How to Create a Coffee Shop Logo: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re not creative, you may think of designing your coffee shop logo as an almost insurmountable chore.

After all, you’ve built out your coffee shop space, hired staff, bought and logged inventory, and created a social media marketing strategy. Isn’t that enough? Well… the answer is almost, but no.

Part of your marketing plan should be creating a dynamic logo. Your logo is the visual representation of your coffee shop brand, something that your customers look for on packaging and advertising that differentiates your coffee shop from other, similar places in town.

Designing your own logo doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Start by sitting down calmly and strategizing about what you want to accomplish with your logo. Jot down a few notes and then follow these simple tips for a coffee shop logo that you’ll be proud of for years and years to come.

Materials Needed

  • A good graphic design software program
  • Printer paper
  • Computer printer
  • Extra ink cartridges (both black and color)
  • A couple of (old school) pencils wouldn’t hurt

Step 1: Design Your Logo

This is the step you’ll want to spend the most time on. Details count here. For example, the color you choose for your logo can actually help promote your brand. For instance, blue can make potential customers feel that your company is trustworthy; red evokes excitement; and purple denotes creativity. Of course, you also want your logo to be eye-catching, memorable and easy to read. Below are just a few tips for a good logo design.

Keep it simple. The most important thing to remember when designing your logo is to keep it simple. Remember, people are only going to spend a few seconds glancing at your logo. I understand that it’s tempting, but you don’t want to cram so much text and graphics into the logo that viewers don’t know what they are seeing.

Think about some of the great logos, such as Nike’s lightning bolt, McDonald’s golden arches and Apple’s apple with a bite out of it. They all work, and they are all memorable because they are simple.

Make it scalable. Keep in mind as you design your logo that it will be featured on a variety of media, from your coffee cups to your large sign out front. Make sure that your logo will work well in every size.

Make it timeless. Before you commit to a logo design, ask yourself: Will this logo be as memorable five or 10 years from now as it is today? With this in mind, avoid using trendy designs, slogans and color combinations. Assume your coffee shop is going to be thriving well into the next decade and beyond.

Use color and empty space effectively. We’ve mentioned a little bit about color already, but empty space can be just as important as color. You want your logo to be easily read from a distance as well as when it’s very small (like on your coffee cups). Remember French designer Coco Chanel’s advice: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The same applies to logo design.

Take a look and critique what other coffee shops are doing. The beauty of the internet is that you can look at coffee shop logos from all over the world right from your living room. I suggest you surf the web until you find four or five coffee shop logos that you really like, avoiding the shops in your own geographic area. Then, analyze what you like most about these logos and work to incorporate those elements into your own design.

Step 2: Choose and Install Your Graphic Design Software

Unless you are a trained commercial artist (and if you are, you can skip steps 2 and 3), you’ll need a little help with the graphics part of creating your logo. That’s where a good graphic design software program can be invaluable. Several top programs are on the market. You want to choose one that specifically mentions logo design capabilities. I particularly like:

  • Adobe Illustrator. This software has been around since 1985, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still one of the best graphic design resources. In fact, it’s still the tool that most graphic design professionals use when they create logos for their customers. The downside here is that this software is somewhat pricey, and it can take a little time to become proficient. Still, it will deliver professional results.
  • Canva Logo Maker. This is the software I’d recommend if you have little to no graphic design experience. This product is intuitive and easy to learn, not to mention affordable.
  • ICONA logo Maker. If you use your iPhone or iPad for everything, this is the product for you. It is somewhat expensive, but it helps you create a professional logo right from your Apple device.

Just a few things to consider when choosing graphic design software:

1. Make sure you have the hardware to support your new software. Most modern graphic design software is cloud-based rather than a program that you download onto your desktop computer. However, designing graphics still takes a device with good resolution and a screen that is big enough for you to see the intricacies of your design. You’ll also want sufficient storage to be able to save large graphics files. 250GB should be sufficient.

2. Avoid the free software options. I know these can be enticing, but it’s been my experience that the free graphic design options just don’t have the capabilities that you need to create a professional-looking, evergreen logo. Plus, some of these “free” options want you to upgrade to a “paid” option when you’re in the middle of your logo design. Best to say, “no thanks.”

Step 3: Create Your Logo Using Graphic Design Software

Now that you have an idea about what you want in your logo design and have the right tools for the job, it’s time to create your logo. Simply follow the tutorial that comes with your software and jump in. It’s a good idea to design a few similar logos to show your “test panel” in step 4.

Step 4: Test Your Logo’s Effectiveness

One of the best parts about creating your logo yourself is the ability to quickly make small changes that will increase your logo’s effectiveness. After all, even the great brands make changes to their logos. Starbucks has had four different (yet similar) logos since the company began in 1971.

It’s a good idea to enlist some family members, friends or VIP customers to give you their opinions of your new logo. You’ve likely gotten a little “close” to the design and may have some trouble being objective about your new logo. Don’t take any constructive criticism personally. You want your logo to appeal to your customers, not just you.

The Final Word on Designing Your Coffee Shop Logo

Designing your coffee shop logo may be one of those tasks that you’ve left until last, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Consider what your coffee brand or shop represents, who your ideal customers are and where you’ll use the logo in question. Then, you can create a coffee shop logo yourself or outsource it.