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Designing a Logo

with Nigel French

Video: Welcome

Discusses the principles and techniques of what makes a logo work, type-only designs, type treatments, and logo symbols.
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Designing a Logo
Video duration: 0s 2h 57m Intermediate


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
Illustrator InDesign


Welcome to the series of videos on designing a logo. Here on screen, we have some very recognizable logos. I'm sure you are familiar with most of them, if not all of them. What do they have in common? They are all extremely simple. They use very basic shapes and all the elements have been boiled down to only their most essential parts. The most important principle when designing a logo, keep it simple. But before we begin, we need to ask ourselves, why we need a logo? The purpose of a logo is to identify your company, to make a positive first impression.

Secondly and obviously, it wants to distinguish your company as being unique. Setting you aside from the competition. That doesn't mean that we need a flashing, blinking or singing or dancing logo. Quite the contrary, but we do need our logo to stand out. Thirdly, it needs to communicate, it needs to communicate a value about your company, a positive message. Maybe it should communicate the trustworthiness, the solidity of your company, the experience of your company or the friendliness of your company, the technical ability of your company.

Whatever it is your company is, your logo should communicate that. What makes a good logo? Well, I think we can boil it down to five points. A strong uncluttered image, comprised of only the most essential elements. We don't need any extra stuff. The imagery that's used should be appropriate for the type of business that you are in. The imagery should compliment your company name and any type that's used should be in a readable font. Font singular, because we are probably not going to be using more than one typeface in the logo and that font should not compete with the logo symbol.

Finally, your logo needs to work in black and white as well as color. The color may be important, but the color isn't the be-all and end-all because your logo is going to be photocopied, it's going to be faxed, and it likely going to be printed on black and white printers and it needs to hold its own in black and white. Throughout these videos, I'm going to be working on my own logo project. It's for a company called Deep Green Designs. They are a garden design company based in Brighton, U.K., that's where I live, and I'm going to exploring various different permutations of this logo and hopefully by the time we get to the end of the series of these videos, I'll have a workable logo, a finished logo and hopefully, so will you. Either following along with my examples or adapting the principles that I'm outlining here and applying them where appropriate to your own logo.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Designing a Logo .

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Q: Where can I learn more about graphic design?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting graphic design on





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