Basics of Branding — Logo Design | Dan Onufrishyn | Skillshare

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Basics of Branding — Logo Design

teacher avatar Dan Onufrishyn, Art Director

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Brand Attributes

    • 2. Inspiration Board

    • 3. Competitive Audit

    • 4. Sketches

    • 5. Logo Directions

    • 6. Color Scheme

    • 7. Logo Versions

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About This Class

Design a Personal Brand Logo
Throughout this class you will learn how to formulate the basics of your brand strategy, how to consolidate an inspiration moodboard, and visualize your brand logo. The class consists of the following segments: 

1. Brand Attributes — Articulating what your brand is about.
2. Inspiration Board — Seeing what your brand looks like.
3. Competitive Audit — Exploring what your competitors/peers look like.
4. Sketches — Basics of early stage logo visualization. 
5. Logo Directions — How to produce and push different logo concepts. 
6. Color Scheme — Formulating your brand & logo color palette. 
7. Logo Versions — Producing technical logo files for final output.

Meet Your Teacher

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Dan Onufrishyn

Art Director


Brand marketing Art Director with unique conceptual development knowledge, strong hands-on execution skills and extensive in-house agency experience. Aspiring American Ninja Warrior, hot sauce enthusiast.


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1. Brand Attributes: hello and welcome to the class and building out your own personal brand. So the first installment of the classes, titled The Power Awards Brand attributes in this part, we shall build out three key brand attributes that will be the true in the worth of future decision making when building out your own personal brand. And there's a lot of power in words, so we're gonna use it to our benefit to later on. Put visuals to that and execute the visual identity. So to start out, I start with a blank page, then fill it up with his many words as possible words that define who I am, what I do. I would like to be perceived what sort of things I'd like to put out there. Just fill up the page with as many of words as possible. And once you feel like you've got a solid list started finding it a bit further. It's very important to use tools as you develop these words out. Some of the tools that I find very helpful are just simple. Google searches dictionaries. Thesaurus Is those air Big Eight as well. You want to cast your net as wide as possible, but at the same time do keep it more lesser find so you don't spin your wheels too much. So once you feel like you're in a good place with the awards, start styling them and further refining them into lists because certain patterns will present themselves. Once you put out so many words, a lot of them are most likely going to be synonyms. We're gonna group together. It's a good sign. It means you're onto something in terms of defining it and being more narrow in your thinking, organizing many silos and as an example, one of mine presented itself. It goes systematic, scientific, methodical, left brained, diagnostic and strategic. So all of those words fall into one category. We're gonna define three. So to keep a narrow short and sweet the 2nd 1 going forth, I got complex, intricate, elaborate, right brained, intuitive, diverse so on and so forth. I mean, this is a relatively straightforward everybody's list is going to be a different going forth. You can condense these words into single attributes. This is outcome of this step in the process, so to speak. A final delivery ble of this step in the process. Once these words a rolled in lists, you can use dictionary use. Ah, thesaurus is to further down refined it toe one single attributes. So I've got analytical. Do look up the definition So you know exactly what you're talking about. It just helps you get a better grasp on what you got going on. So analytical relating to or using analysis or logical reason. I couldn't agree more. I feel like that apparently defines how they approach things. So I'm going to keep that one going forward. I've got multifaceted, which presented itself of all the attributes going complex, intricate and so on and so forth. So multifaceted, consisting of many different and connected ports. Last but not least agile, able to move quickly and easily at high speed. Take these attributes going forward. All of the decisions are gonna be based on him. So we stick to the plan, so to speak. I'll elaborate further on how to put visuals to these words. In the second installment 2. Inspiration Board: Hello and welcome to the second installment of the class titled Visualized Attributes. Inspiration Board. So in this part, we shall put visuals to awards prior developed in the first installment so we can put together an inspiration board, which will drive a lot of visual decision making when building out the logo based on the words prior developed, we're gonna search for visuals. This is relatively straightforward. I'm certain in some capacity you've done this before. Usually, I searched through different channels. I'll do some Google searches. I'll go into Flicker. I'll go on to be hands the Creative Network. Brilliant platform. Very helpful. Also, look a different inspiration. The only limit yourself by images related Teoh design related to your industry or what you do do. Also look at our contemporary art are history, baby means Do not limit yourself because you don't know what piece of important visual inspiration is gonna come from, where it's easier to edit