Skip to main content

Where to find logo design inspiration

If you've searched all the sites and are still a bit stuck, try these tips for kickstarting your logo design.

01. Look beyond the obvious

Logo design inspiration: I heart x brand graphic

Classic logos are a good place to start... but make sure you don't stop there

Cast your net far and wide. Don't just look at the top best logos ever (although that's not a bad place to start). You need to also look beyond that, at design in general and at the wider world. 

Whenever you see something that stands out or appeals to you, for whatever reason, file that thought. Let it inform your design process and contribute as your new logo starts to evolve.

02. Just doodle

Logo design inspiration: man drawing in notebook

Don't overthink things – start with some free doodles  (Image credit: https://unsplash.com/search/photos/notebook?photo=B6-8HwbRJz4)

Sometimes you can overthink these things and end up getting nowhere, so why not cut your conscious mind out of the loop and instead let the creativity flow, unguided, with a bit of random doodling? 

You may well end up with a page of pointless scribbles, but somewhere in the disjointed mess of lines, you might spot something that fires up that essential spark of inspiration.

03. Plunder your client's history

Logo design inspiration: ford logos throughout time

Take a dive back into your client's logo design history

Check out all the various logos your client has employed since the company was founded. This can be particularly interesting if they go back for many decades. 

You may be able to hark back to the past, if the client would like to position itself as a heritage brand, or you might be able to radically overhaul tits original logo into something fresh and modern. This has the advantage of built-in continuity even as you present a new image. See our post on how to reawaken a brand's heritage here.

04. Explore your client's future

Discuss with your client its plans for the future – what does it envisage for the next 12 months or the next five years? Are there changes of direction imminent or new products coming that could have some bearing on the logo you design? You need to future-proof the logo because businesses do change over time.

Take, for example, Carphone Warehouse: no-one buys carphones any more – so should it lose a highly successful brand that has taken years to build by changing its name to something more appropriate?

05. Phone a friend

Logo design inspiration: woman with laptop on desk and phone in hand

A fresh eye can provide you with valuable insights (Image credit: https://unsplash.com/search/photos/phonecall?photo=SpVHcbuKi6E)

While it makes perfect sense to get as much information as you can from the client, sometimes there's nothing quite so helpful as a fresh pair of eyes. If you have some ideas worked up, take them to a friend who has absolutely no connection to the project, and see what they think. Often someone's untainted opinion can be just what you need to fire the imagination.

06. Build some mood boards

Logo design inspiration: moodboards on matboard

The Matboard is a great mood board tool
(opens in new tab)

Mood boards and brainstorms can help you to straighten out your thoughts and mix up different images and ideas of all shapes, sizes and themes. 

Play with keywords and synonyms and gather a multitude of inspirations from different sources onto a single mood board to see how they combine.

07. Trawl through your own design archives

It's probably a fair guess that for every logo you design you probably come up with a couple of dozen sketches before you decide which one to develop further. Never throw away these early ideas, as they form a valuable resource. Just because one of your early sketches didn't work for a previous client, it doesn't mean it won't work at all. 

Go back through previous work that you've created but not used and you may find the seed that, with a bit of nurturing, could grow to become the logo you're looking for.

08. Blast your brain with random images

Logo design inspiration: Logo design inspiration

Check out the Creative Bloq Pinterest boards for a blast of inspiration
(opens in new tab)

Scroll through Google Images and Pinterest (opens in new tab) on both related and unrelated subjects to your client's logo needs. Then add the results to your mood board. 

Pick a colour here, a shape there, a word, a typeface... then see how these different ideas could work together.

09. Stay receptive

At the end of the day, inspiration can strike anywhere, at any time. Be receptive to the ideas that flow through your mind. Sketch something as it comes to you and then revisit it later to see how it might work within the parameters of your brief. 

At these early stages of the design process you need to allow your creativity full rein. Give yourself plenty of ideas to work with and then take the best elements from each and discard the rest.

10. Do something else

Logo design inspiration: person playing video game

Give your mind a break from the task at hand (Image credit: https://unsplash.com/search/photos/computer-games?photo=0woyPEJQ7jc)

If you've tried everything and nothing's coming up, don't try to force it. Take a break and let your brain get on with other things. Go to see a film, play some video games, cook a nice meal or just have a lovely nap. It's amazing how just getting away from the problem at hand and thinking about something else can result in a sudden flash of exactly the right kind of inspiration.

There's no point just waiting for inspiration to hit. The more you search it out, the easier you'll find it. You'll develop an eye for what works and what doesn't, and how you can apply this to your own nascent designs.

Read more:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Emily Gosling is a freelance art and design journalist currently writing for titles including Creative Review, Eye on Design, Creative Boom and People of Print. She’s previously worked at Elephant magazine, It’s Nice That and Design Week, and was editor of Type Notes magazine. Her book Creative Minds Don’t Think Alike was published by Ilex Press in 2018, and she also plays bass as one-quarter of the eight-titted beast, Superstation Twatville.