The Complete Guide to Logo Design
by Vukan Karadzic
After the great success of the Complete Logo Design Guide, released in 2007, which is currently unpublished because lots of links/resources are dead now ..., I decided to update it with new resources and reissue it. Date of this release: September 2011.
Last update: February 2012.
So, let's start!
This is not a brief Photoshop tutorial on how to make your own logo. This is a list of quality resources that can help you to learn more about everything related to logo design. From the start, why do you need a good logo; which software to use and why; how to use software, which format is used for what and why; how to choose colors; how to choose fonts; where to ask for help and direction; where to find inspirational help, what other logo designers know and you don't... You have facts, history, tutorials, tips, designers, portfolios and everything you need to know about logos and logo design.
I'll do my best to keep this guide constantly updated (although it may be hard with more than 400 links and resources), so you can go ahead and (social) bookmark this guide and save it for your future references. Ofcourse, your feedback and new suggestions are welcomed, as always.
Table of Contents:
- Logo Basics →
- Logo Design Tutorials →
- Great Logo Design Case Studies / Processes →
- Logo Design Software →
- Logo File Formats →
- Typography & Fonts →
- Colors →
- Logo Design / Branding Reviews →
- Creativity, Inspiration, Innovation →
- Logo Ideas & Portfolios →
- Logo Design Awards & Contests →
- Famous Logo Designers →
- Books on Logos →
Definition of Logo by Wikipedia:
"A logo is a graphic element, symbol, or icon of a trademark or brand and together with its logotype, which is set in a unique typeface or arranged in a particular way. A typical logo is designed to cause immediate recognition by the viewer. The logo is one aspect of the brand of a company or economic entity, and the shapes, colors, fonts and images are usually different from others in a similar market."
A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message. If you are looking to design a logo then you will want to work with some basic knowledge of the theory behind logo development. In this section we discover logo basics.
- Everything about Logo Design!
- Logo – Its Elements and Inevitable Importance for your Business
- The Six Universal Attributes Of a Great Mark
- Logo Design Basics
- Why is a logo important? Can I make it myself?
- Paul Rand Thoughts and despair on logo design
- A Guide to Creating Professional Quality Logo Designs
- 5 Branding Basics Every Logo Designer Should Know
- Vital Tips For Effective Logo Design
- Logos: The Importance of Simplicity
- Corporate Identity Resources
- Corporate Brand Guidelines
- Corporate identity and corporate brand building
- Brand New: Opinions on Corporate and Brand Identity Work
- Logo Misapplication
- The Value of Corporate Identity
- Logo Design Basics: The Five Types of Marks
- Logo basics that even some graphic designers forget
- 5 useful logo design tips
- Logo Design – The Basics (at least in my opinion)
- Design Forums > Logo and Brand Identity
- A Guide to Logo Design
- Using, fusing and abusing “the rules” of logo design
Logo Design Tutorials
In this section, you’ll find a large collection of logo design tutorials by some of the most well-respected logo designers in the industry.
Not only are these tutorials educational, but entertaining as well.
Most of them are documenting the entire process.
- Logo design tutorial from conceptualization to completion Step by step tutorial / documentation of the full process of the logo design from concept to final.
- Designing a Colorful Floral Logo With CorelDraw After working through this tutorial you’ll be able to create similar designs in your work.
- Creating a logo from start to finish The logo for Core Practice Partners.
- How to make an awesome logo Gary Simon starts and finishes a logo while documenting the entire process.
- 3D looking Sphere Logo Step by step tutorial in Illustrator.
- Step-by-step logo Designer/Author Chuck Green shows us the general process he takes when designing a logo.
- Big Bocca – Illustrative Logo An illustrative logo for an italian animation studio will show you a very quick turnaround and the design politics.
- Logo Design Project Step by Step Walkthrough Step by step documentation of the logo design process from conception to completion.
- Creating a crazy cool logo An interesting logo based on circles.
- Geometric Flower Effect Logo in Illustrator A step-by-step tutorial for a logo with a fantastic floral effect.
- Design a Print-Ready Beer Label in Adobe Illustrator A tutorial from setup to production of a really cool beer label.
