In this tutorial I am going to demonstrate how to carefully design a professional, eye catching and memorable logo. I will illustrate this in 13 easy steps. I will illustrate how to create the logo with multiple methods included and multiple applications used in the industry today, using modern advance techniques and how to apply them Adequately and responsibly to achieve a stunning yet affective and modern illustration. If at any stage you are frustrated or confused with the process of logo design, I highly recommend Company Logo Designer, they are online U.K company that specialises in the production of stunning, professional logos and have a very talented team that work around the clock to insure your dream business image comes to life, with exceptional value and very speedy services, click here for more information. The key here is to approach the design in steps of guidance and direction to implicate the points of a good graphical image and to avoid unattractive and ill suited revisions that most people experience when trying to develop a professional business image. I have published below a step by step guide of what I personally believe is the best benchmark of a great designers fundamental journey in illustration. If you follow these steps you should avoid any misconstruction and unprogressive representations of your business image or any clients artwork you wish to develop.
A Bit About The Author
My name is James Whitehall and over the past 25 years I have worked in the graphic design industry and have experienced a lot of positive feedback from many clients and graphic designers in the field. I started out as a Website Designer for a company called BNC Design and quickly became promoted to head of graphic design. It was a long and invigorating progression but was very rewarding and extremely conscientious, however I have found that it is an industry that requires a lot of attention to detail. I have learnt over the past 25 years that every client requires a different approach meaning that the work that I performed was always bespoke to the specification required. On this journey I indeed knew that a template of constructive specification logs were probably the most unrealistic approach to benefit a designer such as myself, however I do believe that a step by step guide on creating a respectable product is necessary so I think you will enjoy this article none the less. I have tried to keep it as brief as possible however some of the information can not be explained within the transcript of a simple sentence. I hope you enjoy this read and take as much of this information with you on your own personal graphic quest. – James Whitehall (Senior graphic designer at CDL).
Step 1: Attain A Design Application (That Works For You!)
It can be very daunting finding a design application that works well, god knows I have worked with many different applications that sometimes they feel very simple to navigate the controls and tools and other times I feel like I want to launch my computer through my window and start a blog about how ridiculously there software has been developed. I find that Adobe Illustrator offer great solutions to all operating systems and works well with other services, however it has a vastly steep learning process that requires a lot of time and effort to fully appreciate its true value. It is fairly priced but it all depends on your budget, it may take you a lengthy amount of time to design your logo and you may end up paying more money on your application service, when it may be a lot cheaper just to acquire a graphic designer to build your product for you. CorelDraw is a great platform for many design elements and is really easy to use for pen too applications and the process is relatively quick although you need to have an adobe illustrator software so that you can exchange, edit and open files sent to you by the more adobe illustrator users globally. Although CorelDraw boasts ease of use, it is fairly strenuous to perform copy & paste, and some tools require a little getting used to if you are a novice user. The layout is fairly simple enough though if you put the time in. Finally we have Inkscape, now, Inkscape is fairly user friendly application, its small in size and can run on multiple platforms, it has more than enough tools and features to satisfy your thirst for production and its interface follows a great design pattern so it can be understood with ease, however one massive con is that Inkscape does seem to get progressively slower and laggy if you apply too many filters on your object. I would personally recommend Adobe Illustrator, It works well with all systems and is universally recommended by all experts in the field, you can always cancel your subscription at any time and save your progress.
Step 2: Research Other Designs..
Researching other designs is the most basic building block of all logo construction, you can ask any top designer that. The first step in finding out what to design is finding similar business images and recreating there illustration to match your own imaginative constructs. Once you have an idea in mind of what you want draw a rough sketch in a book or using a design software and have it display next to the images of other peoples work. Find out what makes there logos great and emulate the concepts. Once you have a rough sketch work out what makes your business unique and try to illustrate a vector based tracing of that concept, it could be that your business is a law firm and thus needs a strong icon to represent its abilities, like a eagle or a strong animal icon. Barclays bank is a very good example of this and utilizes the concept well, insuring a healthy balance of professional yet superior contrast. Once the logo has a dominant staple icon that displays conviction you can then work out how to manage the font to accompany the icon. Try and visualise the logo on paper (print) and websites, does the logo fit your business image?, Is the logo suited to all applications including signs?, business cards ect.. Does the logo contain enough detail?, does the logo not have enough detail? Constantly revise all these requirements because once the logo is launched there is no going back!
