Living in the modern age of brands and trademarks, you can see logos everywhere! Thinking of a particular place you go to eat or a piece of clothing you wear daily, chances are the first thing that comes to your mind would be a symbol used as a company logo. Indeed, most brands have long become household names due to their immense popularity.
A logo is a graphical element associated with a brand. Obviously, it isn’t that easy to create a self-explanatory symbol used to present a company’s core values. There are two aspects of a logo: the logotype and logomark.
– The logomark is the graphic part represented by a symbol or an image.
– The logotype is the effective textual representation of a phrase or motto used by a brand.
It goes without saying that the brand logo has to be recognizable, so the design process involves many things. Finding a suitable font or creating one from scratch is only a half of the problem. A logo should look good whether it’s used as a watermark to protect an image or on the corporate letterhead. But how to decide which elements should be a part of a logo? How to choose a color for a logo? Read on to find out more about all of that.
Adobe Illustrator isn’t the only software one can use to make a logo. A designer can prepare a rough logo sketch in Paint, Corel Draw, or any other graphics suite. Still, Illustrator has proven to be the most convenient in use for both Mac and Windows computer owners. The Illustrator app works with vectors instead of raster graphics, meaning all details of your project will be preserved irrespective of the changes made.
Even if you have a vague idea about what a bezier curve is, the software will do the math for you. Vectors are used for logo creation mainly because they provide precision and the possibility to resize a vector image keeping its details intact. Whether you downsize or enlarge the graphic, it’s quality won’t suffer. In other words, Adobe Illustrator provides professional designers with full control of typography, line weights, corners, perfect curves, etc.
Corel graphics suite is also used by many designers as an alternative to Adobe products. Which one to use if more about your personal taste and habit. Most designers agree both packages have a steep learning curve. On the one hand, Corel Draw supports 100+ graphic formats, including AI and PSD files, while Illustrator offers 40+ million royalty-free images from its official database.
The NNPC Coreldraw logo is one of the most popular tutorial examples one may find online.
Believe it or not, there is no universal recipe for logo creation. The explanation is obvious: as many men as many ways to do the same task. Some designers would plunge headlong into the graphics program and do a rough mockup. Others would do a sketch on the paper first drawing an outline of the concept, then mixing and matching the elements before getting to the final mockup.
As cool as some designers are, some of them most likely resort to black magic to get THE logo they need.
All jokes aside, there are still aspects to keep in mind while doing the job of making a modern, yet simple logo design. It’s easy to get carried away in the process of creation, so try keeping the brand message in mind. Also, try being as organized as possible and keep track of your work. Here is a step-by-step guide that most creative professionals would find optimal to organize their workflow:
Indeed, research is a great way to work out a logo creation strategy and prevent unfortunate things like plagiarism. So, before inspiration hits you, go online and research the logos used by your client’s competition, analyze the design trends. Minimalist and concise logos prove to be more effective compared to the ones overloaded with imagery and typography. Remember, your task is to create a design that won’t look the same to everybody else’s but also wouldn’t stand out that much.
Believe it or not, a designer MUST know the message behind the logo. Whether its a blog, a clothing brand, or a YouTube channel – all of them have a mission statement. If you do a logo for a DJ or a band, you will obviously come up with a set of music related images and photography references. An organization logo for a school or a church will require a completely different approach. The point is, do you know what your client aims to express through the logo?
Think if you fully understand the client’s brand. An award ceremony and a fashion show may look the same in the public eye’s perception, but the message behind both events may be so different!
Not to mention if you need to create official brand elements like a stamp, monogram or website logo. Make a checklist to see if you know the following aspects of your client’s work:
– A product/service offered by the company;
– Target audience;
– Key competitors;
– Client’s team.
The same applies if it’s a logo for self-representation. Whether you’re a hipster or a corporate designer, try conveying the essence through your logo.
Putting all philosophy aside, let’s proceed to the logistics. See if you have agreed on the deliverables with your client:
– specify the file formats;
– sizes to use on social media;
– number revisions you’re willing to make;
– set the deadline.
Make sure to discuss all of the above before getting to work.
Designing your personal logo may be challenging, since describing your own venture and finding specific symbolism for yourself is the hardest. Different people ask around the internet: “How to make a logo to reflect the peculiarities of my business?” In a nutshell, here is a step-by-step guide to follow:
– Summarize your brand in a creative brief. List the target audience, the desirable image, budget you have and a competitors’ overview. This way, you will get an idea of the message you aim to convey with your logo.
