in like a slight three dimension quicker so if you give something like a slight tilt in a dimension to it and it's like that's not always the solution and like we'll look this afternoon at some different approaches you know obviously different unique approaches that worked better with specific concepts but just in general is like how people see when they see something that's more slightly three dimensional it reads quicker recognize this recognize it quicker than that something is just like a you don't like a flat so what right so um uh so have you done that for that bowl exercise before they caught a lot of people by surprise right interesting um it's just something that is just something to keep in mind about how people a few things yes you b...

ring that up because um just because we're been talking about the dog subject troy dog bowl on another scenario I think I would have drawn a different kind of right um one of things that I do is you know and like I said I think like having a dog is part of this is probably safe it's probably safe bet um is that I'll start with an icon like if if I go through the icon matrix exercise and come up with something that's you know it's like okay, I can make this work um rather than like redrawing that thing over and over what I'll do is do it tighten up sketch or it might just work it might just work from like a lower as reference or something just tow just to formulate ideas that'll actually just like, put several of them real small on page and then start you know, start working with shapes and saying how to integrate type and coming up with different compositions and then you know, when you get something that's starting to work again sort of evolved that further so for this, um I have both because I thought I had both like a front like a front view on a side view um so I'm gonna look att you know, some of the things like the crest and shield and banners or something that you know, like the institutional building looking at some of those things that we're in the icon matrix of how I can combine those with or at least suggest those with this icon so I'm going to start um I'm going to start doing some sketches based on that I think I have another shane chat room about about being able to sketch in a way I mean, you talk about how important sketching khun b and it's something you don't have to have any artistic ability people so they go my sketches air they're so ugly they don't look good but in this case it doesn't really matter right? No when you're just doing thumbnail sketches you're just trying to get ideas out on paper right on dh see if you know just see if it works and just try different you know different compositions like again, you know, incorporating shape banners how you're goingto layout how you gonna lay out the type and make that work and you know we look goes you want to end up with something that's kind of ah simple proportion so it needs to be just kind of like a basic you know, like squares and circles or are great because if you ever have to reduce it down to a specific size it's the height and what they're going to be the same and it's going to maximize that space that you have to work with um so you want to avoid like tryingto you know, having a logo that's like super horizontal or super vertical because it just it you know, it's going to be hard toe work and a lot of different apple you know, a lot of for applications um so the other thing that I'll look at with this is just um you know how I can marry this with a shape or container a swell is integrating you know like trying to integrate type with this a swell and just give some structure to it so I've just got some reference for a boston terrier so I'm just gonna look att shapes and just walk us through the process as you're doing this then what are you what are you thinking as you sketch things out um I'm just kind of starting out with seeing if I can incorporate this into shape I mean you've you've got certain elements to work with andi right now you're kind of exploring those especially with icons but you've gotta you've gotta like make that you've got to make a cookies the composition I mean every every type of design is you know if you put it in simplest terms it's a composition of elements so um and then you know the other thing is that you want to you want to kind of look at the at the scare relationship between elements but especially if you work with an icon and the name like what's you know what that relationship is and the the simpler your icon is um the more it's going to be able to read a smaller size so it doesn't you know so that you know the type usually you know most of time when you're working combining icon and type um it's not a fifty fifty relationship as faras like the visual wait between those usually it's more like you know, sixty thirty probably don't want to go beyond like, you know, twenty five, seventy five because again you've got you've got to think that when this gets you know when this gets reduced down that thing that's a twenty five percent is you know is really going to struggle to read and be overpowered by the thing that seventy five percent but there's a lot of things that play into that, you know, as faras like reversing type out or using, you know, the weight of the type that you're using free like a bull typeface reads, you know, well read much stronger a smaller size than a light typeface well, maybe it is at a size that's twice of what the ball so there's a lot of things that factor into that and I'm not really, uh, worrying about just kind of blocking and the letter forms at this point and like a lot of times it's like I don't even get all the letters and they're like about trying to get him into shape I won't get them all in there and it's not you know, we're all misspelled the word whatever it's just really a quick composition study um the other thing you can do it in lieu of what I do is like printing these things out small is is I also just used this he's tracing paper and then so I can accomplish the same thing very quickly just by making peace tracing paper around trying things kind of on the fly the other thing is you know, since like these air really rough and like I can't always like, you know my if I'm batting an outline or something and it's just kind of rough I also like make notes out to the side I say, well, I need to report a verse this type in stud or need toe you know, maybe at a stroke or just things to try that I want to make sure they want are for back to this you know or if I'm just literally just I'm blocking out type just by it was squares or whatever I'll just ride out to the side um which you know, a type it's supposed to go in there and then sometimes you know what I'm doing this like if I see I have a short space and a long word it's like I'll think of a typeface that would be great for that and I was like not after the side you know, try ugly poster for this you know, this would be a good how are you guys doing with this process? Yeah it's coming along it's not easy I mean, I I will literally and most of the time I will have at least like four pages just like jam packed with you know with some nails and doodles and this little explorations um you know, before I feel satisfied before I wanted before I decide to take it to the next level um and again it's if you khun like a few gun devote the time up front you know, even it's just for like, various short concentrated period of really like thinking about it and just delving into it and then you know, step away from it you'll have some the next time you see the next time that you go to work on it or the time in between you'll have ideas that come up just a cz a this is a result of your subconscious working on it I am when I teach logo design in my typography class I'm the one that you know, just because it's