Step 3: Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is paramount to the logos reputation, recognition and network. The logo should represent a firm memory to associate with your business. The best way to do this is to get feedback from your clients and understand what they expect from you, ideally you should email and liaise with your connections to gain as much response to your illustrations as possible, keeping open to ideas and concepts that your clients expect from your reputation. These objectives are achieved through a network of progressive detail and bouncing ideas off of your team of what you think would stand out, be convictive and appropriate to display your business image. A great website with more information is Top 10 interior logo designs for your inspiration from a website called designhill.com, they display design concepts for interior design business with many company listings. You can gather a great deal of illustration technique just by viewing these designs even if you are not an interior design firm.
Step 4: Color Scheme
Getting a logo right is one thing, getting the color to work is another.. In priceable it is recommended that you only use 2 colors, but rules can sometimes be broken. Most famous artworks sometimes bend a lot of rules to create a unique peace that is memorable and effective, however logo design is vastly different to most forms of art graphic design, conventional color rules are uncompromising and very disciplined. We live in a very unforgiving world when it comes down to design elements and we must play by the rules. A lot of brands and logos we consciously recognize when we are even initially following them, they run in the auto pilot background of our self conscious. Take for example coca cola it utilizes two colors and is so iconic, I doubt there is one person in the universe that has not seen the logo. Its simple affective two color system does it job without deficiency of its intent, The reason for this?.. simplicity always prevails! So moving swiftly on to color schemes. Color Schemes should always follow simple rules, these rules are monochromatic (Using of one color) and have similar tints and hues and shades you can always research these on a array of useful websites, but for now lets just stick to the basics. Lastly we have analogous, Analogous schemes are created by using three colors that are next to each other on the analogous color wheel (Please look up Analogous color wheel). Traditionally, analogous color schemes all have the same chroma level, but by using tones, shades, and tints we can modify these conditions and create our own adaptions. For more information on colors I urge you to buy a book called Bright Earth by Philip Ball.
Step 5: Fonts And Text
Fonts are just as important as the logo image if not more so, in the words of Robin Nicholas- A Famous Font Designer “Creative inspiration is a gradual process, I think working with type faces on a daily basses you get to understand and see the strengths and the weaknesses of existing typefaces, and this often sparks the interest of a new design, from that you draw a few test characters, look at those, redevelop them, redraw them and gradually a new design will come out of that”. Robin, hit the nail on the head with this one, fonts define and speak a thousand words in illustration and they should be respected and developed with care and intention, a key rule is to carefully display the attributes of your intended message through the fonts. Making fonts “match” can be a difficult task also, you need to carefully analyze each font partner and see if it works for your design by acquiring visual hierarchy throughout, this is a tricky task, this can be achieved by the font mood, Is it playful?, Elegant? Impactful? Bold?, How does it flow?.. These are all the elements in which to consider before matching multiple fonts. Reading news paper headlines is a great place to start, they are packed full of usefull ideas in the marriage of fonts, pairing serif and sans work well however it is fairly overused and sometimes gives interminable perceptions. Sometimes fonts do fair well with an opposite personality of the original font, coining the expression” opposites attract”. It is fair to say that, if you are using an eccentric font, pair it well, with a serious font to balance out the personality of the illustration. Another rule is to try and find a new font that isn’t over used, much like the popular Helvetica, Arial, Impact or Sans. A great place to find fonts at a low cost is Dafont.com or Linotype.com for the more popular ones.
Step 6: Drawing And Illustration
The infamous “Pen Tool” isn’t always your best drawing companion when designing a logo, sometimes its a great idea to work with shapes and pre existing icons to lay down a foundation of artistic development. Start with a simple idea of what it is that your company or client is offering and incorporate it into the font or the icon so that it fits with the personality of the business. Illustrated above is a good example of how a droplet of ink is incorporated into the text, the icon should always marry up with text of the logo, offering a deeper meaning and incentive, everything should “work” and “flow” to give a simple clear message to the viewer. You can start of by sketching ideas on paper with round brushes or pencils and then once you have a sketch of the artwork scan it into Photoshop or a similar application and use these elements to play with. You can use the Lasso tool to select the elements you don’t need and finalize these elements with the pent tool. Try and take as many different vectored examples as you can from many different sources and combine them, discarding ideas that don’t match. I should point out that if you ever get stuck or need any advice on drawing a logo or any other logo related queries please feel free to contact our friendly design experts on our contact us page and our friendly design team can help and advise with any questions you have.
