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Your Logo is your
brand DNA.
Logo design is all around us. To the general public, logos serve as an instant reminder of a ...
THE PROCESS:
Every designer has his or her own process, and it is rarely linear, but in general this is how the branding p...
THE DON’Ts:
Light bulbs for 'ideas', speech bubbles for 'discussion', globes for 'international', etc. These ideas are oft...
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Michele Bush: "Logo Design Workshop"

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Michele Bush, creative director at Next Brand Strategy and Design, offers some pointers on what you need to design a brilliant logo

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Michele Bush: "Logo Design Workshop"

  1. 1. Your Logo is your brand DNA. Logo design is all around us. To the general public, logos serve as an instant reminder of a company or a product. Logos are the point of recognition on which their branding hangs. To design a logo is a challenge of incorporating your brands’ ideologies into one single graphic. Corporate Identity is what follows from the Logo Design. It is the extention of the barnd across all platforms - not only visual. The way your employees “feel” about your company, or the way your receptionist answeres your phone, is as much part of your Corporate Identity as you logo. An effective logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message. In its simplest form, a logo is there to identify but to do this effectively it must follow the basic principles of logo design: A logo must be simple. A simple logo allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile and memorable. Effective logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn. A logo must be memorable. Following closely behind the principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple yet appropriate logo. A logo must be enduring. An effective logo should endure the test of time. The logo should be 'future proof', meaning that it should still be effective in 10, 20, 50+ years time. A logo must be versatile. An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications. A logo must be appropriate and RELEVANT. How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. WHAT YOU NEED TO DESIGN A BRILLIANT LOGO: 1. Intuition Intuition, the insight to know when to expand or scrap an idea, is one of a designer’s most important and mysterious skills. That gut feeling when designing is often the thing that results in the most cohesive and creative products. 2. Improvisation Sometimes designs just aren’t working. Unlike software, which is programmed, human designers can find creative ways to overcome problems — even if they must use unorthodox methods. 3. Imperfection Fantastic design directions can arise from mistakes. Incredible solutions can come from having to resourcefully overcome mistakes. 4. Passion Most designers love what they do, and that passion shows through in their designs. 5. Divergence The ability to think out of-the-box, and come up with unique ideas that disrupt paradigms. 6. Perception One of the most incredible human abilities is the ability to perceive: to take in the world, process, and digest what is seen. This ability to essential to creating a design that is fitting for a client’s wants, and also reflective of a rich creative knowledge. 7. Critical thinking Designing is not purely creative, but also requires critical thought
  2. 2. THE PROCESS: Every designer has his or her own process, and it is rarely linear, but in general this is how the branding process is completed, which can be used as a guide to establish your own. Research. Conduct research focused on the industry itself, its history, and its competitors. Reference. Conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are relat- ed to the design brief. Sketching and conceptualising. Develop the logo concepts around the brief and research. Reflection. Take breaks throughout the design process. This allows your ideas to mature and lets you get renewed enthusiasm. Receive feedback. INSPIRATION: Nike swoosh is a highly successful logo design By knowing what other brands have succeeded in and why they have succeeded gives you great insight and you can apply that attained knowledge to your own work. For example, let’s look at the classic Nike Swoosh (below). This logo was created by Caroline Davidson in 1971 and it’s a great example of a strong, memorable logo, being effective without colour and easily scalable. Not only is it simple, fluid and fast but it also has related symbolism; it represents the wing in the famous statue of the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, which is a perfect figure for a sporting apparel business. Nike is just one of many great logos, but think about other famous brands that you know and check out their logos - what makes them suc- cessful?
  3. 3. THE DON’Ts: Light bulbs for 'ideas', speech bubbles for 'discussion', globes for 'international', etc. These ideas are often the first things to pop into one's head when brainstorming, and for the same reason should be the first ideas discarded. How is your design going to be unique when so many other logos feature the same idea? Stay clear of these visual clichés and come up with an original idea and design. Do not steal, copy or 'borrow' other designs. A designer sees an idea that he likes, does a quick mirror, colour swap or word change, and then calls the idea his own. Not only is this unethical, illegal and downright stupid but you're also going to get caught sooner or later. Do not use stock or clip art either — the point of a logo is to be unique and original. You could also end up having to scrap your logo once it is an established brand! Creating a logo isn’t just about creating a pretty visual. What you’re doing, or taking part in, is developing a brand and communicating a position. It makes sense, then, that the first step in creating a logo should be to re- search these concepts.

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