Logo Design: Learn to Create a Stunning Monogram Logo | Jason Miller | Skillshare

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Logo Design: Learn to Create a Stunning Monogram Logo

teacher avatar Jason Miller, Freelance Graphic Designer

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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

9 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:20
    • 2. What is a monogram?

      4:37
    • 3. Finding Creative Inspiration

      5:43
    • 4. Concept Generation: Sketching

      11:42
    • 5. Concept Refinement Part 1: Digitalising a Traditional Monogram

      11:15
    • 6. Concept Refinement Part 2: Digitalising a Modern Monogram

      14:20
    • 7. Concept Development: Balancing and Fine Tuning

      6:57
    • 8. Final Adjustments

      6:04
    • 9. Conclusion

      1:21
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About This Class

Monograms are not just a passing trend, they are timeless and effective way to identify a brand; so creating them is a very useful skill for any designer involved in identity design.

This class is going to demystify exactly what a monogram is; and how you can CONSISTENTLY create stunning monograms that reflect a brand’s values.

Even if you’re already a pro at creating monograms, I’ll share some techniques that have saved me a lot of time – and a workflow that greatly streamlined my process.

We’re going to look at the whole process from start to finish;

  • Where and how to find good inspiration
  • How to sketch out and digitally refine your concepts
  • Lots of time saving tips for developing the chosen concept
  • How to balance and fine-tune to create a professional finish

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Miller

Freelance Graphic Designer

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Follow me on Skillshare to be the first to hear about new classes!

Hi I’m Jason Miller – a freelance Graphic Designer based in London. 11 years and counting!

How do you start building your professional portfolio? Or do you still struggle to consistently produce great results within a reasonable timeframe? Wonder how to scale the entire identity design process down to meet your clients needs/budgets?

The courses, tutorials and resources I’m sharing here are designed to help you answer these, and many other questions students and designers face.

Brand Identity Design, including the logo design process, running a business, and surpasing clients expectations – find it all here.