Step 7: Website And Print Applications
One major thing to consider when constructing a logo is how it will appear on Print, Website and other applications. This is where your logo should be clear to view on small printed documents such as business cards and letterheads. A good rule of thumb is to view your logo on an a$ peace of paper at a size no more than 2cm by 2.5cm respectfully. You also should consider the logo on embroidered applications, even though, most logos can be applied to garments via heat transferred printed material, sometimes however this looks least professional and can expire relatively quickly so you may loose a lot of money invested into these types of clothing. The key here is revision, I always provide my clients with a business card mock up so they can understand how the logo will fit on small canvas documents. As for your website, your aren’t limited to size as long as the logo is fairly proportional, web designers can be fairly accommodating with the placement of your logo and can work with most submitted artwork, however it is always good to double check the text is visible from a large distance. When designing print artwork, always remember a balanced design and a clean layout of artwork on your canvas.
Step 8: Revision
Most Graphic Designers create multiple revisions to there client and so should you, even if you think the logo is of an exceptional standard, you should still create another example from scratch using different themes and colors, this is how “award winning” logos are created. A perfect example of this, is a website called Design Contest, it is a website that is built on design entries from graphic designers all over the world, that create a logo from the clients specification and the designers enter there illustrations, The illustrations are then ranked in an order of popularity, after a few days, or weeks from the launch of there requested advert the client is then obliged to pick a winning submission from the list of entries and then proceeds with a payment to the designer. It is a great place to gain knowledge of other graphic designers artwork and can give you a good balance of what clients expect from the quality of your logo.
Step 9: Legalese
Its funny, a lot of law students and even law professionals struggle to understand the law on typefacing and font , and the use of these commercially, I will start by saying, I am no expert in law however, I do pride myself on the awareness of Brand Identity, the truth is many designers out there incorrectly assume that they can freely use any typeface or font for the production of logo design and other design projects. So how do you know if a font is for free or if you need to obtain a licence to use it? Well when you download a font, each font comes with a license explaining how you may use that font and how you may not use the font. The font will come with an End User License Agreement (EULA) in which you should read and familiarize yourself with all of its documentation and instructions. As for Microsoft and Apple stock fonts, I would strongly suggest reading the licence agreement of your Microsoft or apple product and make sure you know where you stand with them. Some fonts come with restrictions, you can use these fonts for private use but the font owner might not of intended these fonts to be used commercially and all of these restrictions should be in the font documentation.
Step 10: Copyright
According to the UK Copyright Service; “A logo that includes artistic or design elements, (i.e. not just the name on its own), is legally regarded as being a work of artistic creation and therefore will be protected under copyright law.” To copyright your logo, you need to use the copyright symbol. The symbol of the letter “c” in a circle is the universal symbol for copyright. Include the symbol or word within your logo or right next to it to insure a dominant brand, business, or service artwork copyright.
Step 11: Files And Storage
Once your logo has been finalized and completed you should create a folder containing all the files of the artwork and documents. You should include an .EPS file, .PDF file, .SVG File, .PNG file and a design file (A.I) if your using illustrator. PNG files can be used for most digital intentions and purposes, they are useful if you require digital images with transparency, or artwork to put on colored backgrounds, also for edited examples on other images, however it is best to not use PDF files for printed applications. PNG Files are notoriously good for website applications and letterheads, most browsers open PNG files with ease. SVG or “Scalable Vector Graphic” files, are the heart of the design, they are great files for print usage and displaying graphics on high resolution requirements. EPS files are the best files to work with for graphic designers, these files should be given to all web management teams, graphic designers and artworkers and printers.
Step 12: Feedback
This step is most definitely the most important of all the previous steps as this defines your business legacy. Its extremely important to have feedback from your piers, customers and business professionals to insure your logo is reflecting an operate message to the viewer. This means so much not just as a designer but as a business manager as well, remember your logo is the heart of your business image, it literally speaks for you, and expresses the quality of which your business provides, it should have a strong convictional message with a iconic character to re enforce the viewers decision to acquire business from you.
Happy brand building! and I hope this article gave you a great deal of information and inspiration of what to expect from a professional logo design.