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  • Basics of Logo Design

    Let me explain a few things about logo design. (Lucky you, right? )

    This 'logo' looks like it was created in Photoshop... as someone who doesn't know your background in design please don't be offended when I ask, did you know that all logos should be designed in vector software (Illustrator, Freehand, Corel Draw) for scalability? Graphics made in Photoshop are not scalable. To be honest, while most people think that Photoshop is good for everything under the sun, its primary use in print design is for photo editing.

    Did you ever wonder why Adobe Creative Suite includes InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop? Why Corel Suite includes Corel Draw and Photopaint? Each program has specific strengths and is designed for specific uses.

    Page Layout: InDesign, Corel Draw, Quark XPress
    Vector work: Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand
    Photo editing: Photoshop, Photopaint

    Here's a thread that explains why: An explanation of Raster vs Vector

    Ultimately, it's all about resolution and some day the client might want to have their logo put on a billboard... if the resolution is just not there, it is going to be a problem.

    In addition, if you were to fax this, it would probably come out as a black blob. The general recommendation is to stay away from effects like glows, gradients and drop shadows when designing logos. (Here's an explanation of that: Logo questions.) And sure, people might not fax all that much any more, but there are other applications in which a logo has to work in black and white: black and white newspaper ads. NCR forms. Engraving. Etc.

    Also, consider the fact that when this logo is shrunk down to the size of a nickel - like for a business card, etc., the small text would be largely unreadable. A logo has to "work" at all sizes, from very large (like on a billboard) to very small (like if it were engraved on a pen).

    Logo design is a very complicated process. It is something that some designers devote their entire career to. An effective logo is not generic... it is the essence of the company as you want to be perceived by the world. It's not usually something you can "just come up with in 10 minutes".

    It's usually best to start by brainstorming. Think of every word you can that you associated with your company. What sets you apart from your competition? What makes you special? Why should somebody use your company? What is your "mission"? Brainstorm in words until you can't think of any more words. And don't self-censor. Write down all of the words that come to mind, even if they don't seem relevant.

    Next, pull out some paper and a pencil and start sketching. Sketch about 5 or 6 pages worth of ideas. They don't have to be magnificent... and you don't have to show them to anybody. Think about the words you brainstormed while you sketch. How can you represent all those ideas in a simple, effective mark?

    Narrow it down to the 5 best concepts and really flesh those out. Design in black and white to make sure your concept is strong before you actually start adding colors. Seriously. If the concept doesn't work in black and white (no shades of gray, JUST black and white) then there is likely something technically wrong with your concept.

    Post these 5 concepts for critique. Revise as necessary, THEN add color once the concept is complete.



    Hope that helps some!
    Last edited by morea; 02-11-2012, 02:06 PM.
    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

  • #2
    Several People were asking for this so here ya go

    Comment


    • #3
      Awesome sticky, thanks Kool!

      I love the mods on this board.
      ♪ Butterfly in the sky,
      I can go twice as high.
      Take a look,
      It's in a book,
      A Reading Rainbow ♫

      Reading Rainbow...

      Comment


      • #4
        thanks Kool... and now I will go look for your Friday special :-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Always considerate. Thanks a lot
          We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

          Comment


          • #6
            A nice succinct logo guide.

            I can just hear those kids now though - TLDR.

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe make users answer a few multiple-choice questions before they can post

              1. Is this graphic made in Photoshop?

              A.
              Yes
              No
              Are you crazy?!

              2. Is this graphic in all one color--I.e. black and white?

              A.
              Yes
              No
              Gradients = ♥ (instant denial)

              Etc. etc. etc.

              I'd have failed from the beginning.

              EDIT - No I'm not entirely serious. I don't think the host site even offers that option
              ♪ Butterfly in the sky,
              I can go twice as high.
              Take a look,
              It's in a book,
              A Reading Rainbow ♫

              Reading Rainbow...

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd have failed from the beginning.
                me too... live and learn though, right?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Exactly. Which I think this thread will help with for beginners who actually take the time to read and genuinely want to learn more about the realistic side of GD.
                  ♪ Butterfly in the sky,
                  I can go twice as high.
                  Take a look,
                  It's in a book,
                  A Reading Rainbow ♫

                  Reading Rainbow...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow! This just helped me tremendously.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm glad somebody else besides me pointed out the uses of Illustrator. I am sick of hard core developers with a photoshop logo asking me - can you fix this logo? Like duh! Let's start and the end and work backwards - very smart (not). Excuse my rant but I get this a lot. nice work morea.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        These rules should be obvious? I'm a tad taken back by a "professional" (newbie to this forum, or not) needing to learn the basics here. I don't have an advanced masters degree, or decades of experience, but it's GD 101 to create identity in vector form. How are you charging for GD services, when you don't understand the basics?

                        I realize that these comments might make me seem a certain way... but I feel like someone charging for services that doesn't know what they are doing makes us all look bad. Just IMO.
                        "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." ~ MLK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bree, we have members of all skill levels here. Yes, we are a forum of professional graphic designers, but take a look at the introduction threads. We have "sick sig" makers doing everything in Photoshop, high school and college kids who are looking for some guidance, young freelancers and seasoned pros. We try to archive as much information as we can about graphic design so that folks with a problem can learn from folks who've already found a solution to that same problem.

                          We're all about lifting one another up, but keep your heavy sweater on in the Crit Pit!
                          This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                          "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I still believe that Graphic Design as a profession should have created a minimum list of skills and a minimum number of years as an apprentice before being able to accept money for work as a freelancer. That belief grows stronger on a daily basis.
                            Alas. It's many years too late for that now.
                            <sigh>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Got it all backwards

                              I tried creating a logo, i ended up making an ogol.

                              Comment

                               
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