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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.
Now, I know you are itching to design that logo, but before we pick up tools, we need to ask ourselves some very important questions about the kind of logo that we are designing. Is it a new design or is it a redesign of an existing logo? Who is the customer? Maybe you are a designer, designing the logo for your client or maybe you have a business and you are designing your own logo. What's the kind of personality that you want the logo to project? How does that reflect the personality of your business? How does it reflect the values of your business? Lastly, an obvious point but an important one nonetheless, we need to check out the competition, we need to see what kind of logos are our competition designing. Are they falling into any kind of design traps and cliches that we should strive to avoid and how do we make our logo better? Designing a logo is a collaborative process and an important part of that process is meeting with the client and relating to the client, hearing their needs and taking on board their suggestions. Your client maybe has a logo already or may be they have some ideas for a logo and you want to try and incorporate those ideas as much as possible and when necessary, steer your client towards good design decisions.
Perhaps you are your own client, in which case it's still worth trying to formalize this step and if necessary role-play the step. My client, the client that I'm going to be working with throughout the series of these videos is a company called Deep Green Designs. They are a new garden design company based in Brighton, UK, and the proprietor of Deep Green Designs is an experienced landscape designer and former head gardener of an historic garden. So in my meeting with her, talking about her company and how she wants to present her company, we came up with this list of adjectives: Deep Green Designs is imaginative, simple, transformative, inspiring, unique, inventive, diverse, friendly, informal, and experienced. In no particular order. These are the values that she feels represent her business or that she aspires to represent her business.
Another important question to ask. Just fill in the blanks here. A Deep Green customer is.... And in this case, a Deep Green customer is, and all I need is a single one sentence response. Someone who wants to transform their garden. Nothing more than that. Now, in terms of these adjectives and how we find a logo that matches them, that represents them, let's just do a simple exercise. Here I have six different words, which represent values that companies commonly wish to project.
The typefaces that I've chosen I think are critical. For example, technical. If I were to take the word technical, and put it in the same font as this one here, which is Cooper Black, which I'm using for friendly. It wouldn't look technical at all, I don't think. Let's try it. I'm going to take that word friendly, copy up there. I like that. Doesn't look so technical. Here we see with the word creative, and this is a common theme that we will be exploring, just a simple tweak to a word may be all your logo needs. We want to keep it simple. I'll be referring to that point again and again, keep it simple.
Whenever we are tempted to clutter things up, to add more stuff than is necessary, just make things more complicated than they need to be. We are going to remind ourselves, keep it simple. Reliable here is set in a solid Slab Serif typeface. It looks solid and reliable, the kind of typeface that you can depend upon. Elegant, in a typeface that has a lot of contrast between the thick parts of the stroke and the thin parts of the stroke. The word caring, again I've tweaked this one, so that the C embraces the other letters and the letters themselves are set in a warm and caring and friendly san serif typeface.
So try this yourself, working with these words or with other words that represent values that you feel are more appropriate to your business and experiment with different typefaces. Now that we've defined the parameters of the job and now that we've a much clear idea of the company that we are working with, we need to figure out how the logo is actually going to be used. Obviously, it's going to be used on business cards. It's probably going to be used in the brochure, on a website, poster, maybe in a magazine, on t-shirts, banners, vehicles.
There are a multiplicity of different potential uses for your logo and you need to consider before you start designing your logo, how many of those uses are likely to be applicable to you.
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