Design for School Logo

By Lauren Donner, August 25, 2010

Grade Level

  • Elementary School


  • Graphic Design

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Technology

Lesson Time

225 to 315 minutes for classroom activities


Our school needs a school logo to be used on stationary, t-shirts, and other school related objects.
Students will  recognize logos as part of their visual environment and create a logo based on the core values of the school.
Students will study the design process as well as learn the elements of design and will work in teams to create a logo that will be presented to the school leadership team.

National Standards


Students will be able to:

  • identify what design is and what do designers do
  • create a logo design for the school
  • research the vision and mission of the school
  • brainstorm ideas for symbols
  • discuss the differences and similarities between symbols and logos
  • understand what a logo is
  • understand the qualities of a successful logo design
  • create thumbnail sketches for logos
  • work in teams to create designs to be presented to the class
  • use technology to present proposal to the class and to key personnel
  • participate in a critique
  • create a final logo design based on critique
  • present a final logo to the school leadership team


Copies of Communication Arts Magazine
Magazines to page through for logo designs including sports magazines
Internet logo images


  • paper
  • rulers
  • pencils
  • colored pencils
  • colored paper
  • colored markers
  • scissors
  • glue sticks
  • Post-Its
  • graphic logo images from various magazines and internet images
  • computer with PowerPoint software
  • digital camera


  • balance: a state of equilibrium; proportion; harmonious arrangement or relation of parts or elements within a whole (as in a design)
  • design: plan something for a specific role or purpose or effect
  • font: complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface
  • logo: a symbol that represents a company; a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition
  • logogram: a character or symbol that represents a word or phrase
  • message: a communication (usually brief) that is written or spoken or signaled
  • mission statement: a formal short written statement of the purpose of a company or organization
  • PowerPoint: a presentation program designed and manufactured by Microsoft
  • symbol: something visible that by association or convention represents something else
  • vision: the perceptual experience of seeing; imagination; the formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses


Day 1:

Learning Objectives: Students will examine and discuss the purpose of a logo. Students will create a chart based on those observations.

Set up: Have ready copies of Communication Arts, other magazines containing logos including sports magazines, or logos from Web images, a projector, chart paper, Post-Its and drawing materials, and copies of various logo designs.

1. Teacher will create a chart.  Students will brainstorm and identify what a logo is.

2. Discuss how designers create logos.  Examine design materials such as Communication Arts, sports magazines, Web images and discuss the logos you see.  Ask students to think about what a logo tells us about a corporation.  Ask, “How does the image reflect the corporation's product or concept?  For example how does the logo for Nike reflect what Nike is trying to sell?”

3. Divide class into small groups.  Working in these groups, students select from approximately six preselected and reproduced logo designs.  Students create a chart (see attached chart) on the most effective logo design and how this logo image conveys a corporate image or concept.  Students  then present their chart to the whole class.

Day 2:

Learning Objectives: Students will discuss what the "design challenge" is for a school logo.  Students will discuss the school’s mission and ideas that reflect that mission.  Students will create four "thumbnail sketches" for the logo.

Set up: Have ready drawing paper, pencils, colored pencils, markers, rulers, chart paper, and a projector with uploaded school logos.

1. Teacher discusses "What is a Design Challenge?"

2. Teacher presents the design challenge of creating a logo for the school. Tell the students, "Our school does not have a logo and we have been asked to design a logo for our school."  One way to get started is to read our school mission and discuss images that reflect that mission.

3. Class will brainstorm ideas for symbols (animals, historical figures, etc.).

4. Students examine logos for other schools and discuss those logos.

5. Teacher and students create a chart on ideas for school logos.

6. Teacher presents and models thumbnail sketches.

7. Students create four thumbnail sketches for logos.

8. Students share those logos with the class.

Day 3:

Learning Objectives: Students will select and refine one "thumbnail sketch" for the school logo.  Students will choose four logos to present to the school leadership team.

Set up:  Have ready drawing paper, pencils, colored pencils, markers, rulers, chart paper.

1. Teacher models and discusses how students should select and refine one thumbnail sketch and how to transfer that design to a larger piece of paper.

2. Each student refines one of his or her thumbnail sketches using art materials and then shares that  logo with class.  Students will use markers and pencils to refine sketches.

3. Class then votes or selects four logos for school leadership presentation.

4. Students send copies of these selected designs to the school leadership team for written comments so that they may further refine their designs.

Day 4:

Learning Objective: Students will create in small groups four PowerPoint presentations.

Set up: Have ready chart paper, digital camera, computers with PowerPoint software.

1. Teacher discusses format on how to present logo design to school leadership team.

2. Teacher presents  and models how to create a short PowerPoint presentation of logo design.

3. In four teams, students work on how they will present their work to school leadership.  Students use software to create slides about their school logo design.

Day 5:

Set Up: Have ready a PowerPoint projector and a screen.

1. Working in small groups, students will present logo designs to school leadership.

2. Class meets with school leadership.

3. Teacher introduces the four design groups and discusses the logo project.

4. Students present work to the school leadership team using a PowerPoint presentation.  School leadership can comment on designs and select winning design.

5. Students write narrative self-assessment.


Students will use  a self assessment narrative for the  final thumbnail sketch based on the clarity of  their design as well as their interpretation of the school mission.
Students will use a self assessment to identify the strengths and challenges of their work at the end of the assignment.
Summative rubrics will be used to evaluate both individual and group work.

Enrichment Extension Activities

This lesson is one part of a year-long study of design.  Students will use the process of "Design Challenges" as they explore other design work such as garden design, transportation design, and other larger community needs.
Suggested field trip for students in New York City: Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the High Line Garden.
  1. Excellent design lesson. I’m very interested in this design lesson because our school is a new school, four years old, and we do not have a school logo. So our senior students, who would be our first graduates, can have the honor of creating our School Logo. I also like that this is a process over time, possibly the whole school year. So students do not feel rushed to accomplis their goal.