How to Design a Logo: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a perfect logo for your company involves a lot of decisions, namely: colors, layouts, fonts, and symbols. But learning how to design a logo doesn’t have to be hard – and you don’t need to be a designer!

To help you capture the essence of your brand identity and business in one iconic design, we’ve created this logo design guide: so you can confidently create the best logo for your business, side hustle, or passion project.

We’ve broken down how to design a logo in five beginner-friendly steps:

  1. Research your brand
  2. Learn about logo design
  3. Get color, font, and symbol ideas 
  4. Make a logo 
  5. Test and finalize

If you want to play around with a new logo design right away, you can jump into our logo maker at any time — it’s free to try! But if you want a bit more guidance and preparation, you’ve come to the right place.

We spoke to expert branding and logo design agencies to give you the best logo design tips as you begin making your own logo.

Follow along with our FREE WORKSHEET! Find all of the market research and competitive analysis questions ready to go, along with resources and prompts for logo design inspiration.

What is a logo?

The term “logo” is often used as a catchall to define any emblem a company uses to visually represent its brand. Your logo isn’t your brand, visual identity, or an indicator of success. It’s simply the first step to creating your visual identity!

“A brand is not a static logo. It’s the emotional and collective space your organization holds within your audience’s mind. The logo is a spoke in a larger wheel. It acts as a springboard to a larger brand story and experience.”  – Sunny Bonnell, Founder + Chief Vision Officer at Motto

How to design a logo in 5 simple steps

How to design a logo step by step guide

Get a pen and paper ready, we’re diving into how to design a logo for your business!

Step 1: Research your brand identity

Most of us dislike doing research — why can’t I just get started already?! — but it’s an important step in any major project. To make your logo successful and long-lasting, you’ll need to set a solid foundation. And to set a solid foundation, you need to do your research.

Creating a strong brand identity helps your company gain credibility and become recognizable as you grow. Before you dive into your logo design, take some time to think through these questions:

Who’s my ideal customer? What brands do they like?

Figuring out your ideal customer and target market will help you better understand your messaging and logo vision.

Start here:

  • What age range is my ideal customer in?
  • Which social platforms do they use the most?
  • What hobbies do they have?
  • What impacts their buying decisions? (price, quality, sustainability, etc.)
  • Which pain points do they experience?

Jump into our logo design Google doc and start answering the questions above! Envision your ideal customer as you go. 

If you’ve already got a few customers (or friends who fit the persona you’re targeting), don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to them about their lifestyle, buying decisions, favorite brands, and insights related to your product or service.

According to research, consumers spend less than 15 seconds to purchase some product categories, meaning that a well-designed logo can lead to faster recognition.

“The best branding connects to the most specific target market possible — not everyone. A highly focused visual directed at that target will connect the brand to the audience. Focus on who you’re attracting.” – Kyle Golding, CEO & Chief Strategic Idealist, The Golding Group

What’s my competition doing?

An excellent way to get logo design ideas for your business is to divide up a few of your competitors’ logos and websites into styles you like and styles you don’t like.

Start here: 

Research your competitors and create a moodboard of all their logos to familiarize yourself with the colors, symbols, fonts, and layouts they use. This will help you understand how to stand out visually, while still associating with your industry.

Jump into your logo design worksheet and fill out the information below:

  • What font type is dominant in your industry?
  • Which colors are most common?
  • What symbols are currently being used?
  • Which layout is most popular?

“The biggest question I ask myself when critiquing logos is ‘What’s the competition doing?’ A lot of research goes into logo design, and your competitors have already gone through the process. Is everyone trying to give off a similar impression? What is it?”– Kenneth Burke, Marketing Director, Text Request

This will help you understand what direction you want to go in as you learn how to design a logo.

What are 3-5 adjectives that describe my brand?

list of brand personality traits

The next step on your journey is to create a list of your brand’s persona attributes. This list can also include specific features, values, and benefits you want your business to be known for. Here are a few examples:

  • Innovative, friendly, easy-to-use
  • Compassionate with superior customer service
  • Witty/clever marketing and #killingit on social

Write these down in your logo design worksheet and use them to help bring your brand to life.

