Making a personal logo is HARD (that is unless you hire a professional designer or use a platform like Looka). How do you condense the complexities of who you are into a graphic symbol? Still, branding yourself these days is essential. To make things easier, I’ve gathered some of the best personal logo ideas you can use for inspiration. Let’s dive in!
What Is a Personal Logo?
A personal logo is no different than a corporate logo, except that it represents the brand of you. Simply put: It uses a combination of image and text to form a graphic symbol. The text can appear with or without the image (and vice versa).
That said, a logo is much more than the sum of its parts. That’s because it communicates über-important information, such as what you do and what you stand for. Your personal logo design should also be memorable, draw attention, and tell a story. It should establish credibility and trust.
From a practical standpoint, your logo should be adaptable. That means it will work across many different applications, such as a banner design, website, email signature, or social media channels. Lastly, it should be scalable so the image will look just as good on a smartphone as it does on the side of a building.
Why Do I Need a Personal Logo?
You might be surprised to learn that you already have a personal brand. It’s true: Branding is just a fancy term for creating perception. Therefore, your social media profile, how you interact with colleagues, and the quality of your work all play into your personal brand.
Your personal logo is a marketing tool that can build your brand further. It solidifies who you are and what you’re all about. It breeds familiarity. Does this mean everybody should have a personal logo? Not necessarily. But there are a few reasons you might need one.
Starting a Business
One of the most obvious reasons to get a personal logo is if you are an entrepreneur. According to a study by FreshBooks, “40 percent of traditionally employed Americans plan on working for themselves in the next two years.”
If you’re one of those planning to make the leap to a sole proprietorship (or another type of business where you’re the face of the company), a personal logo is a must.
A personal logo will help draw more attention to your business while building trust and loyalty with your target audience. This is the case whether your business is online-only or involves a physical location.
Working a Side Hustle
Needless to say, a personal logo is an important asset for your side hustle, as well. This is especially true if you plan to turn your side hustle into a full-blown business.
According to FreshBooks, “Two in five potential entrepreneurs have an active side hustle. One-third are brand building through social media.” This suggests that many are using side hustles as a launching pad to launch their own business.
It makes sense: With a side hustle, you can network with potential clients, make industry connections, and increase revenue with the safety net of your full-time job. Therefore, the sooner you start brand building, the better it will be for you long-term.
Developing a Freelance Career
If you’re a freelancer, then you definitely need a personal logo. While your skills and qualifications get you in the door, your personal brand helps seal the deal.
Not only that: Developing your personal brand will set you apart from a swarm of other freelancers. Of course, your logo plays a significant part in that.
I’ll never forget a note I received from a former business client. It was handwritten on cream-colored stationery with his personal logo at the top. Though I haven’t seen it in years, I still remember the colorful icon to this day.
Building a Personal Brand
You may work for a company and not want to quit anytime soon. However, there’s still a lot of value in investing in a personal logo.
The reason is simple: Your personal brand will always be there. No matter how often you change careers or companies throughout your life, your brand (and logo) stays with you.
Here’s another reason: A personal logo can also help you network with those in your industry. As a visual frame of reference that defines your online persona, it can draw attention and help make a lasting impression.
How Do I Get Personal Logo Ideas?
If you’re trying to come up with self-logo ideas, follow these simple steps. They will get you in the proper mindframe before you start designing.
Write in a Journal
Making a personal logo from scratch requires some hard decisions, such as: What story do you want to tell? What font and colors capture your personality? Journaling helps answer some of these questions. Here are some prompts to guide you:
- Start with your origin story. How did you get here?
- Next, jot down what makes you unique or interesting.
- List 10 adjectives that describe your personality best.
- Write down your why. What motivates you to succeed?
- What are your superpowers? (Note any special skills.)
Create a Mood Board
Next, it’s time to gather inspiration for your mood board. The goal is to create a collage of images that set the right tone for personal logo designs to flow. Don’t overthink the details too much. Let your intuition guide you.
