Design a Logo in Modern Style | George Bokhua | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Introduction and Useful Reference Literature


    • 3.

      Moodboard Preparation


    • 4.

      Image Selection


    • 5.

      Pre-sketching and Sketching


    • 6.

      Minimizing Anchor Points


    • 7.

      Refining and Fine-Tuning


    • 8.

      Adding Color and Post-Project Advice


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Sketching for Letter Marks


    • 11.

      Execution and Refining of Letter "K"


    • 12.

      Project Intro


    • 13.

      Negative Space Boxer Sketching


    • 14.

      Execution of a Negative Space Boxer


    • 15.

      Words of Wisdom


    • 16.

      Explore Design on Skillshare


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About This Class

Learn how to create a simple, solid, and modern brand mark in this popular logo design class with designer George Bokhua! Each lesson makes it easy and fun to get inspired, learn techniques, and gain skills for designing your next logo.

Knowing how to design a great logo is a core skill in a graphic designer's toolkit. When you think of a business or brand, the first thing that comes to mind is nearly always the logo. It is the visual representation of that product, place, thing, or business. Its impact is huge.

And as for style? The power of simplicity should never be underestimated, as oftentimes simple shapes and colors communicate a stronger message than an over-done image. It creates an immediate impression in a viewer's mind.

Designer George Bokhua works primarily with monochromatic, simple shapes in logo and identity design. This Skillshare class explores that style, so that you can learn how to maximize communication with minimal information.

Throughout the lessons, he creates multiple logos. You'll learn about:

  • Applying a strong, simple, and minimal design aesthetic to logo design
  • Creating simple marks from complex characters, from inspiration and reference to sketching
  • Applying minimalism to typographic logos, from concept and sketch to refining in Adobe Illustrator
  • Creating a negative space mark

Understanding simplification and perception in design are essential to becoming more fluent as a logo designer. This class will give you all the tools you need to spot effective logo design and, most importantly, communicate effectively with your own logos.

Please note that this class is primarily a theoretical approach to logo design. It will challenge your design approach and push your skill in different types of logos. Basic familiarity with Adobe Illustrator is strongly recommended.


Sample Images from Video Lessons


Class Outline

  • Introduction and useful reference literature. George Bokhua will share some books that have helped inspire his work designing logos. These books explore symbols, product design, and 2D art principles.
  • Moodboard preparation. You’ll learn how to design a logo that depicts an animal, starting with a moodboard. George will show you how to pick reference images that depict typical silhouettes of the animal you’re looking to showcase in your logo.
  • Image selection. Now that you have a complete moodboard, you’ll learn how to pick a final reference image to work from. George will explain his selection process and show you why certain images aren’t ideal when it comes to logo design.
  • Pre-sketching and sketching. With your reference image printed out, you’ll use tracing paper to make your sketch. You’ll discover how to make fluid outlines that simplify complex forms and include geometric shapes in what will become the final sketch of your visual design.
  • Minimizing anchor points. After putting your final sketch into Adobe Illustrator, you’ll learn how to create anchor points in the program. George will teach you best practices to make sure your anchor points translate your original image as closely as possible.
  • Refining and fine-tuning. You’ll watch closely as George tweaks his logo to achieve smooth curves and get rid of extra lines.
  • Adding color and post-project advice. You’ll learn how to use a color to amp up your logo design. George will sum up the three most important takeaways from his lesson on how to make a watermark.
  • Gridding. If you thought George already spent a lot of time refining his logo’s curves, think again. In this section, you’ll see how intricate the gridding process can be when you’re trying to make curves that are optimally pleasing to the naked eye.
  • Sketching for letter marks. You’ll learn how the sketching process for letters differs from the process George uses to pin down an image, and you’ll get a second look at why it’s so important to create multiple sketches in this phase of your logo project.
  • Execution and refining the letter “K.” Letter marks should reflect the product they’re branding. You’ll learn how to turn simple lines into object representations in Illustrator and how to create the illusion of shading in a 2D object.
  • Project intro. George will introduce your final project for his class—creating a mark based on negative space.
  • Negative space boxer sketching. You’ll watch as George turns the outline of a boxer into a figurative, minimalistic drawing fit for a brand logo.
  • Execution of a negative space boxer. Again, you’ll practice minimizing anchor points in Illustrator while exaggerating certain parts of your original sketch to better communicate the idea of a boxer. You’ll get ideas for further embellishments to make your logo stand out and gain a sense of playfulness.
  • Words of wisdom. Overall, this lesson will add to a digital design arsenal that will help with larger projects, like learning how to design a website.


