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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.
Throughout the course of these videos, you've seen me work on various concepts for our logo for the company Deep Green, a garden design company. It's now time to present some of those concepts to our clients. So, I want to find the three best and explore slightly different variations of each one and then present them to the client. Hopefully, they will like one of them. We take the one that they like, we refine it further, especially we look into the issue of what color we are going to use. Because right now, we haven't really explored color options too much. When our client signs off on that finished version, we prepare the digital files. The print version or versions because perhaps there will be alternative versions and the web version or versions and then when the whole thing is done, we archive the job.
So, here I'm in Illustrator and in no order of preference here are my three concepts: #1 , #2, and #3. Let's look at them one by one. So, this first one with the reversed out type coming from the leaf, this just kind of happened very easily. Looking through all of my printouts, it appealed to me. Its simplicity appeals. The leaf is actually nothing more than one of the Illustrator symbols that has been simplified, which is in a solid color. For each version, I'm showing the logo without the tagline and with the tag line in color and in black and white because it's very important that the logo also work in black and white.
Now, when I did this I thought, well, what if the leaf shape were more simple and less ragged as this upper version is? So, from my Photoshop vector shapes, I went and got one of the leaves from there and then just pulled that around a bit and use that instead. So, we have got essentially two different versions of this same concept. Now, in this one and you may have seen this one before because it's popped up in a couple of the previous videos, this was inspired by a photograph of overlapping palm fronds. I made the two different frond shapes into a compound path so that where they overlap, rather than transparency, we are just seeing this kind of reversed out checkerboard-like shape.
This one presents a set of problems. I like this very much, but the problem that it presents is how to do we orientate the type next to the imagery. I originally drew it like this, but then I'm realizing this creates a hard border on the right-hand side which could be problematic because we want this space here opening out into the business card or the letterhead or however else it's used. So, that suggested that I flip that around, which I did. I have a sense that this is probably going to work better and then I want to experiment with is the typed going to go at the bottom, is it going to go in this area of negative space. I'm giving the game away here, but perhaps we will see that I further refine the typed placement in this particular version.
The third concept is this one that uses the swirls. I have to say this is my least favorite. I do like it but my reservation about it is, is that these swirls are being used a lot these days. Now, I suspect they may look rather dated very quickly and maybe it is little bit like a Clip Art because other people can get these exact same swirls and it's maybe not quite unique enough, even though, I have actually fiddled with them a bit and I have chopped a bit off here and there, but still it's just not quite unique enough. In the black and white version, I'm having the swirl to be in a 50% black.
How you present these to your client really depends upon the relationship that you have with them and are they remote or are they local. If you are able to, then present them in person. If not, send them a PDF and try not to say too much. The logo should speak for themselves. If they need explaining then they're not really working, but at the same time, be on hand and be prepared to justify your design decisions and why you made them.
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