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Monograms and not just a passing friend, a very timeless and effective way to identify a brown. So being able to create them is a very useful skill for any identity designer. This class is going to demystify just what a monogram is and how you can consistently create strong, stunning monograms that represent a brand's values. And even if you're already a product creates a monograms. I'm going to share some of the techniques that saved me a lot and a workflow that I've really streamlines to improve things. Hey, I'm Jason Miller. I'm a freelance graphic designer based in London. I've had the privilege of creating the luxury brand identity for clients from Australia to Hong Kong, to New York. Like, I'm sure many of you are really enjoying working from home. I've created a quiet little studio space, which has become my zone. Design happens. I'm very proud to say I've been freelancing successfully for over 10 years now. And free of those years with enough clients to make this my sole source of income. So the class project is an obvious one. Create your own monogram. It could be something fictitious. It could be the next project you get to work on. It could be something just to enrich your portfolio. But if you follow a level of the class and choose your own maxes for your monogram and tried to apply the principles we cover in your own piece. And in this class we're going to have a look at the whole process from start to finish. Where to find ideas and inspiration without copying someone else's work. How to sketch out and then digitally refine your concepts. Lots of time-saving tips for fleshing out the chosen concept. And lastly, how to balance and fine tune things to create that really professional finish that we're looking for. So I really hope you enjoy the class and please feel free to post if you have any comments or questions. 2. What is a monogram?: So what is a monogram? Well, I'm convinced not everyone knows this. I've seen lots of strange explanations flying around. Some claiming that a single letter is a monogram Effect Stylize or comments like that's not a monogram for spacing between the letter or the weight isn't exactly equal. So what is a monogram? Well, this is the dictionary definition and you can find it by just Googling the question. Motive of two or more interwoven letters. Typically a person's initials use to identify a personal possession or as a logo. And here's another, if you're a fan of Wikipedia, a monogram, or when X2 is a motive made by overlapping or combining two or more letters and other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, use as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a cipher and is not a monogram. So there you have it. And if you didn't know that and now you do. Now, if you search in Pinterest for monogram, a few of these examples you'll find are beautiful, but they are as we just read, ciphers, they are not monograms. So let's look out. There's, Here we are a classic example. So Visa ciphers for the letter M, and they're beautiful, they're well-designed, but they are not monograms because they're not combining more than one letter. Now, one reason we're particularly interested in creating a monogram is part of this definition. We read very recognizable symbols or logos fast what we're interested in creating something that's unique and recognizable. So by combining a few letters in a unique and attractive way, we create a very powerful identifier for a brand. Now, what about the style of a monogram? Does that have a bearing? Well, actually very many different ways to do this, as long as there's two characters or more and some kind of overlap or interaction taking place between them. And then it's a monogram. But to give you a few examples, and I'm not sure if her official categories for these, but this is the way I like to think of them. So this kind of monogram is quite popular. There is a single line weight and all of the elements are geometrically perfect. So it's straight angles, perfect circles. And that's quite a popular type of modern monogram. Geometrically balanced. You then have the more traditional style of monogram. So vis can use serif or sans-serif typefaces. But it's a more traditional, simple overlapping of letters. Vase I think of as more of a script style monograph. So at least one of the letters features a script font. And the script really lends itself to intertwining and interacting with the other character quite nicely. And lastly, you see many of these are kind of deconstructed monogram. So part of or a lot of one or both characters are deconstructed. And it makes you, you have to use your imagination to guess what those characters are to fill in the blanks. And it can be quite effective. It's quite visually engaging. So broadly, I think those are popular categories of monogram, but I've seen, so hopefully that background gives you some bearing on what we're going to create is a beautiful and unique combination of two or more letters. And that's it. For the purposes of logo design, this is an excellent way to identify a brand. So how then do you determine which type of monogram is needed and where do we start? Well, that's what we're going to cover in the next lesson. 3. Finding Creative Inspiration: So I think finding inspiration is always a great place to start, to get their creative part of your brain fired up. And to get yourself in a right frame of mind to start producing your own ideas. Now, the goal here isn't to find something and copy it, is to be aware of the possibilities. What have others done that has worked, and what are the reasons why? It's a fact that good ideas often spark other good ideas and that's what we're looking for. Finding inspiration is the process of creative thinking. Could I apply this technique or principle to this? So coming back to the search I made earlier, and you could make a specific search for monograms of the letters. You're considering using. The difference between inspiration and just copying something is trying to figure out why the, how, why does an idea work particularly well? If anything catches your eye, look at it closely and try to figure out what elements, what facets haven't contributed to this particular design working, and how can you use the same principles? So for example, if it's V gap between letters, if it's the way they overlap or don't overlap, and whatever it is that you like about the design. Try to figure out why. And then take just that one little element or principle. And then you have something to test out in your own designs. But don't try to take for whole thing. Never copy someone else's work. It's not