down, then go looking for images. Last minute, in my example, I took analytical. I've got hello pie chart going on here pie charts and July's data this highly analytical. So I'm going to use that as somewhat over reference going forth. Brains and our analytical. They help us process information. Visualized three D graphics that represent certain X Y Z data are highly analytical. Help us map out information, so I use that as a visual reference for the Inspiration Board. Also, they look pretty cool. You get the point. Find images that relate to these words. The have a rationale. Why are you using them? Don't just pick something to pick something. Do keep it limited. So you're not spinning your wheels. Do an exhaustive searches so going forth. Just build out this board. For the rest of the words, I recommend keeping it to about eight images each. Because you've got three words that makes about 24 24 images altogether is 24 tiles. Keep it short and sweet. Go out there. Find lots of rate reference images. Have fun with enjoy your time while doing it. Best of luck 3. Competitive Audit: hello and welcome to the third installment of the class titled Piers. Competitive Audit. In this part of the class, we shall focus on brand competitors and how to visually position yourself through executing a competitive landscape. Audit. A competitive landscape audit is essentially a survey of brands that do what you do. Having that this class's final delivery belisa logo, I shall execute this audit and local form in order to get started. Look up certain brands and companies that do what you do. Also keep in mind that some of these can and should be aspirational and inspirational that bit pie in the sky because at some point you will want to compete with the big dogs. Ah, once you've got a good grasp on who you're appears and patrons are accumulated document that encapsulates their logos. This will inform decision making when it comes to making your local blended as well stand out. In my instance, I've got some aspirational design studios, freelancers, brands that inspire me. Also, some of these include brands that I look up to and some of these their peers from creative networks. So after accumulating the logos, put these on a single page and look for similarities. In my case, these air mostly typographic and reference the studios or the creatives name, which is common for the industry, that I shall take that as a cue and executing money. But at the same time, I'm noticing that a lot of these are single color and flat, which is fine, but that is also an opportunity for visual differentiation that I shall take. His accuse will evaluate the similarities and differences and take note of them. The shall contribute to the visual execution and will inform sketches and further findings in the next installment. I shall further elaborate on how to incorporate some of the information gathered here. In this step of the process into the logos catches on early stage visualization. 4. Sketches: Hello and welcome to the fourth installment of the class titled Early Stages of a Civilization Sketches. In this installment, I shall go over my sketching process and how the prior build out brand attributes the Inspiration board and competitive audit findings factor into sketching out the logo. I strongly recommend using gridded paper when sketching the logo, because that way it aids the process off pre determining alignments along visual elements that much simpler. Here are some examples of gridded paper that are commonly used for locals. Catches in my process. This one is the square grid. This Honus fairly straightforward and lends itself well to vertical and horizontal alignments and Lanier's catches, especially when working with geometric shapes. Triangular grid. This grid variation lends itself well to diagonal alignments and keeping things interesting . And my favorite, the dog grid. The dot grid paper variation is great for using all sorts of alignments, and in case you like to free hand, you can go off the grid. You can switch between any of these. If you run out of ideas, change the format of the grid that you're using and try new things. This way, you'll get a diverse set of sketches. Here's a sample page out of my sketchbook. What, working on this logo? I kept these mostly typographic for while executing that competitive audit, it seems to be the industry norm, and it also raise his name, recognition and references. My name. We all have our favorite tools for sketching. I prefer a fine tip Micron Pan, for it gives me a good degree of control. Also like using a brush tip pen, for it lends itself well to Cala graphic executions and also has a rugged edge for stylistic rendering. I used my initials and started out by executing some lower case. Local sketches for lower case typography has a rather approachable appearance to it. Also, my initial spell. Oh do and I thought that was rather clever. Thus, I would like to pursue this direction right off the bat. As you can tell, I keep my sketches fairly Ralph, for I do most of the refinements while digitizing the chosen directions. This way, you're not doing exhaustive sketch refined mons and keep the sketching process fair. Lulu's while sketching do reference the Inspiration Board. It will inform a lot of visual decision making based on the images that you have collected . In my instance, the board that I produced includes quite a lot of geometric imagery. Thus that is reflected in my sketches. I also did some fast paced strokes with a brush to pen, and that was informed by the agile attributes. You can pull bits and pieces of inspiration from the board as well as the attributes. Just make sure that there is desire rationale in the choice is made for This will aid communication and will translate your thinking more efficiently into the logo. This concludes this installment and national elaborate on which sketches to choose and how to digitize them in the next installment. 