Logo Creation Basics & Resources

The Fusion of Aesthetic & Purpose

Building a brand is a tedious process. When you go shopping, you probably see symbols and know exactly what they mean—the Nike swoosh, the Apple logo, the green Starbucks lady. If you have an idea, be it a business or an organization, you’ll need a logo. Your logo is the face of your brand, and it tells people a lot about your brand.

mlb_logo
Photo via mlb.com

Creating a logo involves the fusion of aesthetic and purpose. Aesthetic tells people a little about your style, usually conveyed through the use of colors and shapes. Purpose tells people what your brand is about, and it tells them to associate your brand with that logo. The Major League Baseball logo (below) combines aesthetic and purpose perfectly. The colors and silhouette convey the ‘America’ aspect, while the silhouette tells people that they’re about baseball.

Other things to consider are how unique your logo is, and how easy it is to manipulate and reproduce. The MLB logo is unique – it isn’t just another baseball player clip art. It’s easy to resize because of its simplicity, and it can be printed in many forms and retain its familiarity. This can be important if you are, for example, making a logo for a foundation. You’ll probably be putting the logo on flyers, tees, and pens, so it needs to be unique, memorable, and recognizable, as well as fit for manipulating into different forms. Logos for sites can share one common feature (usually a shape or the site’s initials, along with its colors) because you want your logo to match your site’s header and color scheme, but not be everywhere on the webpage.

creative_market_logo_creationkit
Photo via creativemarket.com

While making a unique, memorable, recognizable, and purposeful logo lies primarily in your creative talent, there are resources on the web to help you build a brand, including a logo. One of my favorite sites is CreativeMarket.com. They sell thousands of goods for graphic and web designers, including fonts and graphics packs. If you sign up for their newsletter, they send you six free goods every Monday – goods that would normally have to be paid for. There’s actually a logo building pack (pictured) that you can take elements or even just inspiration from.

color_culler_app
Photo by John Moffitt

Another resource for color schemes that can get your creative juices flowing is design-seeds.com. They not only have color schemes made from photos, but their palette search feature means you can find color schemes that include a certain color you like. If you’re looking for a more systematic color combination, try Adobe Color (formerly called Kuler). You can drag colors on a color wheel and ask the program to find other colors based on a rule you set (shades, analogous, monochromatic, triad, etc). It’s also available as an app, Adobe Capture CC (Free, Apple and Android).

In the realm of apps, there are two I have used and can tell you with complete certainty that they are worth downloading. The first one is the Adobe Color app mentioned above, and the second is Color Culler (Free, Android only).  Color Culler is a personal favorite because it finds the colors in the photo you take (or upload) and has a visually pleasing palette format, but Adobe Capture has more options.

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