professional, and it's actually the opposite of what your client is hiring you to do, very likely hiring you to create something unique for them. And the surest way to make sure you've not created something unique and would be to copy something in its entirety. So here's a nice example. What is it about this that works particularly well? And could you copy this principle, perhaps for another letter for wave, they've cut away and reduce certain elements of the character. Could that work with a character you're using? How heavy, reduced fat letter, which portions of a chosen to subtract, and why have we chosen those portions? Could it work better if fade subtracted a different portion? And these are the kind of questions you want to be asking yourself when looking for inspiration. And the result is that when you come to sketch some of your ideas out, you've already created some problems that you'd like to solve and some elements you'd like to test. So where to look for inspiration? Well, obviously, I'm quite a big fan of Pinterest. You have to sometimes look between the lines, but I find the fact of a results are rated by popularity. They tend to be naturally quite well-curated. So you find some strong ideas there. Another place I like to look is Behance. Behance is, is tied into the Adobe suite. So it's quite popular with designers and many of them will upload their projects. So I find that's quite a good place to look. Dribble. You actually have to be invited to join this by another designer. Someone has to endorse you. So the standard tends to be a little bit higher here. And you'll often find some strong, strong examples if you flick through something specific on Dribble, of course, Instagram. So if you search for a certain hashtag, you can often find, again, rated by a, by what people like, which is a really good metric. Of course, design is subjective and is based on its audience. So that's why I really like Pinterest and Instagram. Because for popular results, they are things that have almost been tested and proven. People like them. People have shown that very attracted to them. You can also find more industry specific repositories of design work. Some of them are curated, some of them aren't. Design inspiration. That's 19 like to use. But it does have a search feature and things are quite well tagged and indexed. And also brands are for wealth, which is a huge database. But again, curated and you get access, unfortunately not to the full database for free. But you still get a taste of what I like about this is it's not from aspiring designers, Visa, all proven brands for corporate companies that tend to have more of a track record. And some books, levees are absolutely fantastic way to find inspiration. For design is a fantastic place to find ideas and inspiration. They are generally our highest standard because they're proven well-established logos rather than just happens to be popular relying by some of the finest designers in the world. So wherever you find your inspiration, grab a screenshot or a photo, and take the things you've collected with you. And for the next stage of this process, where we'll start drawing some of your own concepts and ideas. 4. Concept Generation: Sketching: So what's the purpose of sketching? For me? It's simply the fastest way to get ideas from my mind onto something tangible. But I can look through and I can evaluate at a later stage. Now for some of us that's using a physical piece of paper and a pen. For others, it might involve sketching digitally. Is one better than the other? Well, no, As long as it does what it's intended to do, as long as you managed to get the ideas out of here and onto something more useful than it served its purpose. I think at key is using something you feel comfortable with. You don't want your process to be stagnated by struggling to work with something you find that awkward. So whatever is familiar to you, please use that technique. Personally, I feel comfortable using my iPad with the Apple Pencil. So that's what I'm going to be using in this example. So for the purpose of this class, I'll be designing two different monograms, a modern and a classic. And so I've actually already created these monograms for two of my clients. And that's because I wanted to show you the process for something I know was successful and has stood the test of time. Although that's cheating a little because I know where I'm heading with this hope for the enables me to give you a more streamlined overview of the process without dwelling too long on the ideas that didn't work, we can focus on the ideas but did. So as you saw, I set up a nice grid for myself. Zoom in and I used for grid to some extent, this is using Adobe sketch, but ultimately use whatever you're comfortable with. You can even use physical pad and paper if you like. But the idea here is just to get your ideas out of your mind and onto some kind of medium as smoothly as possible. So use whatever you're comfortable with. Don't set yourself limits and enjoy the process. So hopefully you are armed with some ideas taken from the inspiration phase. And here we're just trying to test out how we might get these two characters to interact. Where should they overlap, when they overlap at all? And we're just trying out ideas. Maybe something we've seen in one of our inspirations may be something that pops into your head as we're doing this. So personally, I like to start off really roughly just sketching out very, very basic ideas as quickly as I can. And if I think something might work, if something catches my eye, then I'll go back and I'll do a few more detailed iterations. And I think a key at this stage is to put nothing off limits. You want to explore every principle you've seen or perhaps you've come up with in previous projects. And you want to try them and see, are they going to work here? If something doesn't seem to work for any number of reasons, just move on to another one. So as you follow along, no doubt you'll be doing this with different characters. I'm using an S and a G. For one of my examples, the brand is actually called Stanley Gibbons. And they are one of the, I think V o, this company that does stamp collecting in the UK. So heritage brand, they've been around for over a 100 years. So it was quite an honor to be approached to do the new brand for them. And they knew they wanted a monogram. So I kind of got to make a beeline for ideas fit of a brief. They had a really clear idea what they were looking for. But you would likely find in your projects, you're not sure if a monogram is the solution your client wants to go for. So if that's the case, and as you're sketching in