- Shopping Girl Character Logo Tutorial Learn how to create a Vector Shopping Girl Character Logo in Illustrator & Photoshop!
- Logo Design Process and Walkthrough for Vivid Ways The design process and a walkthrough to the final logo.
- Dache: Logo Design Process This case study provides full creative brief and progress images from start to final.
- How to Make a Badass WordPress Logo Creating an amazing shiny/metallic logo look.
- Piranha’s Revenge – Illustrative Logo How should you approach an illustrative logo? What style should you choose?
- Sikbox Logo Design Process A bit of the ideas and the design process for the logo creation.
- Create an Origami Logo getting a little taste towards one of the trends of 2009 Logo Design.
- Use Illustrator to Create a Fun, 3D, Character Logo With a crazy rabbit character.
- Abduzeedo 2010 Logo Design How the symbol is created and what the inspiration behind it was.
- Google Chrome Logo Design A detailed tutorial on how to create this awesome logo.
- Logo Design for myNiteLife Logo Design Project Step by Step Walkthrough
- EURO 2008 Logo design How this famous logo is created.
- The Process of Designing a Killer Logo This article covers the creative process behind creating a strong conceptual logo and how to use Adobe Illustrator to your advantage when creating a logo.
- How to Design a Logotype from Conception to Completion
- Logo Frustration Take a peak into a real-world project to see an actual logo designer in action.
- Logo Design Creation Process from Start to Finish by Expert Graphic Designer - Mark Misenheimer
- Drawing the Volkswagen Logo This tutorial is showing how to draw the legendary Volkswagen emblem logo.
- Logo Design Process Tutorial A logo for an imaginary company.
- Umbrella Corporation logo A PhotoShop tutorial for a fictional bioengineering pharmaceutical company logo.
- Sony Ericsson Logo
- Create a logo identity Nice tutorial in PDF
- Making the ATI LOGO photoshop tutorial
- Colorful Mac Logo A PhotoShop tutorial.
- Make Your Own Classic Logo with CorelDraw This in-depth logo design tutorial includes steps on designing a golden frame, logo body, red ribbon and golden accent.
- Firefish Photoshop Tutorial
- Toyota Logo Illustrator Tutorial In this tutorial you can learn to create the Toyota logo. It is all about circles and the Pathfinder panel.
- Logo Presentation tutorial A Photoshop tutorial explaining how to do the presentation of your logos
- Photoshop Logo Jelly Remake
- Skype Logo How the famous Skype logo is created.
- Draw 3D Crystal Icon Logo in Photoshop
- Brainstorm #9 Logo Process Complete process, including tutorial and brainstorming.
- Making of Metallic Transformers Logo In this really fantastic tutorial, you’re shown how to build a beautiful logo step by step.
- Create a Cool Music Logo on a Grunge Background These techniques can be used to make a logo and background for a cool grunge-style Web site.
- Illustration Logo: Tiger
- Create Web 2.0 Style Logo with Photoshop
- Versus Inspired Photoshop Logo Tutorial This Adobe Photoshop tutorial will show you how to create a rounded logo, inspired by the Versus cable network.
- 3D Encide Logo Tutorial PSD Included
- Papercraft Text Effect on Logos A very detailed logo effect tutorial.
- Creating a Rockstar Brand, Logo & Styleguide in Illustrator
- Obama Logo Tutorial How to create Obama's effective logo.
- Zee Logo in Illustrator
- Create a Silhouette Logo for a Steak House Restaurant in Adobe Illustrator
- Designing a Logo The author will show you the process in drawing a logo and hopefully you have more confidence after this tutorial.
- Modern Green Logo in Photoshop
- Digg Logo Adobe Photoshop Tutorial
- Logo Design Process for Just Creative Design Logo
- Drawing a Good Logo UX Developer Nathan Smith discusses his method for creating an iconic logo design.
- Logos for the Design Challenged by Gary Priester in CorelDRAW
- Font Customization Techniques for Sign Logo Creation
- How to design a logo of letters
- a1m.at Logo Design Tutorial
- The process of redesigning a logo Kristof Saelen discusses an effective course of action for updating an existing logo.
