Logo Design Inspiration: Where To Look For New Ideas
Before you can start designing your logo, or getting help to design one, it’s good to have a concept in mind. But just like writer’s block, you can hit the wall when it comes to logo ideas. So what can you do when you need logo design inspiration?
Well, first thing’s first. You’ve got to narrow down your options with a few questions and some industry research. Things you’ll want to consider are:
- What’s appropriate for your industry/product/service (shapes, colors, fonts, etc.)?
- What value do you offer your customers?
- What descriptions/adjectives describe how you want your brand to be seen?
- Which of your competitors have been most successful with their branding? Why? And how have they achieved this (be specific with your answers here in terms of colours/font/elements they’ve chosen)?
Your logo is the face of your business. It’s what the world sees first when they see your brand. And everyone from your competitors to your customers will associate you with it. There’s a lot of pressure to design a great logo. But that doesn’t make it impossible.
Once you’ve answered the questions above, your notes will give you some guidelines. And you’ll have a better sense of the kinds of ideas that will be on brand and resonate with your audience. As you look through different sources for logo design inspiration keep all this in mind. And you’ll be able to narrow in on the ideas that will help you arrive at your own logo.
Logo design inspiration from color tools
With color tools you can get ideas for combinations that look great, and also figure out their specific Hex, RGB, CMYK and Pantone numbers and codes. This is handy if you just see an image you like. You can simply upload to a color tool and get a list of codes and numbers to work with.
Colour tools you’ll want to consider are:
Coolors: Coolors allows you to generate palettes, check out trending palettes, pick a palette from a photo, create collages, make gradients and gradient palettes, and check contast between colors. Coolors integrates Adobe and has an iOS App.
Adobe Color CC: Adobe Colour CC is a color scheme builder that allows you to save color schemes directly into Illustrator or Photoshop. If you don’t have access to either software, no worries. It’s also great to explore as a free web app, with options to extract gradients and themes. Just drag and drop images to explore these options.
Logo design inspiration from font finder tools
Whether you want a font-based logo, or just want the perfect font for your logo, font finder tools can help you out.
WhatTheFont, Font Identifier, and FontSpring are all tools that allow you to determine the fonts in an image. Just drag and drop and let the tool generate the details you need to figure out the names of the fonts you like.
Consider how you want to represent your brand when you consider fonts you like. Rounded fonts tend to be associated with more of a friendly vibe, whereas bold fonts put forth a more serious tone.
And a word to the wise, don’t use more than 2 fonts in your logo at a maximum. And even then, do it only if you must. Fonts represent different ideas, and evoke different emotions. So it’s best not to have too many in place, creating clutter and making it difficult to focus.
Logo design inspiration from websites
Behance, a part of Adobe, is a leading platform to share and discover creative work. The site lets you pick from categories based on creative fields such as architecture, photography, graphic design, etc. Behance also allows you to search based on “Creative Tools” which are galleries of the best work made with Adobe tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator.
Dribbble is another leading platform for designers to share their creativity and discover inspiration. Since the site features many designers working within different niches, the variety of the designs accumulated in the site is impressive. Besides inspiration from the designs featured themselves, the comments posted can provide great insights into what works or doesn’t in a logo’s design.
Designpiration provides design inspiration from around the world. A great feature of the site is that you can search by concepts and colours. The site allows you to save inspiration, create collections, collect in private and collaborate on collections, all for free. They offer a pro membership, for just $5/month which allows users to create advanced vision boards, and provides an ad-free experience, as well as exclusive deals from their partners.
Pinterest is no doubt a favourite for any kind of visual inspiration. As a visual search engine, Pinterest provides tons of work to consider, designed by experts and novices. And you can save your favourites to a board dedicated to your logo ideas.
When accessing any of the above sites for inspiration for logo designs, be sure to search with adjectives that describe your brand. For example, you can use words like trustworthy, youthful, strong, elegant, etc. to search for logo concepts.
If you are a designer, now you have all the raw materials to get designing. And if you are hiring a designer, this mood board will be able to convey exactly what you want in your logo to your designer.
