Symmetry is a key element to look out while designing a logo.And it is always advised to use guidelines and grids while sketching out something .Most of us use straight lines as guides while we design a logo, but what if your design has complicated curves.There comes the role of circle guides.The basic principle behind the circle guides is that every curve is a part of a circle (yup it is that simple).
Before getting in the actual tutorial, let us see some examples of existing logos which have used the circle guides
Why use Circle Guides?
Just like its name says it guides you to get perfect curves in your logo.its found out that curves formed by symmetric circles look much clean and perfect than curves formed by ellipses. That’s why we use circle guides.And just like I said it also helps to keep symmetry in curves while designing a logo
Before getting into tutorial let me make one thing clear.This method of using circle guides I’m going to show is the one which I use and I don’t know whether there is any other actual method for it.But for me, this method does the job perfectly.So with no further adieu lets get into it
CIRCLE GUIDES TUTORIAL
So for this tutorial, I’m going to design a logo of an owl (the one which is featured in the above picture).This was a logo I created for one of my personal projects.But unfortunately, that project is not yet completed .So I thought it would be my perfect example for this tutorial
For this tutorial, i use Photoshop cs6.And I know illustrator is a much better choice for illustration but for me PS is much more comfortable. So let us start.
Step 1: Sketch out your logo into a piece of paper and scan it into your PC
My advice is that you should never start designing your logo directly in a computer. It is always better to sketch it out in a paper and once you are happy with your design , scan it or a quick photo with your phone is just perfect, and upload it your PC.
I’m not that good with hand sketching still I always start with a pencil and a paper.because with a pencil and paper it much easier to doodle your ideas.once you upload it to your PC open it in the Photoshop
Step 2: Trace a basic shape of the logo in photoshop with Pen Tool
this initial shape doesnt have to be super perfect.The only criteria are that it should have all the basic details you are planning to have the logo. in logos like the one shown here you only have to draw the half of it.because another half is just symmetrical of the first half
Step 3: draw some symmetric straight lines and form it into a Box
This step is very important. For this particular logo I followed these steps. And these methods are same for almost all logos
- Draw a box around the logo
- reduce the transparency of the logo
- split the box into 2.
- place the center element of the logo on the center line(in this case the beak)
- split the box equally to accommodate details of the logo (in this case the curves of the wings)
- once the box is complete adjust the logo to fit it each box correctly so that left side and right side of the logo is symmetric
After this step, your logo will be symmetric in length and breadth of each element in either side ,but still the curves are asymmetric to each other.
Step 4: Introduce Circle Guides
So to make the curves symmetric we introduce the circle guides.Even thou it seems to be so difficult it actually quite easy.All you have to do is draw circles touching the edges of curves in the logo.Your current logo may not fit correct to the circle guides, that’s not a problem.
just keep the following things in mind
- Use shapes to draw the circle .put the fill of the shape to null and stroke to any color(preferably Grey) and remember to make the stroke size very small I used the value ” .10 “
- If your logo is half symmetric use same circle on both sides to define corresponding curves for example the circle defining both top sides of the wings have same radius
- Limit the number of circle guides.try to cover a curve with least number of circles
- Don’t worry if your current logo bleeds out of the circle guides.the aim is to draw circles so that you get perfect edges to which later you could adjust your logo’s edges
- Always try to keep layers panel clean
Step 6:Adjust the Logo so that it fits inside the circle guides
To adjust the logo take pen tool cntrl+click on the current shape to show the anchor points, press control and drag the anchor points or arms of it so that the shapes edges align to the circle guides which we have drawn.
Anchor points must be placed where two circle guides meet.and then drag the arms of the anchor points to get the perfect curves.It is always advisable to divide the logo into parts and complete one part at a time
Once you have completed a side it would almost look like above picture.like wise complete the whole image
Step 7 :Increase the transparency and hide the circle guides and box guides
Once you are happy with your logo increase the transparency of the logo and hide both circle and box guides.always duplicate the layers and try to keep the backup so that it will be there if you want to tinker with it later
How to use golden ratio with circle guides
In This specific example I haven’t followed the golden ratio.so if you want to follow it all you have to do is that before step 4 draw multiple circles in golden ratio any where in your workspace and use that circles to define edges of the logo . That is you just drag the pre drawn circle to your logo .while using golden ratio make sure that a pair of circles must have an equal radius or their ratio must be in 1:1.618
I hope that this tutorial was helpful to you guys.i’m a total beginner to this blogging world so constructive criticism is most welcome and if you like the content please do share and don’t forget to subscribe