Designing logos is just like any other type of design work, to be professional you’ll need to pay attention to details. Even a great idea can be ruined by not thinking about simple things, the following tips will help you to keep your concepts safe.
//.01 Work with vectors
This probably sounds obvious to most designers out there, but it isn’t to everybody so I repeat it as often as I can to avoid receiving those damn jpeg logos. Vector formats are the ones that will allow the most variations for your logo.
//.02 Don’t use more than 2 fonts
There is many nice fonts out there and we would all love to use as many as we can. Unfortunately using too many fonts will most of the time result in a loss of coherence. Using two different fonts can be good to create a contrast, catching the eye.
//.03 Keep it readable
If people can’t read your logo, it’s useless to have one. This sounds like dumb advice again, but it’s easy to get caught in creating letters or distorting a font until it becomes unreadable. Always stay aware of that when working on your logo.
//.04 Test sizes
Your logo should resize well at any size, whether it’s huge on a truck or tiny on a badge.
//.05 Adapt it for dark backgrounds
So you’ve got a wonderful looking dark logo, but now your client want to get it on his black car. It’s usually not too hard to adapt it, but you’ll look more professional if you already got that case figured out.
//.06 Make sure it works well in black and white
I have a very simple technique for that: I work every logo in black and white before adding any colour. This way choices are made judging by the shapes and you are not distracted by anything else. It makes it much easier to know that your logo will work well in shades of grey afterwards.
//.07 Don’t include photos in your logo
Well… this one goes along with the first tip. First, photos are not vectors. Photos also don’t scale, have no branding value and are hard to adapt for any use.
//.08 Look at it upside-down
This is a tip I got from my teachers in graphic design school, looking at your logo (or any printed design really) will get the meaning out of the way and give you a new look at the design’s balance and white spaces. Try it!
//.09 Don’t follow trends
It’s often hard to escape trends, especially if you’re passionated and love to look at inspiring logos on design sites. Your logo has to work on the long run, so try to avoid the web 1.0 swoosh or the web 2.0 reflection.
//.10 Get specific feedback
Asking people’s opinion is worthless if you don’t know what informations you want to get, so when getting feedback, try asking specific questions (eg. does your logo expresses the industry of the company?).
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To take your logo design skills one step further, you should check out these great sites:
- Logolog, blog dedicated to logo design.
- Brand New, opinions on corporate and brand identity
- Logo Pond, identity inspiration.
- Logo Design Love, another blog dedicated to logo design.
- Logo of the Day, daily logo design inspiration.