Art School


Logo Design with Mark Winn

Get an inside look into the iterative process of logo design with graphic designer, Mark Winn! In this Art School video, Mark takes us through the process of conceptualizing a logo theme and executing the design from pencil to pixel while providing some serious time-saving techniques in Illustrator along the way.

AIRED: December 27, 2016 | 0:04:52

- A logo usually communicates all the essence

of something in a very short amount of time.

But I believe the more abstract and unique it is,

the better chance it has of communicating.

(funky music)

Hi, I'm Mark Winn.

I'm a designer and a painter.

Today we're going to draw a logo, and make a logo,

design a logo, conceive a logo.

We're going to create a logo.

(click) (whoosh)

To start off with a uniqueness about it is a goal.

Everybody wants to be in their own little world

set apart from rest of the products,

and the people, and everything around them.

I wanna find what it is about me

that I wanna say or put out there

that's recognizable, has a logo.


I already have a logo for myself,

but I'm going to redesign a logo for myself.

(click) (whoosh)

Personal logo is going to evolve, there's no way around it.

Now that I live in the woods, (sirens)

not about the city anymore, (birds chirping)

I'm not about that street scene,

I'm more about living in the redwoods.

(fun funky music)

(birds chirping)

Look at all the words associated,

and I look at all the things that could be usable

in a concept way, and I write those down.

The old logo is just, you know, pretty standard.

Now I'll modernize it into, like, all these things here.

There's an owl that, as I work at night,

is constantly going hoo, hoo, hoo!

I want to work that into my logo as it exists now.

(click) (whoosh)

In the sketch phase, this would go over the course of,

like, weeks, you may have page after page after page

of different iterations on what you want to do.

Something kind of moves you within it.

You're like, okay, those four,

from the 20 that you draw in pencil,

those four I can take to the computer.

There's a couple ways you can do that

if they're complex, and there's really some subtleties,

and you nailed it with the pencil drawing.

You can take a photo with your phone,

and just put it on Adobe Illustrator, and then trace it.

Or, what I do often is I just redraw in Illustrator.

(funky electronic music)

K, we're gettin' somethin'.

Doesn't look too much like Batman.

Oh, very important to hit save.

Illustrator is so powerful, and you can go through

alotta studies on one style of one concept.

And so I usually blow that out in a straight line.

I draw it from left to right, and I start

with the first concept logo I did.

And then I'm like oh, if I made the eyes more glowly.

So I go to the next one and I fix just that aspect.

I'm like oh, the shape is kinda clunky.

So then I go to the next one, I fix that.

And so there's kind of that Darwin evolutionary process

of where I was as I go, and you can always go back.

And that's the beautiful thing

about the digital age, you know.

You can go back and like, oh, this part I like still.

So you just take and steal that part

and put it with this part, and then you can start

Frankensteining the pieces of it

(funky jazzy music)

'til you get to the end, to where you kinda like it.

And somewhere in there I kinda add colors sometimes.

And then I take it out and I just do

black and white or I do grey scale.

I work that out all the way through

to where I'm exhausted on that logo.

I just don't want to look anymore.

It's horrible.

Then I go to the next concept and I work that one through.

It's easier to start with a typeface,

and then outline that typeface with the computer,

and then adapt and make it something your own.

Illustrator has a ton a tools that will help you.

You can take a straight drawing of this and turn it into,

you know, that.

It's gonna be symmetrical, so just draw

one side and then flip it.


Now fix the wings, refine the things.

You can spend days.

Sometimes I just sit on it.

I look at it for a while, then I come back to it.

So, the one last thing I'd say

is that looks great on its own,

but let's think about what

we would do to put it in a shape.

So we could put it in a circle,

you know, is that something that is going

to make your logo work better.

So you could always have white inside,

or whatever, to make it pop.

But I'm thinkin' more like you try

to make the shape more your own.

There is no right or wrong.

Everything is right.

There's only,

in the end, are you happy with it.

If you're doing it for yourself,

that's the only thing that matters.

Now go out there and create a logo about yourself

and share it with KQED Art School.

I'm sorry, I can't say KQED. (laughing)

- [Man] (laughing)It's cool. It's fine.

- KQED Art School.

There. (laughing)


  • ios
  • apple_tv
  • android
  • roku
  • firetv