logo design tips

Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#1
Logo design is all around us. To the general public, logos serve as an instant reminder of a company or a product; to the client they’re the point of recognition on which their branding hangs; and to us designers they represent the challenge of incorporating our clients' ideologies into one single graphic.

No wonder, then, that logo design features so prominently in our lives. In an age where everyone must have a website to support their product, service or the company behind it, the demand for a top-class logo has never been higher.

More examples of logo design are out there than ever before, and with that comes the challenge of being different. How do you create something original that stands out in a sea of identities? And how do we create something quickly while retaining quality?
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#2
01. Research your audience
Good logo design doesn't just create something that looks nice - it has to communicate a brand message

Creating a logo design isn't just about creating a pretty visual. What you're doing, or taking part in, is developing a brand and communicating a position. It makes sense, then, that the first step in creating a logo design should be to research these concepts.

Involving the client at this early stage is advised, as your interpretation of their brand may be different from theirs, and it's essential that the message is clear before any actual designing takes place.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#3
02. Immerse yourself in the brand
Hark back to the past, urges Martin Christie of Logo Design London

Before even beginning to sketch out ideas for a logo design, spend some time compiling the equivalent of an M15 dossier on your client's brand: who they are, what they do and what their demographic is.

Look at previous iterations of their logo design and ask yourself what doesn't represent the brand on these. Then compile a 'dos and don'ts' checklist before your creative work starts.

"Check out all the various logos your client has employed since their company was founded," advises Martin Christie of Logo Design London. "This can be particularly interesting if they go back for many decades. You may be able to hark back to the past, if they would like to position themselves as a heritage brand, or you might be able to radically overhaul their original logo into something fresh and futuristic. This has the advantage of built-in continuity even as you present a new image."
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#4
03. Keep all your sketches
Old sketches can be a source of new inspiration, suggests Martin Christie

"It’s probably a fair guess that for every logo you design you probably come up with a couple of dozen sketches before you decide which one to develop further," adds Martin Christie. "Never throw away these early ideas; they form a valuable resource.

"Just because one of your early sketches didn’t work for another client, it doesn’t mean it won’t work at all. Go back through what you’ve done and you may find the seed that, with a bit of nurturing, could grow to become the logo you’re looking for.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#5
04. Do your online research
Logo designer tips 19 Logo Moose is a great research resource for logo design

Two great starting points for online logo design research are Logo Moose and Logo Gala. One thing to be mindful of is knowing when to stop your logo design research. It's best to look at what did and didn't work out of 10 relevant logo designs than swamp yourself with 50 extraneous ones.

If you’re struggling for ideas, try looking up key words in a dictionary or thesaurus or searching Google images for inspiration. If you keep a sketch book then look at previous drawings – you’re bound to have unused ideas from previous projects, so you may already be sitting on the perfect solution.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#6
05. Fight the temptation to imitate

We all have our design heroes and sometimes we love them so much we want to imitate their styles. Well, they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, in the real world it's just a lazy way to solve a creative problem.

Ask yourself whether the style you're using is appropriate for the client's needs. Do they really want a logo design that has the same typeface Saul Bass used for Quaker Oats in the '70s?
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#7
06. Don't let clients dictate

Point 2 does not equate to doing what the client tells you. Look through the brief from your client and begin to ask questions about any vagueness or lazy brief writing you might find there. 'The logo should be iconic' and 'The logo should be memorable' are two extremely clichéd phrases you need to pull your client up about.

A man kicking a chicken dressed as Father Christmas is memorable but for the wrong reasons. So, as with all commissioned design work, you need to manage your client's expectations, set realistic goals and find out what exactly your work needs to convey. Logo designs become iconic and memorable: they're not created that way.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#8
07. Create a board and rip it up

You could research logo designs all day as there are books and websites by the score containing examples of them. Only make mood boards out of ones that share similar values. Look at your mood board and analyse what isn't successful about these logo designs. Then rip those boards up and use these rules as a guide for your own unique creation.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#9
08. Sketch it out

Logo design tips 13 Get the pencil and pad out before switching on your computer.

With a solid understanding of what needs to be communicated, it’s on to the first sketches: more often than not, these should be the pen and paper kind. This enables you to be experimental and not get caught up in the finer details.

It's tempting to move straight onto the computer first, but Ben Powell advises you resist the urge. "What did you learn to do first, use a computer or a pencil and paper?" he asks rhetorically. "Sketching is a much faster way to produce initial ideas before you even touch Photoshop CC. It doesn't matter if it's complete chicken-scratch sketching as long as it conveys your ideas correctly and you understand it."
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#10
10. Use smart objects

You can copy and paste your logo design into Photoshop as a 'smart object' (again with no loss of scalable quality), if you need to combine it with other elements.

If you're creating a logo design for screenbased media, be particularly careful of thin lines or very light typefaces. Also consider that different monitors can make text and graphics appear pixelated or rough.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#11
11. Choose your typeface carefully
Logo design tips Microsoft's new logo design represents a trend towards clear and functional typography

Typography is obviously central to good logo design. You have two main routes to choose from: creating your own custom typeface or adapting an existing one.

If you create a custom typeface, try not to make it too fashionable because it could date quickly. Keep it simple and legible. Consider the words that you’re depicting - if they’re unusual then a simple typeface might work best; if they’re common words then you can usually be more creative as they’re easier to recognise.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#12
12. Adapt an existing typeface

There's no rule to say you have to create your own typeface, though: consider adapting an existing one.

Removing, extending or joining parts of letters may be enough to make your design unique. It’s amazing how little you need to see of some letters for you to still be able to recognise them.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#13
13. Avoid gimmicky fonts

Don't be tempted to make your logo design stand out by using gimmicky fonts. They're the equivalent of typographic chintz and there's a reason why most of them are free. For sheer professionalism's sake you should avoid them at all costs.

Most gimmicky fonts are too fancy, too weak, and are most likely being used (badly) on a hundred different cheap business cards right now. When it comes to logo design, keep your font choices classic and simple and avoid over-garnishing.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#14
14. Make the type match the brand

Fonts come in all shapes and sizes that resonate differently with strength (slab type fonts, big and powerful); class and style (fonts with elegant scripts or serifs); movement and forward thinking (type that is slanted). It's not about just looking pretty: matching the qualities of the font - be it bespoke or off-the-shelf - to the qualities of the brand is what's important here.
 
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
25
Likes
0
Points
0
Offline
#15
15. Consider a type-only approach

You may want to produce a simple execution of a logo design for your client that uses the strength of the typography alone.

Bone up on your typography knowledge by reading this primer and check out the inspired logos designers around the globe have created using type alone here.
 
Top