there's so much packed into that class um along with this logo design project that you know, I don't have a lot of time to spin it so I do all the research I do the creative brief you know, I have to go through that process and normally would work with, you know, with real clients for that so I have to spend spend that concentrated time studying on it and it's like I you know, like this is totally the student's project I other than just working with them on I just don't have any lenny you know, any interested or say myself, but I always like halfway through the project, just like an idea will come to me for that it's like, I'm not even working on the I don't have any interest in working on the project, you know, totally happy that my students are doing this, but I'll get ideas for project's just because I spent that had to spend that time, um, concentrating and thinking about it, the other thing that that I found and again, it's kind of ah, luxury, and I just I didn't really think about it, but like over several years, I noticed that I was, like, the most productive when I had, like the least amount, like when I didn't have to be working on it, like when I wasn't, you know, when I was kind of working on it during times, um, when I really hadn't planned to, I think maybe it's just because there's no it's like there's, no pressure, and I end up getting, you know I can, and I'm getting, like twice the amount of work done in half the and half the time, so and everybody's different some people thought, you know, have to have that pressure to be able to produce anything about using tracing paper is it kind of depends on, you know, like what the structure of the concept is the icon and how complex it is or whether it's kind of you know something it's easy of executed out of shapes whatever but um a lot of times um I'll do like multiple refinements with tracing paper and get things you know, things really tight and then use that as a template and the computer rather than trying to do it from the sketch and others like so there's some things where if I know it's like something simple that I can build from, you know from shapes with shaped old or something in marshall's together and just do a little bit of modification I'll go straight to the computer but when it's really like things that I have to draw like if I that sketch for ah like a dog face um you know, sometimes it'll take me up to eight look versions of like cleaning just to get like the proportions, right? But I've noticed that it's uh and this's may and I when I went through school it was all hand skills and we, you know, we like true loe those with repeat graphs and crunch curves and exact a nice and all and that kind of stuff so I may just be that, you know, I grew up in that generation rather than, you know, growing up where everything is now done on screen but it's you know I don't my drawings never perfect the first time um it takes it takes a few generations of redrawing it and re sketching it um no um but again I find that you know the better your drawing the better your final thing is going to be and it was something that you can you know they can you can easily use some of them like build it with combining shapes and things in the program um what if if it's er like illustrative in my you know and this is my experience and my skill set most of the time it works out better if I spend the time just re drawing it and fine tuning it and then using that as a template before actually drawing in the computer everybody's different that really has different level drawings no I ask because I can't draw I have a question about just your process in general did you do take those sketches and then digitize them and use them on a layer to create your final most of time I d'oh but um again if it's something that's more detail oriented um that I've had and I've had to draw to begin with um down I'll take it I'll take it in and use it as a template layer and redraw it there um the other thing about like really fine tuning your ah fine tending your drawing before you sketch it in is thie I always want to call out a trace but I know that's the old term for it where you convict arise basically vector rise a photograph or a sketch the tighter that you do that you know you still have tto you can't just like scan it vector rise it and be done with that there's usually a little bit of clean up that has to be done but if you work large and use that that basically you know it puts down your your past that you start with for that and then it's just a matter of sort of manipulating pass and anchor points and curves and so forth and and refining it tore you not having a draught from scratch so you get pretty good results that way as well I just you know the thing is I get ideas during the drawing process andi I read something once where supposedly is like scientific studies because of all the nerve endings that you have in your hands because it's required for dexterity that doing things like sketching and so forth actually like stimulates um part of the brain um so I guess there's some science behind that as well um and you know a lot of your first ideas are going to be cliche but just you know, just get him out of the way and um I wouldn't say you know, the good thing about cliche is like everybody already gets that I mean, it's an instant read um, you know, bad thing, khun b, is that like everybody? You know, everybody uses it for the same thing all the time, but I've seen some great logos that use incorporate cliches, but they put it, you know, you put such a spin on it either stylistically or content wise or whatever that it's like, you know, it's completely fresh, it doesn't look cliche, even though they're using a cliche, so don't don't rule out cliches one at least, not in the in the early part of the process. I think that, like I do is like, I will have, like, my go to thing that I do for it's, like I have to get that idea out because, like I do it for, you know, I do it for every single have there, like the one go to thing that I do for everything like this treatment, whatever, and I just do it just to get out of the way, even though it's, not it's, not appropriate, but it's, you know, kind of like jump starts that sometimes kind of jump starts the process. Normally, I'd also like, um, you know, one of the ideas that I thought was good was, you know, sort of trying to come up with a college seal type look for this so just look att you know, just I'd have some reference that pull some reference for different college seals and just look at different I no like I thought of a point afterwards that with exercise every the exercise that like a torch like a torch in the lamp is also like an iconic thing for institutions and learning and universities. So if I have an idea that I like as a thumbnail um but again it's like really small size especially like if it's trying incorporate type into shape and things like that I will basically blow that up to a bigger size and then re draw a few times and I might not you know because I know like if the type is wrapping around in circle or something that's like you know where the type is going to go but so I focus on just fine tuning the other elements of the icon and getting like the proportion getting like the portion in shape, right? It's also good to get especially if you like, you know not whether people have friends that are designers is to run your ideas by them um you know, you probably tightening up a little bit just so that they, you know, get a better understanding of what the final thing, what your intention is it always helps to have, you know, it doesn't matter whether it's proofreading and always hoped to have a second person take a look at things is because and, you know, not just in this face, but also when he had closer to the end to