An Intro to Logo Design

Feb 18, 2015 2:55:00 AM / by Rachel Rodgers

In the embroidery business we tend to mix the industry of arts & crafts with that of a more modern art—one that got it’s start in early language, signs and symbols: graphic design. Logo design is the most obvious example: both embroiderers and designers have to understand what makes a logo effective in order for it to make an impact. In the marketing world, driven by profits and competition, this is the crucial point where design meets business, and artwork is judged by it’s commercial success. When designing a logo both commercial businesses and modern designers need to keep in mind the basic fundamentals of design. Loosely explained, this includes the study of space and perspective, form meets function, the use of white space versus tension, balance, depth, and use of color. Even if you feel as if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, most can notice this intuitively: for example, whether or not a logo is too scrunched up, has too much space, etc.



Here are a few key points to keep in mind during the beginning stages of designing a logo:

Brainstorm: Write down words that describe your business. Is it playful? Free-spirited? warm? bubbly? trendy? sophisticated? serious? academic? family-friendly? girly? adventurous?
Group words in different categories until you have 1 to 2 groups that work well together. Select the two most important words, one from each group. Maybe the business is both free-spirited and academic (UC Berkeley comes to mind) or warm and family-friendly (think Disney World or a classic 1950’s diner) Once you have these 1 to 2 central words, think of logo designs that fit this description. This is a constructive step in the branding process as well, to think of a business’ image or outlook before designing.

 Select a typeface ( a.k.a. the font set and it’s symbols) that fits your selected adjectives. 

Tip 1:  A big mistake that many businesses seem to make in this step is going overboard. Many businesses select a font that is too expressive and unfortunately it comes off as gimmicky. A classic example is the affordable hair salons or tanning bed places that want to be ‘girly but not high-end’ and so they select the curliest cursive script they can find. Most display fonts come off this way, like a cartoon.  Remember not to do this, as lettering that is too curly, expressive or cartoonish takes away from the readability and overall message.

Tip 2: Less is more. Be minimalistic.

Tip 3: Think of your logo (and each letter and word in the font) as a drawing. If there’s something that seems off, change it! When selecting a font, keep in mind the basic guidelines of art: balance. is this font too curly, too condensed, is it too squished or loud in places? is there enough white space? Overall, is it balanced?

Tip 4: Use 1 to 2 fonts maximum. You do not want your fonts to distract from the message. To learn more about this, click on the links below to learn about the two groups of fonts: serifs and san serifs.

Tip 5: Keep practical concerns in mind. Is it readable? Coloration: will light pink be seen on a white or yellow background? Are the colors complementary or are they clashing? Will your logo be visible when it is scaled down to a very small size (is it too thin in places?)

Tip 6: Do NoT Do ThIs WiTh YoUr FoNt.

Do not misspell words unless you have a specific reason, this almost never works except for the occasional ‘n’, or very sparingly if the brand is exclusively for kids. Almost all the time, these choices are distracting, and similar to a 13-year old writing a note to her middle school crush with the spelling “kewl.”

STEP 3.  Revise and tweak. Get multiple opinions. Think of recognizability. Think of balance and elegance. Take a step back every once and a while like a painter, and say to yourself “Does this work? Would the person who’s looking at this logo think of my business even if they didn’t know how to read?” This is when you know your design is effective.

Classic typefaces  are excellent choice to use over and over again, and then there are certain ones to avoid: here are some materials written by designers: (typographers and hand-letterers are graphic designers who are experts in the field of type)

The 10 Commandments of Typography (follow this chart and you’ll be ahead of the game)

Serifs vs. san-serifs

The fonts behind famous worded logos

If you want to learn about the basics of typography, (quickly) read this: 

A Crash Course in Typography: The Basics of Type

245+ Best Free Font Downloads – Design Razzi 

12 Essential rules to follow when designing a logo

The 5 Cardinal rules of Logo Design
For your inspiration: 

200+ Text Based Typographic Logos For Your Inspiration


About us:

Classic Touch Embroidery is a custom embroidery and screen-printing service providing company apparel and promotional products for all of your business needs. Founded in 1994, owner Debbie Duffield has been involved in the sewing industry for over 32 years.  CTE believes in educating the client. Debbie has a zeal for matching the right product to her client’s needs. Classic Touch Embroidery has over 2 million products a few clicks away and will find the essential product for you: visit or call 856-381-5144.

Topics: Embroidery, Business and Marketing

Written by Rachel Rodgers

See more of my freelance work at


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