What Goes Into a Logo Design?
Logo design looks easy. Some of the best logo designs out there look deceptively simple as if they were created in 5 minutes flat. Like any skilled professional the graphic designer makes the task of logo design look simple. The reality couldn’t be further from this. An eye catching logo design created by a talented graphic designer will not only look great, capture some essence of the brand but will also be memorable as well.
The logo, graphic or emblem could even be more identifiable than the brand’s name. A lot of creative energy goes into a good logo design with an ideal solution taking time to reach. Top brands spend millions on logo designs. A good logo, well...looks good, a great logo brings personality and character to a brand.
First lets agree on what a logo actually is. To me a logo is a graphic or emblem, that may or may not encorporate text, commonly used by companies, organizations and even individuals to promote instant public recognition.
In my opinion there are many traits a successful logo design accomplishes.
The Logo Concept - Simplistic While Versatile
A good logo design is deceptively simple. There in lies it’s strength as the simplicity is easily remembered and successfully tranfers across numerous applications. By applications I mean end products like stationery, posters, exhibition panels, billboards, T-shirts etc. In this day and age you can also add online applications to this, primarily the Website and Apps. In other words the logo has to look good small, large, massive for print and low resolution and high resolution for screen application.
Black, White and Colour
A versatile logo is as striking in black and white or reversed out of black as it is in colour. However colour is a major consideration. Some logos work better just in black and white however adding colour can evoke a mood and even bring a bit of psychology into the occasion. Blue and grey will always tend to give a corporate feel to the logo, while green suggests a more natural earthy look while red, orange and yellow will always give more of a sense of enjoyment, energy and warmth.
Text Or No Text - That is the Question
A successful logo could even be reduced to purely a graphic device. Is text even needed? Many top brands project a simple mark into the public’s psyche. A simple shape can be eye-catching, powerful and memorable. The concept being this is something simple and will be remembered and easily recognised.
On the other hand a well chosen font that is customised may make an ideal logo and brand. Customisation is key here to creating something unique and identifiable. Custom lettering is far more unique, eye-catching and memorable in a logo than simply using a font anyone could get their hands on. Or the font may even become a shape.
How is a Logo Design Crafted Anyway?
A logo is created through skillful use of line, colour and shape. A graphic designer will begin by sketching out ideas based on initial ideas having (maybe) spoken to the client and gained some understanding of the business in question. Answers to these questions help the process - Why is this logo needed, who is the target audience and what is the purpose of the logo are just some of the aspects to take on board.
The design of the logo is derived from an understanding of the company that is to be promoted and branded. Personally speaking, I put an empahasis on shape and form while inspiration can come from anywhere. I would go as far to say a designer sub consciously stores inspiration from all sources including nature, TV, outdoors, indoors, books, people, experiences, print, magazines, other designers - absolutely anywhere and everywhere!
For example, I have on occasions incorporated hand painted watercolour effects into logo designs I have worked on. Hand drawn elements can be a nice contrast to the regimented shapes that tend to dictate a logo design. Again, simplicity is key to a good logo design and is the common thread running through the classic logo designs that people instantly recognise that make a reconisable brand.
The Logo Artwork
Ultimately the logo will be computer generated, more than likely from software such as Adobe Illustrator. This software is ideal for generating, or artworking, vector based artwork. More often than not a logo can be broken down into basic line and shapes. These elements are drawn up in Illustrator creating the Vector artwork. Vector artwork consists of line artwork so isn’t resolution based which is ideal for scaling artwork, so the resolution question is not a problem. Scaling up pixel based artwork will result in pixelation making the image appear blurred. This will not happen to Vector based artwork.
For more information on logo design and to see some logo designs I have created for clients click here.