a, perhaps some of your concepts would be monogram ideas and others might be something completely different. So that's something to bear in mind. It's rare that you know for sure this is the approach you're going to use when you're at this stage in a regular project. So I'm gonna go faster and thinking now about where, where is this overlap going to take place? Should have overlap here and here. Should they overlap? While these characters are completely parallel. So we plan some symmetry. Should we have a G where the ties in with our overlap so that it looks nicely balanced and so on. And once you kind of establish a few of these and it may be that you have more than one concept you'd like to try out in the next phase, you can spend a little bit more time fleshing it out. So occasionally I'll zoom out. I'll have a look over V ideas I've tried and I'll see which of them aware of you're spending a bit more time. So I went bore you and by making you sit through me sketching out all my concepts. But that's the kind of level of detail and a time I would spend just testing out some different ideas to bring forward to the next stage. So this is for the Stanley Gibbons traditional style monogram or be creating. Then I want to try and modern minimalist style, which is going to be for a brand Cu P or films. So my letters for that design will be P and R. So I'll let you see the kind of concepts on my sketch out when I'm exploring that idea. And again, we're just thinking very quickly. But wherever overlap might take place, over letters going to say completely parallel once they're above or to the left or right of the other, and so on. And at times, certain characters are similar enough that you might find they can actually sit on top of each other and they share part of the same structure. So P and N are just fat kind of character. By just adding a leg to the p, we've turned it into an R. So that can give you some interesting possibilities. And of course, fats bad just looks like an R, But if you add a different color to Part of that, well then can begin to separate it. And they can be viewed as both a P, n, and r. So that can at times give you some possibilities. One phenyl wants to say is this stage. I'm not sticking strictly to the grid. In some cases it's helpful for this concept here. I want to see how it looks a little thicker. So I'm going to use one square to keep things nice and consistent and stick to the grid. But in most cases you don't need to do at this stage. That's something that could come later when you're really trying to balance and fine tune the logo for these initial concepts and just GAVI ideas down as quickly as you can. Quite like that concept. And G, can I forgotten to do it if you wanted? In fact, I'll show you now. Okay, she use Adobe Draw as well. If you create a new sketch layer to create an element, you will then have the ability, well, that is extremely rough to duplicate the layer. And once you've duplicated it, you can transform. You can drag it. And that can sometimes even though you're technically sketching, if as an element you want to repeat, you want to try out a few different ways, can really speed up the process of exploring different iterations. So sometimes as you're doing this, you can create things and kind of let your mind open up and put it to the page. Um, or sometimes you can use an elements for reference. So we spoke about inspiration in the previous phase. And you can always at this stage have some fonts in mind. If you don't know your fonts well enough yet, then by all means, in a pill up a few fonts you think may be suitable on the screen and use them as a basis for what you're sketching. If you're someone who would benefit from sketching elements from reference when having the fonts up for that purpose. That might help you speed up this part of the process where we are. So I have just a few different concepts to play with on the page here. I generally recommend you spend at least an hour route to try to keep sketching, keep trying, to be honest, keep failing. It's finding what doesn't work is just as important as finding what does. So by all means, keep on sketching until you have a good few, maybe four to six strong ideas that you're ready to take to the next stage, which is where we digitalize and refine them. 5. Concept Refinement Part 1: Digitalising a Traditional Monogram: So we've sketches you just prepared in hand. The idea here is to flesh out and start digitalizing the most promising of the concepts you had. And as we go along, I'll share with you a few tips that can help you to really speed up the next step in this process. And now we head into Adobe Illustrator, where there are some great time-saving techniques I'm going to share with you for this phase, depending on the type of monogram you're creating. So we're going to look at two broad types. You, not everything falls perfectly into these categories. But we have what I like to think of as more modern or minimalists monograms and the more traditional type. And often the traditional style lends itself to letters that have serifs or perhaps scripts. And the modern, it tends to be much more geometrically sound. Sometimes you'll use a single line weight. And we had looked at a few of those examples in earlier lessons. So let's start off with v traditional. And if we come across here, you can see some exploration that i've, I've started on earlier. But basically you're wanting to take the sketches and the most promising concepts you'd come up with. And flesh room out digitally. So time-saving technique number one, don't try to create a completely new funnel. This exploratory stage. Use an existing type, something that fits as closely as possible to your concepts. And that's going to say B so much time. Just use a font, grab them, and start overlapping and placing them as you've conceptualized in your sketches and see what might work and see what might not. Then a final will sometimes have a bearing on the way these fit together. So you can explore different fonts to make sure something really doesn't work. It's not just a poor font choice. So that's my first tip. Pick a font that matches as close as it can. For now. You might tweak it or adjusted later, where you might even create your own font entirely. The vast gonna get you off to a good headstart. You can see one of the ideas I had here was reducing part of VG in this SG monogram. So rather than repeating this element of a left, I've simply use the shape builder tool, and this is another technique I'm going to show you how we get from this to something like this. Grabbed more than I wanted there. Naturally, I can begin with this just to show you the exact