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Logo Design for Your Small Business

Lesson 8 of 16

Logo Review and Finalization


Logo Design for Your Small Business

Lesson 8 of 16

Logo Review and Finalization


Lesson Info

Logo Review and Finalization

So, now that you created your, you've got your color, you've figured out some scenarios for how you're gonna use it, you make your file formats, and tada. You're ready to go to town. This is sorta where you can get into a little bit of trouble. And I just wanna quickly go over this because we talked about it in the beginning. When you have an idea of how you're gonna use your logo, before you start designing it, you can start making the allowances and making them a little bit larger, you've got registers inside of letters that you might make it little bit larger with some white space if you're gonna make 'em really small. Now if you get to this point and you're like, oh wait, you know what I would really like to do? I'd love to see this logo stitched on a T-shirt or something. You might have got yourself into a little bit of a conundrum because in stitching it, you have too much detail or something like that. So you may have to go back and redo some things for logos. It's not unheard o...

f for there to be a logo, you have your logo, but you might have a smaller version of that logo, because just because you made it doesn't mean it's gonna work on every size. So when you're at this point, you wanna make sure that you've gotten, you've built yourself a little bit of a catalog of your logo. Now I strongly suggest three sizes: a big size, your medium size, and your maybe one-inch size. Now you'll notice when you see them all like that, you're gonna see some interesting things happen. In order for that small logo to be readable, there might be some situations where you need to let out some of those letters, you need to expand some black, you need to do some things. That logo is going to be great at that size, but if you take that logo and made it big, it's gonna be all wonky and you're not gonna want it. So it's very important that you have those three different logos or three different size logos. And then sometimes, colors will start to mesh. Your eye will start to combine the colors as they get smaller. So you might want to increase the value sometimes of colors or separate them out a little bit. So when you get to this point, make sure that you develop not only three different sizes, but also your web files and your print files. So you basically have a big one-stop shop logo file on your desktop. Now if you did go to a freelancer or design agency or designer, that's what you can ask for. Again, they probably have what their set type of deliverables are, but you can ask them, this is what I want. So now I wanna kind of go back and make sure that we're all good on everything that we've covered. So now I'll kind of open it up a little bit for questions throughout the stuff that we've covered today. We got a ton over here. So I'm just gonna dig in, 'cause really great stuff. Okay. Stuff we just didn't get to. Let's do that. Any thoughts on slab serif? Ah, Rockwell, my favorite. I think slab serifs are great, but make sure you mean it. When you put it in a slab serif, you mean it. (chuckles) A slab serif, just for those of you who don't know, are serifs, again the little footers on letter forms, but they're like the name might say, they're slabbed out. This is really good for artisan restaurants you see using the Rockwell or the, I'm just losing it, other slabs. But those slabs are really, they communicate what a serif communicates, but it means it. That's my opinion on the slab serifs. Great. It's not really an opinion, but there you go. (laughs) So Adeline Goody has, "I'm an early bootstrap start-up "and was hoping you could suggest "some maybe free, low-budget software program sites "to create a logo." I know you and I talked about Canva as being a potential, but I know there's some issues there with Canva, and you have to upload all your own assets, all your own fonts. Yeah. You could use it, but you have to read the details of the Canva user license before you start creating a logo there. Yeah. I think that that's a great question, and there's a lot of places to go for people to do this online. Again, I strongly, strongly urge you to before you initiate that, make sure that you're doing it for the right purpose, because if you just want somebody to make the problem go away, you're probably gonna wanna make the problem go away in six months because you're not gonna be super happy with what you end up with nine times out of 10. There are some success stories, and that's great. It's a great option. But I strongly urge anyone who's thinking about that to go through this process first and then you're kind of coming from an educated point of view, and say, yeah, that's right for me. I'm gonna go do that. Because as Jim mentioned, there's a lot of other logistics that you need to sort of bring yourself up on. And that goes as well to some of that crowdsourcing stuff that we were talking about in the beginning, where you sort of upload what you want and how much you wanna spend to sort of the world, and the world sort of gives you maybe five versions back or something. Those are great, but I see them as sort of Band-Aid. They sort of get you through the day, but because you can't develop a relationship with the designer, you can't really set yourself up for five years or two years. You can't set yourself up for the future and how you're gonna use it and how you might possibly use it. Great. Yes. We have a question on style guides. Wondering do you have any tips on creating a style guide, and do you even need to create a style guide if you're making a logo? Yes and no. I mean, a style guide is really the, when you buy a car, in the glove compartment, they have that big book. It's a nice thing to have, but it's also, it could be a little bit overkill. A style guide is really handy for branding and identity stuff because in that style guide, you can not only list your color mixes and how you crop a photo and what kind of filters you use on photos for print stuff. There's a lot of information right there. You don't need a style guide to create a logo. But if you are growing and other people are creating things for you, you really need to batten down the hatches with a rule book. And so a brand book or a style guide is something that would help you there. But just starting out, a little bit overkill. If you find yourself thinking that way, write 'em down and just put 'em aside. You don't need to create a whole style guide. And Matthew, we talked quite a bit about watermarking a little bit earlier. Yeah. Is it okay to have a logo and a watermark not match exactly? Well, I mean, I think no. I think if you're going to the extent of creating a logo, that should be your watermark. Now when we did talk about having your, you've got your symbol and then your wordmark and you have this lock up, you can maybe just use your symbol or you can use the whole lock up. But in that way, it can change. But it's still part