Looking for more inspiration? Head here to discover more classes on logo design.

Meet Your Teacher

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George Bokhua

Digital Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Level: All Levels

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1. Overview: I look at some marks from 50s and 60s and keep asking myself, "Why do they look so fresh? What gives them the strength and longevity? Is it the simplicity of the four? Or maybe, it's a clever use of geometry and composition? Or perhaps, it's a reflection of certain techniques and methods that old masters used?" In a Nutshell, what I'm trying to answer is, why do some marks of ability to overcome friends and keep being detractive for long periods of time. Please, join my class. So, we can answer some questions and get to the bottom of basic forms. 2. Introduction and Useful Reference Literature: Hello everyone. My name is George and welcome to my Skillshare course where I will try to teach you how to develop simple minimalistic marks. Through the course, we will try to cover several disciplines of logo design. But before we get started, I'd like to share with you a few books that I found very useful in my early days. The first one is Josef Muller-Brockmann's Grid Systems. The second one is Wucius Wong's The Principles of Two-Dimensional Design. The third one is The Book of Symbols by Taschen. 3. Moodboard Preparation: So, let's get started. As I said earlier, we're going to cover a few disciplines of logo design through our course, and the first one will be development of an animal mark. In this case, we will develop a jumping fox mark. A few days ago, a client approached me and asked me to do a jumping fox mark, and they specifically required for the fox to be fluid and it has to have a certain type of flow in the air and, overall, it should be fluid. This is a fairly easy task because jumping fox already has a very nice flow to it, but we have to find the very special reference image in order to highlight that flow and make it into a good logo. So, basically, I always do a moodboard before I get started and what's the better place than Google to find a nice images of the fox. Sometimes, I use other mediums like books and magazines, but the jumping fox is such a recognizable image. The Google is enough in this case. Now, I'm going to just scroll through some images and find the ones that are interesting. Basically, criterias I'm using here is pretty simple, the silhouette of the folks should be clear and recognizable. What I mean is the shape, just the shape, overall shape, if you just use the silhouette in one color, it should already look as a fox. This really increases the recognizability and scalability of a mark of a final outcome. So this one is a perfect example. The shape is clear, it has a very nice flow to it. The composition is very nice. So, this one is very good image for a moodboard. This one has an interesting jumping motion and it's a very good photo, but unfortunately, not a good one for a logo because there's a lot of things going on inside and the silhouette is naps, typical to the fox. It can be a wolf. It can be any other animal, so basically, this is not a good one. So, let's move on. But I'm just going to drag and drop it anyways and demonstrate what I mean later on when I'll make outline out of it. This one nice image, but still not too good shape. It's a brilliant photo just like an earlier one, a nice jump, very good concentration and nice, face is very nice, but it won't make a good logo because the silhouette is not strong. This one, no sorry. This one also has a very nice silhouette in a form, but it's an image used by another artist and I'm not going to touch it just because. This one has a very good frontal part, it looks very nice. It has amazing silhouette, the front part, but the back part is kind of weird. The flow of the tail is not good and overall image just doesn't feel right, but I'm going to just drag it still because the front part is amazing. Now here, fox make the leap here is very high and the flow is just odd. I mean, I know this fox tried his best to and its a beautiful jump, but I don't think it can make a good logo. Anyways, I'm just going to scroll through all this images and just grab, look at this one. This one is just freaking awesome. Awesome photo, but look at this tail, it's very nice, but it won't make a good mark. Anyways, I'm going to just scroll through a bunch of images and grab my favorites and get back to you with a complete moodboard. 