Designing Logos in Affinity Designer | Ben Nielsen | Skillshare

Designing Logos in Affinity Designer

Ben Nielsen, Good design is the beginning of learning

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7 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Good Logo Design

    • 4. Sketching Logo Designs

    • 5. Using Component Shapes

    • 6. Iterating the Logo Design

    • 7. Exporting the Logo

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About This Class

In this class we will be learning to design logos using vector shapes. I will be showing this process in Affinity Designer on the desktop, but you could also follow along with Affinity Designer on the iPad, or a different vector editor. We will learn some of the principles of logo design and then learn how to use the vector tools to design our very own logo. 


1. Introduction: Hi. Welcome to this course for creating logos using a famed designer. My name is Ben Nelson, and I'm instructional designer and graphic designer. I'm so excited to share this course with you on creating Lovas local Ursinus, one of my favorite types of design, because it's so much fun and requires so many design skills to be able to pull it off effectively. Throughout this course, I will be using FEMA's under to do the vector work. I'll be using Maaruf images on your version on desktop, but you're welcome to use the version on just top or an iPad or any other Vector graphics editor that you have available to you. The principles that I'll teach about local design will be applicable no matter what editor you're using. But the specific tools that I use might vary from editor to editor. First, we'll talk about how to design a good level. What goes into it, what the principles of good local designer. Then we'll work through and sketch are lovers and then builder logos out of component shapes in the actual vector program itself. From there, we'll go ahead and we will generate upon the logo over and over and over again until we get to a final product that we feel good about. So I hope you're excited to get started to dive in and start working on logo design in the next video. I'll talk to you about the project for this course. 2. Project: in the product. For this course, you will be asked to create a logo. I'll be using the famed designer, and if you follow along with me using failures on yourself, everything will work out great. But you may also use a famed designer on the iPad or any other vector graphics editor to complete your logo. You can use something like illustrator or escape or assembly. All of these will work fine, although you might have to modify some of the instructions that I give in order to fit the program that you're using. As I go along through the course, you'll want to fall along with each step that I go through, including things like sketching, using component shapes, emerging shapes together and all the other steps that I'm going to take throughout the course to create the low. At any point during your work on your logo, you can share a photo or a sketch of your project and its current state to the project tap , and then we can all see it and give feedback and answer any questions that you might have. When you're all done with your logo, you can upload your final PNG file to the project tab so that we can all see and learn from each other at any point. During this course, you can use the community town to ask questions, and I'm happy to try to clarify anything that might be confusing or unclear. I look forward to working with you throughout this course and to see in all of your projects as you work your way through. In the next video, we'll talk about what makes a great logo. 3. Good Logo Design: before we get into the actual creation of the logo, we're going talk about logo design generally, and some of the principles that are associated with good logo design. A good logo design needs to be memorable and should convey the essence of the brand it represents. Think about the iconic logos you know, Nike, McDonald's Apple and one of my personal favorites, Volkswagen. These icons are simple. They're clean, they used limited color palettes, and they're easily reproducible The's Lobo's also have something that your logo will probably not have. And that's history. They have been around for a long time and are imbued with the history of the brand they represent. You don't have that advantage when you are designing a logo for a new company. This means that while McDonald's may be able to get away with just a nem at this point in time, they couldn't always do that. If we look at the McDonald's logos, we will see that the official logo actually included the name McDonald's in some form until 2003. Although they did start using the M by itself as early as 1993 that was still more than 50 years after they began. Basically, you need to walk a line between having a simple logo and having something that can represent your brand Well, the logo itself needs to tell a story to the people who see it here. The things to consider when creating your logo. Design uniqueness. If your logo looks too much like someone else's logo, you run the risk of brand confusion. Reproduce ability. Is your logo simple enough that it can be easily reproduced in many different places, such as print, web and fabric? And can it be reproduced in a grayscale environment such as a black and white flyer without losing its detail and meaning brand connection? Does the logo strongly connect the values mission and story of the brand it is representing name inclusion? Doesn't logo include the name? Or is there an alternate version of the logo that brings the name in and memorability? This plays into uniqueness and also simplicity. Is your logo memorable? If I see it again, will I remember? It is your brand I am looking at. So these are the five things to consider. As we're working through the logo design process, you'll want to keep these five things in mind as you designed the logo for the brand that you are representing. In the next video, we will begin the process of logo design by sketching. 