The Do’s & Don’ts
of Creative Logo Design
Branding and Creative Logo design initiatives are my favorite projects to work on. Over 20 years ago, I started my career as an illustrator and it still heavily influences everything I do today. Successfully telling a story in the most simplest of terms, like a logo, is challenging, stressful but most importantly rewarding. After 20+ years of designing effective logos and branding and becoming a top Texas logo design firm, here are a few of the “Do’s and Don’ts of Logo Design” that I to live by…
I am a strong believer that creativity stops once you touch the computer. The computer is a tool that enhances ideas. It can take a strong idea and make it great, however if you have nothing to work with from the start, it will look like every other generic logo out there.
Sitting quietly facing a blank piece of paper can be daunting. But this is where fresh, clean and creative ideas come from. You’re not searching the web looking for ideas to steal, you’re creating a specific design that’s inspired by the company you’re thinking of. The sketches don’t have to be perfect illustrations, just quick gestural ideas in various directions. It’s amazing how a sketch can evolve into another sketch, and then another, finally creating a great finished product.
There’s nothing worse than having a great logo rejected because the client hates a specific color. Color can be very emotional to people. While one person might love seafoam green, another person may detest it. Although it’s good to understand color and preferences before undertaking a logo project, I’ve found that by eliminating it from the first couple rounds of logos helps clients not get sidetracked.
Have you heard the phrase “KISS”. (Keep It Simple Stupid) Ideally, a strong logo works well in 1 color. Black and white. It’s the most stripped down way a logo can be used. If a logo can translate well in 1 color, it can be enhanced with more colors. Plus, there will be times a logo needs to translate to 1 color, and it must look good doing so.
Allow white space to work to your advantage. High contrast logos provide a strong Ying / Yang effect that makes a logo stand out. As a top Texas logo design firm, I’ve found one great way to do this is by hiding shapers or images that aren’t immediately recognized, but once the audience see’s it, they can’t help but only notice it.
When creating logos I try to branch off in as many directions as possible — logo styles, fonts, taglines, no taglines, etc. It’s amazing how going in one direction can inspire a completely new and fresh idea. This doesn’t mean I show every variation to the client, it’s just part of the creative process.
It’s not always about what you like, and your preferences. Put your customer and their audience first. What are they looking for, what resonates with them. I always try to deliver what the client has in their mind, but in addition I provide other ideas and directions — then I let the logo speak for itself (with no explanation). Also, consider the company’s competitor’s logos, and make a logo that stands out if it were to sit next to them.
The “Do’s and Don’ts of Creative Logo Design” is essentially my logo design Philosophy. I have more thoughts I would love to share in later posts. Are you a designer, marketing director, or just a creative at heart? I would love to hear from you. Contact me with any comments you might have. I would love to hear your thoughts.