The mood board can be physical or digital—whatever works best. Canva has excellent templates, but using Pinterest or Instagram for a mood board is fine, too. You can also pin things to a corkboard if that gets your creative juices flowing.
To create the mood board for your logo, start to gather your favorite font styles, images, color palettes, quotes, and anything else that inspires you. You can include other logos if you want.
Visit Logo Websites
The next step is searching the web for graphic design inspiration. The purpose is not to copy. Instead, you want to determine the kind of logo you like best.
For example, maybe you’re drawn to logos that are all image and no text. Perhaps you like trendy designs or logos that have a more traditional feel. Go through some websites, and bookmark whatever catches your eye:
- Logo Design Love
Personal Logo Examples
Here are some cool personal logos courtesy of Behance:
Art director Laurianne Froesel used hand-lettering to spell out her initials, lending her personal logo an organic, somewhat whimsical feel.
Product designer Léa Picault combined her initials for a semi-abstract monogram with smooth lines that look great anywhere.
Jagoda Kolodziej combined his initials for a monogram logo featuring bold lines, geometric shapes, and basic colors.
Designer and publicist Luiz Arthuso created this abstract mark for his personal branding. Based loosely on his initials, it’s all about details and texture.
Graphic designer Luna Han used the connotative meaning of her name (moon) as inspiration for her professional logo design.
Berke Bulur’s initials lent an opportunity to have one b nested inside another. The result is a monogram logo with two bold letters that look like one.
Sam Hall created the identity for knitwear designer Amy Carter. Their goal was something both modern and clean that would give her a professional edge over her competitors.
Meduzza Design made this custom logo for veterinarian Julie Bardini using a simple but recognizable outline of a cat’s face.
Gabriel Eich designed this logo for personal trainer Gabriel Peluchi. The color palette and hard lines are meant to convey strength and action.
Illustrator and graphic designer How Gui Teng turned herself into a mascot for this bold and bright combination mark.
Italian designer Martini Cavalieri was inspired by calligraphy for her personal branding, which features an elegant lettermark logo.
Graphic designer Ricardo Rizende used an octopus symbol to showcase his initials (RR) in a unique way, while each tentacle represents a unique value.
Designer Gustavo Lucena wanted bold colors and modern typography for his unique personal rebrand based on sci-fi and retrofuturistic style.
Unique Personal Logo Ideas
Some of the best personal logos will appear when you least expect them. These activities will help get the creative juices flowing.
- Flip through a few art and graphic design books.
- Drive around your city and take pictures of signage.
- Go on a walk and observe patterns in nature (leaves, trees).
- Visit a local flea market and seek out vintage ephemera.
- Sketch out some ideas on paper while listening to music.
- Visit your supermarket and notice the food packaging details.
- Buy old design magazines on eBay for ideas you won’t find online.
Design Tips to Make a Personal Logo
There are no right or wrong ways to create a personal design of your own logo. However, here are some basic guidelines to achieve the best results.
Some of the most successful logos are incredibly simple. Think of Nike’s swoosh logo or McDonald’s golden arches. Whether you’re going with an icon, a monogram, or another design style, remember that less is more.
Graphic design trends come and go. You don’t want to tie your logo to a specific era or design movement because it will eventually feel dated. Instead, go for something timeless and classic.
Your logo is supposed to represent you, so make sure each design element is embedded with meaning. For example: What does the font say about you? What do the colors symbolize? Nothing about it should be arbitrary.
At first, you may only need a logo for your website. But think about how it could be used in the future. Will it look good in other contexts, such as an email signature or a business card? The last thing you want to do is rebrand yourself if it doesn’t adapt well.
Make sure your personal logo is consistent with your brand identity. As we discussed earlier, you already have a brand. Therefore, your logo should build on what you’ve already established. Don’t send a confusing message to your target audience.
Anatomy of a Personal Logo
The core components of a logo are pretty simple. However, each of these details carries enormous weight. By understanding each part separately, you will make better decisions whether designing it yourself or using a logo maker.
