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The Do's and Don'ts of Logo Design


Vive

New Member
#1
I'll be honest with you guys - for a long time I've been more of an illustrator than a graphic designer. I don't think it prevents me pursuing my interest in graphic design but I'm not naive enough to think that I'll simply fall into a career in the industry without any real knowledge of the expectations. However, I'd like to learn. Please do permit me my fairly basic questions, and in return I will not irritate you with any false assumptions that graphic design is a mighty easy beast to conquer ;)

One thing I've always had limited knowledge of is logo design and branding. The only art course I ever took touched on it, but not to a professional extent. I'm just starting some voluntary work / work experience for a creative company local to me, and the lady running it touched on some ideas for things I can get involved with, and one thing she mentioned was helping to improve their branding. From reading other topics, I've gathered you folks know your stuff, so I'm just wondering: what would you consider the do's and don'ts of logo design and branding?

Any advice, however simple you consider it, is welcome.

Thank you for your time and patience :)
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Research research research! To successfully brand a business you need to know as much about it as the client.

When a client says they want a red and pink star on their logo, dont believe them!! Often they're unable to express what they mean and so spout something random!
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Look at other logos, not for inspiration, but to see what to avoid. Strive for something unique.

And I believe in working on a design on paper until it 'works' and then moving onto recreating it using software. It's tempting to look at a design you've created digitally and think it's done because it looks polished, when in fact it's flawed in some way.

In a lot of cases it can be quicker to explore ideas with pencil/paper than it is to do it digitally.
 

Vive

New Member
#5
A creative company who want the work experience guy/gal to improve their branding?
Help, not do it all myself. I might not be a field expert but a fresh pair of eyes and an extra opinion never hurt anyone. What better way to learn? :)

Thanks for all these comments, folks!
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#6
A creative company who want the work experience guy/gal to improve their branding?
many moons ago I did a work placement for a design agency as part of my degree. The only task I was given for the 2 weeks was to re-design the company logo.

I think the 're-brand our business' thing is quite common for work placements as it means the student has something to do but isn't let loose on real projects.
 
#8
fonts

One thing you need to be careful of is fonts that a very similar to famous brands, it makes it look as if you are trying to copy, and when branding something being unique is key.
I like to use photoshop so I can put everything on separate layers, this let's you take a risk have a few designs just by showing hiding layers.
my best advice is let loose and be creative!!
 
#9
One thing you need to be careful of is fonts that a very similar to famous brands, it makes it look as if you are trying to copy, and when branding something being unique is key.
I like to use photoshop so I can put everything on separate layers, this let's you take a risk have a few designs just by showing hiding layers.
my best advice is let loose and be creative!!
Yes but you can easily use layers in Illustrator and hide / show them.

I'm not picking on you in particular but as you mentioned it, I have to say I have NEVER used Photoshop to design a logo and I don't know anyone who does because it is raster not vector meaning you lose the scalability. It's OK for the odd web graphic, maybe even a one off flyer but a big No No for logo design for me.
 
#10
Yeah your right, ours go onto our websites, so it never needs to be changed in size, so if anyone copies the image they can't rescale it, If I do just a logo which needs to be used for various thing such as business cards ect then illustrator all the way.
 

Tony Hardy

Well-Known Member
#11
Here's my top DON'T:

Don't just hop straight on the computer and start 'designing'.
Think about it, take a walk, draw some sketches, listen to some music, watch a film.
Have some time to think about it, sketch like mad, then once you've got a concept and a rough idea where you're going, maybe look at the computer.
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Here's my top DON'T:

Don't just hop straight on the computer and start 'designing'.
Think about it, take a walk, draw some sketches, listen to some music, watch a film.
Have some time to think about it, sketch like mad, then once you've got a concept and a rough idea where you're going, maybe look at the computer.
Drink! I always have my best ideas after a bottle of wine.
 

Tony Hardy

Well-Known Member
#13
I always think I have my best ideas when I drink...then I realise in the morning that they definitely weren't ;)

I just drink tea while I'm thinking...works for me.
 
#14
  • Work on hundreds of sketches on paper before you even think of getting onto the computer
  • Make sure the logo works in black and white
  • Make sure the logo will work at a variety of sizes
  • Think about the space around the logo. When something sits below or beside it (like the menu on a website, or the company address on a letterhead), will it create any awkward spaces?
  • Consider negative space
  • Don't go for the obvious solution, until you've explored all other possible solutions
  • Don't forget you'll need to do some logo usage guidelines
 
#15
brainstorm the companies industry, name, services, feel (formal/quirky). Once you have done that brainstorm off those results until you find a selection of topics you find interesting. Write those topics down, and bullet point visual references and go from there.
 
#16
Big Dave has the answer, Research! its the key to success, looking at the market there in etc. Personally I think that pastel shades are good to work with but again it depends on the company you are work for
 

Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#17
  • Work on hundreds of sketches on paper before you even think of getting onto the computer
  • Make sure the logo works in black and white
  • Make sure the logo will work at a variety of sizes
  • Think about the space around the logo. When something sits below or beside it (like the menu on a website, or the company address on a letterhead), will it create any awkward spaces?
  • Consider negative space
  • Don't go for the obvious solution, until you've explored all other possible solutions
  • Don't forget you'll need to do some logo usage guidelines
Agree with all of these points.

Now must go and apply to my own logo!!