LOGOBUILDING: Logo designer’s survival guide

When I was working on this article I’ve kept in mind two goals. The first one was to share my experience on creating logotypes for the companies, brands and products. And the second goal was to help designers, especially the beginners, save their time and energy on every stage during logo designing. Everyone can find the shortest way to the great result.

Let’s begin – the logo creation for a company, brand or product can be a long and complicated process, no matter how simple the result is in a graphic or technical aspect. The main tools that you should use here are not the tools of your graphic software but the knowledge. As you may also know, there are almost no chance to create a high quality design product when you are using only your intuition and subjective feeling of beauty. One great Russian painter and drawing teacher Peter Chistyakov said: “The strength of the artist is the knowledge. Creation without the knowledge is poor”. If you are beginner, it should become your main creed and the key to your success in design. Furthermore, there is no way to become a great logo designer if you only know how to use some design programs. First of all, you should explore some general theory of design, graphic and drawing such as shape, proportion, composition, perspective, theory of light and shade, colour theory. Also, I should emphasize that a good logo cannot be done without using the basic knowledges of Mathematics and Geometry.

Basing on my experience, I’ve divided the whole logo creation process on eight stages:

  1. Research
  2. Sketching
  3. Concepts’ Production
  4. Selection and Improvement
  5. Presentation Discussion Approval
  6. Amendments
  7. Final Look Approval
  8. Assignment

Research

In the beginning, make sure that the task is clear and you’ve clarified all the details with the client. Also, you need to ask the client to send you as much information as possible about the brand, company or product – make sure that you understand what exactly the client wants to get as a final product. And remember that he doesn’t pay for your artist’s ambitions but he pays for the specific result of your work that corresponds to his expectations.

Moreover, analysis of the competitors’ logos takes an important part too. In other words, you should know your enemies and always try to outshine them. It helps to discard the ideas that are already in use and think about something new. However, make sure that you do not make a copy of someone’s logo unconsciously or follow some patterns or the stamps of thinking.

And if logo creation is not the king of your everyday activities, then you should explore the latest trends and techniques in logo design. Always remember that the logotype must be long living symbol that doesn’t depend much on the annual changes of trends. As the conclusion to this part, I can say that the designer should always know about the modern trends but never forget that the classic is always in trend.

Sketching

“Should a good designer have some skills in drawing and sketching?” – it is the main question of every class or educational event that I’ve visited. In my opinion, definitely should! You can use your knowledge of the design theory in practice and develop your skills in the most effective way only when you are drawing or sketching.

That’s the most fun part of the whole process. Make as many sketches of logo as you can. Such kind of the searching is much better than just simple notes. It helps visualize your idea immediately, decide if it’s viable, you should develop it or just leave this idea behind and move on.

Concepts’ Production

Probably, this stage is one of the simplest, and it depends on your skills as a user of the graphic software. The choice of the program that you use for logo design does not affect the quality of your final product.

But you should remember that the client will use this logo for many different purposes and the size of the logo can be changed considerably. The vector graphics is the best for logotypes. It gives the opportunity to change the size of the logo without any quality losses.

Making logos concepts from sketch I try to use mathematical and geometric rules as much as possible.They help to build a nice and ordered structure. Logos are often used in monochrome form, so the order of the things to work with is: shape, fonts, colours.

The main rule that I keep in my work is the K.I.S(S) what means “KEEP IT SIMPLE(STUPID)”. The brilliant examples of this principle are the logos from Apple, Pepsi, McDonalds, Braun etc.

Selection and Improvement

If logo looks nice when it is a sketch or just an idea – it doesn’t mean that it will be the same way awesome after designing it. So, try to throw away the second-rated examples immediately to have some extra time for the development of the most successful concepts.

Presentation Discussion Approval

The key to the success is that you should never count on the imagination of your client. Try not use the simple white background if it is not the compulsory condition. Show the logo in the mock-ups that represent the things with this logo in everyday usage or have some visual effects. It will show how the logo fits the thing for what it is created and help you to recognize some defects of your work. Using mock-ups for your logos’ presentation helps you get the client’s approval much easier and even add less number of changes.

Amendments

As for me, this one is the most complicated stage of all process. It depends on how successful were the previous five stages of your work. It can take only few minutes of your time in a good case, otherwise – you will have to start the whole process from a very beginning. If you want to avoid the last scenario, so listen to you client carefully and try to understand what he’s talking about.

Final Look Approval

There is nothing complicated with this stage because you’ll get only one option of two. The first one is satisfied client or the second – that will take you back to the step five or six.

Assignment

Usually, the client has no idea how hard and complicated the logo designing is. He doesn’t realize all the challenges that you take working on his task. So, you have to show what he pays for. In this case, you can make the PDF file release which shows all the necessary information about the logotype such as conception and philosophy, fonts, colours scheme, some extra materials and bonuses. It represents you as highly professional, organized and responsible specialist.

Summing it up, the success of your work mostly depends on a good organization of logo creation process. It directly affects the quality and time spends of the final product. Thank you for taking the time to read our article and I hope these tips will simplify your work.

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