The following is a brief logo design synopsis outlining key design elements that go into a professional design. For starters 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. Behind this though will have been hours, days or even months of work leading up to the final design.
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.
Simplicity is key, a simple logo is easier for people to recognize and remember. In a world flooded with information and visual overload your logo needs to make an immediate impact. Complex or cluttered designs can get lost in the noise. Simple logos have a timeless quality. They tend to age gracefully, remaining relevant and effective for years or even decades. In contrast, logos with intricate details or trendy elements can quickly feel outdated. Simplicity also ensures that your logo looks good in various contexts and sizes. Whether it’s on a tiny social media icon or appearing on a massive billboard, a well-designed, simple logo maintains its integrity and legibility. It’s also easier tocreate in different formats retaining clarity and legibility.
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. Typography can convey the personality and character of a brand. Different typefaces evoke different emotions and associations. For example, a bold, sans-serif font may suggest strength and modernity, while a script font might convey elegance and sophistication. Or the font may even become a shape.
Logo Design Keypoints
1. The Essence of a Logo
A logo is more than just a pretty picture. It’s a visual representation of your brand’s identity, values, and mission. It should encapsulate the essence of your business in a single, memorable image. Whether it’s a wordmark, emblem, or abstract symbol, every element must be carefully considered.
2. Simplicity Is Key
The most effective logos are often the simplest. Think of the Nike swoosh or the golden arches of McDonald’s. These logos are clean, straightforward, and instantly recognizable. Complexity can dilute your message and make it harder for customers to remember your brand.
3. Versatility Matters
Your logo will appear on a variety of platforms, from business cards to billboards and digital screens. Therefore, it’s crucial that your logo is versatile. It should look great in color and black and white, large and small, and on different backgrounds.
4. Color Psychology
Colors play a significant role in how people perceive your brand. Consider the psychological impact of colors and choose a palette that aligns with your brand’s personality. For example, blue is often associated with trust and reliability and has a corporate association, while red can convey energy or excitement and green conveys a feeling of nature, the outdoors and health.
5. Typography Counts
If your logo includes text, the choice of typography matters. Select a typeface that complements the design and conveys the right message. Legibility is key, so ensure that the text is easy to read, even at smaller sizes. Typography in a logo, often referred to as “logotype” or “wordmark,” is a crucial design element that involves the use of custom or carefully selected typefaces to spell out the brand or company’s name. Typography can play a significant role in shaping the visual identity, message, and overall aesthetics of a logo.
A well chosen font can say as much about a company as the logo itself. If the logo containtypography then the font itself must be right. Typography in a logo is a powerful design element that can shape how a brand is perceived. It should align with the brand’s identity, convey the desired message, and ensure readability and recognition across various applications. Typography with the right font, when used effectively, can contribute to a memorable and impactful logo design.
6. Timelessness and Adaptability
A well-designed logo should stand the test of time. While it’s essential to stay current with design trends, avoid overly trendy elements that may become outdated quickly. Think about how your logo will look in ten or twenty years.
7. Seek Professional Help
I am of course biased BUT logo design is a specialized skill. While DIY design tools are readily available, it’s often wise to work with a professional graphic designer. A good designer has the expertise to create a logo that not only looks great but also represents your brand effectively. A logo that looks amateurish or just plain bad can damage your brand and public trust.
8. Consistency Is Key
Once you have your logo, ensure that it’s used consistently across all your branding materials. This consistency reinforces your brand’s identity and makes it easier for customers to recognize you. A logo and branding will often be accompanied with brand guidelines promoting important usage of the logo acrossdifferent applications. In simple terms how to use the logo and how not to use the logo.
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 person, company, product or service 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 or painted elements can be a nice contrast to the regimented geometric 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 and Adobe Photoshop. This software is ideal for generating, or artworking, vector based artwork. More often than not a logo can be broken down into basic geometric 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.
Additionally, the software allows for exporting logo files in various formats, as the client will likely need different file types for different applications (e.g., SVG for web, AI (native Illustrator file) or EPS for print). Unlike raster images (such as JPEGs or PNGs), which are composed of a grid of pixels and can lose quality when scaled up, vector artwork is composed of mathematical paths and shapes that can be scaled infinitely without any loss of quality. This makes vector artwork highly versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications, including logo design, illustrations, typography, and more. These files tend to have smaller file sizes compared to raster images, making them easier to store, share, and load on websites.
Vector artwork can be resized to any dimension without losing clarity or sharpness. This scalability is particularly valuable for logos and designs that need to appear in various sizes, from small icons to large banners.
Logo design is both an art and a science. It’s about distilling the essence of your brand into a simple, versatile, and memorable symbol. A well-designed logo can be a cornerstone of your brand’s success, leaving a lasting impression on your audience. Logo Design and branding is just one of many services Sixmile Design offers.