Learn more about creating a brand personality!

What’s my company name? Will I use a slogan?

If you haven’t already, it’s time to finalize your company name and decide if you want a slogan, which can be a description of what your business does (e.g. gluten-free cookies) or a catchy phrase (e.g. cookies for health nuts).

Using a business name generator is a fun and easy way to come up with company name ideas. Looka’s Business Name Generator helps you find a spot-on brand name while checking domain availability and generating logo designs!

Once you’ve come up with a few good business name options jot all of your ideas into your logo design worksheet, and ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Is it original?
  2. Is it future-proof? (a.k.a. Will it evolve with your business?)
  3. How user-friendly and easy to spell is it?
  4. Is it available (domain, social channels, etc.)?
  5. Do I love it? 

If the answer to each of these questions is “YES!”,  then you’re one step closer to starting your logo design journey!

Learn more about the importance of a brand voice and how to set one.

Where will I be using my logo most?

branding example

Where you plan to display your logo will have a direct effect on your design. Maybe you own a construction company and plan to use your logo on T-shirts, truck decals, and signs.

Or perhaps you’re a consulting business that’ll be using your logo mostly online — your website, landing pages, and social media channels. Think about the applications that matter most and what type of logo will stand out.

“ We develop logos with context in mind: where will it live? What products will it need to be applied to? It means the finished product feels like the living, visual version of their brand story.”– Amanda Lee Smith, Partner at Monday creative

In almost all cases, keeping your logo design simple with a clean layout will help ensure it looks great everywhere. Here are a few common places to use a logo:

  • Online: Website headers and favicons, email signatures, invoices, and receipts
  • Social media: Profile photos, cover photos, image posts, ads
  • Print: Business cards, brochures, posters, car decals, clothing, brand packaging 

You may need multiple logo variations to adapt to different mediums — but more on that later.

Check out our recommended logo size guidelines!

Step 2: Learn about logo design

Contrary to popular belief, designing a company logo on your own is totally doable! You don’t need fancy editing software or years of design experience. You can make a logo by yourself in five minutes with an online logo maker!

But before you start your logo design journey, here’s what you need to know to feel confident about the process.

Design a custom logo for free. Only pay if you’re 100% happy!

What makes a good logo?

Though the quality of a logo is subjective, there are certain elements that make a logo either good or bad.

A good logo is:

  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Unique
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate for the industry
  • Relevant to your target market

They should also be easily recognizable and clearly represent the brand!

For example, the Nike logo, also known as the Swoosh, is aesthetically pleasing and easily recognizable. The logo reflects performance, innovation, and change.

“A logo is “great” when it works. Those characteristics are memorable, recognizable, and functional to the project. ” – Pierpaolo Chiaravalloti, Head of Branding at Desircle

In comparison, bad logos are trend-focused (or copy other famous logos), complicated, and confusing, which leads to poor brand recognition and versatility. They can also be boring or generic (not to be confused with simple).

For example, the telecommunications and consumer electronics company Nokia’s original logo was complicated and detailed. The new logo features abstract shapes to form the Nokia name meant to show innovation.

nokia logo redesign 2023

Visual hierarchy directs viewers to the most important information first, then guides them through the rest of the content with visual cues, such as fonts, colors, sizing, and more. You’ll want your company name to be larger and bolder than your slogan to create a visual hierarchy.

The three main types of logos

Logo design can be broadly put into two categories: logos that only consist of text (denoting the name or initials of a company) and those containing both text and a symbol.

Here’s a breakdown of the three most common types of logos — there are a few more, but we want to keep it simple!

1. Wordmark logo

The most classic form of a logo is the wordmark, sometimes referred to by designers as a “logotype”.

Wordmark logos infographic

Wordmarks use only your business name — no symbols or monograms — in an existing or custom typeface. This type of logo works best if you have a short, distinctive business name and no slogan.  Some famous examples include Google, The New York Times, and Coca-Cola.

Check out our wordmark logo design blog!

