Learning to design logos from scratch is no easy task. But the more you practice the better you get.
The toughest part is just starting and finding the right resources to introduce yourself to the world of branding & identity design. Thankfully there are tons of courses online you can use to study the basics of logos and branding.
I’ve listed the best courses here with a consideration for beginners. Even if you’ve never done graphic design work before these courses should cover enough to get you comfortable working in the field.
Branding for Designers
For a complete look at branding you’ll want to check out Branding for Designers by Sean Adams. This course offers a complete look at branding over decades of history and many different corporations.
You’ll also learn how to create brands that “stick” and leave an imprint on visitors.
Wordmarks, icons, logos, mascots, and other topics are all covered in great detail. The majority of this course is theory-oriented so you’ll learn a lot of terminology and how to approach a new branding project.
But towards the end you’ll learn some basic techniques in color selection and typography that you can bring into any design software.
I recommend this most for beginners because it covers the subject in such detail. You don’t need to know anything about branding before starting this course so it’s an excellent resource for everyone regardless of background.
Learning Logo Design
Designer & artist Von Glitschka teaches dozens of courses on Lynda and he’s a respected instructor in the field. His course Learning Logo Design is also aimed at beginners who want to dive into the world of logos & identities.
Most of these lessons look at logo design from a client perspective considering how you can design projects with the clients in mind. This includes tips for mood boards and presentations to help sell clients on ideas, but also how to invoice and request critiques for work.
One crucial subject covered in detail is style guide creation. This is necessary for every brand no matter what size because it outlines how the branding should be used in all mediums. This relates closely to brand guidelines which are also covered in the style guide creation section.
Overall this course is a more practical approach to logo design, but it doesn’t teach you exactly how to create logos.
Instead this course helps designers get into the logo design world and land clients that will pay on time, appreciate the workload, and hopefully keep coming back for more.
Creating Brand Identity Assets
If you’re ready to dive into the nitty-gritty details of identity design then take a look at Creating Brand Identity Assets on Lynda.
Over 60 minutes of video lectures you’ll learn about asset delivery and how to create assets for different types of projects.
Most of the video lessons use Adobe Illustrator which is a staple in brand design. When you work with vectors you do have some limitations on layer effects, but you also have more room to scale designs and reuse them for anything from business cards to billboards.
It’s a pretty short course but the lessons are indispensable for budding designers.
Anyone who’s ready to take on clients should definitely work through the exercises in this video course.
Logo Design: Techniques
The two keys for designing a great logo are practice and repetition. If you keep practicing new logos you’ll eventually create some awesome ones no matter how many attempts it takes.
Logo Design: Techniques is a massive 5 hour course teaching a bunch of professional techniques for crafting exquisite logos. These are easy to replicate in your own work and even build upon over time.
Early lessons start by covering logo idea generation and sketching rough ideas from scratch. You’ll then move onto more technical layer effects like shines, bevels, textures, layering, and transparency.
All of these techniques work in Adobe design software with Illustrator and Photoshop being the two must-haves.
But this video course can take you from the very basics of sketching a logo all the way through a completed design and the final assets for delivery. It’s the perfect course for a newcomer who wants to pick up branding fast.
The Secrets to Designing Great Logos
There are no real secrets in logo design beyond creativity and matching concepts to logos/identities. But there are a ton of pro secrets and tools of the trade that can help improve your workflow while designing.
That’s why The Secrets to Designing Great Logos is such a valuable course. This 90-minute series lectures across dozens of logo styles and many different techniques you can apply in your work.
Many of these aren’t true “secrets”, but more like lessons you pick up along the way. Still it’s an amazing resource for beginners who don’t have as much experience creating logos from scratch.
You’ll learn how to simplify visuals, craft pixel-perfect typography, and how to use metaphors in logos that mesh nicely with a company’s objectives.
Design a Tech Logo That Stands Out
For a much more specific video course you might like Gary Simon’s Design a Tech Logo That Stands Out hosted by Pluralsight.
This also totals about 90 minutes but it focuses on a specific type of logo design: tech logos.
You can find various tech companies from startups to web hosts, hardware companies, software dev firms, and so much more. Technology is a huge sector and it’s definitely not slowing down anytime soon.
That means there’s plenty of demand for great logos, so these lessons are well worth following if you want to land some tech clients.
Plus many of these exercises can be used in other types of logos so this will really help expand your horizons for identity design.
Small Business Identity Redesign
Local small businesses are often popular clients for designers. Many times they’ll want a redesign for their website, their branding, or maybe both at the same time.
Designer John McWade shares his tips in Small Business Identity Redesign as a beginner’s guide to working with small businesses. These lessons offer direct tips for creating logos and match any company’s objectives, and how to keep your clients happy along the way.
No specific design software is needed for this course which makes it a great starting point for beginners.
There is always room in the small business market to earn more money so these lessons are well worth studying. If you want to break into logo/identity design then small businesses are a great place to start. And the video lessons in this course will set you on the right track for success.