because, again, sometimes, you know, you spend in looking for a look at it for so long that there's little intricacies that you just can't see, you know, like, when I'm when I'm working with students it's like I can lock, look up and spot something on their work like, you know, what you do this and you can move that that's off center or whatever, but sometimes just because you're working it so close and you're kind of focusing on one part of the, you know, one part of the one part of the concept or whatever that you actually, you know, you overlook some overlook something else at this point, it does it. It's, not about what your sketches look like it's about whether you've got the like the seat of a good idea, yeah feel free to do a quick run through here and see how people sketches have turned out. Did you try the cap and gown on the e e think that's, I think that's a good idea that's a good idea, too. You could have like like really exaggerated you know, you might wanna have like a small dog and then have like the really big like horn rimmed glasses or something and so those we've got what's this it was just kind of go on then it's probably you know what would be it would be a good idea that's real similar that has tohave us diploma that actually like wraps around like wraps around about so the like the dog's honest see on the outside feel free to speak up and explain your critiques here we've got a camera here it's it's good to see the process so you kind of helping them along you know what that's you know what? Those air good sketches because they get across the idea that's all that's all you need to accomplish like this with the of the flag and the ivy um yeah, I think you could even simplify simplify this but you could simplify it and then these you could have like roman columns. Yes, you could have like roman columns and kind of what you've got you know, like what you've got here uh you could have some sort of like college symbol a clock or something you know, it looks like an institutional building that's a great idea and then that's the, um dog with e like the cap and gown is yeah like pugs up like pigs, right? Um you know, the other thing is like maybe you could do something with the tassel where instead of a tassel it's like a dog boners you know it's like a dog bones or something somebody again it's all about trying tow kind of weave these ideas were these ideas together? Um I like that it's probably not. You know not something you want to pursue to show the client I mean ivy wrapped around the fire hydrant but it's a fun idea good. You win the prize most concept sketches I love the dog pirate flag because I don't know that you could use it for this but you know you have some nice drawing skills to is this just like a college college seal or yeah no, this is great. This is great too he's got the college seal but like instead of swords or whatever behind it's got he's got like criss cross dog dog bones. Um I've seen this but that's a good idea. I like I like that composition too. Is this like a cityscape or was supposed to be the dog dish? Uh, like the silhouette of a well known city, I think you know, maybe it's something other than a dog dish but I think that there's a good idea there this is a good this is a great idea um maybe not necessarily in this form he's got like a diploma and the dog's like the dog's head is in the middle or wherever but it would be a really cool idea to just have the logo looks like a like a diploma like with black lead like with black letters or whatever so I think that's a great idea that you could that you could pursue um I like the crest on shield idea that's one of the ones that I I was working with you got even a second page you um the book with the icon is good I like I like the idea of glasses whether they're sunglasses are actually like maybe horn rimmed glasses or they could be actually be exaggerated where you know there's a big bigger emphasis on the glasses um I actually like in my list of words I forgot to say it but I had bandanna so I think there's you know there might be a way um he's that in a concept somehow some of them act like some abandoned us have like fun you know, like fun patterns and graphics and stuff on him so no way you could you looks like you're trying to make a turn out the cap and gown so yeah, I think that could work uh this is good. I do think like the pop rent although it's clean you know um although it's cliche it's like you also have to think about you have to think about the audience and whether they really you know whether they really care or not or whether it's best to just like you know um and with this it's like even though it's cliche you might be able to do this um actually in one of my concepts I had like a dog you know how like in an old shields or whatever there's like a lion or something on either these don't look like dogs obviously but um not like an angel and fat cat or something but um you know, like how on something old crest there's like a lion on the other side so just sort of pushing out a little bit further um and put more focus on like the crest on the shield element on the not at all print or also like look, you know, I could see this, you know, kind of marrying this this idea um I think this is good, I don't I'm not sure what your intent was there but actually like having instead of having a license having something that like signifies that the dog is you know the dog is trained like a mad almost like a mat like a gold medal or something so I think that's good, good thinking about making, you know, factories in shape of colin's ofthe building I think that's that's somewhere another idea I saw but that's really good with the idea of columns that's good that's good to um I mean just the again saying a portion of the dog and that he's got his head buried in a book um that's that's great cause it's really simple would be easy to make that work with a very few elements I like this to somehow incorporating the shield on the sill what? Um so, uh don is this like a like a book that's like a built like a building or good that's good too gonna like the somehow incorporate that idea and aplomb our achievement that's good great closest I couldn't get the face so this is the closest that's this is good. Is that ohio or is that a dog? I was like, well, ohio actually looks like kind of like that so I don't know since it is like in ohio and actually columbus is in the center of ohio you've got your icon in the center I thought it might be ohio, but yeah, I think I think like again it's one that I pursue the idea of like a crest or a shield is I mean, you look at the other stuff is out there there's a few like lame attempts at that but nobody really does it right like tio a professional level like the like the, like the flag idea to think, I think if you marry these two ideas of, like, just having the sole lot icon of a dog, that would be a quick that would be really quickly. So good. Dog breeding, I'm with the loco to sign saying someone you don't really want that much imagery, a lot of it's going to come from the text. So this was an interesting start and then to try to eliminate text almost like a poem you wanna cut, don't cut out the imagery until you have just the bare bones. I like that word you said it's, just you you want part of the image, but not the whole thing. So taking an idea and doing that that even like there's, waste of simplify, even if you's like the whole image of, like having just minimal amounts of the minimum amount of detail you need, like if it has a window, you could just have a highlight rather like that have a whole frame in the soul and curtains and, you know, so there's also ways toe total streamline things so that you just you accomplish a quick read with the bear number of of elements I like the, uh, like the idea of the laurels.

