4 Steps to Creating a Logo

If you are in the market for a new logo design or perhaps even a redesign, you may feel overwhelmed.

I’m sure you’ve done a bit of research and compiled a selection of logo designs you really love however you are unsure of what you’d like for your company.Whenever my clients are having a tough time boiling down the most important factors to consider, I tell them… take a breather, and come back to this with a fresh eye.

Then, make a list.

These are the 4 most important aspects to talk over and consider.


I typically categorize font styles into 6 categories:

▸ serif
▸ sans serif
▸ handwritten
▸ script
▸ handwritten script
▸ typewriter

6 different font styles explained: serif, sans serif, handwritten, handwritten script, script, typewriter

There are many other sub-categories or descriptive words you can choose to use (for example: italic, brush, calligraphy, stencil, etc.) but these are the most widely-used and cover 90% of all font styles.

Understanding Font Weight and Kerning

Font kerning is the spacing between the letters. You can have anywhere from very tight kerning to standard or loose.

Font weight describes the thickness of the letters. Many font styles come available in different font weights i.e. heavy, bold, normal, light,  extra light. However, some fonts are available in only one weight. Designers can often edit standard fonts to be lighter or heavier, within reason.


Color Wheel

Source: Aaron Klopp

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the first known writers to examine color theory in the late 1400’s. In 1666, Isaac Newton introduced his Theory of Color, including the primary colors. A hundred years later, secondary, tertiary, and the concept of warm and cool colors were added to our current understanding of color theory.

Johannes Itten

Johannes Itten, German Painter 1888-1967

Color choice can evoke a certain mood and bring about a subliminal psychological response. Color can also evoke different responses for different people, and may have different meanings cross-culturally.

Consider your audience and what you want to say about your company. Do you want a bold, energetic design? Consider warms like yellow and red. Do you want a subtle, soothing design? Consider cool tones like blue or green.

Design Seeds, Pantone and Colour Lovers are a few places I’d strongly recommend to review potential color palettes.


Logos can either A.) include an illustration or B.) be typographic only (this is called a logotype).

Logo with Illustration vs. Logotype

Think about the ways you plan to use your logo. Printing on business cards? Placing it on the header of your website? Using it for a Facebook profile image? Printing on t-shirts? Having a stamp made?

If a design is too detailed, the versatility may be compromised. Most logos need to be scalable, meaning they work well in a very small format as well as a very large format. If a design is too detailed, you may need various versions of the logo (text only, illustration and text, condensed version of the design, icon version, etc.)


What kind of impression should the logo give: unique, professional, handmade, artistic, corporate, organic, clean, precise, balanced, symmetrical, layered, simple?

You should try to consider what a potential viewer may feel within the first 10 seconds of seeing your design. Research conducted by EyeTracking, Inc. shows that a consumer can make a choice in as little as a third of a second.

Who you are and what you do

A logo should quickly embody who you are and what you do. How can you visually achieve this?


Vectors and Pixels… Explained

I am going to try and make this technical jargon easy to understand quickly and painlessly! What is the different between vector and pixel… what does it all mean?

Vector Vs. Pixel

Note the difference! Smooth lines on the left, grid lines on the right

I answer this question several times a week. If my clients want to know this, I am sure countless others do, too.

Vector is a type of graphic file that is made up of a series of lines, points curves and shapes.

Why are vectors great? They can be resized infinitely, from itty bitty to billboard size and beyond. If you zoom in 300 times, the lines will still be crisp and clean.

Close up of vector image

Vector files can be in the file format of .AI file or .EPS created in Adobe Illustrator when pertaining to logo design, but may also be in the form of CGM, SVG, RS-274X, and more when using other programs. Of course, Illustrator is my cup of tea and tool of the trade!

For more vector-specific information, Wikipedia has a detailed description that reads a bit dry (*cough, cough*) for sure, but is informative.

Raster (pixel-based) files are a series of pixels, or small dots in a grid. (You may also see this word in the form of “rasterized.”)

Pixel files can come in the form of JPG, TIFF, RAW, GIF, BMP, PNG as well as a variety of others. The higher an image resolution is, the closer these little dots are together (yielding a higher quality image.)

Close up of pixel grid

I tend to most often use JPG and PNG for graphic design projects- print and web. PNG and TIFF are both wonderful because they allow for transparent backgrounds. JPG does not.

Why are pixels great? You can save a graphic file to a specific size and keep the file size down. This can help images load more quickly online.

Why are pixels not great? Once you size a pixel image down, you lose quality. You cannot make a small pixel image larger.

Are there other specific file types you want to know about? (i.e. 3D Vector Formats, other 2D Vector formats, Types of Rasters) Wikipedia’s Image File Format Article will do just the trick!

The Best Design Advice I Can Give

Coco Chanel, Fashion Icon

Remove clutter. Allow the eye to breathe.

The  essence of an often-quoted bit of advice from Coco Channel can also be applied as a design theory,

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”

Now, apply this to other forms of creative design. Whatever design elements you are pushing about, try removing one, or two. Add white space. It almost always brings clarity. This theory can be used in graphic design, interior design and beyond.

When too many design elements compete, your design loses professionalism, direction, and organization.

Remove clutter. Allow the eye to breathe. So simple!