When building a brand, the company logo design is just one of the things you should focus on. Since humans are innately visual creatures, we usually pay more attention to the logo than to the name of the brand and, therefore, logos would make it easier for customers to identify your brand.
Given the role a logo plays in creating a brand people would know for generations to come, logo designers have their work cut out for them. Creating a logo is a tedious and challenging process! Any logo designer could use more ideas on how to create something unique, striking, and memorable while staying true to the brand and aligning with the rest of their online marketing.
If you have the same struggles, you may be looking for inspiration to be better at what you do. So, how do you find the inspiration to create a custom logo design that could represent a brand while staying unique? Here’s some inspiration to help you find fresh ideas for your next business logo design project.
Find inspiration in nature
Leaving the four corners of your office can help you come up with some ideas. And then, there’s the beauty of nature. You can find a lot of iconic logos from the natural environment (just refer to Twitter and Apple, for instance). Sketching the things you see outdoors could turn out to be the material you need for your logo design and your creative web design.
Browse through design-related reading material
One way to gain inspiration is to read a book. After all, reading opens up a whole new world.
Here are some books which could be helpful to you:
- Logo Design Love. David Airey, an Irish graphic designer, started sharing insights and ideas through a blog sharing the same name. The blog often talked about what happened behind the scenes of some of the famous landmark designs and other design projects. Airey eventually released a book that provides useful tips to other logo designers, but it would also be great if you can check out the blog too.
- American Trademark Designs. This book by Barbara Baer Capitman is actually a survey compiling 732 logos and brand identifiers which became popular in the US. This book follows how designs transformed over the years.
- Los Logos. If you are a logo designer, you should have this book. It contains a list of contemporary marks in different fields – from politics to sports to music and more.
- Logo Lounge. This compilation has a list of logos, hundreds of them, which would give you tons of inspiration. You can also follow the logo from the conception stage to execution.
- Draplin Design Co: Pretty Much Everything. Written by Aaron Draplin, the man behind big projects from Burton Snowboards to Esquire to the Obama Administration, this book contains some of his design work and more.
- Square Circle Triangle. Bruno Munari, an Italian designer, wrote all about the essence of the three shapes in the title. This is not necessarily for logos, but it will help you beef up your education in design. Plus, it could give you a better idea of which shape to use to convey your brand’s identity.
- Logo Modernism. Available in different languages, this book looks into the influence of the modernist movement on the brand and logo designs over the past century. If you have an innate love for how designs tend to cross over from architecture to commercial products, you would love to have this book.
- Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes. Other logos are always a source of inspiration, and with 1300 logos as a reference, you could surely find something to bring out your creativity.
- Designing Brand Identity. Are you a new logo designer? This book outlines the five steps to creating a distinctive mark to represent your business.
- Symbol. As the title implies, this book is the place to look for the meaning behind popular symbols.
Check out bill and coin designs for different currencies
Designers behind bills and coins have to consider geographic, cultural, and social aspects before coming up with a final design proposal. These people also have to think about aesthetics. So, the designs used for the different currencies could be a starting point for you. Study how these bills were designed and how the designer used different elements to create a design that satisfies all the design requirements.
Visit a museum and pay attention to contemporary art
How does an artist perceive reality? One way to get inside the head of an art professional is to study their work. There is no better place to do this than in a museum. Although there are differences in fine arts and in graphic design, you have much to learn from professionals. These artists are experts in using colours, symbols, and the abstract to communicate with an audience. Some great museums to visit include the following:
- Louvre Museum in Paris
- Museum of Modern Art in New York
- Design Museum in London
- Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design in Berlin
- Gallery of Australian Design in Canberra
Schedule a day to capture signage photos
Bring out your camera or smartphone and hit the streets for a day to capture signage for a bit of creative motivation. The signs posted by other companies can provide inspiration and some real-world advice on how to stand out and how not to.
Scour the shelves at the mall
The items at the mall could be what you need to spark the creative bone in your body. It’s not necessarily the packaging of the products; it could be the layout, font, colours, or even how the products were arranged. Plus, it gives logo designers another reason to drop by the mall and maybe do some shopping.
Tap into a child’s raw creativity
With so many logo design rules, it is hard to step out of the box. So, finding a source material which shows raw talent could be what you need. There’s no easier way to do this than by looking at a kid’s drawings. Children wouldn’t care about vectors, pixels, and strokes the way you do. The way they use colour without care about what other people say or the abstract view in which they see the world could bring your logo to life and inspire your custom web design.
