Logo Design Theory: The Ultimate Guide | Ketan Sai Pothuganti | 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.

      Course Trailer


    • 2.

      What is Logo Design?


    • 3.

      History of Logo Design


    • 4.

      Types of Logos


    • 5.

      Does a Brand Need a Logo?


    • 6.

      Logo Design Process


    • 7.

      Color Psychology


    • 8.

      Type Psychology


    • 9.

      Shape Psychology


    • 10.

      Tips for Good Logos


    • 11.

      Logo Design Styles


    • 12.

      Class Project


    • 13.

      Final Checklist


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About This Class

This course called 'Logo Design Theory: The Ultimate Guide' teaches you everything you need to know about logo design. Through various theories and tips on designing logos, the course enables you as a beginner to be able to design amazing logos.

The course includes the following lessons:

  1. What is Logo Design?
  2. History of Logo Design
  3. Types of Logo Design
  4. Does a Brand need a Logo?
  5. Color Psychology in Logo Design
  6. Type Psychology in Logo Design
  7. Shape Psychology in Logo Design
  8. Tips for Designing Good Logos
  9. Logo Design Styles

You could be an absolute beginner to learn from this course, without any prerequisite knowledge about logo design. But, in order to implement the learnings from this course into designing an amazing logo, a prior knowledge of vector-based software like Adobe Illustrator is recommended. The same is applicable to successfully complete the class project as well.

Hope you enjoy the class...Happy Learning!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Ketan Sai Pothuganti

Brand Consultant, Founder of Brandzpree


I'm Ketan Sai, a Brand Consultant and the Founder of Brandzpree. I love writing blogs and creating videos on topics like Branding, Logo Design, Brand Identity, Brand Strategy, and Graphic Design.

Apart from these classes on Skillshare, I share my knowledge through Brandzpree absolutely for FREE!

I created Brandzpree to support and educate fellow branding lovers, and at the same time, help start-ups and small businesses turn into huge brands that people love and relate to.

