Designing a Logo
Illustration by Richard Downs
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Choosing your tools


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Designing a Logo

with Nigel French

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Video: Choosing your tools

Now that we've decided what's going to go into our logo and we have an idea of the kind of image that we want to convey with our logo, we need to decide what tools we are going to use to create it. To my mind, the only serious contender is Adobe Illustrator. It's called great type tools and it offers really sophisticated vector graphics. Now, it being vectors means that we can scale the logo without diminishing its quality and that is absolutely essential. Vectors are resolution independent. Now, you could use InDesign for this, but Illustrator's vector tools are a bit more sophisticated. So that's the reason I'm going to go with Illustrator.
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Watch the Online Video Course 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
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator InDesign
Author:
Nigel French

Choosing your tools

Now that we've decided what's going to go into our logo and we have an idea of the kind of image that we want to convey with our logo, we need to decide what tools we are going to use to create it. To my mind, the only serious contender is Adobe Illustrator. It's called great type tools and it offers really sophisticated vector graphics. Now, it being vectors means that we can scale the logo without diminishing its quality and that is absolutely essential. Vectors are resolution independent. Now, you could use InDesign for this, but Illustrator's vector tools are a bit more sophisticated. So that's the reason I'm going to go with Illustrator.

Maybe you could use Photoshop, but Photoshop is mainly about working with pixels. I suppose at the end of the day whichever program you feel most comfortable with is going to be the right choice for you. But all else being equal, Illustrator I think is the best choice and let me just give you an example of what is I'm talking about with this notion of being able to scale things. So here I am in Illustrator and here is a quick fictional logo that I have created and this is vectors and we can see that when I click on it. Now, I'm going to make a duplicate of this. I'm going to select it all and hold down my Alt key and my Shift key and I'm going to pull away from it to create a duplicate. Now, with this duplicate, I'm going to rasterize it. So this is as if it had been created in Photoshop and the type had been rasterized.

Object > Rasterize, i.e. convert it to pixels. I'm going to rasterize it at a high resolution and we'll see that even at a high resolution, it's going to run into problems. 300 pixels per inch. I think we can probably see even now things are looking a little bit jaggy, maybe they are not really that bad, maybe that's just the screen. But let's see what happens when I increase the size of this. I'm going to scale it up dramatically like so and then I'm going to do a similar amount of scaling on this one. What's happening there is this one is actually behind the pixel version. So I'm going to bring it to the front. Now, if we were to increase our view size, I think we can clearly see there that the edges of the pixel, the raster version are furry and that's what's going to happen when you scale a pixel graphic. That's not going to happen when you scale a vector graphic, which you can scale to your heart's content.

So conclusion here is that Illustrator is I think the best tool to be designing your logos in and that's the tool that I'm going to be using throughout this series of videos. In the next chapter, we will be rolling up our shirtsleeves and actually getting into creating in some logos.

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