Logo Design

One of the last things we will do initially in Adobe Illustratoris logo design. We will start with recreation of existing logo designs. Once we've got that completed, we will have a client pitch us their need for logo designs.

Steps for successful logos
  • Simple -- Logos aren't illustrations. The story you tell can't be long with logos. Target's logo is a red ring and a dot. Not an arrow and a stand and a whole story about shooting arrows at targets. If you think building the logo in Illustrator will take a while, your logo is too complex. Simplify the concept to more shapes/lettering.
  • Memorable -- Memorable goes hand in hand with simple. It's easy to remember a swoosh or golden arches. Having a logo that it takes more than 20-30 seconds to draw on scrap paper is probably too complicated. The product/service will be a significant factor in the memorability of the company. The memorability of logo pulls from simple shapes that's easy to recall later.
  • Versatile -- Most successful logos work within a space close to 1:1 in height and width. If you logo is long, it'll be easy to read and look good on a bus signage, but will be hard to use in other contexts. I often start with square boxes when sketching. It gives some parameters for what will work best. I can find ways to make longer logos (i.e. Target's mark with the word TARGET to the right in instances where horizontal space is needing to be filled). It has to work well in many different applications. I never start logo design with colors on the canvas. If your ocean restaurant logo needs blue color, your logo needs something more obvious to say this is an ocean seafood restaurant.
  • Appropriate -- There is so much information that will be assumed about the product based on your logo. Goofy type = young or goofy audience = goofy product. Many products you see use non-specific type, logo texture (and later, color) because they have a broad general audience. Understanding your audience will set what is appropriate to them.

Logo Design Process
  1. Brief -- Talk with client about their preferences
  2. Research -- Looking at designs of competitors, past logos, audience preferences, etc. Often logos are indirectly related to the service/product they sell.
  3. Find Reference -- As you begin thinking of designs, you might look at photographs of items related to your client's business.
  4. Sketch/Develop Concept -- This starts on paper/napkins/scratch paper with loose sketches (thumbnails). Don't worry about text style or even what the text will say. I often plan text placement with blocks initially and then once the logo is further along in development explore the design with a variety of type options.
  5. Reflect -- Sometimes this is you looking at your various ideas alone or a conversation with your client and getting feedback on your work so far.
  6. Revise -- Often the design process goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 7, 6, 7, 5, 6, 5, 6, 5, 6... Clients can give lots of feedback that will require making revisions over revisions over revisions... Sometimes your first idea speaks to them and you build it as sketched and you're basically done. Depends on the concept and the client.
  7. Presentation -- You've already done presentations (shown progress along the way with your client), but you'll likely present and explain the entire process. 
  8. Deliver -- They might need a variety of file formats and sizes depending on how they'll be using it. Some clients will need the logo in their official color and B&W.
  9. Support -- If you've done a great job along the way, you'll probably get follow-up calls to support the client as they grow or change. "Our company got bought by another company so we'll need to adjust the text in the logo to say both names or 'A So-and-so company'. Could you help us with that?" And now, you've got a quick change that will give you some work and expanded portfolio.
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Garrison Reid,
Sep 19, 2014, 5:43 AM