- Strategies for Letter-based Logo Design
- Learn how to create a Futuristic Logo in photoshop This tutorial will help you create a futuristic logo that you can play with and change to make your very own.
- Creating the Opel Logo Design Using some classic Photoshop tools, such as the Rectangle, the Ellipse or the Direct Selection Tool.
- Photoshop Tutorial: Fox News Logo The techniques in this tutorial can be applied to many other tasks throughout the suite of Adobe applications.
Great Logo Design Case Studies / Processes
Although the tutorials listed above are good for learning the logo design basics or improving your technical skills, case studies from real-world projects are in-depth examples of how professional logo designers work.
Creating an extraordinary logo requires: brainstorming ideas, incorporating standard logo elements, choosing appropriate typography, using colors correctly, ...
- The Logo Design Process of Top Logo Designers The secrets of how top graphic designers create their logos.
- Designing identities for small companies
- Henri Ehrhart A logo design case study, from the notebook to the final logo design.
- JMR Insurance Group A nice logo design case study.
- BevReview Creative process / Logo Case Study.
- Dark Cliff
- Typedia Behind the Typedia Logo Design
- Foehn & Hirsch Brand Identity Process
- Vissumo A logo design case study, from the notebook to the final logo design.
- Two Giraffes Creation of a New Brand
- A-List Blogging Bootcamps
- Plancast Penguin Logo Development Process
- Ennead Architects by Pentagram
- The Philadelphia History Museum
- Visit France Logo design process
- Associated Painters Logo Design Process
- Homespun Chili Logo Design Process
- Insyndia Logo development
- Botanica A logo design by a website designer.
- Undersea Productions Re-branding
- Million Monarchs Creative Process
- WavePulse Acoustics Logo Identity Development
- Dounia The logo design process for a Mediterranean food brand.
- Brokers logo design process
- BlueDrift Logo Design Process
- Happycry Branding Process
- Siah Design Re-brand Process
- Apple & Eve Logo Process
- Mindberry logo design process
- HotBox Studios Logo design process
- The Bounty Bev Logo Design Process
- Ultimate Potential
- Grooveshark Case study
- LatitudeSouth creative process
- Orb Web Solutions Logo Process
- Directed Edge
- The Rebel Belle Case Study
- Alys Grace
Logos should be made in a vector graphic software, such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Xara Xtreme, ... These are high-priced pieces of software, but there is a very good free and open source alternative - InkScape.
This is the most widely used logo designing software. It is simple to use and the final outcome of this logo software will provide you with great results.
- Adobe Illustrator - Product
- Adobe Illustrator User Resources
- Illustrator Techniques by layersmagazine
- Adobe Illustrator tutorials by pixel2life
- Illustrator Tutorials by voidix
- Adobe Illustrator Tutorials & Lessons
- Illustrator Tutorials Step-by-step Adobe Illustrator tutorials with original source file download.
- Adobe Illustrator Tutorials
- BioRust: Adobe Illustrator Tutorials
- 60+ Illustrator Tutorials, Tips and Best Practices
- Illustrator: How to Make Custom Swooshes, Swirls, and Curls
- Mosaic image effect in Illustrator
- Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator
- Illustration, from sketch to finish
- Amazing Hidden Tricks in Illustrator
- Creating a Logo in Illustrator
- Illustrator Tutorials by sketchpad
- Illustrator Tutorials by vecpix
Corel has had a presence in the design industry and at one time likely held the top spot in the area of vector illustration software. It features a node-edit tool that operates differently on different objects, fit text-to-path, stroke-before-fill, quick fill/stroke color selection palettes, perspective projections, mesh fills and complex gradient fills. Unfortunately, only Windows operating systems are supported.
- CorelDRAW Product
- Official CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Tutorials
- CorelDRAW Tutorials by sketchpad
- Corel Draw Tutorials by designertoday
- FREE CorelDRAW Tutorials
- Corel Draw Tutorial Producing a logo and short publication with Corel Draw.