of the system that you've designed. So I would say if you're going so far as to get a logo, make the watermark match. It's not that difficult. Great. Yeah. And Matthew, Jennifer Kenny would like to know, when we were looking at the color wheels, a couple of things I noticed as well, we didn't really see browns or blacks or grays or whites. Sure. Can you talk about the incorporation of those colors into the color theory on logo design? Sure. I purposely left that particular wheel out because that's a mix wheel and it's, you can get into some more nuanced stuff. Again, if you wanna dig into color a little bit more, you can move into a class that's just about that. But yes, of course those colors exist. I didn't mean to completely disregard them from the family. But they do also have their own associations. We talked a little about brown a little bit there at the end with the logos. Obviously, there's more earthy tones. And when you start mixing colors, you're gonna start finding a more general earthiness to them because they're gonna be starting to combine. I did mention that black is a color. I don't consider white to be a color. I consider, and by no disrespect to white at all, but I do, I like to play with negative space, so I like to think of white as negative. Especially with some of my logos, I like to play around with half the letter being open. But black is a color. So forgive me for not including turquoise and browns and (moderator chuckling) yeah. Great. Let's see here. Really quickly, again, to the whole mix thing. When you do start mixing your colors, there are rules there as well. We all know when blue and red come together, blue and yellow, we know what those colors are. So there is a bit of a rule, sort of parameters about the mixing. So, but yeah. I just wanted to. Perfect. Yeah. I could have included that though, yeah. Sara Larson Design would like to know when using a font for a lettermark, should the wordmark that goes with it use the same font? That's a great question. Yes is the quick answer there. You don't wanna confuse typefaces. If you do, in fact, use a wordmark for your logo, you may have a tagline or, say, a slogan. There, you can use a different typeface, something that maybe is of the family. Say you use the, there's more of a bold version of a typeface you use for the logo, and then you wanna use a lighter version of that typeface for the slogan. Sure, you can do that. The fewer typefaces you include in your brand or your identity, the better. More consistent, it's more clean. So I would strongly urge whomever out there who's thinking of throwing a bunch of typefaces in there, try and limit yourself a little bit. Carrie, yeah. Yeah, I had a question. What if you are really attracted to like an emblem or a design, but it has nothing to do with your brand necessarily. Like for example, I really like fat birds. But fat birds and Crafted Carrie don't like necessarily go together in an obvious way. Fat birds, what is? Just a bird that's fat. Oh, oh, okay, got you. I thought you were saying-- No, no. If it was a typeface I should have known about. No. Fat birds. Well, here's a funny thing about logos. Remember when we were talking about logos being a story? They're like a little beginning part of a story, like the once upon a time, you know? Mmhmm. I feel that if your story, regardless of what it is, if a fat bird is part of your thing, then a fat bird should be a part of your logo. Now again, that's a story you're putting into the world. So I think that you don't have to be Twitter or make a noise or have something like that. But the fat bird is part of your story, maybe you bake that story in, and then it manifests itself into its logo. That would be a really, probably a super cute logo. I mean, put a bird on it, right? No, I'm just kidding. (Carrie laughing) It's part of a story and it could be really a dynamic kind of fun part and a memorable part of your logo too. So don't shy away from that. 'Kay, thanks. Alright, from the internet, Mr. Jervis, if your logo is for personal brand, or even if it's not, I'm gonna throw that in for myself, what is the usual logo process? Well, how do you know when to stop? In the design? Yes. Designing process? Yeah, especially if it's your personal brand logo and you have no client and you're just doing it for yourself. Yes, and that is really, you will always be the hardest client. I have found that it takes a lot of restraint to pull yourself out of designing for yourself. I mean, I think we've all been there, where we just can't release something because we're just, oh, is that? Is that eh, eh? And you're moving things around the page and you get to, you can actually do some damage to your design because you're overdesigning it. So that's where you stop yourself and you go and bring a friend into the picture. A lot of people don't, aren't comfortable bringing people into their process. But it's very important. Now you're a business that's gonna exist in the world. You're a business that's gonna be existing with people when you're not there. That's just gonna happen. So you need to get used to bringing people into your process now, so you can start understanding what constructive criticism is. So if you feel that you're gonna go down a road where you're gonna overdesign yourself, make sure you keep your versions, name your versions, and then ask people. But it is hard. There is really no easy way about it. I mean I've gone through my own personal logos and naming and websites and all that stuff. Anytime it has to do with me, I add on seriously like a week or even a month because I know nothing is gonna look right. And then if I know that I'm just making myself nuts, I'll have some people take a look at and be like, dude, what are you doing? When you first started, that was awesome. I'm like, that was months ago. I could have saved myself tons of time by just having you in the picture earlier. So, but yeah. Great, a question from the room. I have a question. How do you go about protecting any type of logo that you create from being duplicated or copied? Great question. There's a lot out there that you can find about trademarking and copyrighting and the variations of and what's right for you. There is an ownership that you have, that you created something. Now it may or may not be similar to somebody else's, but you might not know that. So I think that there is a certain amount of protection you have just by occupying, like possession's 9/10 almost. It's like if you're occupying your logo and you're doing business with it and no one has said anything, it's yours. I mean, you have it. It's your name, it's your mark that you've designed. There are gray areas into that kind of ownership. And I think we had a question earlier about J.K., whether J.K. Rowling or whether she can use J.K. If you occupy your industry and you're doing business, and there might be something vaguely similar to you in Singapore. Now whether or not you'll cross paths, there's a lot of gray area there. If you're really concerned, I'll bring you back to CreativeLive. There are courses about what exactly does it mean to