Design is a discipline that requires skills like no other profession. Put another way, it will take more than a creative mind to thrive in an increasingly competitive field. You will need close mentorship from experienced designers, practical experience and a solid grasp of technical concepts, the ability to analyze creative work, and a firm understanding of how to convey a message with an image.
Building such a skillset is no small feat. To get there, you must choose a training ground that respects the design profession and is eager to instill the love for design in its students. Masters Design Lab is such a place.
Masters Design Lab is an online design school that offers accelerated but immersive programs in Graphic Design and UX & Digital Product Design. Since its launch, many of its students across the globe have started their careers as in-demand designers, landing jobs in renowned companies.
Masters Design Lab is a fully accredited online design school, offering courses that teach everything you need to know to launch a career as a graphic designer.Launch your career with Masters Design Lab.
Why Learn Design at Masters Design Lab?
There are three reasons to learn design at Masters Design Lab. The school credits its effective teaching formula to the following aspects:
- A holistic curriculum for aspiring designers crafted by seasoned design professionals;
- A carefully selected team of distinguished faculty of designers; and
- A fully remote yet all-around supportive learning environment
Program Manager Darcie Couch explains, “[We have on our team] high-profile designers who have worked for some of the biggest brands in the world, including the Tate Museum, John Lewis, Converse, MTV, Vodafone, and Red Bull.”
Among them is Dan Perri who made a name for himself for designing iconic film graphics and titles like Star Wars, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and Wall Street. His addition to the team is a testament to how Masters Design Lab is committed to providing high-quality education provided by a team of the most brilliant minds in the industry.
As Darcie says, “We take the craft of design very seriously and transfer our love for design to the students.” So, expect a rigorous experience where your mastery of the material is constantly put to the test throughout the program.
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Masters Design Lab also prioritizes accessibility. All its design courses are self-paced and held online, welcoming students from all walks of life. You get a good mix of on-demand course materials that you can tackle when you’re free, weekly live sessions to help reinforce what you have learned, and assignments to test your understanding.
While your design teachers are your evaluators, you can count on them to motivate and inspire you on your journey.
Let’s take a closer look at how Masters Design Lab implements its teaching method in its Graphic Design Studio A course. The course focuses on creating a powerful brand logo, which is an essential asset in every brand kit.
How to Create a Logo: A Guide from Masters Design Lab
A logo is more than just a sign outside a shop. It integrates a brand’s ethos—what it stands for, its personality, mission, and goals. Because of this, it takes serious craftsmanship to put together an impactful logo.
A logo needs to be consistent with a company’s brand image, message, and feel. It should be versatile and timeless, adapting to different formats and the ever-evolving technologies and customer behavior. Finally, a powerful logo is identifiable and memorable, where a glance almost instantaneously evokes a connection to the brand’s audience.
Not sure how to achieve this? Masters Design Lab’s branding and identity programs cover all of the above and more.
Step 1: Know the Brand and its Market
A data-driven design combined with a strong understanding of the brand has a higher chance of achieving design goals.
Start by researching the brand’s audience, mission, and products. Dig deeper into what the brand envisions for its business as it grows, how the new logo will be used, and review previous logo iterations. Don’t forget to study the industry and its competitors, too. Doing so helps produce a design unique to your client’s brand.
If you want to learn more about this process, Masters Design Lab tackles marketing and strategy in its Advanced Graphic Design program. Here, you learn the fundamentals of marketing, how design and marketing intertwine, and how design can impact customers and a brand’s image.
Step 2: Start Brainstorming
Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to put your creative brain to work.
The ideation phase is where you conceptualize and map out design concepts. It is crucial to resist shooting down concepts—good and bad. As you review your mind map, you can find value in every idea that can be integrated into your final design.
If you hit a roadblock, seeking design inspiration from design sites can keep your creative juice flowing. Put together a mood board or a collection of creative assets like images, colors, fonts, and other visuals that you think match the design that you want. As you progress, you can start qualifying your ideas with the design brief in mind and select the best ideas to sketch.
MDL Senior Faculty member Kathryn Samson adds, “Spend as much time as you can on the concept stage of a project as it is by far the most crucial. Make sure you understand the brief and ask any questions about points that aren’t clear…Keep working on them until you have three or four strong routes and keep going back to the drawing board if you don’t have them.”
Masters Design Lab ingrains creative thinking and rich design knowledge in its students, which they can leverage when conceptualizing. The online design school begins by exploring the history and principles of design and how they have influenced visual communications as we know them. After this, students can learn how to brainstorm efficiently by applying tried-and-tested techniques to help them think outside the box.
