Maksim Merk

How do I start my first Logo?

‘I have no clue on how to start my Logo?’

I’ve been in the same spot when pursuing a fresh logo, actually recently for a personal project! A fun but complicated project that I knew needed a Logo that helped define it and make it more professional.

That project was about designing an ecological infrastructure for the city I was born in (Shymkent). I wanted to redesign old architecture from that city with plants and vegetation that grow organically around the building so it could provide clean oxygen for the residents. This hypothetical project was designed in a way where plants grew on these 4×4, 3×3, 2×2 and 1×1 plates which I called ‘EcoPlate’ (‘Ecological Plate’ but cut down). Different sizes fit specific areas around the building and for unique plants. Now that you have context for EcoPlate, let’s get to the core part.

Activating your Creative Side:

When I need to get in the workflow/mood for brainstorming Logos, I play my favourite music that gets me excited, the type that generates total energy, even goosebumps. Now combine that with coffee 😉 and you have the ultimate key to developing unique ideas

Understanding your Logo and Brand:

You need to understand your brand; you need context behind the Logo you are designing, whether it’s for a business, a site, a social media page, a podcast, etc. You have to understand that your Logo is only a tool, a symbol representing your brand. It is not the brand; it is what your customer associates and feels about your brand subconsciously. Your brand is your reputation.

If there is yet to be a trademark or name associated with your brand, don’t worry. First, start by writing down the characteristics you want your brand to be, up to 5 words. Narrow down to 3 if you see fit, and get it down as simple as possible.

For my EcoPlate project, I wrote Vitality, Energy, well-being, Nature and Safety. Then I narrowed it down to only Vitality, Well-being and Nature.

Those 3 key terms you narrowed down, what do they mean? Specifically, how are they represented visually in our world? For example, Vitality can be tied with Health, green, red, the cross symbol in Hospitals, Herbs or Vegetation (Links with Nature). Search up your key terms on google and see what images best fit this word.

Based on those images what elements do you see? Illustrate them as symbols. Searching for nature, I sketched leaves, branches and bushes in a simple and minimalistic way.

With your sketches, try to minimise them as much as possible, only focusing on the key aspects that define them. A bush for example, has a cloud-like form with few lines of branches inside. Outline these aspects as simply as you can. You are leaving only the outlines.

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