I'm a huge fan of 'Minimalism' - the idea of "Less is More". And, this is one major principle that I try to incorporate in my designs, blogs, videos as well as in the way I live my life. Another cool principle I love to use in my design is Geometry!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Course Trailer: Welcome to the course logo design theory, The Ultimate Guide for beginners. Let's have a look at what's included as part of this course. So the first topic is what as logo design. Where we talked about what logo design actually is and about the logo design industry as a whole. Then we'll look at the history of logo designs, basically the origins of logo design. Then we'll have a look at the different types of logos that represent in the industry and will answer the question, does a brand new logo? Will look at a brief introduction on the whole logo design process. Then we'll move on to psychology of colored in logo design and how color choices are made in the logo design industry. Similarly, we'll look at the type psychology, the shape psychology, and we'll have a look at the tips for designing good logos. Finally, we'll have a look at the logo design styles that are quite prominent in the industry. Let's move on to the first topic. What is logo design? 2. What is Logo Design?: So let's have a look at what is Logo Design. Logo Design is a unique design or a distinctive symbol that acts as an identification for a brand object, publication, person, service, or idea. In the words of Sagi Haviv, who's a very famous designer and a partner at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, which is a design agency which is responsible for designing logos of famous brands like the Chase Manhattan Bank and National Geographic, US Open, etc. So in his words, a logo is not communication, it's identification! A logo is a period at the end of a sentence and not the sentence itself. And similar to that in the words of Paul Rand, who was considered to be the Legend of Graphic Design. He says - "A logo doesn't sell directly. It identifies." All in all, a logo is much more like an identity for a brand rather than a communication material. It doesn't really need to literally convey the meaning of the brand or the meaning behind the brand. But it just needs to act as a vessel of identification for the brand. Coming to the logo design industry, Logo design is essentially a subset of brand identity design, which is associated with the graphic design industry. A logo design can range from around $15 to about $15,000, quite a range! And depending on the cost of the logo, one can assume the quality of the logo and the experience of the designer. Professional brand designers and marketing agencies quote anywhere from about $2500 and up to $15,000 for a branding package. What is even more mind-blowing is the budget of corporate logo designs. We have all read about logo designs that can cost more than a million dollars. Logos for large corporations and governments can range from about a $100,000 to about $1 billion. Let's have a look at different corporate logos that have been famous for their price. Like the Pepsi logo, which had cost about $1 million, and the Citibank logo, which was designed by Paula Scher of Pentagram with a cost of $1.5 million and the BBC logo with $1.8 million. The Accenture logo was at $100 million and the British Petroleum logo was that of $210 million. And the Symantic logo, probably the cheapest of all, was about $1.28 billion. Now that you are very motivated to enter into the logo design industry, let's have a look at the history of Logo Design. 3. History of Logo Design: The history of Logo Design. Symbols and Marks have been used as a medium of identification even way before the development of languages. The early versions of now logos can be dated far back to the origins of human civilizations. The very first proof of the existence of symbols and marks were the Egyptian hieroglyphs, which were a mode of communication between the people living in that period, which was about fourth millennium BC. Which eventually led to the emergence of Heraldry and Family Crests, which were essentially the logo designs representing royal families, in the period of 900 - 1300 AD. These were mostly employed on armory, weapons and flags representing royal families, especially during wars between those families. And this eventually led to the emergence of Storefront Signages in about 1400s. And which further lead to the Modern logos that we know now, in the period of 1800s (19th Century), the beginning of the 19th Century, essentially. So after getting to know the origins of the logo design, Let's have a look at the different types of logos that are present in the industry. 4. Types of Logos: Let's have a look at the different types of logos that are presented in the logo design industry. The first category is Monograms on Lettermarks, which are the logos that primarily focus on the initials of the brand's name. Like HBO, NASA, HP, and IBM. The second category is Wordmarks or Logotypes, which are the logos that focus on the brand's name as a whole. Like Coca-Cola, Visa, FedEx, and Google. Then comes the category of Pictorial logos, which are the logos that have pictures or images that may or may not directly convey the literal meaning, but represent the brand's value. For example, the Apple logo here. It doesn't really represent the apple as a fruit, but it represents Apple as the company that makes, the technology company that makes iPhones and iPads and Mac books. Similarly, Target and Twitter could be examples of pictorial logos. Then comes the concept, the category of Abstract logos, which are essentially the logos that do not directly convey the literal meaning of the brand, but indirectly convey the mood and feel associated with the brand through their shape. Like Nike, Pepsi, Adidas. Now comes the 5th category, which is Mascot logos, which are the illustrative style of logos that have the brands mascots in them. Like KFC, Pringles or Wendy's. The illustrations in here are quite detailed. Then comes the category of Combination Marks, which are the logos that have both text and graphics as part of the overall logo, like Doritos, Burger King, Lacoste. And then comes the final category, the category of Emblem Logos. These logos that are similar to Combination marks, but here the text and graphics are placed inside a symbol or a contained shaped like Starbucks, Harley Davidson, and Warner Bros. So now that we had a look at the different types of logos that are present in the industry. Let's answer the question. Does a brand really need a logo? 5. Does a Brand Need a Logo?: Does a brand need a logo? There must be very few people in this world who are unaware of the iconic logos of Apple and Google and the golden arches of McDonald's. All of the successful brands out there have had a number of logos representing them over the years. So does a brand really need a logo? A logo is certainly not the most important elements of a brand, but it's definitely one of them. The logo is the very first thing people would notice about your brand. Some of the reasons as to why a brand needs a logo are: The logo is a way of providing clear identification for the brand. It helps differentiate the brand from its competitors. The logo enables the audience to form a personal relationship with the brand. And it helps create merchandising opportunities, like in case of Marvel or DC. And the logo helps communicate the brand message, what the brand is known for and what their values are. And ultimately the logo helps create credibility for the brand. So now, after understanding why a brand needs a logo, Let's look at a brief introduction about the logo design process. 