Inspiration or Intellect in Logo Design – Which is better?

Being a logo designer, I realize the various problems faced in starting a logo design project. The myriad questions that start bursting out of your mind as to how to go about your work leave you stranded. Some designers believe that ideas will only come by sifting the internet for inspiration. While on the other hand, some consider pure intellect better for idea generation.

So, regardless of which course of action is better, let us discuss the aspects arising from both these methods i.e. inspiration and pure intellect.

Inspiration in Logo Design:

The thing about internet is that it is expanding every second. With every passing day, you will find more and more websites that are offering inspirational content for ideas. This includes logo design galleries that showcase millions of logos created by aspiring logo designers. Certainly, these sites present designers with a lot of aid in the thinking process, but there are some repercussions as well. So let us discuss the twofold effects of relying in inspiration in logo design:

  • Less Time Consuming – Without doubt, exploring the internet to get stimulation for concepts is relatively less time taking than thinking yourself from scratch. But this shouldn’t be taken as the sole method of designing. Rather inspiration should be used a stimulus to do brainstorming more effectively.
  • Restricts Thinking Capacity – It is a fact that when you depend exclusively on inspirational material for your project, it will restrict your thinking capacity. The job of a logo designer is to use his creative thinking skills to carve out an idea.
  • Discover New Developments – On the bright side, when you are surfing through various motivational sites, you discover new and latest developments in the field of logo design.
  • Unoriginal Design – When you are ‘borrowing’ concepts from elsewhere, you are bound to create a logo design that is unoriginal and clichéd. However, the true hallmark of logo is to be distinctive.

Intellect in Logo Design:

Now coming over to the other half of the issue…what good is relying on pure intelligence to complete a design project? Some designers like to use a pen and paper from the start to produce concepts using their creative minds. So what outcomes does this have? Let’s find out:

  • Unique Design – When you don’t use any ideas from the internet, you will be creating a design that is totally unique and never seen before.
  • More Time Taking – But one downside to this technique is that is requires great amount of time. This is because you need ample time to brainstorm and think of ideas using solely your creative skills.
  • Feeling of Achievement – As you will know that you haven’t borrowed any concepts for your logo design, it will give you a sense of achievement. You will definitely feel more proud after producing concepts using only your intellect.
  • Form your own trends – Instead of following others trends, using your own brain and hard work will enable you to form your own trend that others will follow.

In conclusion, I would like you to answer the question as to which way is better for designers…inspiration or Intellect?  Or should we go for a combination of both?

Nora Reed

Nora Reed runs where she writes about trends on logo designs, tips for logo designers, famous logos and showcases inspiring logo design collection.

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3 Responses

  1. A great post…
    Personally I think a combination of both is the perfect solution for me.
    To keep updated with the latest trends and still be able to make your own unique twist to it..
    But it will also depend on the client, as we all know client always think they know a lot about design… :-)
    Some will need an timeless logo and others something that is up to the latest trends.


    Martin Jensen
    art director

  2. I think a combination of both should be applied because as much as you want to be unique, sometimes someone else has done it. You can also see what kind of design trends, do’s and don’ts should be used in the specified industry then go from there. Anyways you should at least present your three best concepts.

  3. Debra says:

    I’ve never felt that buying a pre-made logo was a good idea. Logos should be unique and distinguishable to the business. As far as whether a logo should be based on intellect or inspiration; it could be a combination.

    However, it should also depend on what it’s representing such as, the type of business. Another point: What message is the logo conveying? Is the logo meant to inspire or inform?

    Planning and thought should go into designing a logo.

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