Crafting a Visual Identity in Illustrator CC
As I mentioned earlier, Adobe Illustrator is the de-facto program for identity design. There are tons of free resources online but I usually recommend premium learning resources whenever possible.
If you need a high-quality intro to Illustrator then check out Crafting a Visual Identity in Illustrator CC on Pluralsight. The instructor Gary Simon is a well-known designer with years of experience in the field.
Over this 90-minute video course you’ll learn how to sketch rough ideas and turn them into digital gold. Every great logo identity starts with an idea, but it’s your job as a designer to find the best idea and convert that into a winner.
All of this needs to filter through the Illustrator GUI so if you don’t know your way around Illustrator it can be tough.
Thankfully this course is very detailed so it’s perfect for diving into the software with little-to-no prior experience.
Rebranding Workflows in Illustrator and Photoshop
Many people see “logo design” and they think it always involves a new company identity. But often times you’ll be tasked to redesign an existing identity.
This can be even tougher because they already have a logo and need something new that’s still easy to recognize. Rebranding Workflows in Illustrator and Photoshop touches upon this subject with a handful of great tips for beginners.
I also like this course because it’s one of the few that actually pushes you to do the work and learn along the way.
In this course you’ll learn how to design a menu logo. Along the way you’ll learn the typical redesign workflow and how to switch between AI/PS design work. An excellent course for anyone hoping to learn about the “bigger picture” of creative work.
Integrating a Character with a Logo in Illustrator
One of the best ways to create a memorable logo is with a beloved character. Think about all the cereal box mascots that dominate Saturday morning and help sell boxes of sugary goodness to youngsters.
But a mascot can go far beyond just sales. It’s also great for creating a memorable appearance and leaving a lasting impression on an audience.
With the course Integrating a Character with a Logo in Illustrator you’ll learn how to create and design relatable characters for any logo. This course is an excellent step for designers who want to connect identity work with classic illustration.
Please note this course does require some artistic experience in regards to sketching and designing the character. You can always follow the instructor’s example to learn, but you won’t really digest the information without drawing for yourself.
There are many art courses online you could follow to pick up some basics, but truth be told it’s better to start with a free resource like DrawABox.
Either way this course does require a slight artistic skillset and it’s really made for artists+designers.
If you want to break in as a logo/identity designer it helps to develop sketching abilities even if they’re rudimentary. These will go a long way to help you design cool ideas and utilize them properly in your work.
Logo Design Masterclass
If you like the quality of Udemy courses then you’ll really love this one. It’s very cheap and comes with over 6 hours of video lessons, not to mention tons of exercise sheets and related articles.
The Logo Design Masterclass teaches the basics of logo design through Adobe Illustrator. It uses the newest CC version and touches upon all the principles of basic logo work like sketching, metaphors, clean typography, great colors, and monograms/B&W transfers.
Many designers feel self-conscious diving into logo design because it’s not a straightforward career path. There’s a lot to learn and like I mentioned before, there is a crossover between digital logo design and artistic skills.
Luckily this video course touches more upon the digital work and the sketching is very simple. If you can at least sketch rough shapes then you’ll have no problem working through these lessons.
I recommend this for anyone just starting in logo design who wants to start landing client work. It’ll cover a lot of the fundamentals so you can pick up and get moving with projects.
Mastering the Wordmark
Some designers actually specialize in type & calligraphy because it’s such a detailed field of study. If you can master text then you can find consistent work doing logos, monograms, and wordmarks.
That’s the focus of this video course Mastering the Wordmark also from Udemy.
It spans about 2 hours covering all the fundamentals of a great wordmark. This course is perfect for calligraphers who want to move into more commercial work, but also for designers who understand the power of typography in a logo.
Note this course does expect some ability in type design before you even start. Granted you don’t need to be an expert, but you should be okay working with vector type and even drawing on a tablet.
The entire course uses Adobe Illustrator so it’s very much a vector-focused series. And that’s exactly what you’d expect with digital typography.
If you wanna radically improve your type design skills then this course is for you.
Creating Brand Names, Custom Logos & Designs
Last but certainly not least is this short 90-minute course Creating Brand Names, Custom Logos & Designs.
I wouldn’t call this a staple of logo design but it does offer a lot of valuable tips for newcomers. Especially for web/UI designers who don’t know much about logo creation.
Over this brief course you’ll learn about color psychology in logos, type design with serif/sans-serif fonts, and how to use icons to create imagery in logos.
A company’s identity is just as important as the product or service they offer. The two are intimately connected so it’s your job as a designer to create a logo that’ll stand perfectly with the company’s goals.
I only recommend this course as a starting point since it does not cover a lot in detail.
But anyone can learn logo design and this course proves it. Plus you can always start with this one to pick up the basics, then move onto a subscription for Lynda or Pluralsight to dive deeper into the higher-level courses.