5 Tips for Designing Logos on a Small Budget

Logos are the embodiment of everything a brand stands for. They convey the look, feel, and tone of the overall brand through colors, fonts, and imagery. Everything the brand is, is condensed and simplified into one icon – a shining beacon for the brand’s audience. As a designer, that can be difficult to do – then add in the fact that not all clients have big budgets. What do you do when your client tells you that they have a small budget, a budget that allows you only one shot to get it right?

  1. Ask GREAT Questions – Your ideas and end design will rely heavy on all of the questions that you ask your client. Some questions to ask your client could be:
    1. Who is your audience and how do you want them to feel/think about your logo/brand?
    2. What look and feel are you going for in the logo, brand, and location (store interior)? Modern, traditional, simple, etc.?
    3. What are fonts and colors that you see for the logo? Is there an era or decade that you really want the logo to evoke (20s, 50s, 80s, etc.)?
  2. Set Yourself a Budget – Give yourself a set amount of time to research, sketch, design, revisions, and meetings. Sticking to this time limit will give you a sense of structure and urgency to get the job done within the client’s overall budget. It also helps to break down your time budget to a set amount for each step. Something like a half hour – hour max for research, a half hour for sketching, an hour – hour and a half to design, an hour for meetings, and a half hour for revisions.
  3. Research. Research. – Once you have your base of knowledge from your client and have set a budget, get started on researching the category that this logo will be in (travel, 50s restaurant, etc.). Look at other logos, colors, shapes, advertising, photos, and anything specific that the client brought up in your meeting.
  4. Sketch Quickly and Design in Black and White – While you’re researching it might help to start your sketching (I do this a lot so I don’t forget an idea). When you sketch, just go with where your ideas take you. Don’t stop; just let them pour out onto the page. You’ll refine them later. Once you’re done sketching, choose the designs that will work best and bring them into the computer. Build your logos in black and white so that you can focus on the look and feel.
  5. Refine, Revise, and Polish – Choose your top logos, usually 2-4 designs, to refine and polish and finally show the client. Once the client chooses their favorite, then you’ll refine them some more and add color. Once the client chooses their favorite color logo, make any revisions, and save out all file variations that the client will need.

Hopefully, these tips help you in not only your logo designs, but in all of your design projects.