2. Monogram logo

A monogram is a logo that contains one to three letters, usually a company’s initials or first letter. The monogram can act as the symbol in the logo, with the company name below.

Monogram logos infographic

In the cases of well-known brands, the wordmark is dropped: for example, HP for Hewlett-Packard, VW for Volkswagen, or LV for Louis Vuitton. But most new businesses would keep the business name under or beside the monogram to build name recognition!

Check out our monogram logo design blog!

3. Combination logo

Combination logos are exactly what they sound like: a combination of a wordmark and a symbol.

Combination logos infographic

This type of logo allows your brand to be easily recognizable because it uses two design elements that represent your brand, together (and they can be used separately when needed). It’s no surprise that this is the most common type of logo.

 Some famous examples include Burger King, Salesforce, and Dropbox.

If these options don’t feel right, check out some other popular logo design styles:

Logo shapes and layout options

Shape plays an important role in your logo aesthetic because they hold particular associations in the human brain. This allows brands to use shapes to help convey a message or feeling to a target audience.

logo shapes and their meaning

Shapes can be used as both containers and symbols in logo design.

What’s a container?

A container will keep your logo confined to a space and neatly packaged for visual consumption. It’s important to note that while containers add visual interest to your logo, they can sometimes provide challenges with scalability as the logo lives in a smaller space.

Make sure your company name is still legible in the container when scaled to different sizes.

Here are a few values associated with some of the most well common logo shapes, as well as design considerations for each:

  • Circles: Represent unity, security, and protection. They work best for shorter names or monograms and should be used with a strong typeface to ensure legibility when scaled up and down.
  • Squares + Rectangles: Translate to feelings of stability and balance in the human mind. This more traditional shape is good for longer names and is popular with large corporations.
  • Triangles: Viewed as a more aggressive shape associated with strength, conflict, and speed. They can be used to represent direction and movement, or as substitutes for the letters ‘A’ and ‘V.’
  • Vertical/Horizontal Orientation: Vertical lines and shapes are associated with aggression, strength, courage, and dominance, whereas horizontal shapes take on a more calm and tranquil feel.
  • Organic Shapes: These shapes have a natural feel to them and exert warmth and comfort, which you can’t fully achieve in the other shapes! 
Learn more about logo shapes!

Other logo layout options

There are a few other ways to think about arranging your logo that don’t relate to shapes. These include:

Stacked text

One way to add intrigue to a more classic logo is to use stacked text. Words can be stacked vertically to catch your eye, though sometimes this layout is paired with horizontal text to create more styling possibilities. Note that it’s best to use stacked text when the words in your logo are close to the same length.

Symbol placement

The placement of a symbol can change the whole look and feel of a logo. Is it in the center? To the side? On top of the wordmark? Incorporated into the wordmark? If you’re using a symbol in your logo, make sure to consider all options and see which placement feels the best for your brand and logo usage.

Slogan placement 

If your logo has a slogan, it will almost always appear below your company name. But will it be centered or left-justified? In a different typeface than your wordmark? Depending on the length of your slogan, you can test different options to see what looks best.

Step 3: Get color, font, and symbol ideas

It’s finally time to dive into creating your logo!

With all of the logo research and ideas in your logo design worksheet, you should have a solid idea of your target market and brand attributes, as well as the style and layout of the logo you want. Let’s get into colors, fonts, and symbols!

Logo colors

Choosing a color for your logo design isn’t just about picking what looks good to you. Think about how your audience will perceive it and where it will be displayed. Your logo colors will be your brand colors, so imagine how they’ll look on all of your business assets.

As you can see below, your logo colors have the power to convey if your brand is sophisticated and luxurious, or quirky and fun. Use color to set the mood for how you want your brand to be perceived.

Looking for inspiration when choosing your logo color combination? Here are 50 logo color combinations to inspire your design. 

Different colors evoke different feelings and emotions, so choose them wisely. Do you see your brand represented by cool tones like blue, green, and purple, or warm tones like red, orange, and yellow? Or perhaps you lean more toward black, white, and grey to match your brand identity design.

