Logos are a dime a dozen. Logos come and logos go, but Great Logos will last a lifetime. Some logos have become timeless, for instance, the McDonald’s logo, when you see this logo, or even your kids see this logo, they know it is McDonald’s. McDonald’s Logo is so popular now, that they have removed the company name from the bottom of the logo. That is logo staying power, and this is just one example of how logos stand the test of time. This blog is not only for logo designers, but business owners who need a logo, or have a logo and are not happy with it. Hopefully business owners will say, “I really need a professional to design a timeless logo for me.” Hopefully this blog will also challenge logo designers, including myself to say, “When I create this logo, will it represent this business 50 years from now?”
1. Brainstorming With The Client
Creating logos for customers sometimes can be hair-pulling, but be patient with them, and coach them into understanding what they need and what they want. Pick a time to sit down with them, and create some open ended questions, that cause them to respond with descriptive answers. Don’t worry though, not all customers need coaching. Proactive customers will already have 2 or 3 designs pieced together with some clipart they found on google. If a customer is proactive enough to take the time to figure out what they want, then blow their mind with what you produce, based on their mock-ups.
2. The Decision Process
When creating your logo, you must first make the decision, whether it’s going to be a text logo, a picture logo, or a combination of both. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose, just know that the logo’s presentation is dependent upon how unique it is, and this should set it apart from others. Rule of Thumb: All logos must work in black and white first, before adding color. If it doesn’t work in black and white, then it’s not a good logo. The reason why is because logos should be able to look good on all platforms, including news print. For this reason, it is also good to have more than one version of the finished logo.
3. Beginning To Illustrate
Personally, when I begin to create a logo, if I’ve decided on an image that is going to represent this company, then I’m going to draw it. Freehand is not my specialty, but the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator is incredible. So what I tend to do is find an image on google, and trace it, then create the logo around it. Once you’ve illustrated your logo, then you’re going to transfer the logo into photoshop to stylize it. In order to accomplish this affectively, all the elements of the logo must be created in layers, so that you can transfer them into photoshop individually.
4. Stylizing the Logo
Stylizing your logo is going to be the last step in the logo making process. You want to be careful though, stylizing a logo for the web is different than stylizing a logo for print. When you stylize a logo for the web, basically anything goes, for example, drop shadows, strokes, bevels, glows, etc. When you stylize a logo for print, you can use your bevels, and strokes, but be very gradual with your glows, and very subtle with your drop shadows. Drop shadows don’t print well, so you only want to add enough drop shadow to make the logo pop to give it that 3-D effect. As we talked about in the illustration phase of the logo, putting your effects and drop shadows on your individual pieces of the logo, really give it that professional edge.
Creating logos is a process that’s been around for ages, no matter what name it has gone by. Whether it was called Hieroglyphics or the King’s Coat of Arms or branding animals through blacksmith, these were all forms of logos in the past. Logo Design is not going anywhere, just getting more innovative. Ultimately, you want a logo that has staying power, and to be a logo that people on a broad scale recognize your business by. Be creative and coach the customer. If you’re a customer, be willing to receive coaching, so that you and your logo designer can come up with a logo that both of your are proud of.