4. Sketching Logo Designs: I say this in every course because it is so important. Sketching is a key part of the design process. You will never get designs as good as you could if you start your designs in the design program. Sketching allows your creative mind to work freely without the idea of permanence. This allows you to get your ideas out on paper to visualize them and evaluate them quickly . It allows you to explore new directions without any significant cost of time or resource is I normally sketch on sticky notes, but for this course I'm going to use an app called paper on my iPad so that you can see what I'm doing for this course project. I'm choosing to design a logo for my audio guide organization audio everywhere. The purpose of this organization is to crowd source audio content of places like museums, visitor centers, city walks and historical sites. So I'm going to start sketching out some of the ideas that come to mind in designing for this logo for this organization. And so you just want to think of anything and then get it out on paper. So I think that a common thing for location based items is the location pin. So I'm just going to rough out a location from here. It doesn't have to look good. It just needs to help me get the idea out. So that's a pin. And if I'm talking about audio, then maybe I wanna have something that denotes audio. So musical note. I'm not super sold on that idea because because it's not going to be music. It's gonna be guides. Try some headphones. Kind of like earmuffs. But that's OK. I mean, I could definitely make those look better in it. Um, but I think I might try something where we have earbuds. Your bud action going on there? Um, everything is kind of on convey this sense of place. So what if I did a map? That and then I put my pin on there and then gave it the earbuds. Do you think that we talked about before? Is nobody's really gonna know what this organization is, so we might need to include our name in it. I would give it the headphones and then we try something like we put the text on the train Giller part here. I would have to work with some tech sizing. Another thing I'm thinking about with the text here is just what if I made it go around the top of the headphones, so it kind of goes in a circle? You can see that my sketching is just very rough. It's not perfect. It's not meant to be. It's just me getting ideas out there. I'm not erasing anything. I'm just letting the ideas flow. I'm thinking like this is for anywhere in the world. So let's try a globe and headphones World is listening to something, and all of these ideas can be intermixed, as were sketching or later wouldn't we're designing? Try that globe again, this time with the your butt kind of a map looking thing and maybe give it some here birds that might be a little bit to Dora the Explorer for us. So you just sketch sketch sketch, getting these ideas out, making them work. That pin that we did is really common, but there's sometimes you'll see this other type of pin and my work that's looking a lot like a person, though, which is not the idea that we really want to convey the other thing is, since this is gonna be, crowdsourced will be asking people to record. So we really, probably, maybe wanna convey microphone idea here, give it a mike course that's looking really wonky, But the idea is there, Um, and you can always start a new page. If you need Teoh that Mike, it's Mike was the Globe person walking. I've got some earbuds, and so there's a lot of different ideas. Try and get them all out, no matter how strange they seem, because they might be the one that needs you to the right way of designing the logo. Try and think through what the brand is about. What is it doing? What are its values and what can conveyed? You need to convey that through a shape or icon that looks like the thing that they do. Or can you do that in something more abstract? You can always try some abstract shapes, some of the best, those in the world or abstract shapes. Unfortunately, a lot of them have been taken by other things because we have so many logo's in the world now, but I'll just sketch and sketch and sketch. It doesn't take very long It's a quick way to get your ideas out and get going and kind of see what's going to be valuable in you. And it takes a lot less time than building out each of these ideas from a design program. So you're much, much more likely to actually get your ideas out, which is the important thing here. Okay, so I think I'm happy with the number of sketches that I've done. I'm going go ahead and trying to site on which one that I'm going to use. And in the next video, we'll start looking at bringing this into a frame designer and actually get going on the vector creation of this logo. 5. Using Component Shapes: Now that we have