Busy designing logos recently – Lucky to say. The last 2 projects that I completed were smooth. Great communication, great process and great results. Both clients were very satisfied with my work. It’s a charm when you land on jobs that are clear and straight-forward but there will be times when you get jobs that feel wrong before you even start. These projects will last forever with countless rounds of revision. In not-so-fortunate cases where I don’t have the option to walk away, I try hard envisioning the day when I can call it done! Meanwhile I take it as an opportunity to better myself as a communicator, designer and to learn how to avoid similar cases in the future. It is because of a not-so-fortunate case, I found this very useful article on designing logos so I am happy to share it here. It is written by David Airey, a graphic designer in Northern Ireland, author of www.logodesignlove.com
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I’ve learned from quite a few mistakes during my time as a designer, and to save you from doing likewise, here are 10 logo design tips I picked up.
1. A logo doesn’t need to say what a company does
Restaurant logos don’t need to show food, dentist logos don’t need to show teeth, furniture store logos don’t need to show furniture. Just because it’s relevant, doesn’t mean you can’t do better.
The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an aeroplane. The Apple logo isn’t a computer. Etc. Etc.
2. Not every logo needs a symbol
Sometimes a client just needs a professional wordmark to identify their business. Don’t be afraid to ask what they think.
3. Two-way process
Remember, things might not always pan out as you hope. Your client might request something you disagree with. If that happens, try giving them what they want, then show them what you believe is an improvement, and why. They’re less likely to be so resistant if they already see how their thoughts pan out.
4. Picasso started somewhere
You don’t need to be an artist to realise the benefits of logo sketching. Ideas can flow much faster between a pen and paper than they can a mouse and monitor.
5. Under-promise, over-deliver
If you’re unsure how long a task will take to complete, estimate longer. Design projects are like construction work” you piece lots of little elements together to form a greater whole, and setbacks can crop up at any time.
6. Leave trends to the fashion industry
Trends come and go, and when you’re talking about changing a pair of jeans, or buying a new dress, that’s fine, but where your brand identity is concerned, longevity is key.
Don’t follow the pack.
7. Work in black first
By leaving colour to the end of the process, you focus on the idea. No amount of gradient or colour will rescue a poorly designed mark.
8. Keep it appropriate
Designing for a lawyer? Ditch the fun approach. Designing for a kid’s TV show? Nothing too serious. I could go on, but you get the picture.
9. A simple logo aids recognition
Keeping the design simple allows for flexibility in size. Ideally, your design should work at a minimum of around one inch without loss of detail. Look at the logos of large corporations like Mitsubishi, Samsung, FedEx, BBC etc. Their logos look simple and are easier to recognise because of it.
10. One thing to remember
That’s it. Leave your client with just one thing to remember about the design. All strong logos have one single feature to help them stand out.¨
Not two, three, or four.