process. So once you've lined up the letters. In a way that you want, you've got to select them both and use the shortcut Command Shift O to outline the type. If a type isn't outlined, the shape builder tool won't be able to affect it. And once you have your outline type, you use a geometric shapes or circle. A perfect circle is perfect. Or it could be a square, triangle. And try to make it fit of a natural composition of a character. And you want to select your geometric shape along with a character. And you're going to select the portion that you reduce. So you use the Shape Builder tool. The shortcut is Shift M. And if you hold the old key, any portion of the selected elements for you hover over, you're going to have the ability to delete them, to remove them. So I could even hover inside here and movie inside of veggie to create this kind of effect. Well, that's not what we're going for in this occasion. So I'll undo select the Shape Builder tool and we want to reduce any portion of the GI foot falls outside. Circle. Remove a circle. And there we have it. And I think this looks quite nice if we move them a little closer together. And the advantage of that, rather than simply doing something like this with a flat edge and removing the ends of the G is with vats, then a really stark endpoint. I quite like. For fact, if we leave it like this, it curves and kind of follows V is the direction for G was heading. So a more elegant way to cut it out there. And that's quite an effective way to you could use this with any characters. Obviously, you'll be working with different letters in your example. So that's can be quite a nice effect if you want to reduce one letter from the other and without actually overlapping them, create this illusion that there's some, some interaction there. And if we had to another artboard, this is another effect I like to create. So you can see an overview of it here. Starting with just these characters. Dragging them to a position. I fall, they might overlap nicely. And we achieve this effect, the intertwining quite easily. And I'm going to show you how to create this effect step-by-step. So again, it involves outlining the type. And in this example V, we're creating the illusion of a G is on top of VS. So we sync plea, create a white stroke over Vg. And once you've created that white stroke, you go to Object, Expand Appearance. And can you see that's now changed from being a stroke to an actual element that we can interact with. Again, we use the shape builder tool, which is shift M and holding Alt to reduce. We want to reduce these portions that was stroked. And the important part is we want to reduce them where they intersect with the letter S, Whatever your underlying letter is. And if I de-select and zoom out, and you can see that's created a nice effect and the advantage of not just stroking it. Why doing it with the Shape Builder is that if I were to place black underneath and I wanted to reverse fees out. You can see that overlap now works. Whatever color we place this in him, whatever background we'd put in on. Now, I've not done the overlap for the bottom half deliberately. And that's because for some, for some purposes you want to have them intertwine so that it looks like the top of a G is on top of VS, but maybe lower down the S comes out on top. And that creates a really, really attractive effect. To do that, back to the shape builder tool. Instead of following this and reducing this portion of a stroke on the G, we would instead remove the stroke on the S, which is this portion, and remove it where it overlaps for G. So you have to take some care as you do this. Just make sure you're eliminating the correct portions. And there you have it. So Vg starts on top, Fred's underneath and comes back out. A little bit of an optical illusion. But that can be a really effective and technique. I haven't used that in this example here. But still that's quite a striking traditional monogram. And now finally, as I alluded to in the example we just looked at, you do often have to view for waivers looks on different backgrounds. And here you can see one of the concepts that I had and sent to my client, and I wanted to show it on a charcoal background. We've kind of a gold tint to the text. So testing it on different backgrounds to make sure it works. You'd be amazed how often you reverse something and find that it doesn't work. Or you spot something that you're going to need to adjust or change. It looks as if a gap between the letters where they overlap is smaller. Even though it's geometrically not, it looks smaller on this darker background. And if I put it on black, elites, even smaller still, That's the way our eyes work. It always tends to reduce the spacing when something's shown on a dark background. So often you are logos. We'll need to work on either light or dark backgrounds. So that's something to test. As you're working out the concepts. Try it on both a light and a dark background. And over in this class we're just focusing on the monogram itself without perhaps logo type and other elements of the identity. This gives you an idea of a way I might tie that all together. And so using fonts for complement each other and spacing it in a way that the, the overall layout looks balanced. So that's our traditional monogram concept looking pretty good. And of course, don't forget in your project, you'll likely be using different letters. So please feel free to ask me in the comments. If you've come across two letters and you're not quite sure how to make them interact with each other. And perhaps we can help you. So share that please in the class comments. Otherwise, let's now take a look at how we might flesh out our concept for V modern style monogram. 