310_ups_logo_400You’re stumped. You need to design a logo, but the creative half of your brain has just decided to take its summer vacation. No ideas. Zip. Zero. Nada. It’s happened to the best (and worst) of us. So what do you do? Try these 5 shortcuts to see if one of them might help inspiration strike.

1. Do something with the type. Don’t add anything TO the type, just let the type make the logo. This logo for a magazine by one of the all-time great American designers Herb Lubalin is a great example.

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2. Add something to the type. A decorative element, a flourish, maybe even a swoosh. (But then throw that idea out right away, as it’s been done a bazillion times.) You might recognize this famous logo with its flourish.

Coca-Cola_Logo_Script

3. Create a mark with a letter and some geometry. Put the first letter in a circle. Or both letters in a square. Don’t stop there, but at least you’ve got something on paper now. (And speaking of paper, you should NOT be doing any of this on the computer. Sketch first, to avoid being enslaved by what you know how to make Illustrator do for you.)

motorola-logo EEntertainmentLogo

4. Illustrate the name of the company, even if it has nothing to do with what they sell. This is from the “duh” department, but occasionally it works exceedingly well. Like here:

logo-evolution

5. Illustrate what the company sells. Again, this is one of those things you’ll want to keep moving beyond, but it might provide a tiny bit of inspiration. And every once in a while, it works, as in the original UPS logo at the top of this post, or in this logo:

Boeing-Logo-blue-resize

The bottom line, however, is this: don’t stop here. This is a crutch, remember, just to get you started. The really creative ideas will come after you get over “designer’s block.”

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