4. Image Selection: So, this is our mood board and I didn't get too fancy, I didn't gather too much images because I already have the winner and I didn't go on gathering. With other projects, I gather tons of images, hundreds of them, perhaps even more, not only photos, maybe some architectures, some objects and object designs so on so forth. But in this case, it's fairly simple, straightforward jumping fox, and I think this is just enough to get me in the right mode. The great thing about mood boards are that they gets you in this ritual thing that you get into the kitchen, gets all your ingredients ready, so this is like getting your ingredients ready before you start cooking. Here, I'll go through a few images and I'll tell you why I like and which one i like the most. The first one, no good, bad silhouette, nice jump but it's not going to work. Same with this one, as I said earlier, same with this guy, it has this nice flow going but still it's not quite there. This one I like the front as I said earlier, but this is an image of Tom Murphy and I really don't want to piss Tom Murphy off so I'm just going to leave that image alone. This one is okay, so is this one. Those ones are nice too, but definitely the winner is this one. The sole reason of it being the silhouette is great, flow is great, composition is nice, and I'm pretty sure it can make wonderful logo out of it. Here, I have examples of a silhouettes, let's delete this one. Oops, sorry. Let's grab it and you see this one, no good. You can't do much about it. Even if I come up with some things inside that will make it resemble fox more, it's still will not look right from far away no matter how you look at it. It's going to look weird. But another one is fox already. If you do few tweaks inside, it will become a fox easily. This one is almost even looks like a jumping kangaroo. So, anyways, this is our winner image. Next step, I'm going to print this out and take it to a sketch board so I can teach you guys how to do sketching using a reference image and semi-transparent paper. 5. Pre-sketching and Sketching: So, we're back. This is our reference image, a printed out, and attached it to a sketch board. This is our semi-transparent paper, which is 80 percent transparent. As soon as you put it over the image, you can almost see the image in every detail. Another good thing about this reference image, is that it has enough contrast between the background and the foreground. So, this paper when you put it over the image, you can clearly see what's going on underneath, and it gives a much easier time to draw over it. So, we're starting our sketching process. I don't want you guys to hinder yourself by anything. You just have to let your ideas flow, just go with the shape, make outline, and try to do experiments with little things inside. Shape itself most of times prompts you what you going to do. Basically, any logo designer, is the person who simplifies the complex forms. Every form in itself is complex. But we're here to make it as simple as we can. Make it as geometric as we can. Basically, when we look at the form, we have to think geometry. No matter how complex the shape is, it can be simplified into its absolute base. This is the idea I always bear in mind that I have to get to the essence of the form, and make it as simple as possible without losing its identity. So now, after quite some time sketching, I think I finally got the image that I think is ready for a computer. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to take a photo of it, or scan it into an illustrator, and then we're going to take it from there. 6. Minimizing Anchor Points: So, we're back. This is our final sketch. I just imported it in Illustrator and I'm about to get started with execution. During the execution, one thing we have to bear in mind is that, as I said earlier, we have to keep our form as simple as possible. That means that we have to have as simple, as less anchor points we have, more smoother our shape is going to be in the end. So, try to make as much less anchor points as you can. So, let's get started. I'm going to just do a rough outline. Nothing too fancy. I'm going to fix those things later on. Here, if I put the anchor here, it's not going to work because I do not have enough leverage over the curves, so I'm going to put one right here, and I'm going to put one here, and I'm going to fix this one later. So, let's put one here, and here. Same with this one, I'm going to put one in the middle. So, here we go. So we have a basic shape now. What I'm going to do, I'm going to just to fine tuning of the shape real quick. I'm trying to keep those handles horizontal by pushing the Shift key and move those into the horizontal line. That way, I can manipulate the form easier, not in this case of course. This one, I have to move it up a little so I can get a better curve. And here I have to add. I'm going to push that out so it's broken handle. Sorry for using my own terms in the Illustrator. I'm not sure what are the right terms, but I'm just going to [inaudible] till we call them names, but you will get what I mean. So far, so good. Our shape is pretty close. I'm gonna fix this one also. The one here, let's smooth this out a bit. I think we're very close. Move this and get this. I like this. So, this is nice. I'm gonna save it. So, we have a jumping fox mark, just a shape so far. 7. Refining and