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5 Step Logo Creation

Hey! I am loving this project and want to share some visuals as I walk through my logo creation process. Logos can feel like a huge task at hand and there is a lot of pressure. The logo is the king of the brand and typically the first step. Not to mention there are endless directions you can take, so let me show you how I start my logo project. Hope this is helpful!

Step 1: Mood Boards
Please start here. So many designers want to skip pulling inspiration. I totally understand, you're excited to get started. I've been there. But this is such a perfect first step in expanding your ideas. I start wide and just pull any and everything, ending up with a million screenshots and a messy desktop. As I pull them all into my illustrator, I sort what feels like it belongs together. You won't even realize that you have already been thinking of a few directions. After having these buckets, I narrow them down to three and go back through the images to make sure that each mood board has a touch of different design elements. I like to include some typographic exploration, photography, colors, logo examples, illustrations, patterns, etc. Be picky. You need to look through this as if it's the first time you can see it and ask yourself: does this feel cohesive? Look belong at the winning mood board I created for this Latin logo series.

Step 2: Get Your Client on Board
After creating 3+ beautiful boards of inspiration, it's time to bring in the client. You, of course, are going to have your favorite but ultimately you are here to create their vision. Be open and hear them out. It's sometimes hard for clients to describe what they are looking for. That's why these boards are so handy. Pro tip: never present something you don't want to do. You need to love and envision all three mood boards before presenting because you don't want to go backward after they choose a direction.

Step 3: Sketching
This is another famous step to skip. And I am guilty of this. For many years, I skipped the sketching process because I am not the best at drawing. I thought it was a waste of time if I can't always draw out what I'm thinking the same as using the computer. But I have learned from the error of my ways and am now a huge advocate for sketching. Get cozy and just play around and take your time. Do this the day before you plan to bring your sketches to the computer. Don't erase it even if it looks stupid. Sketching is a quick way to eliminate what's not working and have a starting point for what is working. Below is a tiny bit of the many many sketches I made for this project (note it was before a name change).

Step 4: Computer Creations!
Here's where it gets fun. Bring your favs to the computer and let them come to life. I always recommend doing at least double the number you want to present. Pro tip: Start these in black and white. You need to make sure the composition works first and then bring in color to communicate hierarchy. I typically present 3 logos so I would take the time to create 6-8 options. And on top of that, do studies of each in between. Here are 7 logos that I created and could see coming to life for this brand.

Step 5: Narrow Down & Present
This is probably the hardest part. You do not want to show this many options to a client. When given too many choices, it's too difficult to make a decision. I recommend narrowing it down to three logos. You want to choose logos that have different strengths and could offer different directions for the rest of the branding. Don't just choose the three prettiest, but the top three with the most potential to create a cool, unique brand. This is a good time to check back on your mood board as well and make sure you are matching the feedback your client gave. Below are my top three. I like to show them with a few color and orientation variations as well as mocked-up-on examples that make sense to the brand.

Thanks for following along. If you have any questions about creating a logo or feedback for me I am happy to collaborate! Just shoot me an email at or dm me on Instagram @natmariedesign.


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