Often we underestimate the power of the brand. And it’s the core of many decision we as consumers make every single day. Logos serve as a reminder of a company or a product and are the core of a branding strategy. But logo design today has a lot of challenges. We want it to be unique and original, but still incorporate the simplicity in its shapes.
Let’s look at 10 basic rules of a logo design:
1. TARGET AUDIENCE
Focus on your client’s target audience. Who are the responders? Are they mostly male or female groups, are you targeting children or seniors? These basic questions will help you create a general outline of which direction you’ll choose for the logo design. Remember you are communicating a service or a product, let the logo speak for it. Take your time to do the research. Sometimes the most obvious choices are not the strongest.
2. SKETCH IT
Yes. Let you imagination flow and sketch your initial designs. You’ll surprise yourself as far as the number of ideas you can come up with. Focus on your most inspired sketches. From there, the design process will be a lot easier.
3. DON’T IMITATE
It’s really easy to do online research and find unlimited number of ideas for your client’s logo. But that is not really building their own brand, is it? The only way you are going to be successful a s a logo designer if you understand the brand and have the ability to translate it into unique art.
4. DON’T GET INFLUENCED BY YOUR CLIENT
Client is always right, but when it comes to the brand development, they need to put some trust into their designers. It’s great to listen to their story about the product, service and their business to better understand the goal they are to achieve. But you need to ask for creative freedom. That’s when unexpected happens.
5. THINK ABOUT THE FUNCTIONALITY
The function of the logo is as important as the design itself. You can have amazing logos, but it you are using 40 colors and gradients, the odds are, your clients will have a difficult time printing their logo on their T-shirts. Make sure you design works on light and dark background and is easily readable. Yes, often times your logo means nothing if the font you have selected is completely unreadable to the public. Focus on simplicity and clean lines. Right typography combination is the key.
6. BE GREAT
That means – be creative. When people look at your logo and say – that’s clever – you really achieved your goals. Use of negative space is one of the examples of how you can build a great logo. They require talent and creativity, but that’s the definition of a great designer.
7. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING
At the end of the day, you and Illustrator will become best friends in logo design. Make sure you are proficient in this software. There is no way around it. You will need to create a logo outline for your customers and Illustrator is the tool of choice.
8. CRETE A LOGO USE GUIDE
For many companies this is basically the list of dos and donts in logo use. Define the “buffer” space for the logo, the typography, the use of logo with a border, the options of color used based on the background. Properly used logos can develop into strong brands.
9. MAKE IT TIMELESS
Don’t get wrapped up into current trends. Design a clever logo that won’t have to be redeveloped two years down the road. Clean and simple logos last and convey a very clear message.
10. DON’T SECOND GUESS YOURSELF
If you feel you’ve found the perfect typography combination and the icon that best represents your clients brand, don’t second guess your choice. You’re on the right path.