- CorelDraw 101 Tutorials by webreference
- CorelDRAW by corelhouse.com Tutorials and Graphics
- GrafX Tutorials
- Coreldraw Video Tutorials
- Tutorio - CorelDraw
- Vectorials Tutorials
- CorelDraw Tutorials Free Tutorials
- VecPix Tutorials
- Coreldraw Tutorials
Xara Xtreme is notable for its usability and fast renderer. And also for being among the first vector graphics software products to provide a fully anti-aliased display, advanced gradient fill, and transparency tools, features now common to many vector graphics editors.
- Xara Xtreme
- Official Video tutorials
- Xara Xtreme hints and tips
- Xara Xtreme Tutorials by designertoday
- Xara Xtreme 5 Tutorial and Example Files
- Xara Xtreme/Xtreme Pro Tutorials
Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. Unlike Illustrator, Inkscape is easy on the system resources and runs nicely on just about any system.
- Inkscape Guide
- Inkscape Tutorials
- Inkscape Forum
- Inkscape Manual / Guide
- Inkscape Tutorials from Beginner to Advanced
- Tutorials for InkScape by pixel2life
- 35 Tutorials to create amazing Vector Graphics using Inkscape
- Introduction to Inkscape interface
- Video Tutorials by heathenx
- Inkscape Tutorials by Sagar Shastry
Logo file formats
It's almost impossible to discuss graphic file formats without first establishing an understanding of the differences between the two major graphic types: bitmap (raster) and vector images and file formats. Vector-based images are scalable, editable images which provide graphic designers with unparalleled freedom in illustration and design.
- Image file formats
- Vector graphics The first, and most important logo format you’ll need is a vector file!
- Raster graphics
Typography & Fonts
As a designer, your job is to find a suitable font for the purpose - you will make decisions based upon the client, the market, current typographic trends, budget ... Your solution will be a font that ticks all those boxes. If it's Comic Sans, then that's just great.
- Typography Basics A 20 Minute Intro
- Typography in LOGOS
- Type, Typography and Fonts
- How To Chose The Right Font For Your Logo
- 10 Common Typography Mistakes
- How to Choose Fonts A Guide to Choosing Fonts for Graphic Designers
- How to Choose a Typeface If you work systematically through the options here, you’ll have a winning typeface choice!
- Letterspacing & Typefaces Logo Design Tips
- “What Font Should I Use?” Five Principles for Choosing and Using Typefaces
- Principles for Combining Typefaces A Crash Course in Typography
- On font pairing in logo design
- On Choosing Type
- Making great font combinations 29 principles. You can’t apply all of them at the same time, but ...
- How To Choose A Font
- Simple rules for good typography
- Improve Typography In Your Designs 8 Simple Ways
- Typography tips for graphic design students
- Fonts & typography Resources
- Logo Design Typography: Helvetica
- 20 Best Fonts For Logo Design
- 30 Free Fonts Best for Business Logos
- 50 Best Free Fonts of All Time
- misprinted type freeware fonts
- 30 Top Free Fonts From 2010
- The Best Free Fonts Of All Time
- WC Free Fonts
- 21 Most Used Fonts By Professional Designers
- Great Fonts for Web 2.0
- Top 87 Fonts A Designer Should Download
- Typographica Favorite Fonts of 2005
- Typographica Favorite Fonts of 2008
- SimplytheBest Fonts
- Download fonts | dafont.com
- FontShop | Free Fonts
- Creamundo 9800 Free Fonts
- Font Squirrel Handpicked free fonts for graphic designers with commercial-use licenses.
- Neat Fonts
- History of typography (4 parts, this is just the first one)
- Planet typography - Online resources on typefaces and typography
- Typeface Classification by Adobe
- 50 Helpful Typography Tools And Resources
- Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Typeface
- Combining Typefaces Four Ways to Mix Fonts
- Typography Glossary This page provides an extensive glossary of terms frequently used in the type world.
- Practical guide to Web Typography
- Typography Resources
- TypeDeck All Things Typographic
- Typographica a journal of typography featuring news, observations, ...
- Typedia A Shared Encyclopedia of Typefaces
- Great Fonts for Web 2.0
- Top 10 things that you can do to manage your fonts better
Online font tools
- What The Font Seen a font in use and want to know what it is?