need a trademark and if you need an attorney and what's that process. You can also run free searches online too, to see if you're anywhere near a place that you kind of need to maybe protect yourself or just try something different. Yeah. Great, alright. From the internet, from Adriana Ortega, when your business branches out, do you need to create an entire new logo or does it become too much? So do you recommend stick with your logo as your business expands or revise every few years, especially as your business grows? Hmm, well, that depends. I mean, I don't think growth, growth might not be a reason for a redesign. Now if you are expanding into other markets with a different product line or if you're, if something that you're doing starts setting you up to giving birth to sort of a family of products, then you may want to make slight color changes or reinterpret the family brand, the overall brand into variations. Sure, but just growth I don't think necessitates you in a redesign. A redesign usually, generally speaking, is a three to five year kinda thing. After three years, because trends change, markets change, your target is growing and changing, perhaps, and what their expectations are, what you can offer changes. So once you hit the three-year mark, I think it's a good time to check in and make sure that you're still communicating what you need to communicate and it's being received. And then you can make some changes if needed, so. Great, thank you. Two more questions before we wrap up. From G. Patron, this is the question, we always get it, this is the question of the day. Can you give us some advice, Matthew, on, so today's classes sort of geared towards entrepreneurs designing their own logo. But I know we have a lot of designers out there who wanna get this process started and learn how they can create and then sell logos. Oh, yeah. Any best practices for how you start off establishing a price for a logo? Ah! Is it the timing? Is it the size of the company? Can you give us some advice? I was thinking there, oh it's not gonna be that question. Oh, it is that question. Yeah. (Matthew and moderator laughing) There are a lot of markets that change throughout the country. A logo designer is different here in the Bay Area than it might be in Kansas City versus Cleveland. There's a lot of different markets. And I don't mean to be hazy about this, but the term, what the market can bear, is something that you need to research. There are general prices. There's also great resources if you just search what does a designer make in blank city. You can come up with a pretty good ballpark. Now remember, you're making something for somebody that they're gonna live with. It's like you're making something very important, a very important component to their business. And that's valuable. And it's worth money. And if you're gonna do this, you need to make sure that you understand the weight of what you're doing for somebody. And don't be afraid to put some zeroes behind that. But I strongly urge you to do a little research into what your market can bear. What's the going rate in Tulsa? So I think that that's probably the best way I could answer that. But remember, you're doing somebody a big service. And the more you do, the more success you can actually, more zeroes you can add to that, so. Great. Yeah. Matthew, I thought this was a really nice question to end on today, from Snurp. (Matthew chuckling) Oh, Snurp. Oh, Snurp. So, aren't logos subjective, question mark? Is there any real proven scientific method for creating a logo that actually affects people's perception of a business? Yes. (chuckles) There is. I mean, there is a lot of psychological, I mean, ad agencies have been hiring psychologists since the '40s. I mean, there is formulas. But you need to ask yourself, do I wanna be formulaic? Do I wanna do something that's memorable? Yes, it's subjective, but there is a craft to customizing the conversation that you have visually with somebody. Why we talk about color and the mood of color, those are all formulaic sort of human truths, generally. I think that when we set up a discussion with somebody through graphic decisions that basically are going to represent us or represent the promise that we're bringing to a market, there are a lot of things, and we talked about them, there are a lot of things that are psychologically proven. What does a serif font mean to somebody versus a sans-serif font? That's a truth there. We can basically say, generally speaking, a Baskerville font is kind of old-timey. We can understand that. So those are rules. But if you wanna get any deeper than that, then I think you're starting to lose your differentiation. And you don't wanna do that. Formulas are great. They're there. And I love Picasso's quote, "First learn the rules. "Then learn how to break them." Breaking the rules is really where you can start defining yourself as a person. Formulas are there just so you don't fall off the cliff. But I hope that helps. It's great. Yeah. Alright, I think we have a wrap-up from you? Yeah, so, geez, I'm gonna be totally honest. There's a lot here. (chuckles) So I would strongly urge everyone out there, if you haven't purchased this, I strongly urge you to because you'll be able to go back into this and pick up some stuff that maybe you will forget. Now I did put some good stuff into the bonus material stuff, but again, the class itself are coming up with these questions are great. So it's one of those things you kind of, being able to rewind, so to speak, is good. So what we were able to cover today, just to recap really quickly, definitions, what is a logo, what makes a successful logo, what are the five types of logos? Back to the question earlier about the formulas, these are sort of the big, general rules. When do I need a logo? How can I use a logo? Why is it important for me to understand that before I start designing anything? And the process. Now, for those of you who might be astute designers, might have recognized that process as a design thinking model, and it is. It's a very clear slowing your roll so you can capture your thinking, step by step. That's also in the bonus materials, that wheel. Colors, again, no disrespect to brown, but we got enough color there, we can start sort of honing our message a little bit and how we're communicating ourselves through color. Type, again, huge topic, but we kind of glossed onto that. Then refining and finally, producing our logos. There's a lot there too. But I think we were able to dip in on quite a bit of stuff, so I hope it was useful. And whew, the customary thank you slide. Now if you have any other questions, you can find me at Come in there, my email's there, you can contact me. I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to maybe see some of the logos that you've been creating and trade some war stories. And because I'm a shameless promoter, my book just came out: How to Entertain, Distract, and Unplug Your Kids. I designed it, wrote it. It's available on my website, so go check that out if you have kids or you have kids in your life. So there you go. Thank you.