The best Instagram accounts for logo design inspiration
Just like Pinterest, Instagram is an amazing resource for inspiration for logo designs. There are quite a few accounts dedicated to curating great logo designs. And below you’ll find some great options:
@logoinspirations With over 1 million followers, Logo Inspirations is a curated collection of logos and a “community for logo designers” founded by graphic designer Jonathan Rudolph.
@learnlogodesign is a fun account to follow if you’re interested in learning the techniques behind logo design, including grid systems. Whether you’ll be tackling your logo design project, or you just want to be able to discuss it in detail with your designer, check out this account for some ideas.
@logoroom has a vivid assortment of logos. They range widely when it comes to colours, typography and shapes. If you’re really in a creative drought, head over to their account and get your creativity flowing.
@logo.ai shares logo and brand identity inspiration. The account provides details on the concepts behind logos, and brand identities, so that you can understand how they came to life. This is handy when thinking about which elements to incorporate into your logo.
What to do with all this inspiration
Once you’ve collected a bunch of ideas for what you might like your logo to look like, it’s time to start planning. Here are a few steps to follow to help get your logo design finalized:
Step 1: Brainstorm away
At this stage, you’ll want to look at all of the ideas you’ve collected and come up with different concepts for your logo. Don’t filter or censor as you go. The more the merrier when it comes to ideas during a brainstorming session. It can often be when examining and ruling out an idea that you figure out what it is you want instead. So jot everything down. Or if you can, collect and save your visual references on a Pinterest board. And then revisit the ideas after a day or longer if possible to see how you feel with some distance and a fresh perspective. At this point, you can also incorporate ideas from competitors based on what’s working well or not. Remember you won’t be copying what they’re doing. But leveraging your knowledge of their branding and building on it in your own unique way.
Step 2: Revisit your brand
In order to be able to shortlist the ideas from your brainstorming, try re-examining your brand. Consider your brand’s story, as well as your mission and vision. And going back to the questions we asked you earlier, how do you want your brand to be perceived? Building on that, how do you want your logo to make people feel? The emotions you want to bring out in your target audience will help guide you to the concepts that are best for your brand.
Step 3: Choose the best elements for your brand
So now you’ve got a bunch of ideas. And you’ve got your brand story and voice to guide you. It’s time to narrow things down! Whether you used a Pinterest board for step 1 or not, you’ll definitely want to use one, or something similar now. Pull elements that resonate best with your brand from each of your favorite pieces of logo design inspiration. When we refer to elements, we mean any of the following:
- Logo types
- Logo style
As you’re considering elements, you’ll want to think about placement. How will your logo be used? This may rule some things out and other things in.
Step 4: Consult your sounding boards
It’s important to get a few different opinions before running with a logo design. Try bringing together people who play different roles on your team. Or if you work solo, consider reaching out to others you regularly collaborate with or bounce ideas off of. You can also try industry-specific Facebook or LinkedIn groups, different mastermind groups, and those who you reach out to as mentors. For the latter group, keep in mind that the most relevant mentors and advisors here will have some experience with business and/or marketing.
Step 5: Work with your designer
Now that you’ve gone as far as you can with developing your concept on your own, it’s time to bring in an expert. Paint the picture of what you want your logo to represent for your designer. Share your logo design inspiration, and how it will be used. And ask them to prepare some logo designs for you. When you get to this step it can be really helpful to work with a design service like Kimp. Kimp offers graphic design for a flat monthly fee. This means you can get an unlimited number of concepts and revisions. And you can fine-tune your logo to your heart’s content.
A final word on logo design inspiration
When you create a logo, you want it to be original and creative. And you want it to convey the values of your brand. You also want it to withstand the test of time. That’s a lot to juggle in one logo! But keep in mind, your logo will evolve over time as your brand does too. So don’t worry about getting every last element perfect before you launch. Just get going with the version of your logo that tells your story best. And in time, you’ll figure out how to craft it into something timeless.