Graphic designer Tim Delger breaks down the design of ubiquitous hipster logos in six easy steps.

1. Choose a badge--or "symbol of approval" or simple circle--to serve as the base of your logo.

2. Decorate the badge with a traditional banner or a minimalist geometric icon…

…then spruce it up with some archaic symbols like a campfire or axe.

3. Fill in your symbol with keywords ("Provisions," "Purveyors") that spell out what makes your product special.

4. Then there’s the "extra info," qualifying terms like "Trade Mark" and "Established" that state how long you’ve been hawking your wares.

5. Probably most important: the name of your (small) business. Pick an appropriate font and place the text within the banner bisecting the badge (steps 1 + 2).

6. You’re almost done. Make a rubber stamp of your new emblem and use it to start packaging!

Create Your Own Hipster Logo In 6 Steps

Launching your very own artisanal organic ketchup company? Do yourself a favor and make a hipster logo to go with it.

It’s not entirely clear how the “hipster” came to absorb everything that is home-grown, butchered, built, assembled, shaved, and yes, pickled. But regardless of its hazy origins, the term has become a byword for all things authentic, artisanal, and handmade. You know it when you see it, because it’s right there on the container of whatever locally sourced product you’re buying: old-timey fonts, script typefaces, and throwback symbols (stars, meaningless crests).

These are some of the basic components to making crafting your own Hipster Logo. Graphic designer Tim Delger’s step-by-step guide breaks down the hipster aesthetic in six easy-to-follow rules. “No concept necessary,” but yes, you will need craft paper.

You begin by choosing a badge, indicating your goods are grade-A, first-prize quality. Then it’s time to decorate said badge: How about a nice pair of criss-crossing arrows, to be further embellished by rugged marks like a thunderbolt or ax?

Next you’ll need to make sense of your bespoke emblem by filling in the text. Throw in a couple of keywords that best describe your artisanal process. And don’t forget the extraneous but no less essential info like where and which century your small-batch enterprise was launched.

Finally, slap your company name across the banner, then tie everything together in a color of your choice. Make yourself a rubber stamp grooved with your individualized logo and get to packaging!

Asked how he became interested in the subject matter, Delger tells Co.Design that “it’s hard not to notice 'hipster’ design.” Its ubiquity is off-putting, he says, but he felt intrigued by “why my eye was drawn to this old-timey feel.” He began sifting through work of colleagues and creative designers he admired and found a cloying number of similarities. “Patterns started to emerge, and I wanted to dissect the style.”

He boiled down the formula to the simple components outlined in the poster. His general conclusion: it’s understandable why these logos carry the massive appeal that they do. “It has to do with an association with quality in craftsmanship and materials,” he says; still, he is skeptical of businesses that appropriate the aesthetic with little care for the meaning behind these archaic symbols. “Do you really need to write out the words 'Trade mark’ in your logo? Is the year your company was founded important? Are you really a 'purveyor’?”

You can pick up the minimalist poster for $15. Buy it here.

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15 Comments

  • ruki444

    This strikes me as a good bit of satire. You realize that 'Hipsters' are the current douchebags, replacing the mullet-heads of yore.

  • PhasmaFelis

    So does "hipster" actually even mean anything anymore, or is it just an excuse for yet more nerd tribalism? God knows we need more nerd tribalism, it's certainly making the world a better place. Oh, shit, does sarcasm make me a hipster?

    Also, pretty sure you don't get to lecture anyone about authenticity when every third slide in your slideshow is a sponsor ad.

  • chrysler5thavenue

    Oh, an article about a trend the author & their subject don't know the origins of taking "the unoriginality of hipsters" angle.

    It's actually a style that was popularized by Chris Ware whose work heavily references popular American styles from the early 20th century, around it's turn. He's primarily a comic artist whose rigorous attention to formal detail, for a general understanding, could be compared to Stanley Kubrick's. He's had a long run of weekly strips in Chicago alternative newspapers & has done covers for the New Yorker & popular books so this influence shouldn't be a mystery for someone actively engaged in the field of graphic design or a writer doing research on the subject they are writing about.

  • Brailleyard

    Oh cool! - you wouldn't happen to have a link would you? 
    Understanding the movement might make it easier to create an authentic logo (that's true to the motivations of my team)

  • Gloria Cowan

     I like it. He's taking a humorous spin on this ever popular design trend. While aesthetically pleasing, the badge logo design is overdone - I recently had a request to create one for a client. And I did – and it looks like all the others.

  • crank617

    Interesting how Hipster it is to have an infographic about hipster logos. Next time he should try proofing it. "Siz easy steps"?