Logo Design is a Brain Buster

Some of you thinks designing a logo is the simplest thing that might be whole design package because it is such a small thing and sometime you might think that even you can design it yourself. However it is totally the opposite from that is probably one of the hardest because there are so many factors you need to consider.

Client's Taste
This is a major problem when you are designing, that you have to design it to the taste of your client, while they're not designer. This is such a big issue when you design a logo for a client, while you are at school the teachers I found they do very little on this question. But in reality your logo often need to meet the taste of your client while you might think that you have designed is already the best. I have seen several times that companies choose the worst of the concepts while the other ones were much better made and had more time spend on them. However we can't show one single logo like the design master Paul Rand himself, however if you are that sure that the single logo you have produced is the best you should go for it with all your confident.

However to have the best and closest view of what your client want you need to make a question sheet with all sort of things so you know what they would like and how to get just that bit more closer to what they want. This included logo's that the clients like from competitors, certain trend with link to a trend site, a message that the logo must submit and all sort of different things.

Copyright infringement
This probably the 2nd most annoying things of designing a logo. When you design a logo you have make sure that your design is the only one in the whole world. However there are no database or programs that can help you to be sure that your logo is the only one, all you can do is to search of Google that there are none. However there is a brand registration company that can check these things, however it cost allot and take allot of time for them to be sure of this.

I have a certain process on designing a logo, I actually spend allot of hours searching Google for everything close to their company and their services or products. Some might think I am playing around with Google for hours of trying to search Google for a logo that I can copy. However I search everything first and remember those design so I know they already exist so I won't copy anything.

So either way this is something if you want to do it right you need to stick allot of time in it, to not to copy of another logo even if you have never seen that logo before.

Draw or use references
Some of you might think you can use anything that is placed on the internet and just take it over into a logo, however this action is totally illegal. Things on the internet and especially pictures are mostly under certain copyrights. Also you wouldn't be happy if you head was suddenly used for a logo or an art piece without a premission. There are client who says: "I found this great picture on the internet could we use that", in certain case it can be allowed if you could make it so that you don't even see that it was derived from that picture, however I would not recommend it. The best is to ask for an own made photography or just go out on yourself to do a photoshoot for it.

But the most logo's are and should be made totally by hand without any reference of any picture or statues or anythings else. However most nature can be used because those are things there are not copyrighted. But to be on the saver side, use photographs that you made yourself or just, draw the designs yourselves. This is very brain busting but you have to teach youself to be open and draw everything you so you can sketch them into any logo you can.

Program knowledge
This is the most basics you need to know the programs to design a logo with. Some of you out there think you can design because you just learn to use Photoshop, but Photoshop isn't even a program to design logo's with. Logo's need to be scalable from size as big a building to just a small logo on a business card, this can only be achieved with a vector files. The more preferred program packages to design logo with are Illustrator, Coreldraw or even Inkscape which supports vector images.

Vector vs Bitmap. A bitmap based pictures are mostly made in Photoshop , Paint Shop Pro. These all designs that are made up from pixels and when a 100% size design is increased to 200% the picture either get blurred or it get pixelated and looses the details. When a vector image ( that is made in Illustrator, Inkscape or any or vector supported program these) is resized to tremendes sizes they don't lose any details and stays very sharp, this is because the logo is build up from lines called vectors and not pixels. For the 3D modelers this is compared to polygon modeling as pixel and nurbs as vectors.

Keep learning
However you need to learn each new tricks that comes with each new version of these vector design programs and even to design on different kinds of programs. Some of the logo's especially car logo's are 3d logo's which are made by 3d programs like 3D Studio Max or any other 3D programs. These have special rendered materials like chrome or any other special paint or colors, which can not be achieved easily with Illustrator. However at the moment we are on the edge to have something more extreme then just 3D or Web2.o logo's, the next big thing for the internet is actually having animated logo's, this means we have to learn newer programs and keep up with everything to make it possible.

In every design there is a certain trend, each year there are new things happening and also you can easily spot what kind of trends are a hype and what has gone out of style. First thing everything you have learning at art history you need to throw in the garbage cause designing a Bauhaus style other kind of art style got nothing to do with trends. At the moment there are 2 things you can do when you design, one is to search trend guides which could tell you what is hip or do an own research to see what is hip at the moment. The second is to set a trend yourself however this is very hard thing to do when you just started, but if you do good research and try out some trendwatching on your own you could do it.

Research, sketching, thinking and getting into the zone
Designing is also many hours of research, sketching, thinking and getting into the zone. The zone is a wierd space but if you get there you can design anything, and always the best designs come out of you from that moment. However the search of the design to get into that place can often mean using allot of time to research things. The research is allot of things but all to get the best design there is. Sketching isn't just a small paper full of drawings, but nowadays sketching happens more onto the computer self. And sometimes you can open a Illustrator file where there are more then 50 different logo's for the same company. However the client will never see much of all these processes because they are not interested in them, but only the final few logo's they can choose from or the one you submit to a pitch.

So the next time you think a designer is asking too much money for a logo, you need to think of the many hours he actually might stick into it. A professional designer know what they are doing plus they know what is the best for your company and to translate what your company stand for into a logo.


Anonymous said…
Hi, I thought your post was very interesting.

I'd say you don't know or never used Xara Xtreme. I've used Illustrator as well and Xara is much more light in CPU weight/load and you can achieve every thing as in Illustrator.

Suggestion: increase the font-size of the posts in your blog. I'm use to read them in Google Reader so they have standard font-size (no xml-style-sheet included) but when I came here to leave this comment I couldn't read it without forcing my view (and I'm not an old man! :)).