Step 3: Visualize Your Ideas
There is no single rule on how to sketch a logo idea. Ultimately, it depends on your preferred approach and your chosen medium, so long as you are comfortable. At this stage, your goal is to discover possibilities, visualizing your ideas until they take shape. You’ll also need to experiment with different types of logos and design styles to find the best fit.
While it is easy to obsess over making your sketches perfect, focus on the big picture, and don’t be afraid to explore your design as you go. Assess if your sketches are technically correct and contain vital brand design attributes.
As a design beginner, having proper guidance can get you far at this stage. Kathryn shares, “…[M]aking the right choices, including which ideas to take forward, can be difficult. So, try to find a mentor who can often be like a senior colleague. It’s important to learn how to express your ideas and make good arguments about your decisions and choices to your clients and colleagues.”
Step 4: Refine Your Best Sketches
Once satisfied, pick out your top sketches and present them to your client. Showing an unfinished design can be daunting for any designer. But, involving your clients in your design process can help align your vision to their goals.
Don’t be afraid to ask their opinion on what they like and dislike or how the sketches make them feel. Are there any elements that do not resonate with the brand? Aside from your clients, you can also seek the opinion of other experienced designers. It can be brutal to hear negative feedback, but a fresh pair of eyes can help you refine your logos.
Go back to the drawing board with their feedback in mind, review your competitor’s logos, and feel free to add or remove any elements to improve your design.
Among the graphic design courses you can take at Masters Design Lab to help you refine your design is Design Critique. The course trains you on the art of giving and receiving feedback—a vital practice to facilitate the creation of better designs.
Step 5: Add Colors to Your Logo
Colors do more than make a design look pretty. Done strategically, having the right color palette can effectively appeal to the emotions of anyone who sees it.
For example, banks, hospitals, and even social media platforms—organizations requiring their clients to provide sensitive information—use the color blue as it signifies confidence and trust. You may have also seen popular restaurants and other food and beverage (F&B) companies add red and orange colors to their logo, evoking excitement and increasing food cravings.
You should also consider the message that the brand wants to communicate, where the logo will appear, and its competitors. Does it adhere to the color theory? Try to find a palette that differentiates your logo from other brands and is flexible to work with should the logo be produced on varying backgrounds or formats.
Masters Design Lab offers a course in color theory, which can enhance your knowledge and skills in the color selection process. You will be able to create different color schemes that go well with your design in no time.
Step 6: Construct Your Logo Digitally
Armed with a refined sketch and a color palette, you can now make your design come to life. Here, you’ll need to leverage design editing tools. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are two of the most popular design software among creatives.
As you construct your logo, make sure to create varying layouts placed on different branding and marketing materials. It could be on social media branded content, signages, business cards, or packaging. This highlights the flexibility of your logo design and helps clients in their visualization process of what more it can achieve.
Masters Design Lab’s Graphic Design Program tackles several design programs to equip yourself with. In its Introduction to Graphic Design, the course features Adobe Illustrator and other fundamental design tools that you can use to create vectors, typography, and other digital assets.
Step 7: Present Your Logo Design
The approval of your logo design ultimately relies on how well you present it to your client, and presenting to clients who are non-designers can make this final step extra challenging. This is where the power of storytelling comes in handy. As you work on your logo design presentation, it is important to create a flow that non-designers can easily understand.
Start by breaking down the challenges that the brand wanted to solve. Explain your methodology and ensure that your design elements tie with the brand’s values and message. Walk through the benefits of your design and how it addresses the problems presented beforehand. Finally, don’t forget to highlight how people-centric your logo design is. How does it resonate with the brand’s audience?
Masters Design Lab recognizes the value of storytelling. Besides the technical design skills that they ingrain in each student, the online design school also hones communication skills and the ability to tell compelling stories. This allows students to have the confidence to relay their ideas to diverse stakeholders, including non-designers.
As Kathryn shares, “Only present ideas that you’d be happy to take forward. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you don’t, they’ll choose the one you’re not so keen on!”
Build a Solid Foundation in Design
It takes a strategic design process to be an effective visual communicator, and Masters Design Lab can help you become one with its immersive graphic design programs.
On top of learning theories and the latest design tools, you get to apply your skills to real-world projects via Reach. Reach is Masters Design Lab’s design studio, which mainly caters to the design needs of non-profit organizations in a bid to expand its social impact. Here, Masters Design Lab graduates work on NGO projects and continue to be mentored on the job by the studio manager.
Sounds exciting? Whether you’re totally new to design or an amateur designer looking to upskill, you can learn from the experts and become an in-demand creative at Masters Design Lab.
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