The layout refers to the size and positioning of the various logo components. Does your name appear above or below the icon? Maybe it’s on the side, or perhaps they overlap.
Another important layout decision is whether the text and icon are similarly proportioned or if one should appear more prominently.
These decisions may seem inconsequrntial but have a significant impact on your logo. I recommend trying many different versions and analyzing them side-by-side.
It’s also important to consider what platforms your logo will be used on, as this will impact your layout decisions. To future proof your logo, go for maximum adaptability.
The color scheme for your personal logo should be filled with subconscious meaning. Take a moment to consider what you’re trying to communicate to your target audience, and choose the colors accordingly.
- Red: passion, excitement, boldness, confidence
- Orange: energy, enthusiasm, excitement, vibrancy
- Yellow: warmth, positivity, enlightenment, happiness
- Purple: luxury, power, nobility, wisdom
- Blue: trust, strength, calmness, dependability
- Green: growth, health, prosperity, youthfulness
You can use Adobe’s color palette generator to refine your choices further. This will help you find the perfect balance of color for a harmonious design.
The font you choose for your logo is essential. Fonts have personalities (just like people!) and should align seamlessly with your brand identity.
For example, serif fonts tend to feel more sophisticated and formal. In contrast, sans-serif fonts lend themselves better to clean, modern logos.
Like your color palette, your chosen font must say something about you. With so many options available, this is a fantastic opportunity to find a unique and memorable typeface.
One popular option is a script font. This can give your logo a personal touch as if you signed it with your own handwriting. Similarly, you can use your signature by turning it into a vector file.
You can take a few different directions with your symbol. It can be representational, meaning it depicts something easily recognizable, or it can be abstract.
A representational symbol might feature an illustration of the person’s face. It could also reference something related to your business. For example, if you are a personal trainer, the image could be a barbell or a flexed arm.
An abstract symbol, on the other hand, conveys something more conceptual about your business. It aims to capture an idea or a mood through a geometric shape. The logo for Meta (formerly known as Facebook) is a good example of this.
By now, your mind should be racing with ideas for your personal logo. If you’re not a graphic designer, there are a few good branding platforms that don’t require you to have any technical skills. Therefore, nothing is holding you back from getting started today.
What are the different types of logos?
All logos fall under one of these categories. Though they all rely on text, symbols, or a combination of both, each has a distinct feel. By understanding each type, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions regarding your personal design.
Also known as a monogram, this type of logo is typographic and typically uses two or three letters of a longer name.
A wordmark, or a logotype, is typographic and spells out the full brand name. This type of logo works best with short, unique, or made-up words.
Also called a brand mark, this type of logo has no text—just an image. To pull it off, you need a symbol that is distinct and memorable.
An emblem logo features either text, image, or both inside a frame. This type of logo has a traditional feel. It is less versatile than other logos but gives a feeling of provenance.
A combination mark uses text and a symbol to create an image. This type of logo is versatile because you can use the symbol by itself in some contexts.
A mascot logo uses a character or spokesperson as the symbol. You can use an illustrated image of yourself for a personal design.
An abstract mark uses a symbol to convey an idea, mood, or concept. Since abstract logos are not based on anything concrete, they can be highly memorable.
What styles of logos are there?
How can I make my logo for free?
Many platforms let you make a logo for free, but you need to pay a small fee to download the design assets. Unfortunately, this is the only way to get a hi-res vector of your logo.
Another option is to make the logo yourself using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Of course, you need to be a subscriber to use those platforms.
Should I use my name with my personal logo?
It is not required to use your name. However, here are a few reasons why you should:
- If your name is uncommon, your logo will be more recognizable.
- You can add a symbol to make it a combination mark.
- Your name won’t change, but you can always update the logotype.
- Using your name gives the logo a more personalized feel.
- Competitors can’t copy your name.
For more ideas about logos and business, check out these actionable branding tips.