- Identifont The largest independent directory of typefaces on the Internet
- Typetester Compare fonts for the screen
- FontBrowser A free online tool to to preview the fonts active on your system
- Intelligencefont Tune font style online.
- Fontifier Your own handwriting on your computer.
- Font Comparer Compare web fonts
- FontStruct Build, Share, Download Fonts
- Create Your Own Font
Free Font Tools
- AMP Font Viewer
- Font Xplorer
- Free&Easy Font Viewer
- FontForge An outline font editor that lets you create your own postscript, truetype, ...
- Font Frenzy FontFrenzy tames the frenzy of fonts that can clutter and slow down Windows.
- FastFontSet Allows you to select the fonts for your needs.
- Font Matcher
- The Font Thing For managing TrueType fonts in Windows.
Commercial Font Tools
- FontExplorer X Professional font management software
- Suitcase A professional font manager for Mac and Windows
- Typograf font manager
- FontCreator font editor
Of all the forms of non-verbal communication, color is the most instantaneous method of conveying messages and meanings. The subliminal messages we get from color shape our thoughts.
It’s important for us as designers to use color appropriately and understand the meaning behind the colors we choose.
- Colours and Colour Effect The Big Colour-Guide
- Color Harmony in Logos Color plays a crucial role in the message and mood a logo communicates.
- COLOURlovers Color Trends & Palettes. Share Your Color Ideas & Inspiration.
- The use of colour What colours signify, and how to find colours that fit with each other.
- Color Theory Basics Color Theory is a set of principles used to create harmonious color combinations.
- What does Color Mean?
- Color Experience
- Tips for Color Use in Logos
- Choosing color combinations Tips on creating your next color palette.
- The RGB Code The Mysteries of Color Revealed
- Color in Motion
- Color Schemer Color Scheme Gallery
- Color combinations Choosing the right color combination is vital for any design ...
- Color Combo Library This combo library provides a convenient way to search color schemes.
- PANTONE Color Suffix differences: C, CV, CVC, CVU, PC, EC
- Color Meaning, Symbolism and Psychology
- Spot & Process Colors
- How To Get Spot Color In A Process Color Print Job
Free Desktop Color Tools
- ColorPic a desktop color picker software
- Color Cop a free multi-purpose color picker
- Color Schemer ColorPix ColorPix is a useful little color picker that grabs the pixel under your mouse and transforms it into a number of different color formats.
Free Online Color Tools
- Color Schemer Galleria a free dashboard widget that allows you to browse all of the schemes in the ColorSchemer Gallery.
- Aviary Toucan It gives you the features you need to inject color into your creative process.
- Kuler Explore, create and share color themes
- ColoRotate A 3D tool for viewing and editing colors.
- Color Explorer Tools for working with digital colors
- Genopal Create harmonious colour schemes.
- Color Hunter Color palettes made from images
- Pictaculous Upload your image - get a color palette!
- colr.org Play with colors and color schemes.
- ColorSuckr Create color schemes based on photos for use in your artwork & designs
- ColorJack Color Theory Visualizer
- 4096 Color Wheel helps you create harmonious color schemes
- Color conversion (RGB/CMYK/HSV/HSL/YUV/YIC)
- Color Schemer
- ColorBlender online tool for color matching and palette design
- Color Scheme Designer
- Colorspire Color Harmonies tool. Create Color Schemes, Test Color Combinations.
- Color Combo Tester A web color combinations testing tool
- Color Picker Color Picker for website use.
Logo Design / Branding Reviews
- Reviews - Noteworthy identity work
- Brand New Opinions on Corporate and Brand Identity Work
- Identityworks Also Noted Identities
- Identityworks: Also Noted Identities For graphic designers and all who love logos.
- creativebits Critique
- Logo Of The Day Logo Research and Review, on the daily basis.
Creativity and Innovation
How can we shake up our thinking patterns? This section shows a wide range of techniques which can help you generate creative solutions to your problems.
- 10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity
- How to Improve Creativity
- How to Boost Your Creativity 20 Tips from Psychology for Boosting Creativity
- Boost Creativity 7 Unusual Psychological Techniques
- How To Boost Your Creativity For graphic designers
- 10 Steps for Boosting Creativity
- An Easy Way to Increase Creativity Why thinking about distant things can make us more creative.