6. Concept Refinement Part 2: Digitalising a Modern Monogram: And in this lesson we take a look at fleshing out some developed concepts for the modern or minimalist version of a monogram. So as mentioned, I've based this on something I actually designed for a client, which was PR films. And I've taken little snapshots, if you like, of the development process I use. And I'll just stop to share some of the techniques that might save you some time or, or get similar results and in your project. So again, please use different letters to me and try to apply the principles rather than copy this exactly. But you can see here the first thing I do, again, this will be based on some of the ideas in the sketches. Is take a, a font that matches my ideas as closely as possible, just as a time-saver. And once you have those locked in, you can start manipulating them, flipping them. Seeing if you can find some ways though, possibly not covered in the sketches, that they might overlap and they might work well. Now as I mentioned in one of the previous lessons, some characters share a very similar shape and form. And P and R, two such characters. So as long as there's something to help visually differentiate one from the other. If you overlap one exactly over the top of the other character, you kind of get this cool effect where you're seeing a little bit of a p, but then you're also getting an r. Which is quite clever. Something else I sometimes like to try is adding kind of kind of ligature you would find in a script font. But applying it to something modern like this. So that can be an option and adding a little bit of shadowing. So for this concept here to work without having to use two different colors, this shadow kind of hints at the fact that this is a separate element. So it's not quite as, as distinct as the P in the ER in the example above. But it's one way you might go about creating that effect. So I really liked that concept. And that's why I decided to flesh out and to explore a little further. If we move to my next slide boards, you'll see I focused on just how to display this, this monogram, the same concept, but there are quite a few different ways we could go about this. So I looked up using the shadow, as I just mentioned, that perhaps moving part of the P reducing from bat to create something that looks a little more contemporary. And then also here's something that's really outside of a box. Obviously the leg of VR would never stretch from the top left corner, but Letting it stretched out far as kind of a stylistic element. And then also at reducing a fervor piece which I think was present in one of my sketches. And really separating the different elements of these characters and including the shadow. So for modern logos in particular, something that will really help you to, you know, to work quickly and manipulate type where you want it to have this kind of effect where the line width of a character is completely consistent throughout and is to use grids. So if you're using Illustrator CC and you have a Properties panel open here, and you can turn on V inbuilt grids by simply clicking this icon. And that will show you grids. So I haven't aligned to that in this example here, but I'm going to move it to the left and walk you through how you might go about creating that from scratch. So it's good to have a reference. Even one of your sketches if you want to plug that in place. And really you're trying to look and find out what reference points you can use to keep things consistent. So if we look at the top part of VR, so with my reference on the left, I'm going to start drawing this out. Another tool you can use directly below the option to show or hide the grid is to snap to the grid. So you want to make sure that's turned on. And I'm just going to use the rectangular shape tool. And I'm going to start copying some elements of this. And as a rule of thumb, I'm going to use free squares in this grid that's going to be reweight, if you like, of the different elements of this character for me. And if you like, you could start with the whole thing to make sure it ties up nicely before subtracting in the places where I've done that. So you can see it's the goal here is to keep it nice and mathematically sound so that it looks geometrically balanced. So the space between the two sections of VR here are going to equal enough room for exactly two lines. I'm going to use the Ellipse tool and drag it out, holding Alt from the center to create v-out line of the rounded part of a P. I'm going to select it and copy and then paste it in front. The shortcut for which is Command F. And then manipulate it by hitting Free Transform. Shortcut is E and dragging holding the Alt and shift modifiers. I'm going to drag down until it's difficult because a grid is somewhat hidden on the shaded section of this shape. But remember, we want the width to span exactly free squares of this grid. So if you look to the right of my cursor, and you follow that along, you can see we've got free squares from the edge at the top and free from the edge of the bottom. And what we'll do now is shift click to select both of those shapes. Shift M for the shape builder tool. And we're going to reduce the center that shape. Leaving us with the curves section of the PI in the exact width that we're looking for. Now I'm going to start attacking the area I want to reduce from. So again, I just use the rectangular tool. And I'm going to drag to that point. They're just in the middle of a circle. And you can probably guess what happens next. We select those group shapes. Bring up the shape builder tool and shift them. And holding all. We're going to subtract everything in the center. Now if we wanted, we could click without holding any modifier keys and just let the shape builder tool and nip these remaining elements of a shape together. And there we have a geometrically perfect p.stance. At least if this look and feel is your intended goal. So now for the leg of the R in the example here, you see if I select the top portion of the shape, I found that best balanced when the leg was actually poking out by a square or so because optically that aligns it for curves section, we'll never seem to VI, to stick out as far this section where it becomes quite thin. So for this one we're going to use the pen tool. And with a pen tool selected, you want to find something that lines up with a bottom perfectly in comes this one square to the right. And I'm gonna go free squares to the left. And click. And now, and it's up to us what angle we want this leg to sit up. I'd like it to just intersect here. I'm going to click and again, free squares to the right. And then I'll go back down and click to close off the shape. And if I shade that in the same color, you can see well versed, geometrically perfect. It doesn't quite look right to VI, because it's a diagonal portion. It gives us the illusion is thinner than the rest of this shape. So using the anchor select tool shortcut for which is a, you'll want to click once to select this side. And shift click. To select for top right portion. And if we hit the right arrow key, we find that across one to the right. So now even versus spans four squares, if we deselect, that looks much better balanced optically. And of course you could turn off snap to grid. And you could use that same process, select two of the edges and nodes using the left arrow key if you wanted to fine tune that to get the balancing just right. So one more process remains to recreate the effect I have on the left here. And that's going to be the part we choose to subtract