Logo design made simple

When it comes to designing a logo, it is really easy to get caught up in selecting colours (Teal or turquoise?? Or maybe we need to do cobalt. Yesssss, cobalt! No, emerald green…) Ultimately, when you focus on logo colour right out of the gate, you end up losing sight of what is important – the actual design of the logo. The typography. The positive and negative space. The look and feel. The message.

Here is a secret – most graphic designers create logos in black and white ONLY. Well, at least at first. Personally, I don’t even THINK about adding color to a logo until I’m almost at the end of the creative process. Why? Because stripping a logo down to black and white is the best way to see if a design is truly working. With black and white you have the most visual contrast possible, and you can really analyze legibility. Using colour is totally fun and often necessary, but it can’t hide crap design. Consider the black and white version the ‘building block’ stage of your logo development and spend time there.

It is actually really liberating not to think about colour from the get go. Chill out, have some pinot, and just rock the grayscale until you like what you see.

If a logo works in black and white then you are golden. If it falls apart when you change it to full color, then you have just picked the wrong colors. Go back to that drawing board and try new color combinations. Maybe try colours you have never considered, just for the fun of it (puce??). It will all come together, I promise.

Start strong + stay visible,

ps: I can’t live without this book on colour combinations. It is soooo old school. I literally bought it in 1999 (probably on my way to pick up a Blur album… )