5. Logo Directions: hello and welcome to the fifth installment of the class, titled The Three Pronged Approach Logo Directions. In this step of the process, we shall take the prior developed sketches and revise them into three potential local directions. The three Directions consists off predictable choice, something rather safe. And then a 2nd 1 that's a bit experimental, a bit out there, something bit unexpected at in the 3rd 1 The wild card. Something wild and wacky on the jazzy side. So you start out, I open up illustrator. Then I create a tabloid 11 by 17 empty canvas, then paste in the prior Escandon sketches. Put him on a separate layer. Create a separate layer on top of the original one for the traces. Upon looking at these, I've got a few need directions going on that I can already see. Stand out. I would like to go with this guy right here, as my Safe's choice seems fairly predictable, based on the research based on the competitive audit, this is fairly expected of what's out there. What's that's about, Illustrator. You can use different objects, and you can use the pencil to make the shapes. I personally prefer the pencil. It's fairly straightforward, fairly simple. I just Traci over the sketch. Just block it in, switch to outline to see the shape behind it. Block it in very basic keeping a clean at this point. See what it looks like filled. It's just a starting point. Will refine it further in the next steps. Then let's see. I like the 2nd 1 to be this guy right here, the one with the hexagons in it. In this instance, I shall use the object tool Holiday on that is held it over. People get over to the right for the own. Once again, we're just blocking things in. Right now, we'll get all the precise geometry in a little bit. So let that There we go. I get off already. Let's zoom out. So the 3rd 1 is meant to be pushing it Something that I didn't see in the competitive audit . Something unpredictable. I think I want to go with this one right here with the triangles. Could make those into neat little pyramids later, probably gone tool and then drag out basic shape. Exit on As you're dragging it out. Click down on the arrow key, take down amount of points on it. So make one triangle. There we go. Cement a bit much that angle. So this will be a cause I d a bit abstracted that experimental. There you go. Drunk. Went out for the old rotate. Common. There we go. Boom. So that's the 2nd 1 you saw. Put him in order. Specified earlier. Track of them. What is their way here? Okay, so now what about our basic shapes? Blocked in. Go in. Then we find him. Get the geometry nice and clean. Tighten it up for that. It's really importantes guides is to make sure all of your anchor points are on point. First of all, I'm There we go. It's like anchor points got up. That was by accident, but it's a game. Straighten it out in a second. Is there a years? Well, so it was straightforward process. So in my sketch, as I mentioned prior, I make make notes of things I'd like to implement into the sketches while fighting them on the computer. I made a no off building this one out at a 45 degree incline to give it just a agility. Make it more dynamic. Ask our attributes, rectangle like this, and then go transform sheer and do 45 degrees. Okay, so off the back 45 Seems like a bit extreme. Knock it down a bit. Try 30. Yeah. 30. Seems about right. This So the anchor poise. Square it off. Same with this guy. Right off from top of this. Duplicating it over with an option. Drag. Hold on. Shift for a more precise control, please get. I'm a big fan of building custom type when developing Logo's just makes it authentic. Who symbolized Touch? I'm a Some designers just checked things out and then modify Detect, please. That's cool as well. Well, got around preferences so that the bottom extent down make sure mashed original angle whom like so? So there we go. So but looking at this, I can already see if you improvements Director May because the lighter for scalability purposes. So when we go toe, make the local smaller saves, they send their doesn't get lost. Know what? Sleep angle? Change it a bit. Still seems a bit extreme to me. Go back into sheer do se 11 15 from 30 would make it 15 by origins so simple math. That looks good. There we go. We'll send a bit. So clean this one up. Clean up. The 2nd 1 hexagons came out of the box, so to speak. So that I need for the refinement was just make certain that old alignments are sharpened. One point. Lock him again. All right, So I think in this one, I'd like to move its lighter as well. Just a bit again for eligibility purposes when scaling. So off the bat, I could already see a few ways I can improve this mark, seeing that all of the most of the lines are at an angle. And this is the only horizontal stroke in the mark. Like to give this a go. So take a hexagon duplicated. Put it on top Skill. There we go to the very top. Just makes it more interesting in visually consistent. So there we go. Maybe bring the signal. Tiny, but well, nudge groovy stew fellows together, maybe make it a bit. Why? They're still not to breathe. Mm. It seems all right case of that to going. So for not the 3rd 1 Now, the 3rd 1 in the sketch. I had some type laid out next to it. Just fill up my leave. I've seen here, so I would like to pick a deep hole type please compare it with. So at this point right