One of the corner stones of many branding exercises, aimed to establish a product or service by offering instant recognition, is an effective logo design – so it can be beneficial considering the logo early on. To get an idea of the power of a good logo pay a visit to Chermayeff & Geismar, creators of some of the worlds most iconic brands. When you have finished there pay a visit to The Partners where you will see the power of colour in their imagery and read about their creative process of Assess, Think, Create and Manage.
The first thing you might think to do initially, me included, is to try and do it yourself – especially when funds are tight. We could just fire up Inkscape or Paint Shop Pro and get going with a design – and maybe even get lucky with a (in our opinion) half decent looking image that satisfies our personal creative outlets – but are we shooting our self in the foot long term? After all, it isn’t always easy changing your logo once your identity has been established – you certainly wouldn’t want to do it too often.
One place to start when considering a logo is the article How To Design A Logo by Jacob Cass. Playing with graphics can be easy and fun so a self designed logo can be tempting because logo design is one of those things that looks easy but really isn’t, certainly the more I learn about logo design the more I find myself thinking “I didn’t realise that”.
However, to get the best long term value out of your brand you may benefit from getting some advice and by considering hiring a professional logo designer, to help with this David Airey has a list of 10 things to expect from your logo designer.
A logo needs to be instantly recognisable as the brand herald. For example, if you see the golden arches symbol (or the big yellow M as my daughter puts it) – you can be pretty sure where you are – I think sure this level of brand recognition didn’t happen simply as a happy accident.
(image from Logo Designer Blog)
Every aspect of the logo is important including size, colour, style, wording, typeface, imagery, how it looks in different contexts and what message it conveys about you or your product. For example, a consulting company might not want to use Comic Sans for their logo font (or maybe they might!).
Given a choice of these two consulting companies – which one might you look at further? (I hasten to add I am not a dedicated logo designer so apologies if both of these images seem terrible to the professional eye).
A logo that only works on certain colour backgrounds may also experience problems further down the line, especially when you start producing printed material such as leaflets, brochures, and banners. Quite often you may also find a logo will need to exist in colour and mono for use in various applications (mono for faxing for example).
Lets look more at colour as an important factor in establishing brand recognition. Take the purple colour of Cadbury (Pantone 2685C I believe), the brown and gold of UPS, the red shade of Coca-Cola and the blue/green of Heinz Beans. Just a quick glance at these particular colours conjure up brand recognition. Look at the colours below – what brands jump to mind based just on each colour?
This is just the tip of the iceberg and hopefully highlight some things that may get missed when going it alone or not paying enough attention to the entire design process. It is important to really think about the entire process when creating a logo and there are many useful resources around to help you do just that. I like to dip in to various logo and logo design websites including Logo Design Love, Logo Lounge, Logo Of The Day, Logospire, and Logo Designer Blog.
Some interesting sites that talk more about the logo design process include:
- How To Use Colour In Logo Design To Effectively Communicate The Right Message
- Logo Design Tips, Color Considerations
- logo design processes and logo inspiration
- Logo Redesign Need Not be Radical
- 5 Recent Rebrands That Caused The Most Upset
- 10 Principles of the Logo Design Masters – VECTORTUTS
- Logo Design: Client Needs vs. Aesthetic Appeal
- 15 Excellent Logo Design Tutorials Using Illustrator
- How NOT To Design A Logo
- Dissecting the Logo Design Creation Process
- Amazon Book – Logo Designs That Work: Secrets for Successful Logo Design (That Works Series)
- Amazon Book – The Secret Life of Logos: Behind the Scenes with Top Designers
What have been your experiences with the development of a logo?
Have you gone it alone and been successful?
Did you hire a logo designer only to be unhappy with the results?
What were your priorities when considering a logo design?