Understanding simplification and perception in design are essential to becoming more fluent as a logo designer.  Learn how to maximize communication with minimal information.

Throughout the exercise 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 from concept and sketch to refining in Adobe Illustrator

  • Creating a negative space mark

STEP 1 | MINI MOODBOARD FOR SHAPE

  1. Choose an animal you love and research images of it. Browse the web, magazines, or books for images.

  2. Find images with a recognizable silhouette, and in many different positions.

  3. Start a moodboard (8.5x11”) in Photoshop or InDesign that allows you see the best images all at once.

  4. Organize your board in a way that makes sense, either by silhouette, style, shape, tone, etc.

STEP 2 | ANIMAL IMAGE SKETCHING

  1. Print your moodboard. You will need a hardcopy image to trace on tracing paper.

  2. Using semitransparent paper, make 5-10 outline sketches of the animal in your reference images. Get to know your subject! Try revising the object in a way that makes it simple and unique.

  3. Pick one sketch that illustrates your animal in a unique yet recognizable way.

  4. Re-trace the selected sketch. Each time you re-trace your image, try to refine and simplify your strokes.

  5. Visualize negative space in areas that could be overlapped. Simplify lines with negative space. Try to outline the shape with as few strokes as you can.

  6. Choose the best version and retrace it with a fresh sheet of tracing paper, using your black fine tip pen.

 

STEP 3 | ANIMAL PICTORIAL DIGITAL EXECUTION

  1. Digitize your sketch. Scan or take a photo of your sketch and import it into Illustrator.

  2. Using the pen tool in Illustrator, trace the designs you sketched. *Use only black and white.

  3. Choose 2-3 of your digital mock-ups to refine.

  4. Choose a runner and finalize your mark by adding colour that fits the style, energy, and spirit of your chosen animal.


STEP 4 | PRESENT

  1. Post a JPG of your animal pictorial logo 600x600px and your original moodboard to the online project board (black/white only).​

STUDENT EXAMPLES