Designing a Logo
Illustration by Richard Downs

Drawing up usage guidelines


From:

Designing a Logo

with Nigel French

Video: Drawing up usage guidelines

Our logo is finished, but our work is not yet entirely done because we need to draw up usage guidelines. The purpose of the usage guidelines is so that whoever uses the logo, whoever you may be passing on the logo to, to maybe use in some kind of cross promotion; that they use the logo in a way that you had intended. As a tip you can download different company's usage guidelines and see what kind of content they contain and adapt one of theirs to your own needs. Now even if you are the only person who intends to be implementing the logo, it's still a good idea to have a style guide. That way it helps you control your own branding and think more clearly about how the logo is going to be used.

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Watch the Online Video Course Designing a Logo
2h 57m Intermediate Sep 17, 2008

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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

Drawing up usage guidelines

Our logo is finished, but our work is not yet entirely done because we need to draw up usage guidelines. The purpose of the usage guidelines is so that whoever uses the logo, whoever you may be passing on the logo to, to maybe use in some kind of cross promotion; that they use the logo in a way that you had intended. As a tip you can download different company's usage guidelines and see what kind of content they contain and adapt one of theirs to your own needs. Now even if you are the only person who intends to be implementing the logo, it's still a good idea to have a style guide. That way it helps you control your own branding and think more clearly about how the logo is going to be used.

What I have done is make an InDesign document with various different categories of usage and then I have made that into a PDF and this PDF will be sent to anyone who is going to implementing the logo. Here we are in Acrobat looking at that PDF. I have made some bookmarks for easy navigation. First of all, Versions of the Logo, it just talks about which different versions there are and their appropriate usage and I can scroll down there and we can see we have the different versions shown. Minimum Size discusses exactly that, specifying that the logo shouldn't be reproduced than anything less than 30 millimeters or 1.2 inches wide and that's because anything smaller than that and this type is going to be unreadable.

Next we have the logo colors, specifying that it's in Pantone 369 and Black and saying that if this is going to be included in a CMYK document then it's okay to convert the Pantone colors to its process color equivalents, which is going to be broadly the same as the Pantone 369. But rather than printing as one custom ink it will print as four inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The fourth issue is that of Clear Space. We want to make sure that whoever uses the logo doesn't but up against any other element in their publications.

So we are specifying that we want at least 10 millimeters of space all the way around the logo and then just to make it as idiot-proof as possible we have thrown in some examples of Incorrect usage. Distorting it, making it too small and putting it against the background that's clearly going to make it quite unreadable. Next we discuss online usage and the point I'm making here is that there are two different approved versions for online usage. The regular version and the boxed version and each is provided at a size of 200 pixels and 100 pixels. And then finally and this is very important, I'm including a screen capture of the folder containing the two sub-folders for the print logos and the web logos and this takes the place of any kind of Read Me file that you might want to send to your client, if you are providing the logo to your client. They are not necessarily going to know the difference between an EPS file and a GIF file.

So here we have clearly broken down what's on the disk that we are providing them with and these files are saved in their appropriate folders. So there we have our style guide, which very simply and explicitly states what is an approved usage of our logo and what is not. So hopefully anyone following these shouldn't have any problem.

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