- Creativity Prompt A Blog Designed to Boost Your Creativity
- How The Creative Process Works
- Unlocking Your Imagination
- How to Be Creative
- Creativity and Rebellion Why They Go Hand-in-Hand
- Courage and Creating
- Identity and Creating
- Inspire Me Thursday Self Help Blog, Self Improvement, Inspiration Spirituality.
- All at Once Gives steps for developing personal creativity
- Think Like a Genius and Its Qualities
- Mycoted Creativity, Innovation, Tools, Techniques, ...
- Overcoming Artist's Block
- MAX your creativity
- Creativity: Why Bother? 10 Benefits of Expressing Your Creativity
Logo Ideas & Portfolios
Need an inspiration? There is nothing wrong to see other designers' work and portfolios.
Here you can find most inspiring logos and talented logo designers.
- Carbonmade Logo design portfolios
- LogoGala Logo inspiration, insight to the logo design process
- Logospire Logo inspiration gallery
- LogoSauce Logo inspiration
- lo8os Logo Inspiration
- Creattica Great logo and brand design showcased.
- LogoPond Logo Inspiration
- Logo portfolio Our portfolio of logo designs
- deviantART Logos & Logotypes
- Logos with a meaning
- Inspiration, imitation or innovation how do designers create unique identities?
- Logo Faves Logo Inspiration Gallery
- Identity Archives Project A keyword-searchable database of logos and brand identity designs.
Logo Design Awards & Contests
Logo design awards & contests,... Show your work.
- Mediabistro Logo Awards
- The European Logo Design Annual
- American Design Awards
- Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award
- WOLDA The worldwide logo design annual
- Brands of the World Logo Awards
- Graphic Design Competitions
- HOW Logo Design Awards
Famous Logo Designers
Learning from the best. Here are the most notable graphic and logo designers in history. Some of them are not among us today but their masterpieces are eternal.
- Iconic Logo Designers An inspiring collection of graphic design talent.
- Saul Bass
- Paul Rand
- Lindon Leader The Man Behind The FedEx Logo
- Ivan Chermayeff
- Tom Geismar
- Joe Finocchiaro
- Raymond Loewy
- Herbert Lubalin
- Otl Aicher An Expanded, Abridged Story
- Alan Fletcher Fifty years of graphic work
- Steff Geissbuhler
- Milton Glaser
Books on Logos
And finally, here`s a great selection of reading material.
- Logo An awesome showcase of the best logo designs, shown in black and white.
- Identity Crisis 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands
- Logo Savvy Top Brand Design Firms Share their Naming and Identity Strategies
- Marks of Excellence The History and Taxonomy of Trademarks
- LogoLounge Book 6 2,000 totally new logos from designers worldwide plus articles on inspiring identity projects
- Really Good Logos Explained Top Design Professionals Critique 500 Logos and Explain What Makes Them Work
- The Secret Life of Logos Behind the Design of 80 Great Logos
- The Little Book of Logo Recipes Successful Designs and How to Create Them
- How to Design Logos, Symbols and Icons 24 Internationally Renowned Studios Reveal How They Develop Trademarks for Print and New Media
- Color Management for Logos A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers
- Logo-Art Innovation in Logo Design
- No Rules! Logos Radical Design Solutions that Break the Rules
- Designing Brand Identity A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands
- Logo Design Workbook A Hands-On Guide to Creating Logos
- Los Logos Assembling the works of designers from around the globe.
- LogoLounge 3 2,000 International Identities by Leading Designers
- A Designer's Research Manual Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need (Design Field Guides)
- Logo Design That Works Secrets for Successful Logo Design
- American Corporate Identity 2007 More than 950 all–new examples of outstanding creativity
- Beyond Logos New Definitions fo Corporate Identity (Graphic Design)
- Designing Corporate Identity
- Big Book of Corporate Identity Design
- Logo Font & Lettering Bible
- Tres Logos
Please send your suggestions for The Complete Guide to Logo Design .