Have you ever wondered about the first logo in the era of branding and advertising? Interestingly enough, it was a brewery company in England by the name of Bass that came up with its abstract red triangle logo that got the ball rolling. And since then logo design has come of age with professional experts and pro software suites helping to generate remarkably and dreamlike logos for varied products and services.
Logos promote instant public recognition and communicate brands’ overall persona. A great logo is an outcome of the great design process! Are you sure about not missing out on anything in creating a memorable logo? Find out with this quick guide.
A good logo is a balanced concoction of simplicity, timelessness, versatility and appropriateness that sums up the purpose and personality of your brand without the use of many words. The design process has to be equally neat and structured to generate a logo that works as an effective marketing device. Let us explore the bare essentials that are present in any workflow or system of logo design.
Top 5 Tips that should find a place in your logo design exercise
1) Take Client Notes (A lot of them)
Meeting, Briefing, Kickoff or Discussion – call it what you may, make sure you never skip this important starting point where the more you gather, the better you deliver. Take inputs from clients on their preferences and expectations, company culture, target group, values, people, competition as this helps to chalk out the blueprint of things liked by a client and things that are a total no-no for them.
Do: Ask all possible questions related to industry, company, and people to give the logo a distinctive feel and stand apart from the competition. Nobody likes a work that looks like a cheap rip-off, imitation or worse plagiarized
Don’t: Never give in to the temptation of skipping or shortening this phase of quality client conversation even though you might know about the company or the people it serves like the back of your hand. This keeps your assumptions and prejudices in check.
2) Review and Research (Explore the unspoken)
Apart from the fodder shared by the client, a good logo designer does his own share of research by delving deep into directly/indirectly related aspects. For instance, consider the industry you are catering to. A cola company’s requirements would be very different from the that of airline operator – as the former has more flexibility in terms of layout and colors, the latter needs logo that fits into the tail fin of the plane.
Considering the latest trends and best practices for the industry, competition logos, and insights on how the customers view the company, help to come up with convincing designs.
Do: Weigh in the factors of Originality and Relevance in the research phase. These will help you to not get swayed too much by overwhelming trends. Getting inspired by competition and other successful logos is good, but mimicking is foolish.
Don’t: Never gear the research to suit your preferences in logo design. Keep it an open board and not jump to conclusions too fast. Give enough time for things to brew up by bouncing ideas and designs with the client for their preference and approval
3) Sketching and Conceptualization (Putting thoughts into action)
As clichéd as it may sound, pen and paper or pencil and paper still rule the roost for getting the brain cells charged with creativity. Put down as many design ideas as you can think of before moving to the computer software programs. Make sure you have a good number of logos penned down for you to choose the best from the rest. Brainstorm with teammates to separate wheat from the chaff.
Do: It is a good practice to create Keyword Basket related to the brand name and the work they do. This fuels the imagination to come up with great logo designs – both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Don’t: Don’t be besotted with your very first ideas. You will be surprised of what you can think and create over an extended time frame.
4) Refinement and Revision (Inching towards perfection)
Once you have the shortlisted logo ideas sorted, move to the next step, which is checking the logo drafts on digital platform. Illustrator or any other nifty vector based app helps you to scale up the design to next level. Adding colors and other frills may not be too necessary at this stage as you are still shaping up the perfect version. Bounce off these black and white ideas with your client for feedback and suggestions for revisions. Basis the inputs, work on the final chosen logo drafts with colors and other minute details.
Do: Remember to go for an idea that sets your clients’ identity apart from the other names in the industry. The logo should suit the brands’ image and culture. If this means letting go the best or safe looking logo, so be it.
Don’t: Never go overboard with beatification and decoration of logo with fancy fonts and color scheme. The logo should have images, text or slogan as a unified identity with clarity and readability in different size options
5) Delivery and Launch Support (Time to Celebrate)
Once the client finalizes the logo design, with all its bells and whistles, it sets the tone for its application on varied platforms. The client needs support with art files in different formats/types for web use, general use, printing, business stationery, signage, and other communication/promotion tools. The logo designer needs to ensure the logo applications are standardized in a “brand book” or brand standard sheets.
Do: To avoid revisions and corrections post logo creation and adoption; anticipate and visualize all possible needs of the client and their brand identity system using the new logo
Don’t: Try to keep things simple and not complicate the brand identity design package with terms and instructions that are difficult to understand and implement. The brand book should be structured and self-explanatory so that the client’s printing agency and in-house team can make use without any hassles or follow-ups.
Logo design process is deceivingly simple looking but has many inter-twined elements that need to be taken care of to stay on track and create a logo that resonates brand identity effectively and consistently. Considering the above listed tips can give direction and seriousness to the otherwise fun-filled activity of logo design.
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