now, I'm gonna use the placeholder. Taipei's just you get the basic look down because I will go over typographic choices and how to pick them. Future installment of those course for placeholder purposes. I will use one of my go to typefaces, one with the birds, which is accidents grotesque. There we go Years. Well, quick. It's okay to do some basic styling in this stage. Just taken. Plan ahead. If we get to the typographic stage. Schisms operate thinking the strategic with that seal on this time, be more efficient in your communication. An execution. What's nice about illustrator? You can also I drop typographic styles. I'm gonna do so, eyedropper, maybe see what that looks like. Said to optical letters facing Maybe space it out a bit, but not a whole lot. So it matches the sketch, see if this is worth pursuing. I like it thus far, so we're gonna keep it, but then further refined upon this direction. There we go. Once you've got all the local shapes block there in the basic premises of these directions flushed out. It's fine to go in a lonely make him a bit more interesting rather compelling because right now they're a bit flat, a bit planes, which is fine. But one of my attributes was multifaceted, so I'd like to capitalize on that. Take full advantage off that attributes, perhaps from this execution can give it a bit of ah, multifaceted look. So I'm making this logo more interesting. I shall use this technique of making it more three d a. Spoke. So let's divide this out. Our group change of the passage a little bit. So do you, like I see and 80 on the talk Do a 60 and authority. So for now, let's keep this single color, and I'm gonna mimic this shape, but build it out of these cubes so such it's over, so just keep duplicating them building longest typographic execution. There you go. Bring this girl over here as well. This one was here. Yeah, So, as you can see, this gives it a more multifaceted condition. Also makes it more interesting than sprucing it up a bit. So visually extend. This part of it is good talk here. Film? Yes, You could get it over. Take these bits off. There we go. That's one of them spruced up. So as a mentioned prior, I would like to make this 13 d as well you but, uh, degree of three dimensionality. So I should do that with the pencil. It's mental. Clinton layers logged this layer. So we're gonna crazy on top of it, Chris, over this triangle and create a smaller one inside of it, which will cradling illusion off reading some three dimensionality. So one right here in another one to there. Look calls that path and the last one. Now I know. Close this wall. There you go. So, going forward, lock that layer. That would just create it Triangles on. I'm not the one under me. The lead, the original Lock it back a lot of top. So with the top one that set this one to about 80% opacity and then about 60 and try 30. That's about right. And I cleaned it up a bit right here. Just take a point over there. Good. So going forward, we shall log the top layer that we just adjusted. Unlike the bottom. Believe this good locket. Bach. I would love to talk. So the pyramid duplicated over rotated. There you go. Pull it up a bit for alignment. The in this up as well. So that no, but over. Move. Yes. Well, yeah. Okay, there we go already. Just the alignment on that unlock. Clear through emerge. Okay, so I believe this one have many for it anymore. So in order to produce variations on these locals four flat versions as well, we shall go over the Pathfinder tool and how to use a tear aid in this process. Down so duplicate over the three dimensional version. However, there's panel now and then select the three dimensional version. Go to that. Find their shape mode. Unite on group said a possibly to hunger. And now we have a flat version of our precise geometric version of the mark and clean up the injured points of it later. And we can still do so with this one as well. So get over, select the points the graphic unite on a group said to Harvard. There you go. And this we were certain that local works in both the three dimensional rendition as well is the flat version. So these on their own fine and dandy. We got em all spritzed up Good to go. But with this one, I would have put a degree of possessed to a swell. So we shall do so. No. Scale it up with the So if you see an opportunity for improvement based in the way this mark was built, it's billed art off. These two shapes are here. The D is built out of these two shapes. Social put a small stays between him sort of a slice. This way it could be and abstracted short, which would reference the analytical attributes from the brand attributes portable class. Maybe increase that space a little bit because, as you can tell, it does not scale well at this current stage. Words up. So that's good. Maybe even on this space of it. There we go. So going to keep this on a flat just like diversity's sake. When going over different local directions, you wanna have it nice set of variations with different properties to them. So this concludes the three pronged approach section of the class and I shall go over. The basic premise is off color theory when applying into these type of logos in the next installment. 