Creating a logo for a client can be a designers dream when handed the task, but can also be a nightmare.
Looking at some of the biggest logos of all time it is easy to identify one key element - simplicity. Not overcomplicating your design with fancy bevels, drop shadows and outer glows – but producing something versatile, colour adaptable and memorable. Below are some of the tips that I take into account when designing for a client. That doesn’t mean they’re solidified or work for everyone, but they can definitely guide you in the right direction.
I can’t say it enough. Sketch your ideas on paper before you start working digitally. Sketching allows you to visualise a fleeting idea before it disappears. No matter where you are, a stroke of genius may cross your mind and you need to get it drawn. Don’t wait until you are near a computer as the idea won’t be the same as when you first thought of it. Sketching potential ideas also starts a chain reaction, the more you sketch, the more ideas spring into life.
Also keep in mind when you have completed your sketching phase – don’t send the rough copy to the client! Tidy up your drawings with a fine liner or similar and create a document to hold the ideas you’ve created. It adds that professional touch to your work and the client doesn’t have to see your awfully drawn first draft.
Colour Isn’t Everything
When moving onto the digital creation of the logo, keep in mind that colour isn’t everything. Sure, it is key to the final design and as fun as it seems to play with all of the colours under the sun immediately - remember that the logo needs to work in one solid colour for a multitude of different media; such as stamps, woodwork, engraving and some embroidery.
When the logo finally materialises into colour, remember that colour carries meaning. Colour controls mood and certain colours have certain connotations (white symbolises purity, red is passion or warning, blue cool and calm). You can change the interpretation of the viewer by simply changing the colour palette, so make sure that you completely understand the client and their core values to create a logo that reflects this. Try to only use gradients where absolutely necessary to enhance your current design, and make sure the logo still works in one or two colours.
Your logo is going to be used on everything from company pens and placemats to billboards and posters. Issues arise when a logo cannot be shrunken down without becoming illegible or distorted. Versatile logos often have little detail and what detail they do have is tested at multiple sizes to make sure the logo keeps the same impact and has the same meaning and effectas when used at a standard size. Try not to use thin lines or dots as these can become broken or completely disappear when printed small.
Don’t Design for Trends
Trends come and go, but style remains forever – so they say. This can be applied to the art of logo design also. For instance, take the long shadow trend. Creating a logo for a client using this trend may seem cutting edge at the time, but 6 months down the line the logo will look dated and cliché. Take a look at some of the timeless logos (Nike, Apple, NBC) and see how they have evolved over the years. Be inspired by these logos to create something just as beautiful. And remember K.I.S.S, Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Make It Relevant
Where applicable, make your logo match the sector that you’re designing for. If you’re designing for a law firm, keep it professional and slick. Designing for a kid’s toy store? Using elements such as toys or balloons immediately portray a different type of brand and will help an understanding of the business for potential customers. The Evernote logo is one of my favourites. By using an elephant to represent their productivity suite of organisation and never forgetting, the consumer immediately absorbs that feeling and believes in the company. Do some research on logos from the sector you’re designing to see how you can create your own. But don’t copy! Seeing similar logos to competitors gives a negative reputation to the company and you as a designer.
See Also: 20 Innovative and Minimalist Logos
I hope I could help you on your way to creating a truly timeless and iconic logo for whatever client you may be working for. Do you have any tips or tricks you take into account during your creative process? Leave a comment below and share your design genius with the community!