How to Make a Simple Logo with No Experience

I am part of a growing community of aspiring product managers. This amazing initiative was started a few weeks ago by the best people ever (check out Product Buds on LinkedIn). They put out a call for a logo redesign and I decided to give it a shot even though I am not a logo designer. This was my process and I hope you like my “final” product.

  1. Take inspiration from current branding

They consciously utilize a color palette in their cover photo, website banners, and event thumbnail photos.

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Using imagecolorpicker.com to pull out the hex codes of current brand colors

They subconsciously use certain colors via the emojis used in messaging.

Using imagecolorpicker.com to pull out the hex codes of current brand colors

2. Brain dump around keywords.

“Product Buds aims to be a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for aspiring Product Managers of all social and cultural identities, as well as educational and career backgrounds.”

In their call for submissions, they requested a logo that represents “our community’s mission to “sprout, grow, and flourish” the next generation of budding Product Managers.”

Images that I associate with those words are groups of people, leaves, vegetables, trees, and gardens. With these ideas in mind, I whiteboarded the possibilities.

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A handy dandy whiteboard is a great place to start ideating without getting bogged down in all the technical know-how

3. Figure out how to turn a quick sketch into a vector image

I tried to look up various online logo maker sites but couldn’t find one that was simple, quick, and free. So, I turned back to a software I have used before for UI/UX designs: Adobe XD. I have never made a logo in Adobe XD but I did some Googling for help. I struggled with the pen tool for about an hour but eventually got to something I was mostly satisfied with.

4. Keep it simple.

From there, I tried to make shapes that encapsulate those ideas in a simplistic form. Last year, I was inspired by Abstract on Netflix (season 2 episode “Ian Spalter: Digital Product Design”) with Ian Spalter, Head of Design at Instagram. When he was tasked to redesign Instagram’s logo, he started by having users recreate the logo off of the top of their head to establish what key parts of the logo were sticking with people and what can be scrapped as extra.

Since our goal is to encapsulate the brand into a small image, we have to determine which parts convey meaning the most for the viewer. When someone encounters this logo for the first time, what are they drawing from it? When someone isn’t looking at the logo, what parts of it do they remember?

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My proposed Product Buds logo

I focused on using circles for the purpose of subconscious aesthetic. I utilized the shape tool to overlap circles and edit them in order to create symmetry and flow within the logo. My “final” logo (is anything ever truly finished?) incorporates the brand colors I found during my research with subtle leaf sprout imagery. It also (very subtly, in my opinion) has the acronym for Product Buds with the letters P and B forming what could be interpreted as a butterfly, representing transformation, growth, and the life development cycle.

Written by

Product manager | Leading with empathy.

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