Fine-Tuning: Okay. So, we're back to our fox. What I'm going to do next is, I'm going to just do this shade curve. I'm going to try to do it, so that it just goes with the flow of this curve. So, let me just do a rough one quickly. I'm going to stop it here, because I don't want to go too close to this one, because I will not have enough space to show a shade. So, I'm just going to do this. So, let's say we'll stop here. Cut this and do this. Then, I'm just going to bring this one over here. So, let's see. I can pull this curve a little bit. Let's see here. That's there, this is nice here. So, I'm just going to leave it like this, for now. It's a rough one. For an eye, I'm just going to grab few circles and just do a rough shape at this point, just roughly try to make it look like that one. Let's see. Here, I push this. So, we have our eye. Give it a stroke. Now, we're going to get rid of this extra guy. What I'm going to do here, what I usually do, I'm just going to copy this one, the shape, and put over this one and just make it, oops, sorry. Make a little scissor cut here on the intersection. So, I have this shape. I'm going to delete one on the background, so I have this shape. What I'm going to do, I'm just going to cut this here, cut this one here and delete this extra thingy and put this here. See how close it is. So, it's exact, and I'm just going to join those two, and bring it to there. So, basically, we have our shape. It's nice. Move it up there and just have a quick look. Yeah, it looks pretty smooth and nice. So, I'm going to save this file now and do some little bit more fine tuning later on. I don't like the flow here, it has this weird indentation. So, I think I'm going to try to fix this curve. But let's see if we can do it right now. I'm just going to grab it here and intuitively, which I hate doing sometimes, but I have to experiment a bit, to get that right curve. It's okay, but I'm going to put the grid on it later. When I put the grid, it always becomes more solid. So, I'm going to leave it like this, maybe do this a little bit. I think it's better now. Let's see. Move it down. It's a tough one. Well, not too bad, but now I get this weird freaking thing here. I'm going to keep it like this, and not to bother you guys with the fine-tuning, because it can take quite some time to get this curve right. So, it can take 15, 20 minutes. So, I'm not going to bug you with this. So, let's just call this enough. I'll do some fine-tuning myself and get back to you later. 8. Adding Color and Post-Project Advice: Okay. So, we're back. We're to the final part of this mark. This is where the magic happens. I'm just going to put some coloring, and finalize the mark. Let's see, I'm going to cut this out this from the eye socket, and add a nice foxy color here. I'm going to take the same color and multiply it. I think it's too red. I think I'm just going to use some shade of gray, let's see here. Okay. This is nice. So, let me see what we have. Okay. So, this is our jumping fox. Okay. I like it. This is it to their fox and I'm going to finalize it, put the grids on, but I'm not going to show you all the process because great, great painting can take very long time. So, basically this is it, this is our jumping fox. Thanks. Great job, you guys. I think we're done with our first projects. There's these three important things I would like to highlight. The first one is the initial reference image is extremely important for a final outcome. The second one is that you have to be able to do at least 30-40, 50 sketches. However much it takes in order to find out right solutions because sketching is the part when you get to know the subject when you do a study of a subject and that's the time to find your most interesting solutions. The third most important part is now you have to be able to spend hours on refining the mark, refining the curves and getting the final mark into a solid, nice geometrically sound state. Hope you guys liked my fox and let's rock and roll. 9. Gridding: - way right? 10. Sketching for Letter Marks: Hi, we're back. For this project, we're going to try to do something different. We're going to make a full tower disappear, just kidding. We're to make a lettermark out a letter k. A client approached me quite some time ago and asked me to develop a lettermark for their brand that is developing fences. So, this lettermark has to be associated somewhat with the fence. So, let's get our pencils sharpened and let's get started. The sketching process for this project is pretty much similar to the previous for except we're not using the reference image in the semi transparent paper, all we're going to use is just a paper and a pen and just start sketching and see where it's going to take us. 11. Execution and Refining of Letter "K": Okay, I just imported our final sketch of letter K, and I love this concept because in the most simple manner, it shows the fence idea in the center and letter K is also here. So, it's pretty