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Designing a Logo
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Changing one thing


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Designing a Logo

with Nigel French

Video: Changing one thing

Take a look at these logos and what's interesting about them is that they all work by making a very subtle tweak to the type or adding one very small component, which completely makes the logo. So maybe one letter is bigger or we've got the famous FedEx logo up here, where the E and X come together to give a reverse out arrow or there is the tick taken out of the O and the S where they meet in the Microsoft logo. The house that's made of the H in the shelter logo. The dots on the J and the I made into an infinity sign in the Fujitsu logo, etcetera.

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Designing a Logo
2h 57m Intermediate Sep 17, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

A great logo is often basic, composed only of essential parts, but simple is not always easy. Designer Nigel French distills over a decade of professional design and teaching experience in Designing a Logo. He discusses the principles and techniques of what makes a logo work, and explains type-only designs, type treatments, and logo symbols in depth. He also explores how to work with clients on defining job parameters and selecting a final design, as well as how to prepare the logo for print and web publication. Nigel demonstrates each of these techniques in the course of designing a new logo for a real client, so viewers can either follow along or apply the techniques to their own work. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Choosing the right typeface
  • Exploring transparency, warped type, and other treatments
  • Working with line, shape, and imagery in a logo symbol
  • Considering current trends in logo design
  • Fine-tuning a design after client selection
  • Drawing up usage guidelines
Subjects:
Design Logo Design Print Design Projects Design Skills
Software:
Illustrator InDesign
Author:
Nigel French

Changing one thing

Take a look at these logos and what's interesting about them is that they all work by making a very subtle tweak to the type or adding one very small component, which completely makes the logo. So maybe one letter is bigger or we've got the famous FedEx logo up here, where the E and X come together to give a reverse out arrow or there is the tick taken out of the O and the S where they meet in the Microsoft logo. The house that's made of the H in the shelter logo. The dots on the J and the I made into an infinity sign in the Fujitsu logo, etcetera.

So what I want to do now is I want to take these very clever, very simple concepts and try and apply them to my logo in progress and I'm going to pick up pretty much where I left off in the last video where we have got just the company name as now one word just like American Airlines done here. No space between those two words and I'm differentiating the two words by column. So this is a starting point, this is a Myriad Pro, so I have not yet decided which Sans Serif typeface I'm using. So I'm going to be going back and forth with that.

Now if you don't have any of these typefaces though I'm using and some of them you will not have. Then just substitute some of your own that you feel broadly are equivalent. If that is if you are following along and if you are doing your own logo. Then feel free to adopt and adapt any of these techniques and none of them are to be taken absolutely, literally than more just suggestions. So this is my starting point as we saw this one in the previous movie just a different way of maybe instead of a space or if it's not having a space and underscore that really I don't think that it works but it was worth trying, and then I've now got this where I decide that I want to separate the words.

Not with a space or at least I want to fill that space with something, not differentiated by color by having this swirly graphic. Now these are all the rage of the moment, these swirls. I got this from the Adobe Exchange website and I'm going to show you where you too can get it. So let's pop to Safari and I'm on the Adobe Exchange website. And this is a free download. It's by a woman called Jennifer Willis and you can download these effects of swirls and then just incorporate them into your InDesign document.

So that's what I have done here. Now moving along, let's take a look at this example. Now I wouldn't really want to do this. I think this will create a printing problem having the counters of the letters built with a different color. But let's see how you can do this. It maybe something that you want to use in a different context or I mean if you're working on your own logo, maybe this is going to work for you. So I'm just going to start out by setting my Type and I'm using Futura here and I'm using Futura because it's geometric, it's going to give me nice round counters. So let's go over there to my Character panel and we will type in Futura and I'm going to make it Bold. Maybe not bold. That doesn't look quite what I'm after. So let's go for a Medium instead. And then switch to my Selection tool. Holding down my Shift key, I'm going to scale that up and move it down.

