Hand-drawn logos can often bear the marks of a designer’s tools. These logos take advantage of paper texture and weight, the thickness of brushes, the viscosity of ink, and the granular nature of pencils or charcoal. A hand-drawn logo often shows off its process of creation or a version of that creation. These logos show off how they were made and what they were made with.
To get that look, a logo maker has to use the right tools. “Textured paper is very important,” says designer George Bokhua. “It gives more character.” When done well, a viewer can look at a hand-drawn logo or wordmark and immediately imagine the designer sketching it. To best take advantage of the characters of paper, pen, or ink, a designer would do well to avoid straight lines. “Sharp edges are not nice,” says Bokhua. “You don’t get the paper texture.”
Digital tools, low-fi look.
You can create logos with physical media and then scan your work. You can also use apps like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to emulate physical tools.
It takes time and care to get the right look from digital design tools. “Some typefaces have a hand-drawn look,” says designer Lenore Ooyevaar, “but you can always feel that they were computer-generated. Don’t be afraid to write the words yourself.” Hone your own skills with calligraphy and typography as you’ll nearly always want to adapt or alter existing typefaces when working on a logo. It’s even worthwhile to spell out the company’s name in a typeface you want to emulate and then trace over it yourself for that hand-drawn look.