6. Color Scheme: Hello and welcome to the sixth installment of the class titled Spinning the Color Wheel Color Scheme in this installment, which will go over how toe devise a branded color scheme and how toe further implement it into the local marks devised in prior section. As you can see, I have imported my inspiration board into illustrator place that next to the logos that earlier devised, sort of to get my thinking going also to cross reference and check for reference points with the Inspiration board. So in my process, I usually I dropped her some colors from the inspiration board, but which helps inform some decision making when picking colors. So I usually create a set of circles having that I go by our 30 collar color palette. Usually okay, create three overlapping circles, and then will I drop her Certain colors that are find compelling and that are also referencing the brand attributes. Let's try. This blue right here seems agile, has an fast quality to it. Let's try a lighter blue to complement that try a darker color. Perhaps they're gonna go darker than that. It also helps to go into the individual color that you picked and manually modify it as you see fit so it works better within the pick colors. King having that was selected these three colors. It also helps to see how the work together in a passively setting. So let's try an 80% of capacity and see what those overlaps look like. And those creating interesting colored relationships that would like to use an F riends going forward close and I start blue happening here. See, it's a bit on the monochromatic side, and it's five years can be different. It's all a bit of, ah, personal preference. Also, very much depends from your inspiration board and your attributes. Feel free to explore other options. So having that, I already chose these three colors that I like quite a lot, I would like to further implement those into these local marks, and you can do so with that. I drop her as well. Relatively simple process just on group also looks getting flat, so that's a good sign. Maybe save it out for future reference. Single color executions could be can be helpful as well. This guy right here said to Siam Color, Let's try it darker here visually break it up and the lighter blue to the right of it. So it's visually split. Maybe try a single color variation with darker color as well. So it was nice to have options. It looks good as well. Maybe try to see what they look like on the dark background. If there's illegible, see how that influences color picking so set against black. Here we go says he can see the middle part in this option and the darker option here get lost on the dark background. So that will inform a lot of decision making when version in loud the logo for light and dark backgrounds, which I will go over in the future section of the class. So for now, gonna keep the top two, maybe lighting this sort up to this color. All right, this one so you can play with it a bit here and there or is differently for different color palettes. So do is used to see fit for eligibility reasons. As I'd like to go forth with this color scheme, I will implement it into the other logos as well and to save you the trouble off sitting there watching me do so of already prepared Siris of those executions of a separate our board somewhat like a cooking show. So as you see, this color scheme translates well across three directions that we've devised kept this single color versions black for now, to see how those work on the light background right off the bat, even in here, just out of curiosity sake, run a test and see what those look like. Reversed out in a negative. As such, duplicate him over to the created dork rectangle. Bringing to fraud. Set him to white Phil no stroke de select because you can see these also functional on a on the darker background in the reversed out variation. It's a good sign means that's a good legibility and good versatility for different uses. I will go over the details of that. And how do version out logo's in the future installment of this class? So this concludes this section, and in the next section I shall go over typographic pairings 7. Logo Versions: hello and welcome to the final installment of the class titled Technical Execution Logo Versions. In this part of the class, I shall go over how to save out your logo, under which file formats and color modes in order to not compromise legibility and, uh, get the most out of your logo. So, as you can see, I have built out the logo in a positive. Just the logo marked by itself is a standalone as well as logo with the typography next to it in both versions, the positive and the negative. This way you can use it in both types of background. Just simply replaced the darkest color in your color scheme with the white, as well as a replace old black topography or black detail with the white as well. So it pops up the block. You don't compromise eligibility. Also, as in the prior installment of the class, we've built out a single color version of the logo. Therefore, here's ah application of both of those principles to the single collar flat logo. Simply reverse out the blacks to whites on the black background in order for it to pop off and be eligible now when saving out the logos I usually produce a look produced a logo sheet, which you can see currently on the screen. Pair both versions so I can just lift him off of it as an ai therefore illustrator file. Also for future reference. And if sending it to someone else, you can save these out as a PdF. That's very helpful, especially if you say that art is an illustrator friendly. PDF seeking, expanded and edited upon demand Just make sure that you're all Klein, your type, as have shown in the typographic chapter. So this concludes the class on building out your own personal brand and how devising brand attributes and running a competitive audit can inform a lot of strategic thinking before jumping into the logo, which will give you a competitive edge esteem. Parity appears so now you know how to build out a strong logo, and I hope you enjoy the class and thank you