“Color is one of the most identifiable components of a visual identity, so if no competitors are using a specific color it allows you to stand out from the crowd with little effort.”– Ian Paget, Founder, Logo Geek

Pay attention to the colors your competitors use, you’ll want to stay with colors familiar to your industry but differentiate from the competition at the same time.

To help you decide, here are a few emotions and descriptors associated with some of the most well-known colors:

  • Black: Power and sophistication. It can also demonstrate elegance, formality, or mystery.
  • Blue: Professionalism and success. Commonly used in corporate logos, but works in many industries.
  • Orange: Joy and optimism. Results in an enthusiastic and excited cognitive association, and is also great at grabbing attention.
  • Green: Balance and serenity. Commonly used when brands want to emphasize a connection with the environment, well-being, health, and calmness.
  • Pink: Feminine and nurturing. Depending on the shade, it can have a gentle and calming effect, causing cognitive association with safety and nurturing. Other shades, however, are more likely to generate associations with love, flirting, and femininity.
  • Purple: Royal and spiritual. Throughout history, purple has been considered a regal color. The connection with royalty has led to a cognitive association of purple with wealth, nobility, and luxury.
  • Red: Confidence and ambition. Frequently used to represent masculine energy,  and found to stimulate appetite and energy.
  • Yellow: Happiness and positivity. Often very bright and frequently captures the eye. Meant to improve self-esteem, and, like the color red, is also believed to stimulate appetite and increase energy.
  • White: Pure and simple. Traditionally associated with purity, cleanliness, innocence, and simplicity.
  • Grey: Classic and serious. Becoming a more popular style, grey is a great color to use if you want to achieve a mature look.

When you finalize your new logo, you should also have a black-and-white version for times when the use of a full-color logo is not applicable (such as when you’re putting it on top of an image). As such, you want a version of your logo that accommodates black within its design — so test this before finalizing yours!

Tip: Want to use a specific color in your logo? You’ll need to find out the exact HEX code (a string of numbers and letters that represents that color). You can copy HEX codes into the Looka editor when working on a logo design!

How many colors should I use in my logo?

The majority of brands use between 2-3 colors, with one of those colors being either black or white. Of course, there are some companies (like Google, eHarmony, and Slack) that have an array of colors in their logos.

Feel free to test out more colors, but again, make sure your logo looks good in all black or all white, too!

Here are some logo color combinations to inspire your design!

Logo fonts

With thousands of fonts to choose from, picking one for your logo isn’t an easy task. Each font conveys something different and should fit with your brand attributes and identity.

“If I could provide a single most important tip in designing a logo, it would be to avoid common typefaces. Unique typography in logo design is the simplest way to look professional.” – Erik Pitzer, Graphic Designer, Illumine8 Marketing & PR

Let’s take a look at different types of fonts, and what their visual differences mean for branding and communication.

1. Serif fonts

Fonts that have little “feet” on the edges are referred to as serif fonts. They’re timeless, high-end, classic fonts associated with tradition and propriety. The most well-known serif font is Times New Roman. Because of its timelessness, it’s often used to attract a more mature demographic.

Check out our curated list of the best serif fonts!

2. Sans-serif fonts

These fonts don’t have the little feet like serif fonts do, so they tend to have a more clean and modern look. They’re easy to read and work well across mediums.

Check out our curated list of the best sans serif fonts!

3. Script fonts

Handwritten and script fonts add tons of personality to a logo, and tend to look formal, elegant, and feminine. This is one of the harder styles to pull off because script fonts are harder to read at a glance — but when done right, they can make your logo distinctive and iconic.

Check out our curated list of the best cursive fonts!

4. Modern fonts

Modern fonts are sans-serif fonts that hold a certain sophistication and starkness. This makes them most effective with younger demographics — and popular among app and tech companies.

Check out our curated list of the best modern fonts!

5. Display fonts

Display fonts tend to be a broad category of out-of-the-ordinary fonts that add major visual impact. They can be bubbly and fun, or edgy and futuristic — but beware of using ones that are super trendy or that don’t match your brand personality.