Class Description

A logo is a visual representation of a brand. And when you are relying on one single physical identifier to encapsulate a brand - the stakes are high. Find out what you should know in Logo Design 101 with Tim Frame.

Tim has been in the branding business for more than twenty years. He’s designed logos, icons, brand identity systems, and retail graphics for companies of all sizes. In this class, he’ll teach you the complete process for creating an effective logo – from start to finish. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Researching and gathering relevant info
  • Concepting, refining, and rendering a design
  • Producing identity standards and basic style guide
  • Considerations for making color decisions

You’ll learn about the four primary logo types and the strengths of each style. You’ll also explore how to work with Adobe Illustrator to produce a logo that can be used in print and online.

Logos are a core part of every brand identity, learn how the experts conceive, develop, and produce them in Logo Design 101 with Tim Frame.


a Creativelive Student

It's an excellent beginning class, as is stated by the instructor during his introduction. This class has several facets, and only someone with zero knowledge would need them all. There were some really wonderful information shared on how to ferret the needed information on the clint and competition. If you are looking to better serve a client this is a great class. For those looking for an advanced class this would not be a good fit, as this is only a beginner class.

Rajat Shanbhag

It is an excellent class that has all the foundations laid out precisely and concisely. I really appreciate Tim putting in all the effort and simplifying the process for beginners and pro's alike.