much a winner plus the good thing about it is it is made out of two simple forms and they interact very well with each other those forms, so I think we've got a good one. Let me do a quick outline, I'm just going to do a really rough quick outline, not to bug you guys with all the refinements. So, let's see, okay, this is the one and then let me see how it looks connected. So, it's fairly nice, it will it takes some refinements in the end. But it's okay the way it is now. Let's say thick. Now, the thicker is nice now. Here as you can see the diagonal negative spacing is bit tight while the vertical one is a little bit thicker. I'm going to fix it during the fine tuning process, but here, this one is pretty much already cooked up. Let's see what I can do with it on the background so I can make some nice little shadings. Okay. So, lets get all this black, maybe this white, turn in in tool and expand it. So, let's see we don't have much extra enclosed here this is a bit weird, I'm going to fix it during the fine tuning, but mostly it's, it looks okay, let's see. So, we had a 45 degrees, so no brainer to do the shading. Here as I said, I'm going to rough one now, two, three, four okay. So we're going to first shade the type compared to the original sketch, so I'm going to move it down a little bit more, two, three, it's almost in a half way, lets see, it's okay. Let's do the same one here, just going to copy this, move this here. So let that go, forgot this one sorry, let's do this one also, okay. So it's okay I think this space, I don't like too much of this spacing, so I'm going to adjust it later on but for now this is our letter K, and I'll do some fine tuning with it, adjust the spacing, the negative spacing here. As you can see this one is thicker looking and this one it feels thicker it might same inside but it looks thicker so I'm going to fix that, let's see if it's almost the same but this one needs to be definitely needs to be a bit longer. But this is it for now, and I will get back to you with a refined mark shortly. Okay, so this is our final K, I did some refinements and what we have now is this part is a bit shorter than this part, but overall in the organization this is just almost perfect. The negative space of the very critical part is pretty same in weight as in the diagonal one. So, I think this one turned out very well, it's almost perfect, as you can tell I subtracted all the extra anchor points so we have a very nicely minimum anchor points on this thing. So, this is pretty much it, makes no sense to do grade on such things, I mean, simply because you don't need to it's 45 degrees for most part and it's pretty close to a perfect as it is and it goes nicely into the square and it's just overall feels right and looks right and the concept is right, so I love it. I hope you guys like it too. Thank you. 12. Project Intro: Welcome back everyone. Today we're going to start on our final project that is, negative space mark. We're going to develop a negative space mark of a boxer. So, please sharpen your pencils and let's get ready to rumble. 13. Negative Space Boxer Sketching: So, this is our chosen image, and we're ready to get started. As I've said in our first lesson, the silhouette should be recognizable and nice. So, silhouette here is very nice, very typical to a boxer. The background image and foreground image have enough contrast, so it's visible and I'll lay a paper over it. So let's get started, and see where it's going to take us. Before we get started, I'd like to say though, when we're doing negative space image, we have to have some object overlapping the object on the background. For example in this case, we have a hand over boxer that is over the body of the boxer, so I think, this hand will be a good object to be made into a negative space. So, let's get started and see where it's going to take us. 14. Execution of a Negative Space Boxer: So, this is our final image and we're ready to get started with execution, and let's bear a few things in mind that we have to keep it simple, so let's make it as less anchor points as possible. Let's go. Okay. So, after a few more hours of fine-tuning, I finally got to the place, where I'm happy with the mark and it came out pretty nicely. I added those elements here that are sort of highlighting the motion of the hands plus it looks like that old USSR outfit for a sportsman. So, it ties well with a boxer and with an overall shape. So, I'm pretty happy with the result. I hope you guys enjoyed it also, and thank you and talk to you shortly. 15. Words of Wisdom: Okay, I think we're done here, guys. I hoped you enjoyed the projects and please don't hesitate to leave a feedback. I'm really looking forward to see what you guys come up with and I'll try my best to reply to your inquiries or requests or whatever. So, just rock and roll and try your best and trust me some more on later you will achieve good results. Thanks. Peace. 16. Explore Design on Skillshare: way.