You can also have custom fonts created just for your company, making your logo 100% unique. Custom fonts are usually an additional cost when working with a designer to create your logo.

6. Handwritten fonts

As the name suggests, handwritten fonts mimic the appearance of handwritten text. They’re based on real hand lettering and have an organic, imperfect, and personal feel. 

These fonts often evoke a sense of creativity, personalization, and informality. They can bring a human touch to digital designs, making them ideal for conveying emotions and establishing a more personal connection with the audience.

7. Monospaced fonts

Monospaced or typewriter fonts have consistent spacing between characters.

Unlike proportional fonts with varying character widths, monospaced fonts have the same horizontal space for each character, giving them a uniform and structured appearance.

Check out the top font trends of 2024!

Logo symbols

Symbols are another design element you can add to your logo to help people recognize your brand.

Symbols can be pictorial and literal (like animals or lightbulbs) or geometric and abstract logo marks (like hexagons or overlapping circles). Just make sure that whatever symbol you choose doesn’t confuse or mislead your audience. Below, you’ll see two examples of how powerful a logo symbol can be in communicating your business and products.

If you’re a fitness coach, it doesn’t make sense to use a grocery cart symbol in your logo — something like a heart rate line could more clearly communicate your services.

You also want your symbol to match the style of your font — so if you’re using a modern, sans-serif font, you probably don’t want to pair it with a hand-drawn, vintage-looking symbol.

And, as discussed in the layout section, you’ll want to experiment with the positioning of your symbol to see what looks best. Try putting it to the left, right, top, or bottom of your company name — you can even try it in the middle of a word.

Step 4: Design a logo

“You’re telling me I can finally start designing my logo?”

Yes, yes, we are. Unsure how to get yours designed? Here are three DIY options:

Option #1: Design your own logo from scratch

If you’ve already got some design experience, and have access to software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, then designing your own logo from scratch is an option

Hiring a designer to create your logo from scratch can become pricey, quickly! Using your own tools and expertise gives you total freedom in what your design looks like, while also saving you money.

Option #2: Buy a logo template and customize it

Another option is to go with a template. There are a few companies and sites that offer free or paid logo templates that you can customize by making edits to the company name, colors, and more.

Two potential issues with this method:

1) These templates may not be very customizable

2) There could be hundreds, (maybe even thousands), of other companies with an almost identical logo design to yours.

Just like people, logos are meant to be unique. Every business should be recognizable and memorable.

If you still want to test this method, we encourage you to also try using an online logo maker, as these can be very similar in price, but logo makers give you much more flexibility with your design.

Option #3: Use an online logo maker

If you want a unique custom logo, but don’t have the design experience or time to do it yourself, using an online logo maker is probably your best bet!

Instead of working with a template, these tools allow you to create your own designs with a much more intuitive and smart design platform.

Looka uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help understand your design preferences, and create personalized logos that you can then edit in the app until you’re happy with the design.

Step 5: Test and finalize

Once you’ve designed your own logo (or a few!), it’s time to do some stress testing. Here are a few questions you should address before finalizing your business’ new logo design:

Is my logo scalable?

Having a scalable logo means you can display it anywhere and everywhere your heart desires (well, pretty much anywhere). Want to put it on a huge billboard? How about on your business cards?

When you’ve got a scalable logo, wherever you decide to put it, it will look clean and crisp (not pixelated) and will remain easy to read and identify. Check that your logo works at both large and small sizes and remains readable.

Ensure your logo is a vector of the highest resolution quality and is able to scale and be easily identifiable and memorable.”– Christine Lieu, Founder at CL Designs

Another must-have for a scalable logo: a vector file.

Vector files are necessary, as they act as master files you can infinitely scale, edit, or send to a designer or printer. They’re created in programs like Adobe Illustrator, and can then be converted to any other file format that you need, such as a PNG or JPG. Examples of vector files are SVG, EPS, and PDF.

Read our guide on logo file types!

Does my logo look good in all black or all white?

Having an all-black and all-white version of your logo with a transparent background is essential. Why? Because it allows your logo to be more versatile and work in various visual environments.