finished our sketching, it is time to start working in a famed designer. If you need to get a new idea out quickly on the paper, feel free to go back to the sketching phase. The first thing that we need to do in a famed designer is open up a new document toe work with, come up to the file menu and choose new. I'm not too worried about the size of this document because we're not dealing with the export right now, So I'm going to go ahead and just click, OK, this is a web document you could convert to a printed document later if you're going to be using your logo in a print setting like a business card or on a flyer. But this document is just for design logo. I'm just going Go ahead and click OK with this and we immediately get an art board. Now we're going Teoh, make another art board here as well. I'm going to show you why? Because let's say I draw something here and then I want to put that thing onto the pace board around the house. I'm a document you can't see it because the Pace board is not showing. However, if we add another art board by coming up to the top left and under the move tool choosing the art board tool and reach years insert art board. Then our pace board becomes available to us again. So we're just going to use the document and she was insert and then we have to art boards, which is fine. We might need plenty of room to work on this logo. So now if we come, however, moved to all, let's change this to black and then we drag this out. Then we could actually see it on the pace board, which will be really helpful later on. Now, if you've watched any of my courses on icon design before, this next part is gonna be familiar to you, I am going to break down the logo that I am creating into its component shapes and then build it out of those shapes indefinitely. Designer Quick tip on a famed designer. If you want to zoom in, hold down option or Altan your keyboard and scroll with your mouse wheel. All right, so I'm just going zoom in a little here and I'm going to start by making the logo that's coming for my sketch that shows the location pin icon with the headphones on it. I think that could really convey the concept that audio everywhere is trying to portray. So going to go ahead and start by making the compliment shapes. I know that there is a circle involved in this pin, so let's go ahead and make a circle when jump over here to my swatches panel on the top, right and switch to colors and I'm going ahead and I'm gonna make this red just for now. We can mess with the colors later, but just as I'm designing and dealing with it, um, it would just be easier for me to see this as red. And then I know that the pin part needs to be a triangle. And so I'm just going to start by making it a triangle. There's a couple different ways that we can designed the pin part, grabbing my move tool. I'm going Come here to the top handle and rotate that guy holding down shift snaps it into 15 degree ignorance, and I just want that to be a straight 1 80 down. Now I'm going to put it in the middle of the circle, like so Kind of get it to a point where I I think it looks good. I don't want it to You kind of come off the edge and get thes corner so I don't want that arrow. Look, I just want it to look like a pin. Okay, so that's the beginning of my shape. I know that I am going to need another circled off to show the inside of the shape. So I'm going to select my circle with my move tool and then hit command, see, to copy and command me to paste It will by default paste that right on top of the other circle. So if you jump over to the layers panel over here, you can see that I now have to ellipse on our board one and I'm going to make that ellipse white. And then I'm going to drag that in front of the triangle, and then I need to scale it down so that it looks like there's ah, hole in this pin holding down command on the keyboard. I'm using a Mac so its command on the keyboard will make this size towards the center and you can see it's still free sizing. So if I hold down shift, it will constrain the size. Just get that to where I want it to be. And now we have our basic component shapes for thes pin all laid out. So the next thing that we need to do as far as this ping goes, is start using the geometry functions to combine into one object. But before I do that, I always want to save what I have so that I can always get back and make changes to it. Later, with my move tool, I will select all of the shapes holding out option on the keyboard. I will drag these off onto the pace board just to save those for later in case I need them . Okay, so the next thing will be to you, go ahead and create the merge. So selecting the red circle and selecting the Red Triangle, I'll come up here to you the top right corner of the user interface and the 1st 1 of thes geometry options here is combined or they call it add in a famed designer and I'll click that. And now I have this one single shape. You can see they're all right now. I want to subtract my circle from my red shapes. Else like my circle hold down shift. It's like my red and then choose subtract. And that has actually subtracted that from there. So now we've got our pin, and the next thing that we need to do is create the headphones. So this is where it's useful to have saved things. I think the best way to go about creating these headphones is going to be to actually use this original circle and then make it larger. So I'm going to make a copy