Recently we finished creating a completely hand (digitally) drawn logo for a rockin' band out of Scappoose Oregon - The Horn Dawgs.
Designing a logo from scratch is a different process for every person, hell, it's even a different process for me almost every single time I create one. The one constant that stays the same is it always starts with a rough sketch in either my little pocket Rhodia notebook or larger Rhodia notebook. (Dotted grid paper or bust baby!)
As you can see, in this instance, the hand sketches were very rough and don't even resemble the finished product. These were just the first ideas I had and after putting them to paper I could tell that this was not the route I wanted to go.
Oddly this allowed me to be confident enough in the other idea I had to move straight to digital sketching.
After grabbing a few reference photos of bulldogs that I liked, I dived into digitally sketching the logo in greater detail.
I'm still on the fence about Windows 10 over my beloved Apple, but I do have to admit that drawing on the screen in Illustrator with a stylus, on just one piece of hardware, is pretty nice.
I re-ink the artwork several times, each time on a new layer with the previous layer's opacity dropped, progressively refining it until I have the finished linework.
From there I start adding in the linework detail like shading.
After the linework is finished and expanded I start adding in color - base colors followed by black shadows set to multiply and white highlight set to low opacity.
Logo Layout & Typography
After the linework and coloring are done it's time to start playing around with wording and fonts. This was hands-down the most difficult and time consuming part of the logo design process. Trying to give both the name of the band and the artwork of the dog's head their proper place, while maintaining the right "feel", and without fighting with each other took some finagling.
The Finished Logo
After many layout trials and errors I settled on two very vintage styles, one horizontal for banners or "long" uses, and one stacked for merchandise and vertical use.