The logo is the face of any company, brand and corporate entity, it’s the first impression, and as they say, ”First Impression matters a lot”. So its design should be of paramount importance and not be handled amateurishly.
When and if executed correctly, and with finesse, a logo can prove to be a powerful asset to your client’s brand.
However, creating an effective visually stimulating representation of a brand goes a long way more than just graphic design.
Like any line of work out there that involves a set of specific skills and knowledge, logo design demands a plenitude of practice and ‘grey-haired’ experience for it to be successful; knowledge is definitely powerful for any graphic designer. Here are some unwritten logo design rules.
Some Logo Design Rules For Every Graphics Designer
Start With The Preliminaries
A graphic designer who knows his onus will spend quality time on the preliminary stages than any other step in the logo design process.
Preliminary sketches are very crucial steps in designing an effective logo. It’s as important as the engineers that first lay the foundations of a building complex or the musician that first tunes his instruments before a stage performance.
These sketches can be as simple as paper and pen drawings or drafts made using a vector program, such as Illustrator.
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The bottom line is that there’s a risk of compromising the final result if you rush, or skip, this step.
Start with 20 to 30 sketches or ideas and then branch out to create variations of the original ideas.
If it seems not to work, or you are having ”designers block” (a personal coinage from writer’s block where a writer on a story doesn’t know what else to write) then start afresh with new sketches
SIZE Matters A Lot
An effective logo has to look good and be legible at all sizes and corners.
A logo is not effective if it loses too much definition when scaled down for letterheads, envelopes, and small promotional items (adobe illustrator effectively prevents this). The logo also has to look good when used for larger formats, such as posters, billboards, and electronic formats such as TV and the Web.
The most reliable way to determine if a logo works at all sizes is to actually test it yourself by printing the logo on a letterhead or envelope to test it’s legibility (if it’s readable)
On the flip side, You can also test for large-scale rendering by printing a poster-sized version at a print shop.
Clever Use Of Colour
I’ve seen logo designs that look like colour riots, (how the clients accepted that wonders and amaze)
The basic logo design rules to keep in mind are:
- Use colours near to each other on the colour wheel (e.g. for a “warm” palette, use red, orange, and yellow hues).
Don’t use colours that are so bright that they are hard on the eyes.
- The logo must also look good in black and white, grayscale, and two colours.
Breaking the rules sometimes is okay; just make sure you have a good reason to!
- Knowing how colours evoke feelings and moods are also important. For example, red can evoke feelings of aggression, love, passion, and strength depending on what the brand stands for.
That’s why Glo, a communication network in Nigeria uses the colour green and white for obvious reasons.
The K.I.S.S. Rule (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
The simpler the logo, the more recognizable it will be…. Ask giants like Mtn, Glo, and Pepsi.
Sometimes the concept we consider stupid becomes global hits. Take a bite from Apple Logo (pun intended).
An unmistakable example is the Nike swoosh which is an extremely simple logo and is also one of the most recognizable in the world.
Adhere to the K.I.S.S. rule right from the start of the design process, when you are racking your brain for ideas and doodling sketches.
More Often than not, you’ll find that you start with a relatively complicated design and end up with a simpler version of it in the end.
Tweak the design down to its basics and leave out all unnecessary elements.
Originality is Key
The last rule for designing an effective logo is quite simple: don’t copy other designers’ work!
You can grab inspiration from some artworks but outrightly copying another person’s work can land both you and your clients in legal hot soups!
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So there you have it! Sleep, eat and ponder on these logo design rules and tips, and in no distant time, you could be a logo designer with a difference.