Everything You Need to Know About Designing Logos in Illustrator. Step by Step Logo Design With Illustrator Full Tutorial PART 01. Logo Design Tutorials, Logo Design With Illustrator, Full Mastering Logo Design.
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Logos are everywhere, all around us. Just look at what you’re wearing—chances are you’ve been branded like a Nascar pony without even realizing it. And now it’s your turn to add to the mix, because you’ve been asked to design a logo. Before we go too much further, let’s talk about what exactly you’ve been asked to do. For starters, what, exactly, is a logo? The Elements of a Logo A logomark is a graphical element that represents something about a company and the associate brand. Most logos are made of two elements: the logotype and logomark.
The logomark is the illustration or graphic. The logotype is a typographic treatment of a word or phrase. Most logotypes have been stylized in some way, but there are those which have been crafted from unadulterated type, or are even created by hand. The qualities displayed in the logotype also speak to the brand and the message. Nike’s logo is made up of two distinct elements, the swoosh and the word “Nike.” The swoosh is the logomark, while “Nike” is the logotype. So what do these things represent? The swoosh logomark represents the wings of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. But the swoosh also embodies much more about the Nike ethos: speed, grace, power, agility, or the face of that kid that blew by you on the soccer pitch. Creating a Strong Logo There’s no way you can know all the different ways that your logomark may be used in the future, but there are some things you can do now to make sure your work endures. 1. Logotype and logomark independence. It is important that the logotype and the logomark work together to bolster the brand, but it is just as important—if not more so—that they each be able to stand on their own. Think about it; you don’t need to see anything other than that swoosh to know what brand of gear you’re looking at. And how many times have you seen sweatshirts with just “Nike” emblazoned on them? All the best logos are made of elements which can fend for themselves. Here are a few more examples of logos you would still recognize without any text: 2. Strive for simplicity. Look at a collection of famous logos. Chances are that they are all relatively simple marks. You’re not likely to find too many colors, gradients, myriad line weights, or overly complex shapes among the bunch. 3. Anticipate its usage. Think about how your logo is likely to be used. Will it be tiny, on the side of a building, on a hat, on a cake, on a screen, or somewhere else? The simpler your mark, the easier it will be for it to meet all these challenges without falling apart, or even worse, costing your client an arm and a leg to reproduce. The Starbucks logo, for example, appears on signage, packaging, and much more. Why Create Your Logo Using Illustrator? That rule of simplicity brings us to the crux of this article, and what you probably came here for: Adobe Illustrator. Yes, there are other programs that will do some of what we are about to discuss, but none of them will handle the job with the same level of universal confidence and ease. Using Adobe Illustrator to design your logo is smart for a number of reasons, but let’s focus on the biggest one: vectors. Steps for Creating a Logo There’s no right way to create a logo. Some designers jump straight into pixel pushing, some sketch on paper first, and there’s probably at least one who dabbles in black magic to get things going. Whatever path you choose, make sure you keep track of your work, label your layers, and keep the brand’s message in mind. This is the method we suggest: 1. Do Your Research Look at other logos in the industry and design trends in the field. You don’t want a logo that looks like everyone else’s, but you also don’t want to stick out for the wrong reasons. 2. Understand the Mission If this is a logo for someone else, talk to them and understand what they want to achieve. Also be sure that you’re both on the same page in terms of deliverables. 3. Start on Paper If you’re overwhelmed by Illustrator or digital design, start on paper. Everyone can sketch out an idea with a pencil or pen. A blank piece of paper can be less intimidating than a blank screen. Sketch a few different ideas. Having multiple options is good, especially if you’re dealing with a client. 4. Move to Illustrator Now it’s time to replicate and refine that design in Illustrator. In the next section of the article, we’ll go into more detail on the actual how-to that goes into creating a logo in Illustrator. 5. Present, Revise, Deliver The final step is to present your work to the client, take on their edits, and deliver the final product based on your prearranged deal. We would suggest showing no more than three to five strong options to a client.