Make a collage
Logo designers would normally use a mood board to make the designing process more convenient, but a collage could work too. Mood boards tend to be a bit too formal, so if you want to throw ideas around, a collage would be the better choice. While making a collage, don’t be critical about the order of the photos, just place it there to help you come up with ideas. The result may have all the patterns that could work with a brand’s identity and fit in with their logo.
Check out vintage art
Flipping through the pages of vintage design books like Michelle Gringeri-Brown’s Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors and Philip B. Meggs’ History of Graphic Design may help you to find some inspiration. You can also check out Instagram, Pinterest, or Flickr collections of vintage art and logos. Vintage art could give your logo a unique vibe while keeping things simple. Some of today’s best modern website design uses vintage art for inspiration during website development.
Scan different colour palettes
Sometimes, you just need a nudge in the right direction. One way to do this is to browse through colour palettes. Why not give it a go when you need a bit of inspiration? Colours matter to marketing and can increase brand recognition up to 80%.
Study people’s handwriting or tattoos
Typefaces and words are crucial in creating a company logo design. While you have the option to browse through different fonts, you may want to find another source of inspiration such as other people’s handwriting. As a matter of fact, you can also look at your own handwriting.
Tattoos could be another source of inspiration. Personal image choices on people’s skin convey an entirely different feel than the ones in packaging and print. Murals and other graphics, especially in unconventional places, may also be useful to your creative process.
Focus on the symbolism found in flag designs
Have you tried looking at an almanac or a poster of flags from all over the globe? If not, why don’t you do it today? These flag designs went through a rigorous process before they ended up where they are. Plus, the research could lead you to something interesting which is related to the brand you need a logo for. Some sovereign states have their own flag too. So, you may be interested in taking a look at those things if you need more ideas.
Appreciate stamp collections
If you need inspiration, why not try to find a stamp collector or look for a place where you can browse stamps from all over the world? Stamps are often part of a series, so you can study how the designs use colour and symbols to tie individual stamps to a series.
Shop at a flea market
Shopping lovers will love this idea! Flea markets can have a lot of inspirational things, and you can buy items you want too. From the goodies, you can find interesting patterns that would fit in with your logo design.
Analyze gift wrap patterns, wax seals and LP album covers
If you have to look for something to help your creativity, why not pull all the stops? Gift wrappers, album covers, and wax seals could be your source of inspiration. Seals and album covers, especially of old LPs, could help you get a feel of an era before your own.
Examine designer sketchbooks, galleries, and doodles
If you can’t find something you like, it may be useful to look at the work of other designers. Of course, you can’t copy the work of others, but it may be useful during the ideation process. Here are some websites that you may be interested in visiting.
- Your Peeps. This website will help you see what other designers are up to. These people may have found a way to resolve an issue that you are also dealing with. Plus, you can provide feedback about their work. They won’t just be helping you; you can help them too.
- Designspiration. If you are looking for a design with a contemporary feel, this gallery could provide works in the same field. You can also look at some of the most successful creation related to another industry.
- Hipster Branding. Have you ever thought about how some of the popular brands will look like if you took an oversimplified approach in changing their logo? Well, this website has thought of it for you. In most cases, the logos look boring and devoid of life. It may also help you to find methods to make your logo stand out by comparing oversimplified logos with the current one.
- Dribbble. This gallery has a lot of pretty images, and this might give you another way to procrastinate. This website served as the portfolio of some people, and you can also follow the creative process of some of its users. There are so many interesting things to see here too.
- Brand New. If your project involves creating a logo for a rebranding process, this resource may be helpful. You can see how the logo evolved thanks to the before and after look. You can also read the reason for the change and some opinions about the new look of the logo.
Listen to music
Whether you are cleaning the house or designing the next big thing in logo design, music could serve as an inspiration. Simply listen to the kind of music you like, preferably a live version. While the recorded versions sound perfect for your daily jam, you can get a raw feel when you listen to a live version and the harmony, sound, silence, dissonance, and other elements could trigger your creativity. Don’t forget to use the negative and positive space in your design. Just like in music, silence in some parts could create a big impact.
Follow a podcast
When all else fails, a few positive and motivational words may be what you need. Although a podcast doesn’t have much to do with company logo design, there could be small nuggets of inspiration here and there. You just have to visualise things, and you may come up with the image you need for your company logo design.
For more information on custom logo design, get in touch with our logo and website design Sydney team.