Scale it a bit more. Now here is the punchline to this particular technique. I can't color any of those counters individually until I do this. And this is I need to convert this type to outlines of course. When I do that, it's no longer type. It's just editable vector shapes. Okay, so now there's outlines. I need to make sure that the status of these letters is actually they are compound paths and that's what is allowing the counters to knock holes in the letters. I need to release that compound paths. So I come to the Object menu, Compound Path > Release.

Having done that, I can now select the counters individually. So I'm going to come in and holding down the Shift key, clicking on each of those counters and then applying a color. Okay. Now this is an interesting one. Here I'm using a very common technique of reversing out part of the logo and I'm doing that with an organic shape, a leaf, which seems appropriate to the subject. Now how did I get this leaf? Well, I could just draw with my Pen tool, but actually I was feeling lazy, so it's an Illustrator symbol, which I adapted.

First of all, I'm just going to duplicate that type down there and then I need to get myself a symbol. So I'm going to come over to my Symbols panel right here. Now because I have already used in this document, it's on my Symbols panel. But if for you it isn't and you need to get it then come down to here, the Symbol Libraries menu and choose Nature. On your Nature symbols, you will find one right there called Leaf. So I'm going to click on that, that's going to put it on my Symbols panel and now from my Symbols panel. I want to put it onto my document. I'm going to click on this one just to add a single instance to my outboard.

There it is, let's zoom in on that. Now that's far too detailed. Really all I want is the shape. So I'm going to come to the Object menu, and I'm going to expand that and then I'm going to choose my Direct Selection tool, click away from it to deselect. Click back on all that interior information and delete it and then all I want is the outline. So I'm going to get that and then I'll get rid of all of that stuff, but not including the font.

So that leaves me with just the outline of the shape. Although it seems, I still have bit more detail there and I actually want so I'm going to return to the Object menu, Expand Appearance. Click on the outline once again and I'm wondering right now if it might have been easier for me to just draw the shape by itself. But now I have separated that from the shape. I can come to my Swatches, again give it a color and tend to be gravitating towards this particular green here. Choose that one and then move it into position. Choose my Rotation tool, and then spin it around a bit. Now of course, I need to send it to the back behind the type.

So I choose my Object menu, Arrange > Send to Back and then it's just the question of positioning it. So that's it right behind that and perhaps scaling it a little bit. Something like that. Okay let's say what else do we have here. So then continuing with this leaf motif, after having done that one, I copied that and then as we saw from that explorations in the earlier video, the Franklin Gothic G has this interesting hook at the top of it and I can take my leaf, put that right there, scale it way, way down and position that. Something like so.

Here is another one that I don't think will really work but you know in a different context it might be just what you are after. These letters have been converted into outlines and we saw that earlier. I just created it. Regular type. Converted it to outlines and then with my Direct Selection tool, that's the Y arrow, made a selection of those, bottom two points and then you can pull that up or pull down to make the P deeper as necessary.

In this example here, this was kind of prompted by me coming across the Adobe Jenson in the previous video. Then we saw the Jenson has a two diagonal cross bar on the E, and I think what if I were to just experiment with that and join them together. So all we are doing here is typing in and in this case I'm using a space from my Character panel. Putting that in Adobe Jenson Pro. Scaling it up and then once again, it's just a question of turning into outlines. Just going to give us bit more flexibility or what we can do with it, Create Outlines.

When I do that it becomes a group. So I now need to ungroup it, and that's going allow me to select the individual letters and I'll put those like so. And then I can just move the letters around as necessary to create some kind of effect like so which is cute but I'm not sure well that's already onto a winner with that one.

In this final example, just want to make the point that so far we have been having both of the words of the logo in the same size. Of course, you don't need to restrict yourself to that. So here I'm radically scaling the two different words and I'm making the G quite a lot bigger, obviously, so that we can fit the word deep into that. So the G there is 80 points versus the other three letters which are 54 points. So hopefully I'll give you some ideas and especially if you are working on your own logo, which of course is the name and the type of business that you are working with, is going to suggest all kinds of other possibilities. But hopefully these will give you just some ideas to work with and explore.

Okay, so coming up in the next chapter. We are going to look at some common type treatments. Working with transparency, working with outline type, warping type and making a monogram of the initials of your company.

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