How To Be A Better Logo Designer
There are hundreds of ways you can improve your logo designs, many of which can make a dramatic result in the type of designs you produce. Having a solid design process with thorough research is only part of the battle. The rest is knowing how to execute a logo design really well so that it works effectively for years to come. Some quick tips for logo designs are to use specialized grid paper, avoid using thin typefaces, aim for simplicity, and design for adaptability. Here’s a bit more on what those mean.
Improve Sketch Creativity
Use Specialized Grid Paper To Sketch Logo Concepts
In the initial sketching phase of a logo design, one of the biggest things that had improved my logo designs is using grid paper. But not just your standard square grids. I come up with my best ideas when I get to use a variety of designer grids to explore a logo concept.
There are dot grids, triangle grids, isometric grids, circular grids, and more. I bought A Notebook for Visual Thinkers awhile back, which is a sketchbook with different types of grids within it. It really makes the logo sketching phase a lot more fun and I get better ideas from the constraints of each grid.
Don’t Use Super Thin Typefaces in Your Logo Designs
At some point, most logos will need to be reduced in size to fit a business card, ad, or other printed piece. More likely, they’re going to be placed somewhere online in the corner of a website. Logos that are designed with ultra thin fonts end up looking weak when scaled down, and the integrity of the letter forms is lost.
Aside from the resizing issue, thin typefaces also allude to a sense of weakness and seem likely to break. Companies generally do not want that to be a visual characteristic of their logo.
Logos should be made with the ability to scale in size; bigger or smaller. Versatility is an absolute must for any logo because you really never know where a logo will be put.
Aim For Simplicity
Create Logo Designs That Have Mnemonic Value
This is one of the most important tips for logo design. As humans, we remember things visually by the recognition of their shape and colour. It’s just how we’ve evolved. The best identity designers use this knowledge to create logos that have simple and clear forms with distinct shape and colour. Take these logos for example:
The Apple’s round shape. The golden arches. The hidden arrow. These three logos logos all have distinct shapes and colours. If a logo is too complex, has a disjointed set of elements, or uses a stale colour scheme, the logo is difficult to remember.
Design Adaptable Logos
This means, that when designing a logo, don’t design to what the company does. Instead, design to the company’s values. The needs of many brands constantly change and the accompanying identity design should be able to change with it.
Designer Paul Rand introduced the logo for IBM in 1956- a logo that is still in use today (aside from some minor modernization). It’s still used because of its simplicity and that but neutrality allows the company to shift direction at will. Their brand and identity design remain constant through product changes and moving into other markets. If the IBM logo had been designed using an image of a Random access Memory machine, or even a floppy disc for examples, the logo would not have been able to evolve with the company.
There are plenty of tips for logo design that people say are mandatory in building an identity design. The best tips are the ones that remain constant through the years and don’t conform to trends. It takes a lot of practice and research to get good at identity design, so keep up the learning 🙂