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The Do's and Don'ts of Logo Design

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by Vive, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Vive

    Vive New Member

    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 :)
  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    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!
  3. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    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.
  4. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    A creative company who want the work experience guy/gal to improve their branding?
  5. Vive

    Vive New Member

    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!
  6. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    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.
  7. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Ah - right: that makes sense.
  8. kayleighmcardle

    kayleighmcardle New Member


    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. spottypenguin

    spottypenguin Active Member

    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. kayleighmcardle

    kayleighmcardle New Member

    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.
  11. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Drink! I always have my best ideas after a bottle of wine.
  13. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    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 for me.
  14. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    • 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. milkminnie

    milkminnie New Member

    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. Cheap Printing

    Cheap Printing New Member

    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
  17. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    Agree with all of these points.

    Now must go and apply to my own logo!!

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