How to Keep Going When You Hit a Logo Design Wall

July 8, 2010

Photo via Flickr users Melle_Oh.

There are tons of logo design tips online, such as PsPrint blogger Jennifer's recent post on about logo design musts, along with numerous articles on, and more. You can have every logo design tip on the Internet available to you and still get stuck in a rut when you sit down to design a client's logo. There's just something about logo design - it's so basic yet so unfathomable. I mean, even the guidelines that clients give, "simple, clean, elegant, timeless," make it sound like you are building an edifice that their ancestors can remember them by, rather than a two-dimensional piece of corporate identity. Here are five ideas and activities to do when you are running up against a logo design wall and need to get your creative juices flowing again. 1. Go for a walk. Whether it's a walk in the woods or a stroll down Broadway in New York, something you see will jog your subconscious into action. It could be a leaf, a pile of rocks, someone's T-shirt or a storefront display. Just be sure to bring a sketch book with a pen or pencil, or a camera to capture your inspiration. 2. Look at art. Take at trip to the living room and bust out the coffee table books filled with photography and artwork. Or visit a local gallery or museum. The composition, layout, color, contrast and scale of paintings, photographs and especially sculpture can all get your mind working in that creative logo-space. 3. Talk to other creatives. If you have a network of designers or creatives who you work with and trust, either within your company or other freelancers, talk to them. Give them the 30-second version of the creative brief and ask them what they think, or ask them to sketch the first rough idea that comes to mind. The results may take you in a new direction that you weren't thinking of. 4. Sketch it out. Do a free-association sketch session in black-and-white pencil or ink. Get some lines and shapes down on paper. Sketch from life, do a word association or work in the abstract. Simply connecting your hands and subconscious together will help more ideas come. Don't be hard on yourself, and let the ideas flow onto paper. If you come up with 10 pages of sketching there might be two or three nuggets of logo inspiration in there. Also check out this article on logo design on, where the author shares a precise approach to brainstorming logos. 5. Google the competition. Find the logos of the companies your client lists as major competitors, or even companies within the same industry. It's imperative for you client to stand out from the competition. If you survey the competition's logos, at least you'll know which direction NOT to go in.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] time for some fresh brainstorming ideas. I’ve listed five of my favorite [...]

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] emotion or a feeling right away. Sometimes it takes a lot of sketching, word associations and other brainstorming activity to come up with a concept or direction. If the logo doesn’t jump off the page, it may not be [...]

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.