When the background of your logo is transparent, it gives you the power to place your logo over any colored background, including images and videos!

If your logo doesn’t translate well when changed to all-black or all-white, consider making some tweaks to it. Does it need a bolder font? , or a simpler symbol? Would a different layout make your logo more adaptable?

black logo example on poster

Does my logo look good on the applications I’ll be using most?

Depending on your company, and where you’ll be interacting and engaging with your customers the most, this may have an influence on your logo design.

Think about how your final logo designs (or logo variations) will look on your social media profiles. From profile images to banners to posts, you’ll want your logo to look superb in all of these social environments.

Alternatively, you could be planning on showcasing your logo mostly on prints, like car decals, business cards, and posters. Does your logo look good scaled down on a card, or scaled up on a big print? Does it have complex elements that need to be made more simple?

Think about how your logo will look in all of your core applications, and make changes accordingly to ensure optimal logo awesomeness.

custom logo on business cards

Do I have different logo variations for different uses?

This leads us to logo variations, which make your logo more versatile and easy to use. Having a distinctive wordmark (the typography), as well as a unique symbol (the image), allows you to use the elements together or separately to represent your brand. The brand below uses it’s rhino symbol to help represent its brand across all platforms.

Symbol logo for social media

So, the logo you have as your Facebook profile photo might be a symbol-only or monogram-only version, while a logo you print on a T-shirt would be the “full” logo — though they’re different, they represent the same brand.

Once you’ve designed and tested your logo, it’s finally time to put it into action. After all, a beautifully designed logo isn’t valuable if it isn’t being applied to anything! Here are a few great places — online and offline — to get started:

Remember: If you’re getting anything printed with your logo, send a vector file (EPS or SVG). If you’re working with a printing company, they’ll usually request this. If not, send it anyway so they have everything they need to ensure your prints come out looking crisp.

Do I have brand guidelines?

Lastly, after you finalize a design, you’ll want to create brand guidelines. Brand guidelines are a set of rules about how to represent your brand across channels and assets, helping your business build credibility and recognition as you grow. Brand guidelines should include:

  • A cover page
  • Logo guidelines
  • Color palettes
  • Typography
  • Usage examples

They can also include a mission statement, visual rules around images and icons, brand voice guidelines, and specifications for assets like packaging, email marketing, and more.

(If you design a logo with Looka, you can immediately generate brand guidelines to make sure your logo always looks its best.)

Let’s recap — When learning how to design a logo, it’s a good idea to research your brand, learn the basics of logo design, explore colors, fonts, and symbols…and then get creative!

When you have an option or two to work with, test your logo at different sizes and on various mockups to make sure it’ll meet your needs. Tweak as required, and show it to a couple of people you trust if you need help deciding.

After you complete these steps, you can be confident you have a strong logo to display to the world. You’ve got this!


How do I design my own logo?

Contrary to popular belief, designing a company logo on your own is totally doable! You don’t need fancy editing software or years of design experience. You can make a logo by yourself in as little as five minutes with Looka’s logo maker!

What are the five steps to design a logo?

  1. Research your brand: Understand its vision, mission, and audience.
  2. Learn about logo design: Discover the different styles to stand out.
  3. Get color, font, and symbol ideas: Explore different options to find the perfect match.
  4. Make a logo: Make it real on the computer with the help of a logo maker.
  5. Test and finalize: Polish with feedback.

What are the three rules of good logo design?

  1. Simplicity: Keep your logo simple and clear for easy recognition. Simple designs are memorable and easier to reproduce.
  2. Memorability: Your logo should stand out and be unique enough to stick in people’s minds. It should be recognizable at a glance.
  3. Versatility: A great logo works well across different mediums and sizes, maintaining its impact, whether in black and white or color and whether small or large.

What program should I use to design a logo?

You should use Looka to design your logo! Looka Logo Maker combines your logo design preferences with Artificial Intelligence to help you create a custom logo you’ll love. All it takes is a few clicks and five minutes.

Get started today!

Use Looka's AI-powered platform to create a logo, design a website, and build a brand you love.