– Decide on which variation of your name you’d like to use for the logotype. Is it just your first name, a full name, initials, or maybe it’s a nickname you’re known by? Making your name a brand name is a serious personal investment.
– When choosing a logo, try drawing inspiration from your own name. What if your first name has a hidden meaning or a not-very-obvious translation you could play with? You could also look from a different perspective by making a logo look based on what you do. Or maybe, draw some inspiration from what other people think of you?
– If your imagination fails you, try turning your appearance into a vector graphic to see if the concept fits the brand. Having unusual appearance or feature could play to your benefit!
– What colors do you think will suit you best? Once you’ve decided on the logomark and logotype, make several color variations of the same logo to decide which one is the best.
One does not become a designer who specializes in logos and branding out of the blue. Prior experience in graphic design as well as an ability to work in graphic software are extremely beneficial. And, that is not nearly all one must learn to find the right way! Here’s a short list of job requirements for someone who has made up their mind to be a logo designer.
– Strong working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Corel Draw, Jeta Logo Designer, Apple Motion, and other graphic /logo software.
– Knowledge of the formal design concepts, which includes theory and technique.
– Versatile portfolio to build your personal brand as a logo designer;
And, that is not to mention getting formal credentials, industry connections, immense effort and time spent on refining the designer skills and practice. So, next time someone tells you being a designer is as easy as ABC, you know what to respond.
As you already know, Illustrator isn’t the only graphics software for logo creation. Photoshop is one of the most popular programs used by designers as well. Below you will find a short tutorial on how to design a Volkswagen logo without text using Adobe Photoshop CS6. The tutorial is adaptive, use any available Photoshop CS version.
#1 Create a New Document
After you’ve started Photoshop, go to File -> New (CTRL+N key combination). Next, set the width and height for your design. For this tutorial, set the canvas dimensions to 500px width and 500px height. It is always possible to change canvas size later.
#2 Draw a Basic Form Using Pen Tool
1. Use a pen tool (“P” shortcut) to draw a line with it.
2. Grab the point at the end of the line and slightly drag it forth.
3. Fill the shape with black, or any dark color that goes with your chosen color scheme.
#3 Start Layering Up the Logo
1. Go to the layer with the shape on it -> Select All (“Ctrl+A”).
2. Copy and Paste (“Ctrl+C”, “Ctrl+V”) to the New Layer.
3. Use “Ctrl+T” shortcut to transform that newly copied shape and make it smaller than the original. NOTE: To keep the dimensions proportional, hold down the Shift while transforming the shape.
4. Load the selection (Select -> Load Selection)
5. Fill the selection with a lighter color using the paint bucket tool. NOTE: Load the selection, not fill it. Otherwise, you’ll have jagged edges.
#4 Add a Few Touch Ups
See, if your design looks something like this. If it does, layer up the logo once more. Add a few touch-ups to the final design using the Blending Options. Here you go, a simple logo is finished!
Are the any of the above tips and advice applicable to corporate logo design? Let us take a construction company as an example to find out. Big or small, a construction company logo must be supportive of the trademark!
It’s no secret that certain industries are associated with particular images. What’s the first association that comes to your mind when thinking about building and construction? A house, a crane, a brick wall? To avoid being generic, analyze competitors’ logos and try a different approach to familiar images. Places where a person lives and works are associated with stability and responsibility.
Colors play an important role in brand perception, so choosing appropriate colors for a logo is 50% of your success. A professional-looking color scheme can play to your logos benefit, while wrong colors will drive the prospects away. Which colors will work best for a construction business?
– Think blue, green, red or brown.
– Don’t use several colors in one logo. Using the hues of a particular color will look more favorable instead,
– Selecting the right font
Not only color but also font will make your logo truly memorable. Choosing legible font will enhance the visual representation of your brand.
– The text must look legible in different formats (website header, social media, business card, etc.)
– The font must go with the logomark to make the logo look as a wholesome system.
– Refrain from using fonts that are hard to read, scrolls and serifs, or handwritten fonts. Instead, use clean sans-serif, serif and monospaced typefaces (Arial, Helvetica, Droid Sans, etc.)
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand the key principles of logo design. Try your hand in different graphics software to see which one you’re comfortable to work with. Also, use free video tutorials on YouTube to learn some cool designer tricks and hacks. And, good luck with your logo!