6. Logo Design Process: Now let's have a look at what the general logo design process looks like. The process begins with the client brief, which then moves on to the very first stage called the research phase. Here the very first step is to study about the industry of the client's business and their competitors and create user personas or study and analyze that data collection. All the data that is collected in order to study their customer base, the customer base and reach a certain starting point for our logo design. Then comes the Brainstorming phase. This stage involves brainstorming and mind-mapping every possible idea based on the company's attributes, industry, and the overall theme of the company, the messaging, the values of the company. And here's where you would also explore & list out a few names for the brand, after listing out a few keywords based on the companies or the brand's attributes. Then comes the sketching phase. After brainstorming, the next step is to sketch out all the possible explorations of the logo for the company before moving on to designing, which is the fourth stage, the design phase. This is what brings the best sketches to life. This involves the use of vector-based design softwares like Adobe Illustrator. After this stage, we move on to the final delivery stage where you as a designer would deliver all the relevant logo designs or the logo designs and relevant files and formats for the client We'll have a much deeper look into the process and a different course. But now let's move on to the next topic, which is psychology of color in logo design. 7. Color Psychology: Let's have a look at the next topic, which is psychology of color and logo design. According to color psychology, each and every color has a certain feeling associated with it. And knowing what each color represents, which certainly help you design the best logo for the brand. For example, the red color is associated with the feelings of excitement, energy, passion, romance, and appetite. Similarly, the pink color is a feminine color, which is often known for playfulness, beauty, calmness, and compassion. Then comes the Purple color, which is known to be the mysterious color of all, because it represents mystery and it gives a sense of power, compassion, ambition, and luxury. Then comes the blue logo, which often is associated with trust, dependability, security, stability, and confidence. Which is why most of the bank logos or most of the security firms have the logos in some shade of blue. Then comes aqua, which conveys a meaning or a sense of peace, calmness, spirituality. And it can also be linked with technology. The green color represent freshness. It represents nature, and also symbolizes growth and health. Then comes the yellow color, which is a cheerful and joyful color, which represents a sense of creativity, happiness, positivity and enthusiasm. Then comes the orange color, which is a friendly color, which also represents creativity just like yellow. And in addition to creativity, represents confidence and gives a sense of youthfulness and independence. The brown color, which is known, which is famously known for chocolate brands, it represents or gives an idea about chocolate, and it also represents nature, land, structure, security and protection as well. Then comes the gray color, which is a quite, quite a neutral color. But in a sense it represents security, formalities, stability and maturity. Then the black color, which is my favorite color, represents stylishisness, elegance. And it also is a mysterious color, not as mysterious as purple, but it also represents Intelligence, strength, and discipline as well. Now the white color is a very pure and clean color, which represents simplicity, innocence, mysterious in a sense, but it's quite modern as well. So now that we've had a look at different colors and what feelings they convey to the audience. Let's have a look at psychology of type in logo design. 8. Type Psychology: Now let's have a look at the psychology of type in logo design. Similar to color psychology. Different typefaces or fonts also have different attributes associated with them. Knowing these plays a major role in designing wordmark logos. The first one as a serif font, which gives a sense of respect, reliability, comfort, and luxury. Which is why most of the fashion brands have Serif fonts in there. Then comes the slab serif font, which represents confidence, conveys a sense of importance. Boldness and Strength like Volvo, Honda, and Sony. Then comes the san serif font, which is quite a modern font and neutral point, which is straightforward, honest, and sensible in a way. And it does what is used in most of the minimal more than logos of the famous brands that are existing today, Like FedEx, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, or most of the other brands that you know. Script font, which gives a sense of creativity, elegance, friendly nature, and feminine nature of the brand, Like Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Kellogg's, and Pinterest. Then comes the decorative font, which is a font that is quite unconventional. So in a way, represents the uniqueness of the brand. And it makes the brand feel expressive and creative to the audience. So similar to all those main categories, different weights, inclination angles, and spacings might also affect the psychology. Like heavy bold fonts represent dominance and significance, like in the example of Nutella and HBO. Then condensed fonts. represent forward-thinking and authority in the industry. Just like Youtube, Adobe. The Italic fonts with the inclination, angles and all represents motion and action. Like the logos for Need for speed. And Nike. And the rounded forms are quite fun and exciting, like in the case of Reddit, and Twitter. Now that we had a look at the different forms and what they mean or what they represent. Let's have a look at the shape psychology in logo design. 