from this shape. So again, rectangle tool. And we're going to drag, it doesn't matter what color the shape is. Just to overlap. The portion of this shape we're going to reduce from. And as long as it's just two shapes, you could use the Pathfinder and click Minus Front. But for consistency I'll hit Shift M. And again we use a shape builder hold Alt to subtract and drag. And there we've removed for desired portion of that shape. Now in my example to the left here, I had a slightly shorter portion of the ER and I had the leg intersect where the r starts to curve. So it was quite difficult to recreate the exact angle to get that shadow right. But in this example here, and it would be a simple case of dragging a rectangle over the top of a leg. Selecting the two. And then using again the shape builder is to delete the unnecessary overlaps. And we now have this single element or object that we can color as we'd like to, to sit at our shadow. So I'll select the remaining portions of VR. Choose a lighter color. And you can see we have the effect that we're looking for. And with a few exceptions. That's the way I chose to go with this concept. I also created one where the shadow portion, well, I simply deleted that from the shape entirely and colored with two sections a little differently. And so we have something like this. So please try to apply these as principles. You should be able to use this kind of technique with any shape for any letter form you are looking to build the keys to remember. With this kind of modern minimalist style is keeping things as geometrically perfect as you can. Making sure you zoom out at the end and see what this looks like from a distance. So that if you have included gaps or, or shadows, you can make sure they're sufficient and to really separate the shape even when it seems at small sizes. So in this stage, paid commission, I'd say you've probably got enough to share with your client and present to that. In fact, you might even choose to share some of his sketches. And the idea is what led up to these concepts with your client. You've got to play this by year and based on the client. And but sometimes I really appreciate being included and feeling like they're part of the journey as long as you don't overwhelm them with options. Next, usually after a client has decided which concepts and proceed with, comes the part where we really begin to push this to its limits. And that will take place in the next lesson where we will occur at refining and placing this concept under the microscope. 7. Concept Development: Balancing and Fine Tuning: So usually this stage comes after your client will have picked a concept to develop. Well, if you're doing this just to create a portfolio piece, then you get to make that decision yourself with your chosen concept in hand. Let's get ready to really refine and enhance it. So the key to this stage in a real life project is usually taking feedback from the client. And after a discussion, you may pick out specific aspects of a logo that you want to change or things to change about the monogram so far. So in the example I'm sharing here, that's what happened with my client. And we ended up with two roots we wanted to explore. And we've roof a client asked me to explore initially. I really didn't think it was going to work. As you can see here. They asked me to kind of carry on this cutout of a G and make it subtract from the S. Well, aesthetically. And as I've noted here on something I shared with him, I don't think that worked well. So as an alternative, the G sitting completely behind the S and we just have this separation wherever to intersect. And if you're looking at these different versions and wondering, well, what's the difference? It's the size of a gap. So we felt this had the perfect balance. And that's something you have to be prepared to do. You can't just land on the first option. You try out. If we look at the gap here, is that large enough? Well, at this level of zoom, it may well be, but as we zoom out, you find one element can start to actually vibrate against for one next to it. So it's important to zoom in, zoom out and really stage put these things under the microscope. And if we come to the next artboard here, we had a, another small phase of development. And you can see we looked at using two different font types as the base. So we've got an S energy here that are quite different to the S and the G used in a version on the left. And actually they're so different. Virginia, so much wider than the S. But you can see in this version here, it's not really possible for them to overlap in the same way. But what for the client did like about these characters was the kind of slim profile line of the G. The fact it doesn't have such a pronounced Serif and it felt a little more modern. So the solution, if we come along to the next artboard here, was to take the parts we like and create a custom, custom character, which is something I love to do. So I'm not gonna go into this in detail in this class. So if you circles over AVA ellipses, they don't have to be perfect circles. And I've placed them where I want to either add or subtract something from these underlying shapes. And the key thing we wanted to manipulate was the outside. We wanted a real smooth flowing circle rather than the dip. And then this split out to a serif here and the same of a bottom. And here's one I made earlier. So you can see I've taken part of the base font and we filled those in. Like so. So the end result is quite effective and it's something that's completely bespoke for my client. This is no longer a typeface that you can buy or license for yourself online. We've now created something that's completely unique to them. Then we've used the same process demonstrated before to stroke the outside and create the illusion of this overlap. And as before, we have the S on top with the illusion that the G is sitting underneath. So it was about the modern monogram. Well, this is a a Shi I created when I was working with a client on this one. And you can see some of my my annotation, my notes here. But these were, were minor details to change because we constructed this in a wave. It was geometrically sound. It meant we really didn't need to fine tune very much at all. It meant it was already well balanced. And other than some minor things to tweak, I'm really ready to go. And you can see across the art boards here, we did explore with a weight of the actual line used to see if perhaps a thinner profile for the character improved it. And you can try that quickly by simply stroking the outside. You can see as long as it's on a white background. If I add a white stroke, ensuring that it's aligned to the center. You can very quickly create something for your client to see. Bear in mind. It's going to change some of the spacing. But it's a really quick and easy trick for seeing if you want to reduce or increase the overall weight of a monogram. Here's the version that we felt was best balanced that we decided to go ahead with. And as always, it needs to be explored on a dark and a light background. So at this stage, if you're going to introduce color into your monogram, you could potentially explore that. And of course, on a real project, you would want to combine them monogram with any logo type, or tagline you're using. Sort of a client is able to look at something that represents the finished logo. But by the end of this stage, you should have a very good idea where this concept heading and you'll be ready for the next phase, which are the final adjustments. 