of this holding down option and Dragon. I'm going to change it to Black to differentiate it on. I'm just gonna put it in front here, OK, now I'm going to drag it behind, coming down to just check to make sure those air lined up. Exactly. They are like my lips from my layers panel now holding down command. We're gonna go out in proportion 12 go out until I think we have a good distance away from it to form the headphones and then come back here. Grab this circle. Copy it again. Cry over that. And then we'll make it white that we can see what we're doing right behind here. We now command will scale it up and, of course, shift to keep it in proportion. Okay, great. So now it's like both of those are white and my black, And then I want you subtract and I have the black with a hole in it and grabbing my square . Actually, before I do that, I'm just going to drag black over so that I have that later. If I need to make adjustments, grabbing a square tool, gonna go over the top here, snap that in the middle, choose my black circle and my black rectangle, and then just choose, subtract. And now I have the beginnings of my headphones here. The next thing that I need to do is make the ear pieces for that. I think I'm going to use rounded rectangles loving how the square looks, try and make it a little bit more rectangular. Okay, That's like him. Pretty good holding down option on that. I'll drag that over and snap that into place there area. So now we have the basic layout of that logo, using the component shapes and then the geometry tools to merge them together. So we just need to you do that one more time. So we'll select all three of these. We will copy them off onto the pace board and then slept in all three of them again will choose our add to merge them together into one ship. So now we have the beginnings of our logo. And from here, we're gonna use what we have to go ahead and iterating on this idea and see if we can really bring it up to be the perfect logo that we are looking for. 6. Iterating the Logo Design: Now that we have this prototype of our logo completed, we're now went to iterated on it in order to develop the idea further and to really push ourselves to see if we can make it look the best that it can be. It aeration is a key part of getting your final local design right. You take the idea that you have, and then you develop over time and over in orations and over changes. All designers iterated to some extent. But many designers, especially designers who are new to graphic design, failed to make copies and save their iterations. This is a big mistake because it makes it so. You can't evaluate one direction over another. You try and remember back to what you saw before, but you can't remember it perfectly because you've already deleted or changed the copy that you had. So it's really important to save your work. Just like I have here, you know, saved out a version of this before I merged it together. I can then go back and make modifications if I need to or want to. If it won't try some different direction and so we always save those out we save out each version so that we can evaluate it against next one. Since we're working with vector graphics in digital space, there's absolutely no reason that we can't keep a copy of every iteration that we make and you never know. Sometimes something that didn't work in one logo will be just the thing that you need in another logo or icon or design project. And if you've saved your iterations, you could go back and get a hold of it without having to try and recreate it from memory. Here's an example of this. One of the key it orations that you will want to make sure you do on your logos is to make sure that they can work in black and white or gray scale. And so we can just take this whole thing. We can copy it over option drag option. Drag is your best friend when you're making it orations and then selecting this one weaken . Just make it black, and we can see exactly what that lobos gonna look like when it is reproduced in black and white. Another one that's really useful to Dio to grab this guy, bring him down and to see if we can make all of the corners types match up. And so what you can see here is that these guys were rounded, but this guy's not, and so that can look a little bit off two people. So if I grab my no tool, which is the white arrow in the top left, I can select this note and then I can actually convert it into a rounded shape. So a lot of design is trialing air, just trying things out, seeing how they work, seeing if you like how they look, Maybe you don't maybe like, Okay, I'm not really sold on that one, So maybe we'll try something different. So maybe we want to make these guys all be square squared off, so we'll make another copy of this guy. But we can't actually modify thes corners because we've already done a shape merge on it. And this is where having your old iterations is really helpful because we can just delete that we can grab this. We can copy that over. Just like that. This guy still has corners that can be changed because they're still life. So we do this, we make those squared, and then we can see and evaluate how that looks. So we're just doing these little it orations over and over again so that we can make comparisons and see what we like. One idea from my sketches that I wanted to try out was having the ear bud type headphones. So I'm going to try that. I'm doing it. Leave the headphones