Class Description

Logos are a vital asset for any business. A good logo acts as a public touchpoint for everything that a brand represents: it establishes consistency of look and feel, adds a level of professionalism, and conveys the core ethic of the business. But you don’t need to be a professional designer to create a logo for your business or side-hustle.

Join Matthew for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • What makes a great logo, how to differentiate between types of logos, and how to get started on doing your own logo research
  • How to create preliminary sketches of your logo, import it to the computer, and add color
  • How to prepare logo files for many different use cases, from printed business cards to social media icons.
This class is designed to be accessible and actionable, and devoted to the basics of design thinking. Matthew will break logo design down into a step-by-step process and help you choose the tools you need. 

The DIY series is for creatives who want to create designs for themselves. The classes are geared toward beginners who aren’t necessarily ‘designers’, but need materials to represent themselves (or their small business). Classes labeled DIY are project-specific, under three hours in length, and priced affordably. Learn to design what you need quickly and easily.

Software Used: Adobe Illustrator CC 2015.3


patricia villamil

I want to thank Matthew for a great insight into designing a logo. I am not an artist, have no creative experience in the digital or marketing or banding world, and because of this class, I actually designed a logo! I want to open a small kids art studio for classes in my neighborhood and I was looking to design my own logo to use in a Wordpress site and small scale branding/marketing and some building signage, and thanks to Matthew's easy and sensible approach to design, i was able to it. I def. recommend this class.

Lacey Heward

Loved all the prep work info and how that translates into a great logo design. The class was easy to follow, the instructor answered some great questions, and it was a great overview of how to create a logo.

a Creativelive Student

Great intro to logo design. Matthew outlined some great steps to take to kick off my logo creation process. I think I'll be able to save a lot of time and money working with a pro for final design as I'll be able to come to them with a more clear idea of what I'm looking for.