8. Final Adjustments: So now that you are absolutely sure which elements are saying which iteration of the concept you're going to use. You can really spend some time perfecting the details. So something I want to stress about this stage is that depending on your client with a real-world project, this could be a case of packaging things up so that they're ready to go. Or it could require a few stages of minor tweaks and changes. Some clients are going to be really happy and confident with what you've presented them. And some might still be on the fence. And so you have to push them over the finish line. So you can see on the screen of a moment lots of different slight variations of this monogram that the client requested before we decided on this finished article. So really at this stage, this is when we want to look at things under the microscope. And what I mean by that is zooming in on illustrator as far as you possibly can and making sure there's nothing you've missed. Especially if you're using a tool like the shape builder. Or if you've customized the shape of these characters in some way, you know, you've really want to look out for anything, but it's not deliberate that you've put there. So we still wanted this kind of irregular. It's not geometrically perfect. The serif on this G, we wanted it to have a more handmade hand lettered feel, which is in contrast to the sharpness we have on the S. But it has to be deliberate. Everything that you decide to keep, all of that stays. And you've got to make a decision that it's there and it's doing what you wanted to. Now, a few quick tips that can help you to decide whether something's balanced correctly or not is to flip it. And sometimes our brains, all we can see when we look at this is VS and the G. They're very familiar characters to us. But if I group this right-click to Transform and Reflect, sometimes looking at it like this, you'll notice things about the geometry of this that you simply didn't notice before. So for me, my eye goes to the S, realized that this top portion has quite a different profile to the bottom half. Now that's okay. That's something we decided to keep. But it's an example of a kind of element you might notice when you flip this and you're no longer seeing it as a character, you seeing as a geometric shape, you can flip it the other way as well. So reflect it on its horizontal axis. And sometimes again, that might just help you to spot something in terms of balancing that you hadn't seen before. If I revert that back, you'll also want to shrink this right down and make sure it's well balanced even at a very small size. So you want to zoom out as well as in to make sure Fisa players on social media as a tiny little avatar is for design, still go into work better to make those kinds of adjustments now. And when you finalize with logo, and then of course you want to show the logo in full final color in the context of logo type and any other elements the logo going to have. So this was the finished article We finished logo for I created for Stanley Gibbons. If we go to our modern example now, we have the advantage that because we designed for monogram in a way it was geometrically perfect. And this literally could just be packaged up and ready to go. So you'll generally want to create to login lockups for your clients. One way you show it in the landscape orientation like this, on the light as well as a dark background. But then for certain situations, your client may want it in this format where it's upright and wet. A monogram appears above the accompanying logo type. So be sure to create both versions and provide both to your client. Because for different situations there may need to call one or the other. So really think about this, look at it in different orientations. Flip it, zoom in, zoom out. You want to ensure it's absolutely perfect. And if in doubt, try something else. Try another iteration where you've eliminated anything that's bothering you. Is there any way that you can make the monogram logo and more perfect? So ideally be suggestion should be coming from you. When it comes to those fine tuning tweets and balancing, it's not something you want your client to realize they had missed mumps down the line where perhaps they take a closer look at the logo. The onus is really on you to provide them with something that's professional and as perfect as it can be. So having done that, once you're happy, you're ready to present that final version to your client. Get them to sign it off. And it's ready for you to prepare final files to be used. 9. Conclusion: So congratulations, you've done it. You've created a strong professional monograph. And if you use the tips and techniques in this workflow, it's something you should be able to consistently do with confidence in the future. As with anything, the more you do it, the faster you'll become and the better you will become. By hope this course really helps you to shorten the learning curve so that you're able to get those results you're looking for without for painful learning periods. So I really hope you found this class helpful. And please, please remember to share your own examples. I want to see what you've created that in the class project. And if you're in the middle of creating it, and perhaps you hit a point where you're not sure what to do. Maybe you have two letters and you're not quite sure how they should interact with each other. Well, please share that and perhaps we can help you to get your results you're looking for of creative. Many other classes that are useful for brand identity designers. So please be sure to check those out and follow my profile when you get a chance to. Thanks again for joining me and following this class, and I hope to see you in the next one.