alone here, and I'm just gonna copy this guy over and we'll try and make some year buds for him. Okay, so there's my base here, but going to, of course, selected Copy it before I do emerge on it and then to make the reverse, I'm just gonna copy that. I'm holding down shift to keep it in line with the other one, and then I'll use my flip tool up here in the top middle to flip that guy over. Yeah, put it so they're both on. They're halves there now. I could do it like that, and that could be, like wireless earbuds. Or I could make another copy, and we can try and make some wired earbuds for that. I'm just gonna grab my pen tool. And if you haven't used the pen tool before. It's not super difficult, but you need to know how to use it to make it work for you. And so if you haven't used it before and you want to use it to you create this, you'll want to just go ahead and watch a tutorial on how to use the pen tool so that you know all the different ends and out of it. What I'm doing here is gonna be pretty simple. I'm just trying a line going to copy it, command C Command V and then flip it on. Hold down shift to keep it in line. What? I want us life. Both of these dragged them over until I get it directly in the middle of my pin shape. Grab my no tool. I'll take this and this. I'm a pin tool and a couple more nodes to make this cord like that. Okay, I will take my selection tool and grab all three of these and then we're just going to go over to find our stroke panel, which is in this middle group of panels Jew stroke, and we're going to raise up our wit. Let's try bringing that guy up to three points and seeing what happens, we want it to you match what's going on in the rest of our I think so. It looks like we've got a rounded cap here. So just to make that look a little bit more natural, I just converted that into a, um, smooth when there were just moving these end converting to smooth, giving it a little bit of bend there or less. So now we've got something that looks like the ear bud type headphones. They are quite large, but of course, they need to be in order to you be conveyed in the logo, which is why I'm kind of leaning away from them right now. I don't know. A lot of people would, of course, be really using your buds but doesn't get the idea across. Right. And I can easily compare because I have my iterations here and I can kind of see what I like better. So now I'm going to go ahead and just keep Iterating on my ideas. But I'm not going to speak through the whole thing because that would be boring for you to just hear me talk through the whole thing. I think you have the idea now and I'm going to speed this up so that you can just watch it in fast forward. Uh, - okay . I'm now at the point in my iterations where I'm going to try adding some text to the logo just to see how the text is going to look. Remember how we talked about that before? We probably will need some text in orderto identify the organization that we've made the logo for because it's not a well known organization. The logo doesn't have any existing brand clout. And so we're going to need to actually tell what it is, at least in some instances, so that it can be recognized. So going to try a couple of different ways of doing this first well and grab this circle, which is why it's useful to have that around. I now have a circle that I can use to actually do my text on a line, and it's the same size. It's my other circle. So let me go ahead and grab my just text tool. There's gonna wait till I get my text on the line. Icahn. Okay, let's go ahead and make that much larger so that we can. I see it work with it here, dragging the green arrow, I can move it around. Looks like I have not lost one of my ease, just going to adjust it until it looks like it's rent guff. That's again pretty good. I have a lot of different elements that I've played with here to try different things. Let's go ahead and try copping this this and let's grab our your buds, putting them on and see how that looks so you can see how important it is to keep your elements saved. And I just be like, Oh, I don't like that I don't want to use it because then we wouldn't be able to see what it looks like as the logo is progressing. Just this. Okay, so now I kind of know the direction that I'm heading. I'm not loving thes earbuds so much, and so I think I'm gonna go with the over the ear headphones. I think that just conveys the concept of listening better, even if it's not descriptively accurate toe what would be going on? And I think we're going Teoh, just move this over here, and I'm going to start playing with color a little bit and iterating with color. So I have some colors that I'm particularly fond of. So I'm going to go ahead and grab those. If you're interested in color, I talk about it more in some my other courses. But the place where I normally will go to get my colors is colored adobe dot com site. And so I'm just going to hop over there now. Okay, so we're getting to the killer dot adobe dot com site now, and this is a free site. You don't have to have a creative cloud subscription to use this, but you're more than welcome to use it. If you do have a creative cloud subscription, um, it works seamlessly with the creative cloud app so that you can get whatever you need. So I have a color palette here already pulled up that I really like. And so I am actually going to copy my words here for my red to start out with. We use red because red