9. Shape Psychology: The shapes psychology talks about the different feelings that various shapes represent. And this will particularly help in designing abstract logos Circular shape represents a sense of community, friendship, perfection, and love. Like in the case of Starbucks or HP. The oval shape or the ellipse shape represents sturdiness, endurance, stability, and love like KitKat, Durex, and Cadbury. The square shape represents power, strength, trust, and stability. The same attributes can also be related to any other straight edge polygon shapes like a rectangle or any other shape similar to that. The triangle shape. It's quite a modern shape and represents professionalism, efficiency, and stability. Like Mitsubishi, Delta, Toblerone. The straight lines can be categorized into vertical, horizontal and slant lines, or diagonal lines. The vertical lines, like in case of Soundcloud, represents strength and masculinity of the brand. And horizontal lines give a sense of community and tranquility. Like in case of IBM. And angled lines, or slant lines, They represents energy and dynamism, like in case of Adidas. So, now that we had a look at the shape psychology, Let's look at some tips for designing the best logos. 10. Tips for Good Logos: Now that we've had a look at all the different theories associated with logo design. Let's look at the tips for designing the best lowers. The first step is Appropriateness. Design such that the logo depicts the values and personality of the brand. The logo design should convey a certain feeling that is very relevant to the brand. Like in case of Nike, the angled typography of the word Nike, and the swoosh mark. They both represent feelings that are associated with the brand, like energetic, speed, action, movement, and adventure. The next step is Memorability. Choose the shape and composition such that the logo is so memorable that it can be easily recreated. This ensures that the audience can easily be reminded of the brand. So in case of your logo design, ask the people around you to look at your logo design and asked them to recreate it without looking at it. The resemblance between your final design and their recreation will ensure that the logo that is designed as memorable or not. And that's the very reason why most of the successful brands have logos that are quite simple, which could be easily recreated. The next step is black and white. Since color production is not always present, treat color just as an enhancement. Make sure that the logo works perfectly well and plain black, white, and grace. Now, if you look at the examples of all the famous logos, they do work well even in grayscale. The next step is Simplicity. The logo needs to be very simple and minimal, such that it is easy to remember and recognize. Minimalism promotes the idea of less is more. So the idea is to have very less elements which are adequate enough to represent the idea that you want to. In the words of Hans Hoffman, the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. Essentially clearing out all the clutter that is not very relevant to what you want the logo to convey. The next and final tip is Responsiveness. The logo is a company's most recognizable asset, So it gets used on a variety of obligations. So ensure that the logo adapts consistently across all these applications, Like in the example shown below. This is the logo for a company that I designed. The company is called Pet Set Go, which is all about pet services, pet food and the products, everything and every product related to the pet industry. So in a way, I had to ensure that the logo could be applied on all the possible applications of that brand. Now that we've had a look at all the tips for designing the best logos, Let's look at the different styles that are quite prominent in the industry. 11. Logo Design Styles: Now let's look at the different logo design styles that are quite prominent in the industry. The first one is the Retro and Vintage labels. That retro logos are a very old style, which is now reemerging into use as a decorative trend. These are often associated with desaturated colors, badges and those emblem shapes, and sometimes, detailed illustrations as well. The next one is 3D logos. Three-dimensional logos where a past trend. And as you can see here, most of these are the old logos of famous brands. These are made to look 3D through use of gradients to generate a glossy kind of look. These are now considered to be a very old school style of designing, which is not very relevant to today's modern logos. Let's move on to the next category, which is the flat 2D logos. The flat 2D logos are very minimal, clean, and timeless. And as you would notice, most of these are the current logos of famous brands. These are devoid of any gradients, are decorative embellishments. The next category is Modern gradient logos. These modern gradient logos can be considered as the latest industry trends. These are very attractive and the colors can be easily associated with the present-day digital era , kind-of, vibe. The next category is Negative Space logos. These are my most favorite logos. These logos are very clever and brilliantly crafted. They have dual meanings cleverly implemented in the logos. And that too, through the use of negative space between the shapes. Which in a sense, if you consider the shape that is visible clearly to you, is the positive space, then the space that's created in between the gaps of what is visible to you is called the negative space. Then comes the Dynamic Logo systems. The logo systems are particularly very interesting if you're into branding and brand identity design. These systems often have one main logo for the parent company or the parent brand, and multiple logos derived from that main logo that represents the company's sub-brands or products or subdivisions. And this is a very interesting category to explore. 12. Class Project: As you have reached the end of the course, let me give you a design brief to work with. So according to the brief, you have to design a logo for Blush Skincare, which is a cosmetics brand that specializes in products like moisturizers and anti-tan lotions, creams, and oils. All of the products are made using only natural ingredients, and the brand prohibits the use of chemicals. So this is sort of the mini brief that you could work with. And please try to use all the theories that you've learned through this course and try to make a logo for Blush Skincare. 13. Final Checklist: Now let's have a look at the final checklist. Share your final designs with everyone. Submit the class project along with a short note about what design choices you have made and the reasons behind those choices. Check out the project resources for some exciting stuff that I've shared. Feel free to ask me any questions related to the logo design, branding, or this particular course. I'll make sure to respond as soon as I can. Please follow my profile to stay updated about my new course releases, and the resources that I've shared and we'll be sharing. Have fun exploring different courses here and consistently improving your skills. Happy learning!!!