is the most common color of the pin. We might try some others, but I think that the red color makes a lot of sense to people. Okay, so I can open up the color picker by double clicking on the Phil Swatch and on. Then I can copy and paste my color in here. And then I can just go ahead and make a new color palette, and I'm just going to add it as an application palette here so that I'll have this later and then it's unnamed right now. I can name it later. Then I will just add it into this palette by clicking on the little palate icon, which is the ad current Phil to palette color. Okay, now, selecting this the pin part, I will choose my fill and to see how that looked. Now that's a bit more subdued than what we had before. And subtlety can be nice. You don't want to be completely over the top. This very straight red hue can be a little much, but I really think that we need to do something with the headphones, probably as well. So I'm having trouble selecting. So I'm just gonna go ahead and move my words off for what? This while I'm changing these, and I think we'll just try our yellow from the colors Watch. So come here, Grandma. Together. Select it back in, Designer, go ahead and paste that in. Okay. You always want to think through what the connotations gonna be. And this is looking a little bit to McDonalds to connotations gonna be. And this is looking a little bit to McDonalds to me. Maybe that's because we're talking about McDonald's earlier, but I'm not sure I really want. - Okay , I'm really liking the way this blue is looking here, so I think I'm happy with that. I think we're at the point now where we can go ahead and start exporting our logo. So that's what we'll be doing in the next video. 7. Exporting the Logo: Once we have a logo that we're happy with, we need to get it out of a famed designer so that it can be used. This is where we export the logo. There are lots of ways to export it, but I like to make a new art board. And so I'm just going to go up here to the move tool and get the art board tool that we used before. And I'm going to go how to make one that's about 500 by 500 pixels. By holding down shift, I can make it square royally close to you, 500 pixels by 500 pixels. And then over here, I'm just going to change it to 500 by 500. This is just the transform panel. All right, on. Then we'll go back to the move tool so that we can get our logo here so we'll make a copy of the logo that we want, put it here, and then we want to expand any strokes or any text and just make sure that everything is as finished as it can be. So I don't have any strokes here, but I do have some text, which I'm gonna want to convert into curves so that it all doesn't shift around if something happens with fonts or whatever. And we didn't talk a lot about text in this course for this logo, I might actually come and change the the font to something else. But for the points of today, we're just going to take it as it is. So selecting our text object will income up to layer and we're going to dio go and do a convert to curves. And what that will do is that actually will change each of these into a non text object. It's made up of points like any other object on the board on that will just make it a lot simpler now will select all of these and holding down shift to keep them in proportion. We're just going to make it as big as we can within the confines of the art board without bumping up against the art board that Okay, so now we've got our logo ready to go and it's time, Teoh export it. So we're going go to the file menu and shoes export which will open the export dialog We want a PNG, and we want it to be Art board. Three. So we need to make sure this area is set to art board. Three. It's pretty smart, and it knows we're just working on our board. Three sort selected. But that's what we want to make sure that is that. And then we're going to go ahead and export, and then we'll get chance to save it onto the computer. And so I'm going to save it as audio everywhere. Logo color because I'll probably have to save out some black and white and gray scale ones as well. So then we'll save it and that P and G will save, and it will save with the transparent background. And that's what you want to go ahead and upload to your skill share project. Whatever your logo looks like when you feel like you're done, iterating with it, go ahead, save it out as a PNG and then share that with us in the skill share project so that we can all learn together. And remember, design is something that iterating and Iterating iterating, and so you might think that you're done and then you might uploaded to the project in one of your classmates might be like, Oh, did you think about doing this? You might generate some more. Make some changes to it as you go along. It's always good to get feedback on your designs and work through them until you're sure that you've got them the way you want them. But of course, there's a balance to of not keeping a project in the works so long that it never actually sees the light of day. So there does come a point where you have to say, Okay, I am ready to move forward with this. This is going to be our logo. It's what we're going to use that's going to do it for this course. I hope that you've enjoyed learning about creating logos in a famed designer. If you have, please consider leaving a review on this course and checking out my other courses here on skill share. See you next time